B is away on business for the week. While away, he had dinner with an old college friend and he told K that we had been having marital problems. When he told me this I reacted in a way that surprised me…I was crushed. I wasn’t upset that B talked with her for we all need someone to talk to and to help us gain a different perspective. In addition, we all need someone to just listen when the tides of life are out so far it seems they will never surge to shore. And even though I understood his need to discuss recent events I was still disturbed.
What bothered me about this entire situation was something simple and honest. It is this… Just how long are we going to continue to define our relationship by the worst point in our lives together? How long are we going to continue to act as if our marriage is on terribly shaky ground? How long will this rough patch be our main identifier of all the things we have accomplished/survived/created over the past 29 years?
This is not to say that we still don’t have important issues that we are trying to resolve. This does not mean that we don’t have some distance to travel to make our way back to one another. And this certainly doesn’t mean that there still isn’t a chance that things will not work out the way we have planned. But we are moving forward with honorable intentions and the belief that we can make this work. Because it has become apparent through therapy that being separated from one another would bring much greater agony and suffering to each of us then any of the pain we have endured in the past three months, let alone twenty-nine years.
Thinking about all this after B’s conversation got me contemplating our marriage and our family. We’ve had six children and have watched them grow up and some grow out of the house. And upon reflection, I realized that marriages are much like children reaching puberty and going through those horrible and painful growth spurts. In fact, much like teen-age growth pains, for the past year or two our relationship has hurt and ached. It had stagnated and was no longer thriving. Then finally new growth has occurred and we’ve growth taller together and flourished. This growth spurt has stung, ached and produced much anguish but now we are growing in the same direction at the same time and I want to preserve this sense of wonder and repair. I also want to act in a restorative manner and take a protective stance in regards to the many incredible things we had done to make this relationship not just survive but blossom.
One of these ways is acknowledging that we have come a long way in 29 years:
- We put ourselves through college without debt
- We have moved 15 times as B advanced in his career
- We survived serious and hurtful family issues
- We went through IVF four times in our attempt to become parents
- We have three home-grown children and adopted three more
- We’ve had three of our parents die
- We have two boys with autism which has stretched our relationship almost to the breaking point, not because of them but because of all the extra expenditure of effort to get them what they deserve
- I’ve had numerous surgeries, one kidney donation, and the intense pain of fibromyalgia
- We have had issues that easily would have torn others apart
- We have had job loss and loss of a potential business that we adored
- We have excelled at what we have created in both work and play
And yet we have survived. Sometimes even thrived. And in that miracle I no longer want to feel concerned, scared or hurt by my worries about my marriage. I want to rejoice in it and the man whom has made it a mostly incredible, exciting and truly meaningful relationship for almost three decades.
So there. I’m done. And in trying to restore all that is good about this life that I share with a man who I love, I am thinking about changing the name of this blog. Maybe it will be myhusbandwantedadivorceovermydeadbody, or Are You Kidding Me? or maybe just ?.
Whatever I decide, I know the change will be for the positive…just like those growing pains that have improved my marriage and my life.