Friday, June 19, 2009

Living in a shade of grey: Part One

Is it just me or do most of you find yourself living permanently in a grey area?

When I was a know-it-all teenager I had this idealistic view of what my life as an adult would be like. In “The World According to Gill”, all was black and white – no grey areas whatsoever. I had rules I was going to live by, I had a plan! When you read the next bit you’ll realise that I also seemed to be harbouring an almighty superiority complex!

For one thing, my marriage was going to be completely perfect for the simple reason that my spouse and I would communicate effectively! I had come to the conclusion, having witnessed first-hand my mother’s numerous and dire attempts at married life, that the problem with marriages on the whole boiled down to a simple lack of communication. So, in my marriage there would be a wealth of communicating going on. This would be achieved by having regular little meetings, where we would each have an opportunity to calmly and clearly air our grievances. Heaven help me, I intended to run my marriage as if it were a business!

This was probably the first colossal illusion to shatter. When I entered into wedlock at the very tender age of 21, I soon realised with shock and horror that in a real life marriage, even one as “perfect” as mine, communication was frequently reduced to grunts…. and sometimes one party (that would be me!) would retreat into sulky silence…. so much for communication. Welcome to the real world girl!

It dawned on me, really slowly and after a dismal period of disappointment and grieving for that “perfect marriage” I had dreamt of, that marriage is pretty much a grey area. It’s not a matter of it being either perfectly wonderful or absolutely dreadful. Good, honest marriage is lived somewhere in the middle of the two. It’s largely made up of those simple, ordinary, everydays, with bits of bliss and bits of misery sprinkled, seemingly randomly, in-between. It’s taken me a while, but now I can happily say that I’m perfectly okay with that!


Jenny in Durbs said...

Oh how true LOL, how many of us had these "romantic illusions of perfection." but I bet the real life is so much better - even the highs & lows.

Gillian said...

Reality is hardly ever romantic.

WE make the romance happen.

allie said...

It carries over from teenage years, I think, when we believe that we are right and that anyone who doesn't see life like we do is a blithering idiot.
Because we know how everything should be done.

If people would just listen to us, the world would run on oiled wheels.

So our 'greyness' should be embraced with gratitude (if not by us, then certainly by those poor people around us who have put up with our attitude).

Seriously though, because of various posts lately, I have been thinking a lot about the warp and woof of life.

Thanks for these insights -I look forward to Pt 2.

Andrea said...

you are so right...thought provoking.

Jeanne said...

Marriage is one of the places where the fantasy and the reality are the furthest apart! I now understand what my mom used to say abotu my father: "I've considered murder, but I've never considered divorce." I think that pretty much sums up a good marriage ;-)

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