Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
You can also find Monica's writing here:
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Suppose I Never Met You...

Suppose I never ever met you
Suppose we never fell in love
Suppose I never ever let you kiss me so sweet and so soft
Suppose I never ever saw you
Suppose we never ever called
Suppose I kept on singing love songs just to break my own fall
Just to break my fall

-Regina Spektor

It's not easy being married, is it? When I was single it was so easy to daydream about The One without dirtying my hands in reality. Oh, I didn't think it was easy at the time. I dreaded dating in the same way I feared a root canal. Please God can we just get this over with? And crank up that novocaine, wouldja? Except on the date I'd substitute liquor for novocaine.. and then I'd go home and kill a bag of Doritos, watch Sixteen Candles and cry despite myself when Sam spots Jake Ryan waiting for her, leaning against the red Porsche outside the church. I thought I'd never meet my Jake..

And all of the sudden, I did...

And it was just like the movies, complete with a soundtack supplied by my lover's own musical endeavors. And we got married. And I promptly freaked. Wait! This is hard! This isn't like the movies. We fight. A lot. I married the wrong guy. I hate him. Then we made up. It was good. I fell in love all over again. Then we began to argue. Again. Bickering that slowly escalated.. each injured party repressing anger until-
"We just don't belong together!"
"Fine!" This bit was said with the dramatic removal and subsequent flinging of wedding ring..
But we rode that bucking bronco... hung on for dear life, grabbed hold of any place we could and held on through blistered palms, bruises and aching hearts. Finally.. the wild stallion subsided. And it was good. Then it was bad.
"We are way too different!"
"This isn't going to work!"
"Divorce!" uttered in a rage... and again, of course, dramatic removal and throwing of wedding ring... it always feels so right at the time. So... so.. Soap Opera!

From January to June, The Surge has been on the road. Just when I get used to his absence, he's home mucking up the works... When I finally reacquaint myself with having a housemate, adjust to his man smells and noises, his bed hogging - when I finally feel like a family again - he's gone. Although it's his job (it's how I met him for godsakes!) I secretly resent him for leaving me alone so much. I withdraw. And so the marital rollercoaster continues..

But this time around I've learned perhaps the most important lesson of all... There will always be something.. A fight, a disagreement - your union will never match the ideal you carried in your head throughout your teen years. And that's okay. It's okay to admit marital trouble.. I used to be ashamed, pretend everything was fantastic... even go so far as to commit ridiculous displays of public affection in front of friends - look what a happy couple we are! But the arguments are as much a part of marriage as the good times. Marriage is about riding out the storm. Battening down the hatches and hunkering down until the inclement weather passes. Love is like a river (pukey cliche!) Really. It ebbs and flows, is deep in some places, shallow in others.. One day your riding the rapids, the next your luxuriating on calm waters. Point is, ride that shit out! It isn't going to be any better with anybody else.. You'll trade one set of problems for another.

Despite the fact that the past two years have been the most emotionally treacherous of my life... they have also been the best. I have learned so much... about myself, about life.. about loyalty and commitment and really being there for someone, sometimes when you don't want to be.

I am deeply in love.. but that doesn't mean my marriage is a fucking romance movie. Don't look at that picture up there and think 'AWWWW - so great'... because that would be a misrepresentation of my reality. Many moments find me clinging to the boat in the midst of a raging marital storm... Only recently I've learned to reach down deep to where the love is stored. Toss everything overboard - the ugly words, perceived injustices, silly arguments, resentment - let everthing sink except for that simple, pure love.. That is the life preserver.

Reader Comments (27)

I would still love to delude myself into believing marriage is like a cheesy movie. If I don't, it may be harder than ever to convince myself to jump the broom.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSerena
My boyfriend also travels. A lot. I miss him, but I get used to the big empty bed and BAM - he's home, it's crowded, hot, and I have to remember sharing. Weird, isn't it?

June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPLD
You are so right in so many ways about being married to a musician...the beauty, the beast, the heaves, and the 'hos (if you catch my drift). I'm also married to a painfully creative traveling musician (our beaus have met in Spain, in fact) and although I signed up for it sometimes I realize I didn't read some of the fine print BUT I wouldn't change anything for the world. I really enjoy your blog and only recently discovered it. Keep binging and purging. Life can be good like that if you do it right.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Fantasy
hiya, i love you blog - its real, fun and rock!! i also read the greek tragedy - and many times i have found that she writes in similar lines like you do - but you write it first and hers comes after a day. i wrote to her today in her "comments" to be real and told her that i also happen to read your blog and she "stephanie" seems to be getting the inspiration from you "monica" - which i think is true , cause she was chicken enough not to post my comment in her blog. that sucks....its not the exact like yours but the topic always happens to be the same and a bit twisted....isn't that funny??? i hope she starts getting real.....
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterangel
I'm "the one who travels," in our marriage, which has just turned 14 on the year odometer.

