From the Series: What Nobody Tells You About Marriage (explaining the truths behind the dumb comments people make)
Don’t get married. Seriously. Just stay single forever.
The meaning behind this comment depends on who is saying it:
Your single friend: Don’t leave me! We’re having so much fun running around town in skimpy outfits and not remembering what we did last night! Stay single forever so we can stay young and reckless and not responsible for ourselves. Also, I’m having trouble finding a husband.
Your married friend: I miss being able to run around town in skimpy outfits and get so drunk I couldn’t spell “strawberry.” Plus, I really enjoyed being able to do whatever the heck I wanted without having to report to my husband. Plus, I had so much more self-confidence when multiple guys were interested in me all the time. Off the market = uninteresting.
Truth: Unmarried people don’t want to be left in the single-life dust. Married people, however, well…they miss the single life!
When you’re married, you DO miss the single life for a while. Why? Because no matter who you are, your single days were your best days. You were in your “prime.” Good looking, fit, always done-up. Prime = primed for a lifetime mate to pop up out of nowhere.
Marriage isn’t lip gloss and perfume. It’s where the heck are my tweezers and seriously, darling, you stink.
This feeling of missing the single life sllllooooowwwwlllllyyyyy goes away with time. When I was first engaged, I had a quarter-life crisis. I couldn’t imagine being off the market for good! I had just spent the second half of my teens and early twenties being pined after by all sorts of males. I knew I wanted to be with Husband forever, but I couldn’t help but worry about where my confidence would come from if it wasn’t so nicely padded by flirtatious suitors.
One day, (seriously, one day – it just kind of hit me) I realized that it was utterly dire to me that Husband found me extremely attractive. I still cared what other people thought, but it was his opinion that I considered most crucial.
How did this happen?
I am not sure, exactly. I’m sure part of it was due to only sharing my physical self with him. I think another part came from realizing that no one will ever be first-time seduced by me ever again. I will only ever succumb to Husband’s prowess from now on. Making Husband succumb to my prowess was suddenly a requirement. He was the only measure of my seductive powers. I had to hone my talents and make sure he thought I was his own person Victoria’s Secret model.
I didn’t feel this way overnight. It happened…slowly.
I think my newlywed-to-wife transition went something like this:
Stage 1: RELIEF – I’m married and never have to peacock for anyone ever again.
Stage 2: INDULGENCE – He is legally bound to loving me forever, so perma-sweatpants life, commence!
Stage 3: LAZINESS – My biceps don’t have to be that defined anymore. Plus, Netflix.
Stage 4: INSECURITY – Is my butt getting bigger or did my pants shrink?
Stage 5: PANIC – I am pretty sure my butt is getting bi-can HE tell my butt is getting bigger?!
Stage 6: CORRECTIVE ACTION – I have to hide my big butt from him and work out today and tomorrow and forever so my butt doesn’t get any bigger. And I have to pester him with questions that force him to verbally confirm that he still finds me sexy.
Stage 6 marks the top of the transition hill. You reach it, and the transition is complete. Then, you roll down the other side easily, because you now realize that only one person MUST find you hot and in shape and good-looking.
After the transition, you either snap back to a regimented lifestyle of fitness and a smaller butt or you struggle with the size of your butt forever. I’m SHOOTING for the former but am stuck on the latter, for now. Being fit is not easy. Not when there’s cubicle jobs and chocolate.
I digress. Where were we?
Right. Single life vs. married life.
When we human beings get married, we are glad to be rid of the pressure to be always-ready-to-mingle. It is that awful pressure, though, that kept us in tip-top shape for so long.
Whomever you’re hitched to is your sole source of must-be-attractive pressure. You spend more time clothed/naked with your spouse than anyone else. You know their best and worst angles, so you KNOW they know yours. Each of you becomes the most reliable judge of the other’s appearance.
Best case scenario – your spouse becomes your own personal Jillian Michaels. Decent scenario – the more space your butt takes up, the more they love you.
Spouse pressure is not as intense as single pressure. It is much quieter. Since you don’t have lots of people affirming your attractiveness, you talk to yourself a lot about whether your true love thinks you’re sexy. If you start to doubt their lust, you do weird things like turn into a fox-holed mangy animal and ask yourself irrational questions like whether you are worthy of love.
Part of the challenge of being sexy-for-one is that your married self will never be as glamorous as your single self. Because marriage is real life and real life isn’t glamorous. Glamorous is trying on ten different outfits and straightening your hair for a breezy three-hour appearance at a bar. Marriage is trying on all of those outfits in front of your spouse and feeling embarrassed by your own indecisiveness and crumbling under his incessant foot-tapping because you’re taking too long.
Glamour is replaced by something much better, though: someone who accepts you when you are in dire need of it. You can turn to face your spouse and ask desperately for approval of your outfit and make sad, pathetic, eyes at him/her, and your spouse will do something perfect like grab you and hug you and tell you that you look phenomenal.
Hopefully. Sometimes spouses are a little slow.
But you can be desperate in front of your spouse because your spouse knows what makes you insecure.
And he/she knows you. So he/she will love you whether you’re seasonally puffy or in tip-top all-American shape. He/she can be your most sincere form of motivation to stay good-looking and also your complimenting security blanket when you need it most.
Husband might ask me to stop wearing those sweatpants because he is having a hard time finding me attractive when I wear them.
Lucky for me, he’ll still love me if I decide to wear them anyway.
Lucky for him, my own need to win his approval will probably find me throwing those sweatpants in the trash.
Up next in the WNTYAM Series: There Will Be Times You Will Wonder Why You Even Married Your Spouse.