So yes, we’ve all heard recycled sage advice on children, marriage, parenthood, and wifely duties before: i.e. marriage is hard but worth it, kids are the best and worst thing you’ll ever have, blah blah blah. The reason we’ve all heard them before, however, is, well… many of them are true. Tonight S and I were trying to work out what we are going to do when I need to start my new job (What, I haven’t told you yet? Oh, well, yes. I am going to be moving house and country in just a few weeks as I am starting a new job! Lots of change, separation, and packing plus hand-wringing, anxiety, and headaches). I could feel myself getting stressed and annoyed. As soon as he could, S went to sleep. (Note: The worst and most annoying fights are ALWAYS before bed. That’s a cliche too, isn’t it? Well, one cliche that isn’t so true is “Never go to sleep angry.” I’ve tried to do that by resolving issues with S before we fall asleep and it just ends up with both of us angrier because sometimes the only way S can let something go is to pass out and I need to talk it out to let it go and since these two methods are mutually incompatible it usually ends up with both us feeling cheated.) I went to eat my feelings (lucky for me I had made a Neapolitan cake for our Church Easter party and had some lefttovers to mow through) and it occured to me, for the millionth time, that even though I was steamed, so was my husband and I needed to think about how I would act in his situation. Oh yeah, empathy. Giving 100% in a relationship is what makes a marriage work, not that whole 50/50 garbage etc etc. I could feel the cliches piling up in my brain but I fought through the repetitve nature of what I was thinking and remembered that my spouse is a human being who needs rest and love and respect and space as much as the next person but in his own unique way. I cannot expect him to want things the way I do nor can I expect him to deal with obstacles as I do. Our different skills and coping mechanisms have helped us help each other survive until now and I have to value that. And I do. Well, enough of that. Another reason why there are so many sayings about marriage and parenthood is that they are important and everyone’s insights on them are personal and unique… despite the fact that all our deep thoughts sound the same. When we discover them we feel like we’re the first and only ones.