A Feminist Wife: Being Married is Hard

Being married is hard.

Well, it is.  Three weeks in, at least.

There have been so many times these past few weeks when I’ve thought to myself that I might as well have changed my name because everything about my life has changed, so why not the name?  I feel like a different person; maybe it really would have been appropriate to assume a different identity in name as well.

I feel different.  The first week, I felt tired.  The second week, I felt relaxed.  This third week, I’ve felt nothing but worried.  And exhausted from worrying.  And worried about worrying.  I feel like I’ve done nothing but worry about money (How is it that we never seem to have enough money for anything, even though – in theory – we have plenty or money for everything?), worry about family (How long do these wedding-related grudges last, anyway?), worry about friendship and closeness (We don’t even cuddle on the couch any more.).  I don’t have time to blog or chat, which was supposed to be my next project.  My after-work time is spent ironing my clothes and making my lunch for the next day so I can get up at 4:45 in the morning to work out and have a slim chance at actually feeling good about myself.  On top of that, I don’t have money to buy that new pair of glasses that I so desperately need (my current pair is 8 YEARS OLD) let alone the external hard drive I’ve been eying so I don’t lose all of my pictures and documents LIKE I DID TODAY. (Don’t worry, I poked around enough and recovered everything.  But still.)

I told myself I’d go into this marriage and nothing would change.  I’d still be the audacious social activist I always was – even better because now I don’t have to worry about a wedding.  I wouldn’t do anything differently and I wouldn’t have to worry about anything because all of that stressful stuff would just be over.

I, especially, did not want to become the woman who comes home from work, cooks dinner, irons clothes, makes lunches, goes to sleep while watching TV, and turns over every penny for the “good of the family.”

And guess what I do every day after work?

Reading over this, it all sounds very “me, me, me.”  And if you were thinking that yourselves, I hope you know that I absolutely agree.  But when you’re fighting so hard not to give up too much of yourself for the sake of the marriage, it’s very hard not to be just a little self-centered about it.  Especially when you can just start tallying off all of the things that have changed about you already.  In three weeks.

So I began wondering if I should just change my name.  Not really, of course, but metaphorically.  I fought so hard throughout the entire wedding planning process not to be consumed and obsessed by the wedding – because that isn’t a very feminist thing to do – but in those last three weeks I just let all of that self-hate talk go and allowed myself to just go with it and become totally engrossed with it all.  And, I’ve got to tell you, I was so much happier – though, perhaps that could have been because everything was almost over.  We’ll never know.  But this just makes me wonder if I’d be happier if I just gave into the stereotypical wifedom – become the Missus, give up my money to the joint checking account, put on the apron while I cook food and pearls while I vacuum, make the bed in the morning, wash the dishes at night, be a “good wife” in every other sense of the word.

I think I’m mostly frustrated because I’m going through this desperate internal struggle about this all, facing such changes I never even fathomed (everyone assured me I’d be able to keep my identity while married…) and Mr. Samsanator (thus christened on this blog) seems to sit idly by, hiding behind his schoolwork or sports event while I’m desperate to talk it out or, at the very least, get a hug.

I certainly don’t have any answers to this – and I’m not sure if I ever will.  Once again, I hope you didn’t come here for answers about this very issue only to be disappointed.  I’ll be blogging about this process of being a new, feminist wife for the foreseeable future, so hopefully I’ll have some answers for you all eventually.  For now, I’m open to advice or stories about your similar experiences.  Please leave them in the comments.

Also, be sure to check out "A Feminist Wife: Marriage is Hard, Continued" for more musings on this topic.

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