This is what marriage looks like, at the moment. We’ve been married for more than half a year now, but have only lived together by ourselves for the past two months or so. And this past few months have been crucial in establishing what our marriage would be like outside of the direct influence of our cultures and families. We are neither in Nepal nor the Philippines, so we’re on common ground, so to speak. We followed Nepali culture and practices when we lived in Nepal. And we did things the way they’ve always been done out of respect for local sensibilities. But now, we can freely say “I want to do that” or “I don’t want to eat this” and only have to deal with each other, not everyone else.
This private space has also afforded us a chance to get to know each other in a way that would not have been possible had we not moved out to live independently. Case in point, we drink out of two different pitchers. I drink filtered water. Scott doesn’t like it because he says it tastes flavored. He drinks boiled water instead. And I don’t like it because it tastes metallic, from the heating coil of the water heater. In Nepal, we drank the water that everyone drank at home. No complaints, no sensitivities, it was just how it was. We also have two different kinds of cookies because he likes chocolate chip, and I like oatmeal. At the moment, we can afford to bake two batches of cookies, so we’ll reserve compromising to big ticket items, like a car model, or something like that.
But one of the small things that I currently find difficult to accept, is his tendency to stop a movie anytime. We’d be more than halfway through a movie, right when all the fight scenes and explosions are going on, and he would stop it because he’s sleepy and can we just continue this tomorrow? Whaaaat?! Who watches a movie that way?! Surprise surprise, my husband does. I was so incensed the first time that it happened. In the heat of the moment, at 11 PM, I exclaimed “It’s a movie, it’s sacred!” But really, it’s not a big deal. Even writing this down now affirms to me just how silly that statement was. So that’s my current lesson, how to sleep at night with a half-finished movie.
These kinds of moments stop me on track because I take for granted that we have shared values and interests, so we hardly disagree on anything. Even if we’ve only been married for a short time, I feel as if I know Scott so well already. And when some quirk comes up, I immediately question why I didn’t know this before, when actually, that’s just the nature of relationships. I’d be sad if I couldn’t write anything under “something new I learned about my husband” on the next installment of SOMA.
What did your marriage look like halfway through your first year together? What are the interesting things that you found out about your partner long after you got married?