Marriage | 10th of July 2017
Ever wake up one day and wonder “how did I get here?” or “am I really happy in this life?” Maybe it’s just me? – Though I have a feeling it’s not just me.
My husband and I have been married four years this coming January (2018). Together with a total of five years in the same month. We got married when I was only twenty-two years old, he was twenty-five (a month away from twenty-six). We were also 12 weeks pregnant- though that’s not why we got married. We have been on a constant roller-coaster of a journey in our short few years together.
When we first met, we had a very fun, easy going, spontaneous relationship. We played with each other, used to do practical jokes, surprised each other with treats or dates even random trips to Vegas or La (when we lived in FL). We were always traveling & exploring new places together. That’s how we developed our bond. We shared a lot of the same interests & “big dream” ideas for our futures. We fell in love hard & fast, within a month or two of us dating, he asked me to move in with him.
Now, I used to think, “there’s no way that I would ever move in with someone only after 30-60 days of dating”- but that was before I met Rich. The chemistry we had was undeniable- we were inseparable & truly loved it that way. Our friends had their opinions- but even they couldn’t deny that this relationship stood out from the rest. They all claimed we looked like a match made in heaven, & we felt that way too. After just three months of living together, about 5/6 months together in total- Richard proposed to me, in bed one morning. He made us breakfast, it was a Saturday. Before I met Rich- I never imagined I would have ever said “yes” to a proposal that quickly after dating/ living someone- but no one I ever met before was Rich. We had something unexplainable & it didn’t take us years and years to figure out that what we had was something neither of us wanted to ever be without.
We had talked about starting our family before we got engaged. My husband’s past was a bit rocky. He never met his father, & his mom gave him up for adoption when he was seven. He couldn’t wait to be a father & finally have a family of his own. I remember being terrified when we were just weeks away from our wedding, and I saw that “positive” plus sign on the pregnancy test that night. I was worried we weren’t ready, nervous that I was too young to be a mom, worried about being judged or worried Rich may get cold feet. Getting married after all is one thing- but having a child is another. I didn’t know how to feel? I remember showing the test to Rich, I didn’t know how to tell him so I just showed him the test. He asked me if it meant positive and when I said yes, he broke down crying of JOY and hugged me so tightly- he was laughing and crying but speechless with excitement. In that moment, I felt every bit of insecurity leave my body. He was so happy and excited- which made me feel happy & excited too. I knew in that moment I didn’t care about judgments or worry about my age- or the fact that we weren’t “married” just yet- or any other negative thought. I knew I had his support & that was all I needed. His reaction was the reaction every woman would want from their partner. I remember feeling like my life was a dream. Pure bliss. I went to bed that night so confident in us as a couple.
But life wasn’t a dream and it was far from bliss. We had a lot of issues. After we got engaged, we would fight. I think the reality of getting married sunk in for us. I think I got cold feet. I don’t think he ever did, or if he did he didn’t show me that. I felt like a lot of the fighting was because of my own fears and insecurities. I had been badly wounded from the relationship I was in prior to Rich. We had been broken up about a year before I started dating Rich, but I was a changed person from that relationship. It left me feeling a million different ways. Before Rich and I got engaged, I felt like I could ignore all my pain from before. Rich and I were so fun, and easy, the relationship didn’t require any work. It was easy for me to live shallowly within myself. But once we got engaged, my fears arrived at the party. Doubts, worries, insecurities I never had before started showing theirselves. We ended up working past these issues well before I got pregnant, but I’m not sure if my insecurities entirely left me completely. I just had to learn how to trust. Trust that what we had was true and honest. He was very much the rock I needed him to be for me. When I felt weak to my core, he held me and let me share my feelings. I would cry and share all my feelings & he would listen, was patient & never judged me or hated me. I felt like we grew closer in those moments. Somewhere along the line, we lost that.
But we faced more issues than just those within ourselves. We were struggling financially, our friends were walking away from us, his biological family members weren’t supportive of him or our decisions. We had a lot of weight and pressure riding on us. Im pretty sure the “average” relationships wouldn’t have survived the weight of what we had to put up with. I know if I had been undergoing this life with anyone else, it would have ended well before we ever saw the lows that Richard & I faced, even well before we were married.
After some time, we kept evolving in our marriage, as parents & being business owners. We moved out to Ca, we felt like we “made it” through what we thought was the “worst of times” but we were naive. We had no idea what was about to come next.
I would stay awake all night, wondering “how did we get here” or “if this what happiness is supposed to be like, why am I not”? I’m not sure where we lost our path, or how much time had gone by? I just knew that over the last few months, things had not been “normal”. Just recently (-ok last night) we got into a major fight. I’m talking major, the kind of fight most couples would probably get divorced over. I thought I caught my husband cheating on me- for real guys- I was pissed. Long story short, he wasn’t – and I’m just screwed up in my head haha. Party because of my past and partly because of all the stress we live in. We had been fighting a lot lately, and we’re going through major stress for years- it just all flooded my mind at once. I’m struggling with infertility, among other issues. We tried on again/ off again to have another baby and that hasn’t been going our way. We have been isolating ourselves. Not communicating like we used to.
