Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Marriage Malfunction

Another ridiculous amount of time without blogging! It's amazing how days, even weeks, can slip away from you when you're a new mommy!! Truth be told, that's not the only reason I've been dragging my feet. Really, I've had this blog written in my head for quite some time. It's about a complicated, dangerous subject and I know it will bother some people. But, as you know, I've never been one to shy away from difficult topics, and I won't start now. Here goes...

We live in a disposable society. A newer-is-better society. A must-have-it-whether-I-can-afford-it-or-not society. Let's face it, most of us don't really want to work as hard as we do. I think we would all love to win the lottery, travel the world, and never worry about money again. I think most of us would also admit that we have been lured in at one point or another by something nice and new ( new car). Whether it's the latest iPhone, the newest entertainment system, or the trendiest clothes, sometimes throwing away the old to welcome in the new, despite the cost, isn't quite the sacrifice that maybe it should be. Why should it be any different with something like marriage?

Marriage is WORK. It's HARD work. That's no revelation. But sometimes, when you're in the middle of the fights and the bills and the kids throwing up, and something easier or newer comes along (whether that's a divorce or someone else), well, the choice to leave seems easy too. Within the past few months, I have been witness to numerous spouses choosing the easy way out. Watching people give up on such a sacred, meaningful union saddens me beyond expression. And when kids are involved, it completely breaks my heart. I have spent my share of nights these past few months praying for these marriages, and occasionally even shedding some tears for them. I have seen dads walking out for other women, moms choosing their addiction over their families, and even just run-of-the-mill (sadly) fighting driving marriages to destruction.

It doesn't seem like that long ago when Erik and I were on the brink of divorce. I've referenced it a few times, but never really relayed the gravity of our situation. Our marriage was virtually over. There was so much bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, and alienation that it felt impossible to come back to a place of satisfaction in our marriage. In 9 years, we have gone through 5 miscarriages together and all of the insecurities, blame, shame, and devastation that accompanies that. The day that we married, we joined all kinds of baggage from the past, including our fighting styles, and they were very, very different. We both tend to be more "glass-half-empty" sort of people, and that has made for some very depressing conversations over the years. The kind that can suck the light (and life) out of any relationship. We have dealt with jealousy, hurt, and pain that cannot ever be written in words. And still, with all that we have faced, we made a choice. We FOUGHT. We looked at those easier choices, pondered them, even daydreamed about them on occasion. But still, we chose to stay and FIGHT. We fought for our marriage, for our future child, and for our commitment to each other and to God. And here we are, 9 1/2 years later, still together.

I'm no expert, but I do have the benefit of plenty of marriage counseling wisdom, my prolific reading on the subject, and our experiences! In my next few blogs, I will list some things that helped us find the satisfaction that we never thought possible after all the ruin. If just one marriage can be even the slightest bit better after learning from our mistakes, then this outpouring will be worth it.

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