I see this hanging on my wall every single day. It’s currently hanging above my sons diaper changing station, so I see it multiple times a day! Can I be honest? Deep down this note that a friend wrote to us on our wedding day 4.5 yrs ago, it’s what has helped me to stay above water when I felt like I was sinking.
I’m writing this today, October 23, 2015, because this day is one of my favorite days. It’s the day that my now husband-then practically boyfriend 5 years ago, took me out to my first pumpkin patch on a date, but with the intention of meeting my then 1 year old daughter (well, 1 year 11 months). It was the day where I let him in my life with no barriers, and he has stayed put since. I am so grateful for this man who took me to be his wife, and took my daughter to be his daughter.
Our marriage has been full of life lessons for us equally. None of which have come by easily. I’ve noticed that when we are happy we can easily share the good times, but we quiet down when we are struggling. I have done this so many times, but for some reason, now I feel is an appropriate time to share a little about what has been going on.
For those that don’t know Jason and I, we have attended the same schools since the 6th grade. We were never really friends, but we were aware of each others existence. It wasn’t until 2 years post high school that we got to get in touch and connect with each other. I had just gotten out of a serious relationship of 5 years that resulted in 1 kid, 1 heart breaking, life altering miscarriage, and one nasty breakup. I was so empty after that. I honestly thought I would be a single mom forever, because who would want me? Who would want me plus a kid? What man would ever look beyond my early motherhood?
But then Jason came along and just surprised me. He wanted to get to know me, he wanted to grow a relationship with me, and he wanted to get to know my child. I won’t lie, after 7 months of dating we got engaged and got married on month 8. When you know, you know. Do I recommend this to others? No, not really honestly. We were super young, still are, but we are now 4.5 yrs in to our marriage and as great as it has been, we have struggled so much as well. Waiting isn’t a bad thing.
Jason and I have both switched careers twice. When I was pregnant with my son, early on we thought we were experiencing a miscarriage. There was no heartbeat when we went in to check his size and I was already devastated again. We went for a follow up to make sure my levels were going down and sure enough they were nice and high again and baby seemed to be growing right on track. It wasn’t discovered until later that what had happened was that I was supposed to have twins, only one twin reabsorbed itself to the uterine wall causing my delivery of the placenta to be much more difficult. I was forced to stop working due to a domestic violence incident which resulted in my losing my only available and affordable nanny. Switching to a single person income for a family of 4 was an adjustment but we have been surviving. A year later we then experienced a miscarriage when we were surprised with another pregnancy. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with Lupus. Jason switched careers without a back up plan when he suddenly decided to quit his job (for reasons in which I fully supported him). It took about a month to get back on track and I was able to work part time during that month to help us stay on top of our rent and bills. This can take it’s toll on any family, especially a young family. But I honestly feel it has made us stronger.
Recently, Jason and I had been in a rut on an emotional, and intimate level. Lots of silly arguments that were hurting us more than they should. Communication not being as clear, and some everyday stresses where we just didn’t know how to handle them at times so it effected our moods towards one another. I vented these frustrations to my mother in law, because who better to reach out to when you feel you are at the end of your rope than the very woman who raised the man you love? The only other woman in the world who loves the man that is your husband as much as you do. The only other woman who also shared the same frustrations in the areas of cleanliness. She was absolutely amazing when she decided to share some insights and advice of her own. I vented hard core on her and she was just an absolute boss with her response.
This is a part of her response, and it just absolutely stuck on to me the most:
“Marriage is hard. Marriage when you’re in your 20’s and have financial stresses is even harder. Marriage when your in your 20’s and have financial stresses and two kids who demand your attention all the time is even harder. Marriage when you’re young, broke, have kids, and have health problems is nearly impossible. Except that, it can also be wonderful because you have each other. And it’s a phase of your lives that will pass as time goes by. Some of it may get harder, but most of it gets better. It just does. ”
She also said this, “If I have any advice to offer, it would be to slow down and take things one step at a time. You can’t solve everything at once. Sit with yourself and ask yourself what, in this particular moment, would make you happy…if you are focused on all of the things that make you unhappy, you may not be able to appreciate all the little things that make you smile. Be who you want to be, not who you think you should be. Maybe if you can resolve some of your conflicts with yourself, the ones with Jason and the kids might be easier to resolve.”
I second every word she said to me to any other woman, mom, or wife out there that needs to hear this. I know this doesn’t only have to apply to my specific situation. I’m sure it can apply to many!
All in all, I am learning that the words that we so very little times share about how we feel, and how we struggle, they can often times return with a great deal of wisdom and advice that can help you to stay alive. So please, if you are struggling right now in any area in your life, don’t be afraid to open up and share. You will be surprised with the amount of wisdom and support that is all around you.
The words of encouragement I have received at women’s prayer group has helped my soul so much, I feel empowered, renewed, and I am just filled with so much hope. The words of sympathy and empathy during my times of loss just reminded me of the beauty in life that can be found in my friends when they want to so desperately reach out to me to help comfort me. The words of advice that my very wise mother in law has shared with me during my time of desperation was the absolute push I needed to remember that “for better or for worse” were a part of my vows for a reason.
I am so grateful for the people in my life. Without them, I don’t know where I would be. I am so grateful for my husband Jason. For how he provides for our little family, and how he loves me-even when I make it impossible to love me, he still chooses to love me anyway. So please, don’t get stuck behind the notion that only good things happen to everyone else. Please don’t get stuck with feeling like you are not enough. And please, don’t get stuck believing that you can’t find happiness anymore in a certain area of your life. Coming from someone who believed she was stuck, forever sad and alone, I can guarantee you that’s not true. I am realizing right now that my MIL is already very, very right.
“Some of it may get harder, but most of it gets better. It just does. ”
I know I still have so much more to live and experience, but that’s only because recently I realized that not all dreams need to remain an”I wish I would have..” I now understand and know that I can choose to be happy, I can choose to live life to its fullest. I wish you will choose to do the same. ❤
Since I vented to my MIL, and took on her words of advice, my husband and I have been doing SO MUCH better. I feel more connected with him now than we have been these past few months. We still have the same cards stacked against us, but we are fighting like hell to prove everyone wrong. 😉