Unapologetically Me

The Reality of Marriage and Relationships

Disclaimer – My wife is fucking awesome and I love her very much. Before reading any further, please read what I said above six more times so it can burn into your brain.

My wife and I recently celebrated our fourth anniversary. We did so in the comfort of our own home. She made me chocolate covered strawberries and I bought her a variety of fruit from Edible Arrangements because I am completely incapable of doing anything in the kitchen.

Not because women belong in the kitchen (don’t twist my words you damn social justice warriors). Simply because my idea of fine cooking is a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Just kidding, I can scramble eggs. Beyond that, best of luck.

In addition to four years of marriage, we are approaching our 13th anniversary of our relationship. Being with one person since you were 15 is pretty remarkable and something I am proud of.

My wife is pretty dope. I can rely on meals every single night, except a few nights ago. We had pizza. I am not complaining because…pizza dude. She is an amazing mother. I trust her more than anyone on this planet.

That being said, we are in no way shape or form perfect. We don’t pretend to be. I don’t mislead people to believe it, especially my close friends who I confide in.

When you are with someone for as long as we have been together, growing pains happen. I can tell you in full certainty that neither of us are close to the same person we were at 15, 18, 21, 24 and now 28. As time continues and we move forward, our personalities change. Our needs and desires change. Everything keeps progressing. You can’t stop time and you can’t stop change.

I am proud that she was my first and only serious girlfriend. Prior to that, the longest relationship I had was a month. The first girl I ever talked to (set up through a friend) told me she didn’t want to go on any dates with me because I had a big head.

No. That didn’t mean I was cocky. I can assure you that at that age, I was not. The literal size of my head was too fucking large. Something every insecure 14 year old guy longs to hear. There I was self conscience about my head. By 15, I met the girl I would marry. It worked out. Bullet dodged. 

My wife got to experience the stage where I was awkward and my idea of talking to women was asking the important questions such as “do you like bread?” just to make conversation. We have seen the best and worst sides of each other throughout the years.

I did my share gaslighting in high school and college where I said things I didn’t mean for the sake of winning an argument and making her feel bad about whatever I possibly could. Dick move. She stuck by me. I am not proud of situations like that, but it is part of our story.

For every time I made her laugh, there was a time I made her cry.

For every time I was right, there was a time I was wrong.

For every time I was rational, there was a time where I was irrational.

I also would not change any of it. It is part of the growing process. That is because I wake up every day choosing to spend my life with her. I trust she wakes up every day with the same intention. It is 100% my choice to spend my life with the girl I fell in love with just like it is 100% her choice. That is reason I am writing this.

The other day, we had a fight as most married couples do. We have our rough patches. Although, we are not going through a rough patch currently or a growing pain (better terminology). It was a fight that should not have been one and it should not have lasted as long as it did.

Without going into a heavy set of detail out of respect for our relationship, she said something I didn’t like and felt was wrong. She shrugged it off. Instead of opening the lines of communication, I acted like a dumbass and let it stew which of course led to it boiling over.

When she texted me the next day while she was at work, I was vague and wasn’t responding as often as I do. I am fairly diligent about responding. She knew something was wrong. So I let her have it. We exchanged a few messages before concluding we would finish the conversation later. We did. It was resolved, but not after things were said that should not have been said by me.

The reason I say all this is because I believe in something that most people will probably find to be outlandish, silly and it probably makes me sound like a dick.

Marriage is unnatural. The idea of spending your life with one person is physiologically against human nature. I don’t care what any section of religion says. Separate the moral principles from it. On a physiological level, it is unnatural. Some people are just more disciplined than others.

We look at other people (real life or celebs) as desirable. My wife and I joke all the time about it. If Hilary Duff walked into a room and was into me, sorry. Just like I know it is the same for her with Ian Somerhalder. Quite frankly, I don’t blame her. I only wish I looked that good. Of course it is all tongue and cheek, but there is a reality behind it. The idea is to never act on those realities.

You can sit there and say it isn’t. But we as humans evolve over our lifespans. We have different emotions that need to be met over time. We need physical interaction with our partners. That makes relationships in and of itself hard work sometimes. That is ok. You have to adapt just like your partner has to adapt and most importantly listen.

