I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 17. We didn’t know about the depths or difficulties of happily ever after. I knew he was cute, he liked me, and we kissed a lot. That about summed up the first several months of our time dating.
Eventually, we took things further physically. Do I regret it? Yes and no. He was my first and only. I loved him as much as I knew about love at the time (which really wasn’t all that much). I wished we had waited because now, I know, that God’s plan for us is to wait. We didn’t consult God all that much when we were teenagers, truth be told.
And yet, God had his hand on us. I didn’t get pregnant as a teen. We didn’t share any crazy STDs. We beat the odds and got married. Lately, I have been asking God why. Why his hand has been upon us? For what greater purpose does he have in mind for us?
We’ve been married a little over 16 years. Last year, Scott realized that we have reached the point in our life where we have been a part of each others lives longer than not. It’s a long time, y’all. Over the last 16 years we’ve laughed, we’ve fought, we’ve cried, we’ve not really liked each other, and we’ve been inseparable.
The last six to ten months have been tough ones. Scott has stress and challenges with his job and will often pull back from me. I struggle with lots of issues, but I am learning that rejection is a big one for me. When he pulls back, I feel rejected. Now, understand that during this rough patch we still talked ( though not deeply) we still were intimate, we still spent time together. I just felt like there was a wall between us. We could talk over the wall, but not much else. I felt very rejected.
My heart waffled between hurt and anger. I missed him. I felt like though we made plans, we weren’t dreaming together. Our passion for life and one another was dim. He pulled back and so did I. I was honestly afraid he would do the unthinkable and stray, but then I felt that if he did, it would be my fault. Vicious cycle that seemingly would never end. I was unhappy.
He went out of town for work when we began to crumble. I accused him, he denied. He shut down, I became angry. He came home, I was not excited. It was the white elephant in the room. We had an issue but it was never discussed. For the record, he did not stray.
He doesn’t like confrontation, so he leaves everything inside hoping it will all go away. I am a knock down, drag out, yelling get it all out in the open person. This difference in personalities tend to allow issues in our marriage last forever. I think this is why I have felt such a disconnect for so long.
We fought this week. It was ugly. It was messy. There were tears. But, in the end, there was healing. Are we all back together and everything rosy? Far from it, but we are better. We better understand the others needs. We both explained our hurts and frustrations. He held me as I cried. For someone who has a flight mentality, it was hard for me to sit there, but I knew I had to so I could heal. I listened to him and he shared fears and challenges. It helped me see my strong husband vulnerable. I was honored to listen.
When I said I do I was 19 and unsure of the road ahead. I’ve always said that the first year of marriage was the hardest, but I now I’m not so sure. The past ten months have been very difficult, in many ways harder than that first year. But, the test of true love is sticking it out and fighting for marriage, even when you don’t like the person you’re with. We’re working together instead of apart. We’re remembering the I do for better and worse.