It's HARD. Hard to be gone for four days in a row... 96 hours of living that can only be boiled down to a thick and sometimes bitter tasting reduction. Each week since April, it's been 2 to 3 days-- which your spouse or children reduce to the NIGHTS you are not there.

They count the nights.

And the time you're away, the marriage ends up like two people walking down opposite sides of the street with one eye covered. Eventually, you lose depth perception, and you just try like hell not to get run over by a crosstown bus!
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWry Bri
Great definition of love -- the desire to work through the bulls*it instead of just walking away.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commentertallangie
The next day my ex took hers off for good.

"A pawnshop ain't no place for a wedding ring."

"Many moments find me clinging to the boat in the midst of a raging marital storm."

This is a really good way of putting it. I didn't think we'd make it out of the first year because learning to be married - nobody tells you how hard it's going to be. Thankfully, they also don't tell you how good it is either.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterC
This post scared me. But also made me long to be married. To have that kind of committment with someone despite the arguments. It's just so easy to break up and move on when a relationship seems to hard. I often wonder if being married is the answer, would make us feel differently or if we'd still fight and break up.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
I actually find this post really, really hopeful. The person you marry should be the person you want to share the bad and the good with -- because nothing's all good -- and if they see your shit and you see their shit and it's still worth it...well, then you have a marriage.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersandra
Yeah. Marriage is definately not easy. My first few years of marriage were also spent pretending to everybody that everything was perfect. But that got too tiring to keep up and once I started being honest, I realised that most people are in relationships that go up and down. You just have to make sure that the ups are stronger and more frequent than the downs. But it is REAL hard when a down lasts for a long, long time. That really tests you. Fortunately there's only one drama queen in our relationship. It'd be pure hell if there were two of us! My husband is the steady, realistic, stable one. We absolutely adore each other but I also fucking hate him 2 minutes later. And I mean intense, dripping hatred. Poor man. Thank God most of us tend to mellow as we get older and I certainly did with motherhood. Became like a lovely pregnant placid cow and it lasted.... well kind of.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNiedlchen
I don't think I could do it. I am terrified of marriage. I am starting to hear about friends from high school in the midst of divorces. The one thing I like about having a boyfriend is the ability to go home to my own house and lick my wounds after a fight.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAimee
I think...

Ahh fuck!

Monica, you should get this particular journal entry out every day and re-read it.

My marriage failed and now I don't even know where she is.

It's all gone.

Imagine that?

Think about what it would feel like if you invested your heart and soul into a person (and vice/versa) and it ended up THAT bad.

Not only aren't you married and committed, but you have nothing. No friendship, no drunk-dials, no idea what the other person's life is like.

Just a lesson in failure, grief, and un-answered questions.

It's just gone. WAY GONE!

I was just a mistake that she made.

No kids. No house.

No Xmas cards.

When I die, she won't even know.

I urge anyone who is struggling with the same things that Monica wrote about so descriptively, to consider, for a moment, what it would be like in your own lives if that happened to you.

I have nothing to say. I don't know who I am. I can't predict what kind of wife I will be. I look forward to marriage, and all it's pain. I know pain, and if it's for a reason it has a sweetness to it. Sometimes I can barely taste it, but it's there. I think I am ready but that leads me back to wondering who I am again. This post leads me in circles. Joe's comment was emotional and that was interesting in a nice way. I would say I'm sorry for him but what's it mean? I really love your stories and it makes me happy to know that you have an authentic relationship with The Surge. It seems fair.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterdesiree
Joe, you're breaking my heart. What happened in your marriage, if you don't mind my asking. How did it go wrong? How long were you married? I know it's a horrible cliche but you've got to get back out there and find the right lady. The one that wants to be with you and wants to work through the hard times.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
OMG! That Regina Spektor song is beautiful. I am totally addicted. It makes your post so much more beautiful. You know, it's funny. I've often been kind of jealous of you. It's silly how we look at others and think they have it all when really we're all struggling with the same things. Thank you for being willing to out the good the bad and the ugly.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSera
"Suppose I never ever met you..."

