Marriage. It is a TRIP, isn’t it? I am so incredibly lucky to have this man by my side, every day. But some days, it’s really hard too. People often tell me “oh my gosh, you and Chris are#marriagegoals!” “you guys are so perfect!” etc etc etc. - but I promise, there is so much more to the perfect IG photos and captions. We are not perfect, not in any way shape or form. We have been through a lot. I don’t tell our story often, because it’s hard for me, but it’s one that I get stronger at sharing as time goes on.
We’ve been together since I was 20 - almost 13 years. We moved in together 5 months after we started dating, got our two sweet puppies a few months after that, bought a house a few years after that, but then took 8 years to get married. Lots of me wanting to get married, lots of Chris saying he wasn’t ready. Lots of me saying I’m leaving, lots of him begging me to stay. There was so much joy in those years too, but they were filled with a lot of insecurity. We got married almost 5 years ago, and a few months later I got pregnant with Grey. We were so. freaking. excited. Chris is a caregiver by nature, and made sure I was eating well, taking naps, getting me anything I needed, and just being a rockstar hubby and daddy. And then it happened. 6 months pregnant, and I get a bomb dropped on my life. Lots of tears. At six months pregnant, my husband left our house and I got a lawyer. It sucked. Being pregnant and single and realizing you have to give birth without your partner SUCKS. I lost 10 pounds in a week, was miserable, and missed my husband. I had my baby shower while separated from him, and nearly no one knew. It was the hardest time of my life. I felt like I was balancing on a seesaw and didn’t know which way to let it land. Neither path seemed like the right one.
At the time I remember reading a quote from an author, Glennon Doyle Melton. She wrote “Carry On, Warrior” and it just about changed my life.
It read, "The next right thing, one thing at a time, will bring you all the way home."
I realized I just needed to stop thinking about all the what if’s and just do one right thing. Just one. And then do the next right thing. One day at a time.
Eventually, he moved back in. I didn’t want to do parenthood without him. I just didn’t. I knew he’d be the best dad ever. I wanted to experience that with him. Grey’s birth was perfection. Grey is perfection. He was my tiny little light in so many dark days. He is special to me in so many more ways, because of what we went through together. I carried him in my belly, but he literally carried me through.
Rebuilding your marriage is hard. Like really hard. On the daily, even 4 years later. Most days now, I don’t even think about that dark time. We are happy. We have been happy for a long time. My husband is kind, and sweet, and strong, and giving. He is not perfect, but he is kind and has a bigger heart and more gentle soul than most. He supports me always, is my biggest cheerleader, and always agrees to my crazy “yeses.” He says yes to foster care. He says yes to our family. He lets me decorate our house however I want. (HOLLAAAAA) He takes care of me when I am pregnant, and supports any birth I want to have. He takes care of me after I have our babies. He wakes up to feed our babies, he changes diapers, he lets me sleep. He walks our dogs and cleans our house. He doesn’t get TOO mad when I am snappy and controlling and bitchy. He sees me at my worst and doesn’t go running for the hills. (I mean sometimes he probably wants to - but he doesn’t.) There are a million more reasons I want to do life with him. He isn’t perfect. Neither am I. I still struggle with fear and anger. I pick fights over nothing, except that “nothing” is really leftover heartache and hurt that I forget is still in me.
It is not perfect. We are not perfect. He is not perfect. and I am sure as shit not perfect. But, we love each other and our family. We choose each other every day. We choose our marriage every day, and it’s so so worth it.