Man marriage is hard work!! Why couldn’t someone tell us how hard this was going to be, or the work it was going to take. I never thought that even after 16 years we could still have so many struggles.
I never knew that becoming a mother would change me so much and that I would lose so much of myself. How many mothers out there know exactly what I am talking about? You forget who you are, maybe even your purpose. The person you were before kids came along and everything you have, every ounce of energy you have goes to them.
Most marriages have a hard time surviving tragedy, heartbreak, grief, loss, and the many other things that life can throw your way. Couples shutdown, stop communicating, grow apart, lean on someone else, and turn away from the one person they should be turning to. I think this is one of the biggest reason Brian and I have been able to succeed to this point. The things that tear most couples apart bring us closers together. Brian is who I look for in times of tragedy and heartache. When something happens and I want to shrink back the only thing I want to do is close out the world and surround myself with Brian and my kids. Brian has been by my side through the hardest thing I have gone through to date, the death of my mom 10 years ago. We then had to go through the death of both of his parents. We have lost a baby, aunts, grandparents, cousins, and friends. Through it all we draw closers together, drawing strength from each other.
Since losing my leg I have become a completely different woman. If you think having kids changes you, try cutting off one of your limbs, that really messes with your mind. I am no longer an active participant in my own life. I pretty much just exist and watch life happen around me periodically jumping in to take part in an activity or event usually involving my children. I am stuck and this feels almost impossible for me so I just can’t imagine how helpless Brian feels. However, he is so supportive, he listens, he is affectionate, he doesn’t push or pressure me and more than that he doesn’t make me feel bad for how I am feeling. Neither of us are perfect but our life experiences have given us a little hand up.
I believe the key is to never give up. Love is a choice. I don’t think a lot of people understand that. You always hear statements such as “I’m not in love anymore” or “they don’t do it for me anymore.” Commitment is about choosing to love even when our spouses are doing things that aren’t so lovable. Choosing to love even when all we want to do is run. You can “fall” in and out of love a million times in the course of a relationship, but loving someone, the true foundation of love goes way deeper than the flighting feeling of being “in love.”
We make it work by never giving up. Never succumbing to the pressure and feelings that leaving would be easier. We aren’t perfect, most days are a struggle and believe me the struggle is real.
One day though we will look back and we will see the beautiful legacy we created because: “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Mark 10:9 ESV