Sometimes Marriage is Hard: Part I
Before we had kids, my husband and I went to bed all snuggled up each and every night. I liked rolling in toward him and being embraced by his big, strong arms. It was a warm, comforting way to fall asleep at night. Goodness, I know! So sappy. Those first couple years of marriage were a wonderfully, mushy season of life for us.
We fell in love fast and hard. We dated for only 9 months before Nick proposed and we were just baby 21-year-olds at the time. I felt completely in love with him and deeply loved in return. We’ve always had a wonderful friendship in our relationship–we like similar things and having fun together is our specialty. The dating, engagement, and pre-kids part of our relationship were just easy. I had dated other people before and I was always filled with doubts, questions and angst about whether the guy was the right guy. With Nick, it was different. It was peaceful. I was confident he was the one (before we even went on our first date!).
Before we got married, one of my friends expressed some concern about how fast we were moving our relationship forward. We hadn’t gone through any really difficult seasons together as a couple yet, and she was, understandably, concerned. I took her concern to heart, but I knew we were ready for this lifelong commitment.
While part of me felt like I was on cloud 9, I didn’t have a very unrealistic view of marriage. I had been studying married couples my entire life. I saw some marriages fail. I saw a lot of people gritting their teeth to stick with their commitment. And, I was fortunate enough to know some married couples who really enjoyed each other and were still in love decades into their married life. I remember talking to Nick about how we were choosing to love one another through the good times and bad times. I even told him that we might feel like we can’t stand the sight of each other sometimes, but that we’d need to stick it out. It was hard to believe we’d actually ever feel like that, but somewhere in my head I thought that might be true. Two imperfect people trying to spend their entire adult lives together is bound to cause some pain and agony at some point, right?
For being only 22-years-old when we got married, I think we had a good amount of wisdom and insight for our age. However, acknowledging that the future may hold tough times in your marriage is MUCH easier than actually sticking it out and living through those tough seasons of marriage. It’s one thing to say your vows and promise “until death do us part,” but when life hits hard and your relationship is crumbling, continuing to live out your vows is a completely different story.
The cuddling before bed began to fizzle with my first pregnancy. The body pillow I used for my sciatica nerve and pelvic pain placed a physical wedge between us. Looking back, it’s like that pillow was a foreboding metaphor foreshadowing how our relationship would change when we became parents.
To be continued…
In the future posts in this series, I’ll be sharing more of our story and how we’ve gone through some really difficult seasons in our marriage. I’ll also be finishing the series on a positive note (Yay!) and sharing some ways in which we’ve overcome our struggles. Subscribe here to make sure you don’t miss a post.