The thing about marriage that no one tells you until you have already worn the pretty dress and clinked champagne glasses is that there will be fights at one in the morning where neither of you want the other person to win. Whispered angry words tossed over the kitchen counter while the two of you duke it out under the cover of darkness. Babes asleep in their beds blissfully unaware that the family they were born into looks pretty awful right now. Inability to compromise. Lack of desire to let the other person get a word in edgewise and speaking of that, God help me if I let you have the last word. We used to fight like a television sitcom, storming out the door or silent treatment with arms crossed. Now we fight like the Bravermans. We stay and battle it out in the same room. Best friend soldiers suddenly on different teams convinced that if I just yell long enough the other person will come around and realize the blinding correctness of my position. Insults are hurled, ones that make your heart cringe the second you watch them hit your lovers ears and run down their face like dirty water. Past wrongs are casually mentioned as ammunition to prove that you are owed something more than what you are getting right now. You are so lucky that I put up with this.
These fights are epic and always feel so horrible in the early morning sunlight. Darkness being drug into the light like a wild animal cringing at the harsh reality of being seen. Looking at each other over the heads of the gorgeous children we made together. How can two people make something so perfect and still forget how to love each other. Or even remember to be kind. How many times a day do I say that to Pursy and Knox? Just be kind! Do you hear his words? He is telling you that you are hurting him when you push him over, please stop and say you are sorry. Go see if he is okay and give him a kiss. And I expect her to listen to me and begin to understand that our actions can hurt others. Even those we love.
The thing about marriage is that these epic fights are unique to us. I don't fight with anyone else that way I fight with him. And if someone had told me before I got all dolled up in my white dress that being married would mean it was possible to treat another person like this, I might have pulled a Christina Yang and run the other way. But no one told me. And now I am in this. Committed. Ring on my finger, married filing jointly, shared bank account and shared bed, his last name wedded bliss.
But no one told me how cherished I would feel when he apologizes first. Calls me twenty times before I pick up the phone just to tell me he has been miserable and needs to make sure we are okay again. Has the balls to tell me what he feels I could have done differently and that I hurt him. If he didn't know me so well, he wouldn't know why I say the things I do. He also wouldn't know that I long to be better. To do better. Love him more. That the girl who a few hours ago was telling him that he is an asshole isn't usually like that. Only because he has promised to love me forever I am not fearful and timid in our fights. In a way, our 1am fight was proof that our marriage is solid. In some crazy way, I am convinced these fights say that we still give a shit. We are in this. And as the years pass and we get wiser and older, 1am will be the time for sleep. Together.