Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Signing Up

What does it mean when your partner tells you that your life is "not exactly what I signed up for?" After more than three decades?

What DID we sign up for, exactly?

What did we know, at twenty and twenty-one, about a relationship that would span almost as many years as our combined ages?

I always thought we got married because we were too stupid not to. We were "in love." That's what people did when they were in love. They got married.

Were we signing up for something? I wouldn't have had a clue what to ask for or where to sign for it. And I've always believed that cluelessness, that naiveté, that "What the hell, let's just DO it!" …was mutual.

Evidently not.

After thirty-five years, I find I am not what he signed up for.

I have no idea where to go with that…


  1. No one is what their partner signed up for.

    Off to look for a link for you.

  2. What Robin said. I've never married; when we're young everything seems possible. And I think we end up with possibilities we never imagine and I suspect that none of us ends up with the life we thought we were signing up for.

  3. Robin and Jackie are both right. After thirty years together, without the "benefits" of marriage, I think Gail and I might say (I'm a little scared to ask her, actually) that our life together has mostly been a surprise. And we were in our late thirties when we got together, supposedly old enough to know what we were doing. It's all an unfolding, and I think what you "sign up" for is the journey, the surprises, the unfolding - there aren't any maps. What's the matter with him, anyway?

  4. What you sign up for is being there through it all with the person you "sign up" with. I'm in a marriage that is no cake walk. But what I signed was a commitment....to do my damnedest to be there for my spouse. And it's not unreasonable to expect that in return. Marriage vows don't take into account that none of us have crystal ball. We don't know what will happen, and we don't know how the future will change us. To throw up one's hands declaring "it's not what I signed up for" is the weak way out. We signed up for whatever ends up written on the then blank slate.