In our now 17 years of marriage I have prayed this prayer more than a few times. That’s right, today is 17 years of marital bliss, and marital not so bliss. And frankly this last year goes down in the history books as one of the harder years of our marriage, and we’ve seen some doozies. If you google “I hate my husband, or “I can’t stand my wife” literally hundreds of pages come up with people talking about how they don’t like their spouses very much. And I find them pretty funny because most of them basically were saying “DUH! If you’ve been married more than a few years, then you’ve probably felt like you hated the person you are married to”. Therein lies the beauty and difficulty of marriage. I looked this up last week when I was feeling particularly loathey of my husband (is loathey a word?…Well, I think it should be). This week however, I’ve decided that I am head over heals for him again, madly in love. But, over the course of our marriage there have been days, weeks, or even months at a time when I looked at my husband and thought “I’m not really sure I like you very much”. And I think that’s normal!
Marriage can be really hard, then really beautiful, and then really hard again. Traditionally, the hardest times for our marriage have been for pretty specific reasons. For example, year two. Year two of marriage we had a brand new baby, and I’m going to be honest with you and say that I didn’t like my husband very much. I remember thinking “I can’t believe I chose to procreate with you”. He just didn’t get what it meant to be a mother, and why I was so tired and exhausted and what the big deal really was. Or then there was year five of marriage when I had Braden, and Matt literally said to me one day “I don’t know what the fuss is about, now you have Brittney to help”…She was three and a half…Shall I say more? There was the year that our adoption fell through, that was a hard year. Or the first year of having Haley (our adopted daughter), that was a tough year for us, because of the uncertainty (we didn’t get parental rights removed and the adoption finalized for a year and a half) and because of the transition (for her and us). Then there was a few years ago when something terrible happened regarding one of our kids, and the mama bear in me came out. Matt referred to me as a sleeping dragon that year, a sleeping Dragon he tiptoed around hoping not to wake. That was a pretty accurate metaphor.
And then there’s this last year. Hopefully this last year goes down in the history books along with all the others, and I know it will. Right now, it’s hard to see it in the midst of all of the crazy and the arguments and disagreements, it’s hard to see that this is just a year, but that’s exactly what it is, just a tough year. Just like all the other years, circumstances changed and things got hard and we have had to navigate our way through it.
It’s been 17 years, and today I could not love my husband more. I feel like we are on the up swing of a difficult year. Tomorrow however, you might find me mumbling to myself “marriage is forever” with an I’m Trapped FOR-E-VER kind of a look on my face. Just kidding, kind of… In all honesty, the good has for sure outweighed the bad. Nothing has grown me more, and no one ever said that, that which grows and challenges us the most was supposed to be easy. But it has been RICH, the height of every emotion one could ever experience, and so very very worth it. So soldier on we will, hand in hand/ arm in arm, more in love than the day we met, more in love as a product of all the struggle, for as many more years as God will give us. Praying for 5o more years of beauty!