Love on the Rocks

john and kiran 2

Sometimes it’s the way he looks at me when he’s exasperated. It’s the way I feel when I feel like he is being too critical of me or of one my many perceived shortcomings. Sometimes it’s just the things he says and my God, the way he says them that makes me want to rip my hair out. It’s the way he stresses me out sometimes when I just want things to flow. It’s the way he gets so overexcited when he relays a story that he leaves out ten critical points, leaving me clueless as to what he’s talking about.

The “he” in question is my husband, John.

I am sure he has his own laundry list of things that I do that annoy the absolute shit out of him. I would list out the ones I know, but there are too many to list and I wouldn’t want to bore you.

Alright, alright. I will, because it only seems fair.

He hates the way I leave my laundry inside out.

Speaking of laundry, I think he wishes I did it more.

He can’t stand that I don’t rinse out dishes more before I put them in the dishwasher.

He wishes I was better with money. He is right.

He wishes I was less sensitive and would let things go more.

He wishes I liked sports. Even if I just pretended for his sake every once in a while.

He wishes I played outside with the kids more.

He wishes I wasn’t always so damn tired from Lyme Disease.

Some of the frustrations we feel, we say to each other. Other ways we annoy each other, we just recognize as partners who have been married for almost 9 years.

A few years ago, the annoyances about the smaller things grew into grievances about much larger issues. Our house, which is large, suddenly felt too small for the two of us. We both felt like we were stepping on each other all the time, despite the space. Our resentments, our justifiable frustrations and the different directions we seemed to be growing in seemed insurmountable. It didn’t help that our communication sucked. Big time.

And so the little spaces that were growing between us grew larger and we seemed to breathe a little easier outside each others’ presence. But we were a family and so we were not allowed that space. The tension grew while our space grew smaller.

I’m not going to lie. Adding two headstrong kids to the mix of well, two headstrong adults, didn’t help smooth the rough edges of what John and I were going through. I don’t know – would it have mattered if they were all sugar and spice? Would that have suddenly made everything nice? I somehow doubt it.

family 1

About two years ago, John and I went down the path of getting a divorce. We went pretty far down that path. It was all very adult. We had lawyers and contracts and lots of heavy legalese thrown into the mix of our split. I decided that I would buy a townhouse and put a down payment on a beautiful, contemporary home. It was everything that our large, traditional home wasn’t and perhaps I was making my own subconscious point.

We had heavy discussions of how we would tell the kids. Of how we would split the assets. Of how we would stay close to each other so we could share custody. It all felt a little surreal, mainly because it was.

About two weeks before I was meant to move into my new home and right before John and I were getting ready to sign our names on the divorce contracts, we both took a step back and had our “holy shit, what are we doing?” moment.

It took us to get to this stage for us to realize that neither of us wanted a divorce. Yes, we both wanted things to change in our marriage, but we weren’t ready to end it.

There was one thing in particular that kept going through my mind as the divorce grew imminent. John is my team. He is my person. He is the person I call when something good happens to me. He is the person I call when my world seems to be falling apart. He is the person I call when I just need a person to call.

I couldn’t just quit on my team. Not like this.

Marriage is hard. It is damn hard. Anyone who says otherwise is not married or well, not married. Two people get together with their own dreams, their own spirits, their own quirks and you suddenly merge all of these things and BAM! – it’s all supposed to just work. Well, sometimes it doesn’t. And whether it works instantly or not, it requires constant communication, mutual respect and what feels like a whole lot of fucking compromise sometimes.

And sometimes, it exhausts me. Even now, even when we have re-committed to each other.

You know, earlier in this post I wrote the things about John that can slightly get to me. I think it’s only fair that I tell you what made me realize why I didn‘t want him to stop being my person.

He can always makes me laugh.

He loves his family and my own genuinely and authentically.

He is loyal to his friends and loves them like brothers.

I love his passion for the things he loves (yes, even sports).

If I am sad, he doesn’t let me stay sad for long.

He is an amazing father.

When I let him be, he is a great husband.

He always tells me my hair looks nice, even when it doesn’t. (That’s just nice, isn’t it?)

He will always be my person.

Every day we show up for each other and every day is a little different than the last. There are days where we make a great team and there are days where we butt heads on everything. But every day I recognize a little more that the person I chose to be on my team is the person I need right now and who I am committed to showing up for.

john and kiran

XO,

22 Responses to Love on the Rocks

  • Aparna Das says:

    Hey Kiran,
    Loved reading this one! I am most attracted to your writing due to your honesty! I would say marriage is by far the hardest challenge you will take on in life!!! Yet it is a challenge which teaches us about out limits and limitless strengths. It is a work in progress every single day. It is not something you give your best today and will keep rewarding you. It is an everyday hard work.
    Kudos to you and John for trying! Remember giving up is always an option… But when you chose to try its options are infinite …
    Love,
    Aparna

  • Robin
    Twitter:
    says:

    I think it’s amazing that you got that far down the path and chose to turn around. That’s an incredible gift. And what a beautiful post.
    Robin recently posted…Playing with Tobo Tracks (Giveaway)My Profile

  • Alison
    Twitter:
    says:

    When you went as far as you did to go your own way, and did not – that is a testament to how strong your relationship is, and how much stronger it can be.

