Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Deal Breakers

I don't think I believe in unconditional love for a spouse. Children definitely, spouse no. I have always conceived of certain deal breakers in a marriage. However, the longer I am married the more I reconsider items I formerly labeled absolute deal-breakers. Fortunately I have only had to think about this in the abstract. At least on my end.

So it was a real shocker when H told me his.

The only recurring struggle in my marriage is the children issue. The only really gruesome, painful arguments are not about whether to have children, how many to adopt, etc. They are about HOW to have children. At my darkest points I wonder why two people were put together in such a fun happy marriage only to differ on such a major issue. At my darkest moments I wonder why I didn't marry the man who also dreamed moving to Africa and joining the peace corp, or who also has a passion for social work and a mission to help hurt children. At my darkest moments I am ready to find that man. But then I am gently reminded that the man I have is good, and the marriage I have is also good, good I owe in part to the fact that we rely so much on each other to get through the bad that only we alone know.

So H has told me that if I am not willing to at least try to have a biological child via IVF, it will be a deal breaker. I am hoping this was a threat only issued at his darkest moments. I actually understand where he is coming from, and his reasons. But to have the concrete ultimatum still hurts.


Jennifer said...

This is heavy stuff. I'd like to say that I think y'all have a really awesome marriage. How y'all support each other and turn to each other is inspiring.

My deal-breaker and A's ultimatum were both about children. Mine was to start having them, and his was to stop having them. I was devastated when I heard it. We've worked it out, but, I mean, painful.

I think unconditional love of a spouse is the goal. A lifelong goal. Obviously worthwhile, but extremely hard work.

Natalee said...

I think we all have those moments in marriage when we aren't our best selves and we visit that dark place. I think what makes a great marriage is what you do about those moments. The fact that you understand him even though it hurts to hear is a great show of love and shows how great your marriage is.

My deal-breaker may seem kind of strange but I couldn't handle it if Gary was a dead-beat. This doesn't mean I want a workaholic just someone who is motivated. This does not include someone with a disability either, just dead-beats. I didn't even realize this until after we were married and had a couple kids and living in California. I had a few friends there whose husbands did nothing at all. Didn't help with the kids, didn't go to school, and couldn't hold down a job. Their wives had to carry the load. What a nightmare.

I have no idea what Gary's is. He has never shared it with me in the almost 11 years we've been married.

Liz said...

Jared's and mine's bodies mixed together make defected bodies. We deal with Harris' disability really differently sometimes. I feel like pain that exquisite, shared with the only other person who can fathom how it feels, should be dead-on the same, and only bring you closer. But it can be such a struggle. I like to worry my guts out and feel sorry for myself alot. He doesn't like to let me. That's when I shut him out and call people who will feel sorry for me too.