It’s taken me a few days to get through Elizabeth Weil’s Married (Happily) With Issues. Not because it wasn’t a stimulating page turner (it was) but because I have two kids under the age of four. Which is why Weil’s New York Times Magazine piece about working towards a better marriage when she wasn’t actually concerned about her union, although deep, searing and game-changing for happily married people – stopped me dead in my tracks before I reached the end of the first page.
So I decided to apply myself to my marriage, to work at improving ours now, while it felt strong. Our children, two girls who are now 4 and 7, were no longer desperately needy; our careers had stabilized; we had survived gutting our own house. Viewed darkly, you could say that I feared stasis; more positively, that I had energy for Dan once again.
So those are the magic numbers??? Ages four and seven? Can someone else corroborate this information because I’m waaaay too excited. If her numbers are accurate, we’re three years away from that wondrous day of kid independence. I just did three years with my oldest and I can do that again in my sleep if I know that in thirty-six months my mind could be my own again, I would have time to fantasize about weekend plans with the hubs and my kids wouldn’t require every single bit of my weakened, sleep-deprived energy. I love those rugrats, but wow to feel like I could indulge in the type of exercise Weil put herself and her husband through in the same time it takes to finish law school could get me through a heck of a lot of afternoons of alternating between being “Queen Mommy” to my daughter’s Princess and pulling the Christmas lights out of the baby’s mouth.
But really you should read Weil’s take on coming to terms with a “good-enough” marriage, especially the sex part – you’ll never think about your exes (or your spouse’s) in the same way again. Still – only three more years!? Whooo-hoo!