    May you have many more years of Team John + Kiran.
    Alison recently posted…Through The Lens Thursday #12: DoorMy Profile

  • Susi says:

    Kiran, it’s like you knew how I felt today. I love your honesty… I always tell my up married friends that marriage is no walk in the park but so worth it – at least for me!

    • masalachica says:

      Susu – it’s definitely not a walk in the park – more like a scuffle ;-). In all seriousness, yes it’s very worth it, especially if you have a partner that respects you. XO

  • The Bride says:

    I’m in the process of something similar so your post gives me hope. I’m rooting for Team John and Kiran.

    • masalachica says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that you are going through something so hard. Email me if you need to chat – I am not an expert, but I can be a friend. Rooting for you too, dear.
      XO

  • LisaAR
    Twitter:
    says:

    So glad to hear your journey took the direction it did! Hope for you two to continue working hard and loving hard (so to speak…)
    :)
    ~L
    LisaAR recently posted…Remembering the “Brutal” in Being “Brutally Honest”My Profile

  • Lisa C
    Twitter:
    says:

    Love this, Kiran…you are brave. I’ve actually been working on a similar piece. Good for you to actually hit “publish.” xoxox
    Lisa C recently posted…The ThawMy Profile

  • Shell says:

    I love your honesty. My husband and I had something similar happen to us years ago. I really thought it was going to be over. But like you two, we took a step back and realized what we had. Realized that marriage is hard and it doesn’t mean you throw everything away just because there are certain things that bug you about your spouse- because the good can outweigh the bad and if you’ve found your person, they are worth fighting for. xo
    Shell recently posted…I Lost Weight by Taking Over My Kids’ XboxMy Profile

  • Kate Hood says:

    More newlyweds need to hear stories like these from the couples they know with “good marriages.” Good marriages are inevitably hard since they have been tested. The schmoopy names for each other and ability to finish each others’ sentences are just one side of the coin – the one people post on Facebook. The harder side doesn’t negate any of that, but it gives the fun a more realistic context of depth – a backbone. Excellent post!

    Also – I can’t believe you bought another house!!

  • Jennifer says:

    I love this. Having been married a *little* bit longer than you (ahem), I feel like I can second this with good authority. Marriage is hard work, and each person thinks that they are the one working the hardest. Taking a step back and looking at things from a new perspective often helps us see what we’ve got right in front of us, but have been overlooking. Good for the two of you for being able to do that.
    Jennifer recently posted…Why I Love Netflix – TV is my FavoriteMy Profile

  • Kerstin
    Twitter:
    says:

    Great post, Kiran. Yes, marriage is hard, my husband and I have been married for almost 14 years (and we are both on marriage #3 – I guess 3 time’s a charm after all ;) )
    I think the most important revelation for both of us was to realize that it doesn’t always have to be perfect… and now there is no doubt in my mind that we belong together. xox!
    Kerstin recently posted…On the RadioMy Profile

  • Great post, Kiran. I love your honesty. I think being open and honest about how hard marriage is helps us all.
    Anna Whiston-Donaldson recently posted…Tomorrow and Tomorrow and TomorrowMy Profile

  • Laura
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Kiran. It is so incredibly important to remember to look at the good in “our person” and to realize that we are on a team.
    Laura recently posted…Is BlackBerry Really an Option?My Profile

  • tracy says:

    Marriage is so hard – yet it can really be so easy when you step back and look at the big picture vs. the little snippets(and dirty socks) that drive us crazy. Love this.
    tracy recently posted…The Four Friends You NeedMy Profile

  • Andrea
    Twitter:
    says:

    What a beautiful, real examination of what is important in a relationship. Marriage is hard. Thanks for being so open and honest about your experience.
    Andrea recently posted…Getting AheadMy Profile

  • Damn this is honest.

    I never (ever ever) talk about it to anyone, but we got pretty far down that road, too, once. Not to the point of lawyers and separate houses, but we were NOT MARRIED – in the way you meant when you said it the second time up there in your post.

    Our wake-up call was the single most important (hardest, best, scariest) lesson of my life.
    I am grateful EVERY SINGLE DAY (no exaggeration) that we both realized what we stood to lose.

    Today (ten years later, married almost 18) I can honestly say it gets better and better and better.
    He is my best friend and I no longer have any doubts about whom I will stand beside until the end of my life.

    No one else has seen me at my absolute worst and loved me like he does.
    There is no one else who could or would. And I’ll never find out, anyway.

    Thanks for letting me, a stranger, share this.

  • Dan Brusca says:

    Glad you guys managed to work it out.
    Dan Brusca recently posted…AbombMy Profile

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MEET KIRAN
I'm Kiran, I'm a dreamer. A writer. A singer. A mother. An ugly crier. An Indian-American. Who loves Gandhi. My stories are full of truth that is sometimes hard for me to say out loud. This blog is where I overcome my fears and live (and love) out loud. Read More....
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