Mostly female post ahead, along with WAY too much TMI. Mental images may be burned into your subconscious. Read at your own risk. You should NOT read if the words belching, sex, bathroom, naked, or spit offend you (if they do, you must not know me very well).
Getting married is a big adjustment.
However Brett and I dated for four L-O-N-G years before we got married, so we figured we had quite the advantage going in to our living together arrangement
(By that I mean living together after we were married, since Mom will have a coronary if I don’t point that out, and losing one parent to a coronary is quite enough, thank you very much).
We spent most of our college dating years traveling to either Rockford or Geneva to spend the weekend at his house or mine.
Neither of our parents were overprotective, so he slept in his room, and I slept in the guest room (reversed at my house, of course, because he didn’t bring his bed with him, and my parents wouldn’t have made me sleep in the guest room).
In fact, I like to joke my parents were TOO lax, since they would often leave the two of us alone on the upstairs couch watching TV, turn off all the lights, and go to bed in their downstairs bedroom. Talk about an open invitation!
At Brett’s house (I can’t believe I’m admitting this!), I would sneak out of the guest room and go snuggle with my honey bunny in his room from 2:00 – 6:00 a.m.
Mostly we just talked and kissed. I had the best form of birth control – the fear of how disappointed my parents would be if I had pre-marital sex. Brett’s self-control had a lot more to do with the fact that getting pregnant would seriously affect my future earning potential.
And yada, yada, yada – it was wrong to have sex before marriage.
But (seriously) fear of disappointing parents (me) and fear of being poor (him) kept us on the straight and narrow!
But the point I’m trying to make is NOT that you should NEVER, EVER let your kids have the kind of freedom we did (we’re SURE not going to), but that in spite of our four years of weekend-living-togetherness, there were some major changes.
I think what you really learn in those first couple of years is what’s okay to do or not do in front of the other person.
Some things weren’t difficult. After all, Brett and I were together a lot on the weekends when most of us are very relaxed. Belching and other…noises…were not unfamiliar or weird. My family never had a stigma about it, and goodness knows I grew up yelling “Mom!” and “Dad!” accusatorily enough that I could hardly put on any fancy-pants airs.
But I soon learned that Brett and I had very different boundaries.
I, on one hand, like privacy in the bathroom. It is my alone time. So, the first time Brett came crashing through the door to talk to me after work, I screamed, “GET OUT!” He was shocked!
Probably because I could not even get him to CLOSE the door when he used the bathroom. He would tell me about his day, ask my opinion, and every so often ask the question, “Can you come look at this?”
No one ever wants to hear that question coming from the bathroom, even if it is about why the faucet is leaking.
However, my inhibition did not extend to undressing. When we were first married, I often undressed in our room with the window shades wide open.
Let me qualify this. First of all, our apartment was on the second floor, and our window faced a wooded area of Rock Cut State Park, not other houses (and no walking paths for those of you who were about to point that out).
But it drove Brett nuts! (This is a man who will only undress in the dark with all the shades closed).
I told him, “Look, if it’s that important for people to go and buy binoculars that can see around corners just to see me naked then the burning damage to their retinas will be their own punishment.”
I also don’t like to brush my teeth at the same time as someone else. Brett does, and after having his spit end up in my hair on more than one occasion – I was done with it. (Brushing together, I mean. I still brush. Just by myself.)
As I type this last thing, I realize I have a gazillion more difference that I must share! But the post would drag on F-O-R-E-V-E-R, so I shall stop for now, and label this Part 1.