Some problems are to be solved. Others cannot be solved and are to be accepted.

Today, my mood matches the weather outside, gray. It may rain today and it may not. It could go either way.

I feel discouraged today and fairly sad. Not horribly so, not a torrential downpour so but still cloudy.

Many of my expectations about the business side of marriage, dividing responsibility, having routines, making decisions and then implementing them, are reasonable ones. Ordinarily, they are not too much to ask.

But I’ve been a marriage for nearly 25 years during which these expectations have never been met despite the fact that my husband and I adore one another and are smart, resourceful people. And I have no reason to believe that our lives will become less complicated any time soon or perhaps ever. Similarly, I have no reason to believe that either of us is going to change in any major way that will make this teamwork, which I have so desperately wanted all of these years, happen.

I am not without spontaneity in my life. I like new experiences. I like having fun. But it is not fun to be spontaneous about the stupid, boring parts of daily life. The stuff that just needs to get done so that there is time for fun and life is not just spent figuring out the same mundane tasks every day. Habits, routines, and rules are helpful because when they make sense, our brains don’t have to work so hard and we also have more free time.

I find that a substantial amount of my thinking time is spent on making these rules and habits happen. Twenty-five years of this thinking and it’s not happening.

I believe that I am one of the most reasonable people that I know. I am proud of how hard I have worked to live a life that is coherent and makes sense. That may seem silly but for me, it has opened a path to great joy, creativity, and happiness.

Ordinarily, my expectations of a marital partnership would be reasonable. But my marriage is not ordinary. In most ways, it is extraordinary, with incredible depth, humor, shared values, and passions. No one and no partnership can be strong in every area. We are not strong in the mundane aspects of daily living. I mean sometimes we do a better job than others but it nearly always requires a great deal of effort, regardless of the outcome. In contrast, we don’t have to work at laughing together, appreciating nature, or expressing interest in the world around us. That stuff is easy. Dishes are hard. Finding the broom because it was moved and not put back in its place is hard. Finding clean towels is difficult. Giving up on the idea that these things will someday change is difficult.

If you asked me whether I would rather have the marriage I have than one that ran like a well oiled machine but was lacking in passion, companionship, and laughter, I would so obviously choose the marriage that I have. Every day, I choose the marriage that I have. I have a wonderful husband.

Today, I realized that in my quest to feel better about myself as a wife, I have to give up these expectations. It is understandable that I want them. But it is unreasonable and irrational to continue expecting things to change.  I don’t yet know how to do this. This is not the first time I have had this thought. But it is the first time that the thought has been different than just giving up.

As I have been writing this, it has changed in my mind from a loss to a sliver of opportunity, an opening to a different path.