marriage is not glamorousSunday night when we were snuggled in bed after another long and busy weekend I declared to Doug that being married isn’t very glamorous. 

For the last two weekends our lives have revolved around traveling thousands of miles (none of these miles to a any romantic destinations), chores, chores and more chores.

This is our life and before the affair I never really thought much about it.  I just moved from one activity to the other, accepting it as that is the way life is for most married people. 

Actually I enjoyed it.  I liked being busy, accomplishing tasks and not having much time to think.  Now being busy worries and overwhelms me.  I just don’t seem to handle the stress of it all like I did before Doug’s emotional affair.

As I was sitting knee deep in dirt and mulch, I thought about what It was like when Doug and I first met.  The only responsibility we had was attending college classes and attempting to keep a certain grade point average.  Other than that our lives were very selfish as we did exactly what we pleased and focused on what made us happy and what made us feel good.

After we married, we took on full time jobs and a two bedroom apartment, but the evenings and weekends were still centered around us; exploring new hobbies, restaurants – basically being pretty selfish.

Then something happened.   I am not sure it was me, him or both of us, but we were getting restless and needed to take on more responsibility. So we added a mortgage, a child, and a new car. 

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Life was not so selfish anymore and that was okay because the rewards of being a parent and a homeowner were very fulfilling at the time. We took on these roles rather easily and felt that this was how our life was always meant to be.

I guess confidence can be deceiving, because we moved on to two more kids, a bigger mortgage and a few more cars.  Saturday as I was sitting knee deep in one of my gardens, I came to the conclusion that we have accumulated a tremendous amount of responsibility and with that can be a large amount of stress.

I can understand why at times a husband and wife would want just to run away, leave it all, and start over from scratch. I can understand how the grass may look greener on the other side.  I can see how the fantasy of an emotional affair and being with someone else who portrays themselves as fun, free spirited and basically selfish can be appealing.

As I was sitting there thinking about what Doug’s and Tanya’s life would have been like if they would have chosen to pursue their fantasy, I began to laugh to myself.  I chuckled because of how disillusioned they really were.

Did they really think they could have left all of their responsibilities behind and start a new and exciting life? Would they have been happy leaving their families, their homes and their possessions to create this life full of travel and new experiences? Did they both have a stash of money I was unaware of?

I believe that when they were in the fantasy of the affair it was very appealing to believe that life could be better and different with someone else. However, is that the reality? They would have experienced the same kinds of responsibilities, the same stresses, without the coping skills that a couple has in a long term relationship.

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I know that being married isn’t the same as it is portrayed like in the movies, but I feel that all the responsibilities can make a couple stronger if they handle it the correct way. I look around at our beautiful home and our great kids and I feel a sense of accomplishment.  Would I have done things differently, definitely not!


    21 replies to "Marriage is Not Glamorous"

    • Lesli Doares

      Great post, especially about the illusions the affair couple has about life together. Life is what we make it. We tell people what our priorities are by how we spend our time. If we aren’t spending quality time with our partners we are telling them they don’t matter. Accumulating stuff can be a great diversion but I’d hazard a guess that people in MO and AL would give all their stuff just to have their loved ones alive and safe. Relationships may not be glamorous or trouble free but they are usually what gives our lives meaning.

    • michael

      Its the part of being responsible adults / parents.
      One thing my wife pointed out during her affair was my sister and how her second divorce and new boyfriend was making her so happy. She wanted that happiness.
      Here we are a year and a half later. Her boyfriend left her on the street three times. Her neglect of her kids has caused many frustrating problems. Her son is acting very selfish (as an 18 should) but its unacceptable to my sister.
      Her boyfriend moving in spurred her oldest step daughters move to her dads house. My sister calls me for all her kids problems. Even asked me to take her sons house keys.
      Is this what she really wanted. Maybe so. A life without responsibilities and delegating things she should be doing. All so she can go buy a nice new dress and go out to a fine restaurant for dinner. The life of partying. Where it sucks to have someone inconvenience you and cause you grief.
      I know her ex husband wasn’t a decent man most of the time. And maybe it was the best thing for her. but what about the kids. Why should they suffer for her needs and wants.

    • michael

      Oh, on the trips to exotic locations. How is Michigan looking this weekend.
      My wife and I are going away this weekend, just the two of us.

      Well, and about 4 other couples for an annual meeting for our childrens sports organization. So she will be pretty busy this weekend in classes, voting, and what ever else we do as a group. How romantic.

    • Melvin

      Super post Linda, a lot of “hit-home” topics.

