Thursday, September 10, 2015
Why I won't throw my husband or marriage away like I did my eight-track tape player
Thirty-eight years I've been married. A lifetime. Pretty good considering I knew my husband only three months before he proposed. In less than a year, I said "I do" and moved to Virginia with him to start my dream of marriage.
Or should I say the nightmare. I blame it now on youth. Believing that fairytale lie that all will be perfect and beautiful without any work. It wasn't. By year two, I left my new husband for the longest two weeks of my life.On the wise counsel of my mother-in-law I returned.
My husband told me then that he had failed at other things in his life but he would not fail at his marriage.
He kept his word.
Today we throw everything out that no longer appeals to us or doesn't work perfectly. I've chucked furniture, clothing and boxes of books on my many moves about the country. To be honest, my husband has given me many good reasons to chuck him as well. So have I for him.
Seven years into our marriage, I found we couldn't conceive. I wanted a child. We tried everything the doctor suggested. I became frustrated and depressed and made life miserable for my husband. With time, we were finally blessed. Then came the struggle to maintain our marriage with a toddler in our midst.
The ups and downs never steadied.
The dreaded seven-year-itch got me at about year nine. Was this to be my life? My husband worked long hours like me plus we had the added responsibility of raising a daughter. Life wasn't that promised bed of roses. It was filled with thorns.
I found myself wondering again if I'd made the right decision. I could be someplace else without these burdens.
That's when God appeared.
We'd never talked about our beliefs before. With a little divine intervention, we found ourselves in church for the first time together. Our marriage surged. We moved away from our home we'd known for years to start over in a new state for a better job. Yes, good money helped, too. But money doesn't keep a marriage together either. Nor the lack of it. When my husband lost his job, I bolstered and supported him--until I thought I couldn't take it any more. He was too depressed and sad and angry. Did I sign up for this? Where was that strong man who cared for me? I wanted to pack and run.
I didn't. That's not what you do when the going gets tough. (I married a Marine, you know.) You stay by their side and together you dig the trench to save yourselves. He hadn't left me when I'd been just as sad. I couldn't leave him now.
Today we both wield a shovel in our hands. His hands wear the look of age--marred with scars of labor. Mine can't even open a pickle jar anymore. That's what he does for me. Together we weather the hard times and the good times as one.
Thirty-eight years. I'm counting on forty more.