I’m going to be super transparent with y’all today. I mean, I try very hard to be an open book on most things, but today something was really weighing on my heart so I wanted to hop on here. I’ve always found writing to be therapeutic for me. If you are my personal friend on Facebook I often post long posts for sentimental moments… whether people actually read them, feel connected, or inspired remains to be seen but I still write them.
Today I wanted to write about marriage. Yes, there are millions of blog posts about marriage. Personal stories, tips for being a better spouse, date night ideas, how to be more XYZ…. you name it, it’s probably been blogged, but that isn’t going to stop me from writing to tell y’all something.
Marriage is tough.
There is no other way to put it. It is tough to be married.
We live in a world dominated by everyone’s “highlight” reels so much to the point where we really don’t like sharing the dark moments with others. We want others to believe our lives are great. Everything is hunky dory.
Look at this amazing trip we just went on! Our kids are on the honor roll again! We just bought a brand new car! Look at my new wedding ring upgrade! My business is doing amazing! My husband got a raise! We bought a new puppy!
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with celebrating exciting moments and little victories. I post my highlight reel too and I celebrate the joy with my family & friends when they do have something wonderful happen in their lives, I really do, but it’s a hard world to live in.
When Vince and I got married in 2008, we were both 18. He had been in the Marine Corps for one year and I had just graduated high school. We took a chance on each other and for the last 9+ years we have been constantly battling to keep our marriage.
Battling? Ew. Such a dirty word! But it’s true. Battling each other. Battling outside forces. Battling Satan.
Let me be honest – our marriage has been tough.
Deployment. Motorcycle accident. Loss of a career. Family drama & sickness. Death of a grandparent, parent, sibling, & nephew. Mila’s surgery & NICU stay…. just a few of the outside events that have shaped our marriage.
Traumatic brain injury. PTSD. Bitterness from childhood experiences. Selfishness. Ego. Pride. Anger issues….. things we have allowed Satan to use against us in our marriage.
It took me a long time to recognize that Vince isn’t my enemy. Even in some of our darkest moments, we weren’t against each other — but Satan made it seem that way at the time.
Y’all. My husband is a gift. My marriage is a gift. I am the lucky one that gets to know the deepest desires of his heart and his biggest fears. I get to love him with the purest kind of love – I get to be a walking, talking example of Christ’s love for my husband. And Vince gets to be that for me. That’s pretty cool… and a lot of responsibility. And Satan hates it.
Sure, I could sit here all day and whine about the fact that I think Vince and I have been through way more trauma and dark valleys than other couples our age, heck more than some couples married 25+ years, but whining won’t change anything and comparing our situation to others isn’t fair. What I can tell you is marriage is worth it. It is so unbelievably worth it. To be able to do life with another human is one of the greatest gifts God has given us.
Does that mean forgiveness comes easy or bitterness doesn’t seep in? No. I won’t lie, there are some things in our marriage that took me years to “get over.” I held on to that bitterness and held it against Vince for far too long. I wish I had the secret recipe for softening your heart towards your spouse in times of disappointment or betrayal, but I don’t. I can tell you that I have prayed multiple prayers for forgiveness for my hardened heart towards my husband and forgiveness for God. This may come across as odd, telling God you forgive Him, knowing good and well He doesn’t need to be forgiven… but y’all, I crave a relationship with my God & Savior and if I hold on to that bitterness towards Vince, I am equally holding that bitterness towards God for “allowing it happen.” Vince and I are the poster children for stubbornness, but thankfully that stubbornness has enabled us to fight for each other through every storm. It ain’t always purdy but it’s worth it.
There will be dark moments. Moments driven by your circumstances and surroundings. Moments that make you want to walk away. Moments that push you both to the limit, or rather what you think is your limit.
But even in those dark storms, there is hope. There will be moments of laughter and comfort. There will be moments of solidarity and understanding.
I can’t see God’s master plan for my life, but I know it includes Vince. So whether he likes it or not, he is stuck with me because two are better than one.
To all my married friends who are struggling, there is hope.
To all my unmarried friends who want to get married, there is hope.
To all my friends who don’t want to get married, or can’t, there is hope.
aannnnnd here is a trip down Memory Lane! Because I love us.