      I was thinking similar thoughts about responsibilities as DW and I also played in mulch and stacked wood for next season this past weekend. I really enjoyed working along side her- I can tell she did also. Her EA was with her ex-fiancé in college. A lot of their conversation was based on feelings they had for each other in college. Basically, no responsibilities, lots of freedom, parties, friends and fun . I’m not privy to much of their EA conversations, however I do know he was planning to provide for a trip for her overseas and that he had an idea of joining her mid-trip. What an escape that would have been for her. Something I could not afford her or me for that matter. As you point out, I can now see how she could be entranced by him. Disillusioned as you state. He is currently single, with money and time and showered her with attention and kind words. I recall her asking me about trips I might take. I actually have none at the time planned nor do I. Later, she told me she was asking so as to possibly justify this trip.

      Like you, we did get into ruts as the kids came, the cars mounted and the bills grew. Teenagers eat a lot of food I found out – was I that way as a teen ? Our life plodded along, I thought happily (for me anyway). After the EA, I found out how unhappy she was about herself and her future. A lot of her EA was her just being selfish and putting her feelings first (at my expense). It took her a while to realize that her non-glamorous life is really something meaningful and worth holding onto.

      We did the “travel all over” gig for many years when the kids were younger. Athletics, family events, school functions wore us out as a couple. Many weekends I went one way, she the other. Still doing some travel with our youngest daughter. Our oldest just finished his 1st year of college. Empty nesting is just around the corner. All I can say is pinch yourself everyday and enjoy every moment with your young ones. Soon (way too soon), they grow up big and tall, wanting their freedoms. And then they are gone.

      Life is truly a short ride. Treasure it every day while you can. Revel in being healthy with energy to enjoy all that life brings.

      Best always.

    • elph

      i hope to be in your position one day. tomorrow im exposing the affair and confronting the OM . im at my last gasp so to speak..i found out the affair is still going on and told my wife if anything continues with him were done, esp as friends…ive got a calm letter for her al ready to go( itll be easier thna a confrontation)

      they work together, but not tomorrow. so shell have time to read the letter and wont go running to him right away, as well, ill go to the job and confront him, and go to their store manager , supervisors and a few other select coworkers…and then email corporate…as well ive already told the OM soon to be ex, and gonna tell his mom( hes a mommas boy)

      i know its fantasy, the Ex has told me alot bout him and how unhappy my wifge would be because hes putting up such a good face, but hes not caring supportive or half as romantic as he seems to be…and shes looking back to when they started dating…

      i hope to be in your position byt the end of the year, working on fixing all of this, cuz it just hurts to damn much…

      • Doug

        Elph, You’ll get there. Let us know how it goes with your confrontation. We’ll be thinking of you. Good luck!

    • B

      Best post I have read in a long time. Marriage is a chore, marriage is a big responsibility, marriage is an ongoing game that just keeps going into overtime. At any point and time, either spouse could meet someone and say “I could really start over with this person, I could leave all this stress behind and live free”. But oops, affairs only feel free and easy because of three things:

      1. They are generally based on secrecy and no one knows about the brief encouters that occur.

      2. Alcohol usually plays a huge role. Affairs are about the only situation where you can have a drink at 2 in the afternoon and not feel like a lush.

      3. The betrayed spouse is at home maintaining the kids and chores while the other one plays, so while the loyal one keeps things together, the other has the play-time they wouldn’t normally have.

      My wife and I met as kids, got pregnant at 17/19 with our first. Had our second at 19/21. After 2 apartments and 1 rental house, secured our first mortgage at 20/22. Added a third child at 23/25. Sold our home, relocated, and bought another at 25/27. Then at 28/30 we added our 4th and final child. At 34/23 we now have a mortgage, 2 car payments, credit card bills, and so-on and so-on. For the last 15 years we have barely stopped to take a breath, never had a real family vacation (although we are going to Disneyworld in June), hell we never even had a honeymoon. The night of our wedding the grandparents watched the kids and we went home to our empty rental house. All of these trials and tribulations that I have endured with this woman is why I love her so. She has seen me at my best and at my worst. We have persevered when the statistics say we shouldn’t have. That is why my heart belongs to her. That is why the thought of her connecting with some 25 year old schmuck pisses me off to no end. What cheaters don’t realize is that when they look over the fence and see greener grass, it is really nothing but dandelions. In other words, ever drive by a field of dandelions? Looks beautiful from a distance right? Too bad it is nothing but miles and miles of weeds. Weeds that no one would accept popping up in their yard. Affairs don’t produce greener grass, just really tall, really green weeds (and not the kind people in the 60’s grew). It is a myth because when the cheater is playing it is so much fun and so care free, but if they were to be forced to consider life without their spouse, they would have to consider:

      1. Having half of the money they once had
      2. Having half of the time they once had
      3. Having half of the energy they once had
      4. Having half of the time with their kids they once had
      5. Downsizing their homes
      6. Altering their lifestyle based on $$$
      7. Seeing their spouse happy and past their exploits

      All in all, cheating doesn’t improve your life, it adds more stress because the person you once counted on to pick up the slack is no longer there. The person you knew had your back is gone because you betrayed them. Once these things start to settle in and the 20-something year old you went gaga over starts showing their immaturity, and impatience with the “family lifestyle”, the green grass turns to crabgrass and you long for your old life back. The problem is, most adulterers put so many people through so much hell that they can never fully recover it. So it is up to the loyal spouse to turn the page, forgive, and rebuild something they didn’t have a hand in destroying. So yes, marriage is a chore and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I fight for my wife because of what we have been through, not in spite of it.

