When we last left off the marriage-on-boat topic, I had started to put my finger on the real question I think our friends want to ask. I've asked the question myself a time or two. It's kind of a scary question, so scary that it has taken us all two years to even realize what the question is we want to ask. It’s like we are all afraid that if we ask the real question, we may wake a sleeping lion, and that lion will perk up to chase us through the jungle. So, we don’t. We all tip toe around the question, to see if we can figure it out without getting too close. To make it easier, I decided we can let my imaginary friend, Brunhilda, ask the questions.
Brunhilda: Do you think your marriage can survive the process of handling conflict on the boat?
Leslie: I give it a 50/50 shot.
Brunhilda: What?! Leslie!
Leslie: 50% of all marriages fail. Andrew and I aren’t special or unique; we are just like everyone else. Therefore, statistics tell me our marriage has a 50/50 shot of surviving conflict on the boat.
Brunhilda: Yeah, but…
Leslie: I’m not sure what we are really trying to figure out here.
Brunhilda: Me neither…I guess, it’s just…my spouse and I, we have big dreams, too. We want to do hard things. But, I’m afraid that if we try to do something hard things that our marriage won’t be able to withstand the pressure. If I have to choose between doing something hard and losing the love of my life to divorce - I would choose not to do the crazy thing. When you guys left, I thought you must be really confident in your marriage. You must have found some secret we don’t know about to avoid fights or maybe your marriage is just so much better than ours and you never have fights.
Leslie: This is what I don’t get. People started asking these questions, and I wrote “Squabbles I” to answer the question. I said: “We fought less than I thought we would this first year, but we definitely have fights.”
Brunhilda: Yeah, I know. When I read that post, I thought, “Hey! They have the same fights we have!”
Leslie: So, then, why do people keep asking questions about how we fight on the boat?
Brunhilda: Well, because you leave us with two options. (A) Either you are lying about having fights and you do have perfect marriage; or (B) You are crazier than we thought.
Leslie: …? I’ve been writing vulnerable details of a really difficult, ongoing fight we are having this year. We definitely aren’t lying about fighting. We must be crazier than you thought.
Brunhilda: Yeah, I know. I kind of think you are crazy for spilling so many beans about your fights. I don’t think I would ever write about that in public.
Leslie: I promised to be honest! I don’t want to participate in that “fake facade” thing we do in social media.
Brunhilda: Yeah, and we appreciate it! It’s crazy, but I appreciate it. I wouldn’t do it.
Ms Sensitivity begins knitting a blanket-to-be-crooked-hotpad again. In a whisper-hiss she says to me “I told you shouldn’t write things on the internet! Internet is FOREVER!”
Leslie: Why wouldn’t you write about these things?
Brunhilda: Because! Aren’t you worried about your reputation? You’re crazy!
*Over-thinker starts to panic*
*Over-tryer pulls up the last blog post and tries to find the “DELETE BUTTON”*
*Ms. Sensitivity knits furiously*
*Judith runs into the room and snatches the mouse away from Over-tryer.*
Leslie: Yes, I do worry about that a lot. I guess I just don’t think it’s a secret that I harbor weaknesses, or that our marriage harbors weaknesses. Is writing about all that really exposing anything new?
Brunhilda: YES! We thought you had the magical unicorn marriage! We thought you were better than us.
Leslie: That’s awful! “Oh look at me, I’m drinking a beach cocktail with my perfect husband, in our perfect marriage. Don’t you wish you could be perfect so that you could drink a beach cocktail with your perfect husband? You want to know the ‘secret’? Ha ha ha! There is no secret! We are just perfect!”….That would be a really awful blog.
Brunhilda: Your logo is a unicorn!
Leslie: Yes, but Oddgodfrey is a Seasick Unicorn who wants to go to Sea anyway. He has weaknesses. I’m working on a children’s book all about this. Hopefully, to be released sometime before I’m dead.
Brunhilda: So, you are crazy?
Leslie: I don’t know, what do you mean by crazy?
Brunhilda: It’s just… Like I said: my spouse and I have big dreams, too, but… Don’t you and Andrew love each other enough to prioritize the marriage over the sailing trip? I see how you are fighting. The fights are kind of bad. Are you going to quit sailing? You don’t want to stress the marriage like this, do you?
*Ms Sensitivity knits.*
*Over-Thinker looks at her day planner considering when to schedule the next fight with Andrew about whether we want to stress our marriage like this.*
Leslie: We prioritize each other. We do! We love each other a lot. I don’t know…It’s like I told Andrew when he suggested shipping Sonrisa home. I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. I don’t think sailing matters. Sailing or no sailing. If this marriage ship is going down, it will go down.
Brunhilda: Yeah, but you have to admit sailing has added pressures.
Leslie: You are raising kids! Raising kids is WAY HARDER than transiting a marriage from point A to B under sail power to find our next beach cocktail!
Brunhilda: *blank stare of panic*
Ms Sensitivity: Leslie! Why would you say that to Brunhilda? Oh my god, look at her blank stare of panic!
Over-Thinker looks on in horror.
Over-Tryer starts shuffling papers around her desk trying to figure out how to claw back this entire conversation.
Brunhilda: Yeah….babies are hard.
Did Bruhilda miss the mark? Send me an email or leave a comment below. Let me know if your real question about marriage on a boat is somehow different. Set up a fake email in your third cousin's inlaw's name and I won't even know who you are.