True Life Series: {Hanging On} When Marriage Gets Hard

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This is probably the most difficult blog post I’ve written. It’s one I’ve prayed about, over thought, and talked myself out of a few hundred times. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m somewhat comfortable with being real about motherhood when it gets hard, but getting real about marriage…I’ve struggled with…a lot.

workHowever, as much as I’ve struggled with it, I’ve also continuously had an overwhelming small voice telling me to get over myself and be real, honest and transparent, so I am. And my prayer is that maybe just one overly exhausted, loved out, hurt, scared mom/wife reads this and feels encouraged to hang on.

I’m here to share some of my story of when marriage just gets freaking hard. Life happens. Before you know it, you are roommates who don’t even like each other most days.  You have little monsters running around, that you did indeed, both create together.

Deep Breath.

Eight years ago, we went on our first date. A group date, because I had just gotten out of a relationship and had made it so very clear I wasn’t interested in getting into another one. So, he arranged a “group date” and promised it wouldn’t feel like a date, but just a way to hang out. He was quiet, calm, and let me have my space. He paid for my meal, but chatted with everyone else at the table, so I didn’t feel like I had to make conversation. He paid for my movie ticket, but sat two rows back with one of his friends…and suddenly during the movie, I realized that I wished he was sitting next to me.

Two years later, we married and then a year and a half after we married, we welcomed our first baby. But let’s back up. I had a great job and he was in school when we married. Finances weren’t an issue. We lived a mile from the movie theater and went twice a week. Quality time, every single day.  And then 8 months into our marriage, I got a dream job offer in Dallas….and we moved there. Less than 3 months after settling in, we unexpectedly found out I was expecting. My job was a high stress job in the fashion industry and my husband also changed jobs when we moved and it wasn’t a good situation. 3 weeks after the baby was born, I left my job for ethical reasons and all three of us moved in with my parents because we couldn’t afford rent.

I think if I pin point it, that’s when things started getting really hard. It’s when resentment for big things and even little things began to build up. When there were no immediate answers to the never ending issues, we just stopped talking. We were both so exhausted from a colicky baby who never slept.

Fast forward 8 months, a failed business start up on my end, endless job hunting for the hubs and we finally got back on our feet and in a little tiny rent house.  It was ours and I remember feeling like maybe we would just start fresh and that there would be a couple good years ahead. They really were pretty good.

Over the years of marriage, you realize a lot of things. For me, I realized I had not only married my polar opposite personality, but I married someone who’s weaknesses were the very things that made me extremely insecure. And vise versa.

It became a habit.

Offend/hurt each other.

Don’t talk for a day or two.

Sweep it under the rug and move on.

I guess we fooled ourselves into thinking that we would make it, functioning like that.

Fast forward a couple more years. More bad habits formed. More wounds left unattended. More insecurities unveiled. Job changes. Financial stresses. Baby Number Two.

We planned Baby Number Two. We tried for 7 months before conceiving and we were so excited. Little did we know, that we would soon be embarking on the most difficult year of our marriage yet.

And this is where I would really rather just stop writing.  This is about the past YEAR of my life. Not one that was far back in my past, but one that is still raw, that is still…happening.  We are right in the thick of it.

Earlier this year, things came to a head. So many unmet expectations. Is this what I signed up for when I said YES? I’m convinced the worst feeling in the world is feeling alone, so alone, when someone is sleeping in the same bed with you. 

My parents have been married for 30 years. I’ve seen them fight for love. I’ve seen them love when it gets hard. I’ve seen them grow closer through it. Early this year, we started meeting with them. We talked. I opened up some. My husband didn’t really. Eventually, it all just came out and it wasn’t pretty. It was ugly crying, ugly words, ugly truths, ugly scars reopened and it hurt. Don’t we always say that nothing good comes without pain? That growing pains are a part of life? Sometimes I feel like we say that about every aspect except for marriage, because when marriage gets downright u.g.l.y. we run,
we say we don’t deserve this, we say it’s too hard. 

I’ve wanted to run before. I’ve thought, “this is too hard”, but I will say this, even though my husband and I don’t agree on lots of things, we do both can agree on this:

We want more.

We believe in us.

We believe in what God is doing.

We don’t want a divorce.

So even on the really hard days, we’ve learned to just hang on. We don’t always address the issues right then. We don’t fix it all everyday. We just hang on. blog3

There are so many days even now, when I’m just tired. Being a mom is so dang exhausting already and then you throw in putting in work towards your marriage and it feels daunting. I just want to encourage you today to not try to figure it all out. Don’t ever compare yourself to some perfect marriage you see on social media. Don’t think about WHAT IF’s, don’t run.

Just hang on.

 One day, our kids will sleep through the night. One day, we will eat a hot meal at meal time. One day we will look in the mirror and feel pretty and not just see a messy bun and dark circles. One day, if we don’t give up now, we will look at our spouse and we will say, “We did it. We made it through those hard years. Here we are, stronger and better together.” And when young couples ask us how we did it, we’ll say, “We just hung on tight.” 

So hang on momma, hang on. 

And know that I’m hanging on with you.

You are not alone. 

 

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for sharing your heart. It is tough. This year was my 25th year with my husband and I joke that some mornings I wake up and I’m glad to see him and some mornings, it is more like “ugh, it is you again.” Tough times make us stronger but first they make us crazy! Blessings to you guys as you take it one day at a time.

  2. You are an amazing couple to hold on with that kind of commitment in the tough times. As someone who has made it through some tough times to better days in my marriage, I would say let go of everything that you want from him and everything that you want him to be. Just hand it over to the Lord and leave it there. Then go to your husband and listen, really listen to what he needs from you. Focus on that and on giving him what he really wants and needs from you. It may take a while, but it will make a difference in your marriage and in how you see each other. My husband just passed away this year, and I promise you that everything that your husband is to you already is way better than being without him. I have five young kids, and it’s easy for us as moms to want more from our husbands, but if we think of how much they really do and where we would be without them, it makes it so much easier to let go of all the things that come between us and to love and respect and serve our husbands not knowing if we will get what we want in return, because in the end, that sounds an awful lot like Christ.

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