      • Doug

        B, great comment, I think I was sitting in my pile of dirt laughing because of everything you said. I thought about how patient, understanding and responsible I have been throughout our married life. I knew that the OP would never be able to provide all of that. We able to be that way because of the love and commitment we have for our partners. I am very confident that it Doug would have been in for a wide awakening if he would have decided to leave. Linda

      • Morrigan

        Hey B, I can’t agree more, the OW was 25 (he was 37) and as they hung out more, which I let happen because I wanted him to come to his own decision and believe me it was not easy, but their hanging out was short lived, he got to see the immaturity, how they fought over her requiring him to pay for everything, they fought about me, she loved drama and actually became physical hitting him. He hates drama! He came home and told me he had to refocus, with other things he said I realized that he was seeing the crabgrass with her. That she had no career and would have to support her. She had no drivers license and needed him to transport her. Whereas here with me, I was independent, my own vehicle, career, etc. We do not have children and nor have we ever wanted them. I am not sure if he knew this but she states vividly on social networking sites that she wants children. That day he began to realize that his old life of the past 14 years wasn’t bad. And we have been thru the ringer the last 5 years, we have literally rebuilt our lives after losing everything. I am trying to think of this test as just that, a test to what we can endure together. I know their are no guarantees, but I have so much hope.

        B, I find your posts very inspiring because I to feel like people mess up, this quote is so true….

        “Humans are flawed, fragile creatures who do stupid things as they try to find their way.”

        I think about this often, there are so many things in life that can lead us to stray from who we really are and what we want, temptations are everywhere. Sometimes the mistake is so big it can’t be repaired, sometimes it can only be repaired with the help of someone who truly believes in you and will be patient.

        I think that is what we are all trying to do.

      • maryanna1962

        Great post B

    • B

      One minor correction, I said 34/23 when I meant 34/32.

    • JS

      Bravo, bravo, bravo. Could not have said it better myself.

      Elph – Good luck to you!!

    • Donna

      Sometimes I wished my husband and ow moved in together just to see what “real life” really would be like. NOt affair life, but real life. One that involved finances, children juggling from her children to her husband and our children etc… always having the ex wife and ex husband around because we both have children. STRESS is all I can see, as I know the ow would go crazy after a while and I know my husband would crack under the strain of it all.

      One thing that makes me chuckle is months and months ago my husband said to me that he and ow’s marriage would be fun and exciting. I asked how did he know, and he said he just does, it is a feeling he just has. WHAT THE HECK??? does he not stop and listen to himself. That is right dear… it is just based on a feeling, it is not real, it is not going to be fun and thrilling with all the other crap will have to deal with. The delusion that an affair brings truly does make my mind boggle. The brain truly just shuts out all reality doesn’t it.

      Marriage sure is not glamorous. You have to work at it every single day. It is a choice that you make every morning as to how you are going to be in your marriage. Far to many divorces going on and far to much regret later.

      Great topic and have enjoyed the responses. B I enjoyed what you had to say. Yes marriage is a chore and yes I know that my husband is worth fighting for. All the pain and hurt sucks, but boy it is making me a darn stronger woman and I know that in the end my husband and I will be much better people. Talk about the refiners fire!

      • Paula

        Great posts,

        Donna, I also, in a weird way, “fantasized” about my H and OW ending up together. I could immediately see that it would never work, as she is very self-centred and at 43 years old has NEVER had a long term relationship, the longest lasting just 6 months, and has no idea of the sacrifices you make on a daily basis for the people you love. I could just imagine meeting my “ex” – as he would be – for coffee, to chat about kids, etc, as I’m sure we would have, we’ve always been very close, even throughout all of this mess, and him confessing to me sometime down the track that he’d made a very big mistake, wow, big surprise! Silly stuff, I know, but he also said that even in the “fog” he knew all of that, and told her on several occasions that she was living in la-la land if she thought being with him full-time would work. OW lived 2 hours away, and the hook-ups were few and far between, but the texting and phone calls were constant. As he said to her, we get an hour or two here and there, drink some nice wine, talk and laugh, of course it’s nice, no kids and their problems, no work, no business pressure, no mortgage, no scheduling issues, who’s picking up which kid from where, and ferrying to which activity, has the invoicing/tax been done this month, which university is the eldest applying to, etc, etc, a fantasy world. All the more reason to really look at the relationship you have, and make an informed decision about the future of it, and then work it out, whether together or alone, to make your world a better and happier place 🙂

