And, now for the third characteristic of what makes a woman who marries over age 40 for the first time far different from the 20-something bride.
For 20 years I had a home to myself. Same goes for the couch, the bed and the bathroom. Whether the TV was on or off was up to me. When I did laundry, where I put the jelly in the refrigerator, and if I had a pet or not. All up to me.
Then, I got married.
As we bump into one another at the kitchen counter, I often reminisce around being able to jump from stove to sink without bumping into another backside. I dream of quiet evening with music playing in the background and not the Jim Lehrer Report. And, don’t get me started on who gets the most of the long-hanging space in the closet.
If you are younger, your “space ways” aren’t as set. You may have less space, overall, but you don’t have as much stuff. And, again, your preferences are still being formed.
Having less space isn’t as much of an issue if you are 23. But, 40? Well, let’s say my shoes are not used to being crowded.
As for suddenly having to share space, the best advice I’ve received:
- Concentrate on those moments when sharing your space is a benefit. There are times when you are forced to get close and it’s nice. Snuggling, anyone?
- Live in a large enough space for you. This will be different, couple to couple. But, do not settle for small. Go for “right size.” Your marriage will thank you for it.
- Have a place you can go that is your very own. (I do not recommend separate bedrooms, however, though I understand it worked quite well for June and Ward. And, look where that got them. Bad circle skirts and pot roast.)
Feel free to share your space issues here. All venting is okay at Chez LBB.
So, we come to the end of our 3-part series. One last word of wisdom for which I can not take a smidgen of credit. That goes to my mom. She said, in so many words, many years ago:
- In the end, you want to be better off – emotionally, spiritually, materially and physically – because you are sharing your life with this person. If you don’t feel that, are you with the right person?
- Decide early, and decide daily, that this marriage is team work (versus just two people divvying up space). After all you aren’t roommates.
- Manage your attitude, daily. After 20 years of living one way – and now attempting to live another way – it may just all come down to your perspective.
Shoot. That responsibility thing again. Sigh.