What a perfect title, because I know now that the thought of never meeting or marrying my husband is all things wrong with the world. Marriage is hard, and it was very hard the first year, and very wonderful at the same time, and I was terrified to speak it, but I had one friend who was going through the same thing. We would get drunk on the train ride home and tell each other the truth. It made us so bold, we told the truth to our single friends, who didn't want to hear it. At all.

Then it got good, and easier, and we coasted for a while. Then I got preganant and after every horrible fight I felt like a failure because now I was going to fuck up a kid. And then she was born, and i loved him and i loved her, but only on instinct. I wasn't really sure about us as a family.

And Monica, you are right, you have to keep reaching in and pulling out the love, even when you'd rather pull out the hurt and disappointment and bad decisions and all the other crap. Because otherwise you're thinking about where you would live after the divorce.

"Don't look at that picture up there and think 'AWWWW - so great'... because that would be a misrepresentation of my reality. "

Oh, I hear you. You could look at the three of us, and she's adorable, and he's a doll, and we look like a perfect smiling family. But every day of happiness, and there are many, many days of happiness, is a choice the two of us make to get up and act loving that day. It is a choice, and it is work, and I am thankful to have this lifetime of work and choice in front of me, but it doesn't make it easy.

Wonderful, but not easy.

I love all your comments. Joe, your emotion really speaks to me. Aimee, all i can say is that every relationship in my life worth having took a certain amount of work, and once I opened my mouth and spoke the truth, I have been supported in my struggles in marriage - by my friends and by my husband. Oh, and Neidlchen, the mellowing! Yes! It helps.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEDW
It was...a while back.

I am back "out there," Gemma, and you are sweet.

It was supposed to break your heart.

I was very moved by this journal and it (that pain) is never too far away; especially during the hard times.

It (the marriage) failed for a million reasons and it doesn't even really matter why.

All I wanted to get across was that when you say "til' death do us part," you should understand what those words mean.

I think Monica nailed it and I wish her nothing but the best thought's and prayers because sometimes it's going to come to the point where you need to fall back on something bigger than the individual. You need...something...anything to hold on to, to keep the faith.

It didn't happen with my marriage, and it wasn't me that let go of the rope.

Thanks for caring.

I'm going out on the town, now.
EDW, I always love your comments. They seem so wise and calm. Joe! Out on the town! Good for you. You are a heartbreaker via your words and shame on the lady who left you.

Speaking of relationships, I've got a boyfriend pestering me to get off the internet now. Good night.
June 16, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterGemma
I'm a heartbreakee, NOT a heartbreaker.

There's love everwhere.

I just need to crack the code.


it's 2;45 A.M.

where's the cereal?

ah, good luck to all that hang in there! i don't know if i could - too scared. the other person might want to jump to another boat at some point...
i so admire you for your strength!
June 17, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterkiaora
You don't know how much this post means to me. For the past month my husband and I have been at odds. I really have hated him. I felt terrible because Ifigured you aren't suppose to hate your husband. and so I thought "I married the wrong person". To hear my favorite blogger talk about her marriage this way and not glamourize herself is so cool. I just need to hang on.
June 17, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMe
Beautiful blog!

(and what a picture! perfect example of "a picture says a thousand words".)
June 18, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
My husband and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary. This has been a hard year for me for some reason in relation to my husband. He seems to be a stranger to me. I have felt like "Me" in the comment above. I actually thought the other day how much I couldn't stand him and hate even entered my thoughts. I know though that this is just part of marriage. The "ebb and flow". It is a constant work in progress. I have always thought the same thing about the grass being greener. You may as well make this work because with someone else there will just be a different set of problems. At least I know how to handle these. Thank you so much for what you wrote. It is EXACTLY what happens in marriages and is happening in mine now. I felt like I was venting my frustration as I was reading.
June 18, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjen
That picture is so freakin hot!

You're a lot wiser than most folks who are married. Being happily married doesn't mean you're always going to be happy.
June 21, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
you speekah the truth, my dear!

I'm so gunna use that "ebb and flow" for future reference. Thanx
June 22, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnnejelynn

I think honouring each other is so important in a relationship. When your other half invest their all emotions, mind, and being into the relationship it is love. I really want to honour this person I know because he is so important to me. I appreciate him so much for adding value into my world. I just hope I will be nearly as encouraging to him as much as he it too me.
Babe your the best.

October 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCazza

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