I waited till our son was in bed- then I tried to bring it up (that I thought he was cheating, or going to?). But I knew it was a sensitive topic, I didn’t want to come off “accusing him”, partly because I had no real evidence, and partly because I knew he would just dismiss me & wouldn’t talk. So I tried to bring it up casually. It didn’t work- we got into a huge argument. It was terrible and it left me feeling broken. He used the “D” word we swore we would never use. That was the first time I ever felt unloved by my husband in our entire life together. My rock, the man who fought with me & for me all these years, who stuck by me through my internal struggles when we were newly engaged. This was the man who delivered our son (with the help of our Dr). I used to feel so cherished by him, he used to prop me up on some imaginary pedestal (that I hated, yet somehow missed?). He used to appreciate me, respect me, adore me. Used to call me his queen, he used to kiss me, hold me, show affection. He used to plan dates and surprises. I think I realized there was an unspoken issue when I would think about how we used to be an entirely different couple that I would sometimes long for. When I would talk about us, I always brought up who we were, not who we had become. I think I had a lot of resentment for a few different reasons over the years. I went to bed often thinking I was alone, defeated, and trapped in this life. I would feel depressed, which showed. Our argument made me feel – for the first time ever within our relationship, that we were over. Like truly, emotionally over. The love we once had was finally gone. It had been struggling for some time now, but last night the flame hit the wax.
Until we got there. Until we felt that low.
Once we hit the bottom, my husband started to communicate with me. He stopped blaming and pointing, he stopped ignoring me. He instead- started listening to me and searching deep within himself, & he felt hurt. He shared with me all the stress he worries about. He shared that he has pain and is selfish and is wrong for neglecting us. The more he spoke, the more I realized he wasn’t the bully I developed in my mind of him to be- but a victim of being bullied himself- by life. And he would then victimizing me, by bullying me, because he’s just a victim himself- & we woke up together.
We were able to actually share. We laughed and cried, we cuddled and kissed. We got to a new level within our marriage. We got what we desperately needed from each other. He was so lost in our cycle of everyday life, that he had forgotten about me, and himself & everything we shared emotionally. He had been so turned off for so long because he felt like there was no “time” for us. He emotionally “locked me up” in a closet within his heart thinking he would “get back to that later”. He didn’t think it was a big deal. He didn’t know why we were always fighting or arguing. I would tell him I needed more, but all he heard was “complaining”. He shut me out and didn’t even realize it. I started making mountains over ant piles for attention. I wanted his love and validation, respect and support so badly, that I felt like the best way for me to get that from him was to look for problems for us to “improve”. Like when I created him “cheating” in my head. Maybe I saw that if he was, or thinking about it, I could get him to say “you know I love you and I would never do that to you” because I needed to hear some sort of passion. He says “I love you” out of repetition these days. When we kissed it felt cold and routine. When he would complement me, he wouldn’t even look my way. I felt alone, ignored and sad- when I have so much to be grateful for. I couldn’t figure out why I was so unhappy, which made me feel insecure and selfish, or a bad person or just terrible. I felt guilty for being unhappy. I tried to figure out solutions, cleaning the house, folding laundry, keeping up with everything for our family, nailing down insurance and Dr’s and figuring out Ev’s school enrollment plan for this fall, and I started up my photography company again after taking time away (rather than just being a stay at home mom). I tried to invent solutions to problems that I wasn’t sure existed because he wouldn’t communicate with me. When my “improvements” didn’t get any positive recognition, I started finding problems & started to dig for anything just to get a reaction.
Last night we had this huge conversation & we got back what we lost. We had an awakening. We make goals every week for our companies, and so we decided that we were going to make goals for our marriage. Literally immediately after we had this conversation, we felt like “us” again. I felt like myself in my own body & I could instantly feel that he did too. The person I loved was back. My man was back.
We are now working on us just as much as we work on our parenting or businesses. That’s really the moral of this post. Marriages NEED just as much attention as anything else. When you stop communicating and only blame- you’re sabotaging yourselves. We all do it. No marriage is perfect. But when you have kids involved- it’s your responsibility to really make an effort to make changes and figure out what needs to be adjusted. After all, we wanted to move out here to better our family, not for it to be the end of us. After all, we went through, it would be such a disservice to ourselves, our families & above all else, our son if we were to fail. We are very much in love, but I’m sure our heart breaks won’t be over (as we have our entire lives to make plenty more mistakes). I think as long as we keep communicating and growing together, understanding each other’s fears, wants and needs- we can get through these hurdles. Maybe not always with ease, but life, marriage, running businesses, parenting- none of it is easy. But I wouldn’t want to do any of these things with anyone else.
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