Do you know Ed Sheeran? Ed Sheeran has a song out now called ‘Thinking Out Loud.’ The song is understated and his voice is sultry. It’s the type of song I often like. But I can’t listen to ‘Thinking Out Loud.’
It’s a love song, and I can’t listen to love songs anymore – not this type of long song anyway.
This love song is like:
- drinking syrup straight from the bottle
- having five donuts in a row.
- eating a spoonful of sugar
It’s like… Well, you get the point.
It’s too damn sweet.
No, I’m not a curmudgeon or crotchety or a tired old fart.
I am, however married. My wife, Ms. MMK, and I have been married 13 years.
And we have a solid marriage.
While 13 years is hardly an eternity, it’s long enough to have learned some things.
First, I’ve learned that love songs are genuinely a load of crap.
Seriously, not every moment is sunshine and sodapop. Listening to love songs like Ed Sheeran’s and you might think things are always bright and sweet. Like the sunshine on a brilliant spring day or chocolate cake covered in frosting.
Oh please, give me a break!
Couples don’t always swoon when one of them walks into the room. They don’t always hang on every word the other one says. They don’t think that each thing the other one does is perfect. Sometimes they break up… and don’t get back together.
Shocking. I know.
Anyone who has been in a real marriage for any length of time knows that love songs can’t be taken seriously. While I’m not a marriage counselor and don’t proclaim to be an expert, I do have at least one example to look upon.
My wife and I disagree – a lot. We get pissed off at each other. We argue. We yell. We slam doors in frustration. We’ve said things, not nice things, in anger.
There are moments we would rather be alone. There are times when we don’t want to see each other. Or anyone. We crave space.
I could go on, but that’s enough for now.
Now, I repeat my wife and I have a solid marriage. And it’s real.
We are living our lives together. And that means, we’ve gone through struggles and stresses. In our case, that has meant work issues, financial concerns, family losses, etc. Oh and then there’s the children.
Children are wonderful. I treasure my children. I can’t imagine my life without them. Please don’t mistake that to mean I wouldn’t mind them spending a night or two at friends or better yet Ms. MMK and I going away for a little vacation.
But children equal stress. When you have children, there is always something to worry about. And with worry and stress comes disagreement. Those of you who are coupled with children, raise your hand: Cause you know what I mean.
Anyway, that’s whole ‘nother post or twenty.
I’m not complaining. I’m not trying to be a downer.
Really. Hear me out.
As couples lives complicate and relationships lengthen, things change. What you need from your spouse is not necessarily what you needed from your girlfriend or maybe even needed in those early days of marriage.
You need someone who will still smile and nod when you tell the same story.
You need someone who will laugh even when your jokes aren’t all that funny.
You need someone who will guide you when you’re angry or confused.
You need someone who will respect you even when they don’t agree.
You need someone who will support you when you doubt yourself.
You need someone who will be a good parent and role model to your children.
You need someone who will see your worst and still support you.
I could go on, but that’s enough for now.
That list above might not make for a good love song. But it will make for a good life.
So, sing away Ed. Use that voice of yours for good. But those who listen know love, a lasting love, looks much different.
I love love songs – but unlike the expectations you feel they bring, I never believed that things would always be bright and sweet, but, those love song moments better make an appearance in my life, or I’m doing something wrong!
I think some people do actually believe that love songs depict reality (to some degree). When their relationships prove things are more complex – they struggle.
Anyway, you and your loved one should have some of the sweet moments, but there’s way more to it than that.
I admire you for this honest post, Larry. It’s true, it’s real, it’s how things are after a while.
Even though my pink bubble has burst quite a while ago and I am in a solid relationship, I still am in love with my boyfriend. He makes me happy, he makes me laugh and I smile when he enters the room.
I love listening to love songs, no matter how sweet they are. (Not necessarily Ed Sheeran because I don’t like his voice, but that’s different). Sometimes because they have a certain rhythm or melody I like, and sometimes just because I’m in a good mood or need a smile.
And sometimes a love song is just a love song is just a love song… 🙂
It sounds like you like the love song for the musical components as much as the words.
I’m glad things are good with your boyfriend. I hope that everyone who read this can say the name. My wife and are in a good place. Our version of love is not the same as it once was. That doesn’t mean it never has the mushy moments but they are not nearly as common.
At least the children are less stressful on our marriage than they used to be– Do you and Mrs. MMK remember the diapers, the middle of the night feedings, and the constant attention to their little schedules? Yikes!
I love having older kids. It’s way better for our marriage.
There are different stresses – that’s for sure. I hate middle of the nights! We still worry about their schedule. However, that does not mean feedings and such.
I never understand why people think it is wrong to say relationships take work. Work doesn’t have to be a pejorative term.
We work for things we want and things we need and sometimes that means you and your spouse work on the relationship because it is how you strengthen it.
I agree with you 100% buddy. I think you always need to be working on it. Not only that working on it shows how important it is to you.
I have to say that I’m ambivalent about love songs. That particular one I loved until I listed to it too many times and now it drives me crazy. I think you’re completely right in the sense that love songs, like romantic comedies, often create unreasonable expectations of love and marriage. However, I generally believe that most people realize that’s fantasy and not real life. Right??
The problems happen when we start subconsciously expecting our spouse, date, or marriage to be like the love song or romance novel.
And then you get singles who can’t find the right one, and dissatisfied spouses because their marriage lost its “spark” and they thought it would survive forever on the chemical reactions in the brain that caused the spark, instead of on good, hard, dirty, work, with frustrations.
Exactly. While the mass majority realize life isn’t like this, I believe on some level people have some expectations that life should be like the movies, songs, etc.
I – we – tend to agree with you. So much so, that the, “wait, hear me out,” was kind of unnecessary.
But does it make me a bad wife if I don’t want to hear the same explanation of how nuclear bombs work, or why and how World War Three might break out, for the fifty-millionth time?
Some things I don’t want to hear. And I don’t want to think about. And that is that.
Sure, there are things that I will listen to again and again. But not everything.
Wait, if he doesn’t make jokes, does that mean that I have a bad husband?
Point being, everyone’s list is different. As long as Ms. MMK agrees with your list of what is necessary in a relationship, I think we’re good.
I’m sure there is commonality from most couples but certainly, individual couples have individual needs.