    • Yuki

      This strikes a chord with me today. I am tired. Tired of the pain, tired of trying so hard to move forward, tired of the hurt that comes with still loving him, tired of life with so many uncertainties. The thought of running away and starting over from scratch sounds tempting right now. Is that what my husband felt when he looked for his old girlfriend? Our lives were really stressful at that time. I would never do what he did, but maybe I’m starting to understand it a little…

    • PTY

      Great post, and a great comment, B. I like the dandelion analogy.

    • elph

      b. that was some good stuff..i hope your right too…

      a minor update on my thing. my wife had a counseling session today. after ward she text her friend that the therapist is helping her find herself. to accept that not everyone is gonna like her decision, but she shouldnt settle or compromise her happiness.

      her decision is of course to chose him over me. the guys a coward. hes filed to divorce his wife earlier this year( guess why) he has two kids and his daughter hates him (some of this info provided by the soon to be ex, my new email buddy) hes to “emo” moody and selfish. the ex already gave me the lowdown of what kinda guy he relly is. hes a man child. not really responsible. not as romantic as he seems. putting up the good face for her, but shes telling me better.

      so i wont confront him, because at this point all helldo is laugh in my face. but ive already sontacted their companys HR, im going to supervisors ther, the store manager, and other coworkers…

      im gonna make it as uncomfortable as posiible.

      and hope i get another chance. because even though life stress got to me ove the past 2 years (new baby, house, etc) that doesnt mean i dont enjoy being married to my wife. i knew going in it took work, and while ibviously havent been aon the ball lately, i love trying. i enjoy the real workd stuff..because its real. fantasy comes and goes….but a well establishes life with memories..thats worht living for..

      i just wanna be the old guy from UP. thats my goal

      • D

        You should not settle or compromise your happiness either, elph. You will get another chance, whatever that might be. The hardest part through the healing is working on yourself. So many of us live for our families and do not dedicate any time to ourselves or put our own feelings first. This is a time where you need to think about YOU and your family.

        I wanted to help my husband get through this, that is just who I am. But, I realized through counseling and self reflection that I had to help ME first. Me is someone I hadn’t seen in a while. Thank you to to OW in that respect, helping me find myself again (not to mention the 25 pounds that I have lost too, thank you OW!) We are getting through this mess day by day and he is meeting MY needs now, which is something that was lacking before (not visa versa). Do what is in your heart and best of luck to you.

    • Matt

      All I could picture after reading this was an ad for “Smoking is Glamorous”, it had a train wreck of a lady dressed trampy at a bar. She was a mess. Made me laugh thinking of my w after her om dumpes her. It took her getting a DUI to back off him. Lol

    • mightbeatranny

      you people talk about your lives like they are a prison sentence. when you wake up every morning thinking about going through your spouses cell becaue you can’t trust them; you have a problem . when you are not looking forward to a trip w/ your spouse because its not to an exciting place; you don’t appreciate your spouse. do you remember when you couldn’t wait to be with them, and it could have been in the back seat at the drive in? when you allow an unfaithful partner back into your bed, you have given them access to something they have lost the right to have.

      WHY would you allow a liar to stay in yout life? is your $ and your lifestyle worth more than your self respect?

      i left my husband 20 months ago w/ our kids and the clothes on our back. i got basically nothing in the divorce. he kept what was mine before marriage. never once woke up at night missing a blender, our country club membership, or the new kitchen. woke up many times giddy at the thought that the lying piece of shit was out of my life.

      you can ALWAYS make more $. our kids don’t go to private schools anymore, but you know what, they like their new schools BETTER. that was my one concern and it was nothing for them to transfer and they have made good friends and are doing well.

      i deserve better than a spouse who cheats. my children deserve better than a father who sets a poor example. no one should be abused.

      get over your fear and go live a life w/ out it. one where you don’t wake up everyday and wonder what someones phone will tell you.

    • Gizfield

      This topic is funny to me because when my husband and I decided to stay together rather than divorce, one thing he said to me when he was mad is “I will stay here and honor the Boring commitment I made to you.” ! A few weeks ago I reminded him of what he said, and asked “I just want to know, EXACTLY what was it that was so exciting that you thought you and this bitch would be DOING all the time?” He just looked pathetic and said “I dont know!” And that is exactly right, you dont know, it would be the same boring crap you do with me now, except with less time, money, etc. lol, not a good “plan”.

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