On a fundamental level of being human, we want what we can’t have. Hence the reason the porn industry is booming. That doesn’t mean I am going to get a job as a pizza boy and expect the first milf to throw herself at me.

We look at certain relationships of peers in similar ways. Although it doesn’t happen anymore, I was compared to other guys and she was compared to other girls at times when we were growing up. That isn’t fair because we only see the side of the relationship couples want to let us in on. No relationship is perfect.

But when you are young and have those unhappy moments, you look at the false sense of reality of your friends having better relationships. Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. But I will be damned if you don’t believe they do at times.

In our case, we haven’t experienced life without one another. I am not saying that as a means to take a shot at our relationship. I am grateful for our relationship. I am grateful to be married to the best person imaginable to mother our children. I am grateful that for the last 13 years, I didn’t have to wake up every morning and wonder who I would marry or who I would spend my life with. The idea of being in a relationship is to find out whether or not you’re compatible and if it works for the long haul, right? So far, it has. It doesn’t just work on it’s own without bumps in the road. If that is what you are chasing, best of luck. You will never find that, EVER.

The reality is when most people experienced growth from heartbreak and moving on, bad relationships or even wild parties with one night stands, neither of us have. Of course, we have always had the freedom to do it. But we never chose to. That is the key in all of it. Choice.

Sure, we broke each other’s hearts before. Only to pick the pieces up and fix it a few days later. That was us. Even in times where we hurt each other, we made a choice to fix it.

That doesn’t mean the desires for more ever go away. There are times she wishes I did certain things for her just like there are times I wish she did certain things for me, but you work through it. You figure it out.

Trust and Choice. Those two concepts make a relationship sustainable. Without those two, you’re fucked. Point blank.

Every single day, I know I can trust her to make the conscience choice to have my best interest at heart. Every single day, she confides the same in me. That is ultimately what relationships are, a choice. It is a choice to take the good with the bad. We have rolled with the punches and coasted with the euphoric parts of our relationship over the last 13 years. That is something we will continue to do. Because shit, that is life.

In a society where there are apps to cheat on your partner, divorce rates are sky high, infidelity is common and social media paints all the highlights of relationships and marriages, I am glad we are making it the best life we can.

That is not to say we don’t have our problems. I assure you we do. But, we both put our best foot forward every day. Some days we fall short of that. Even when we do, we choose to not go to extremes or be destructive.

I didn’t write this to condemn anyone who hasn’t done right because it is only natural and that is my point. I also don’t think acting like marriage is some eternal honeymoon remotely shows even the slightest bit of reality.

Choose your partner and trust your partner every single day despite the urges to do quite the opposite. It isn’t always easy and as long as you understand that, it becomes easier to get through the growing pains.


4 responses to “The Reality of Marriage and Relationships”

  1. kevinherrin Avatar

    Amazing bit of writing. Carries so much truth. Thank you for sharing your heart. I am a pastor and I agree w you. Marriage is not natural because, by nature, we are broken and flawed by sin. No matter how innocent they look, when a human toddler learns what they shouldn’t do, they do. This is why Christ came – to give us a new nature within our hearts to combat the nature of our flesh. This is also why Paul wrote about his daily struggle between the natures of Heaven and sin in his own life in Romans 7. God designed the sanctification process (the process of changing our thinking until it matches the new Christ nature in our hearts) to encourage us to just wake up every day and walk it out by faith through our personal relationship w Christ. Your insight is amazing and I commend you. I’ve been w the same girl for 29 years now and it ain’t been easy! Lots of talking. Lots of listening. Lots of choices to stay. Lots of yielding. Lots of counseling. Lots of prayer. When I’m sure I’m right, I go talk to Jesus about it and He always speaks to my heart to show me what I can change. This is super-natural. His super overriding my nature, because marriage is not natural; it’s supernatural. It’s not about religion: it’s about relationship w Jesus. Thank you for this article, Michael. I’m praying for you to stay the course and finish strong.


    1. Michael Hotard Avatar

      Hey Kevin! Thank you so much for the words of encouragement and sharing some of your journey. That’s awesome man! Big 30 coming up. That’s fantastic. Congrats to you two!

      Liked by 1 person

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