|Our wedding day.|
A 14 hour day apart with no phone call or text.
So excited to spend some time together alone for the first time in a month and end up falling asleep at 9:30.
No longer folding his boxer shorts because I am rebelling.
Feeling like we are on two different “shifts” at work and meeting at the time clock to punch in and out every single morning.
When we are getting along, the kids aren’t. When the kids are getting along, we aren’t.
Going on a date night to the grocery store.
If he takes one more poop in the toilet I just cleaned, I will murder him and make it look like an accident.
This is life and not at all what they portray in the movies, or in Modern Bride.
The above should be a life class offered at community colleges all over North America titled, “What To Expect When You Take The Plunge. Oh and By The Way, Bring A Plunger”.
|Pregnant with Ellie.|
Add in the following:
My parents, who lived three minutes away, were transferred three and a half hours away. My mom was diagnosed and treated for cancer. My husband lost his job. I found out I was pregnant. My grandma passed away. I gave birth.
My brother and sister-in-law (who lived 8 minutes away) were transferred 8 hours away . I struggled with post-partum depression. My husband working 14-16 hour days. Losing another job due to the recession. My mother in law stopped speaking to me right after my entire family moves away. Health problems.
There are more little things that seemed like huge things but these are the biggest of the huge things.
A lot. Of. Shit. Happened. In. Seven. Years.
|On our third wedding anniversary|
My first marriage ended quite literally on our seventh anniversary.
I don’t normally talk about my previous life but this milestone isn’t lost on me.
I know it’s just a number. I know that was a totally different circumstance. I was a totally different person. And it was a totally different marriage. But it is there, like a glaring neon sign.
SEVEN YEARS = FAILURE
Mike and I may have just celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary but we have been together as a couple for almost 11 years, and friends for 20 years this summer.
So there’s this history and camaraderie that I can’t explain. Like literally being married to your friend.
I know that sounds cliché but it’s how it feels. I look into his eyes and see him at age 23 and remember meeting him that July night at the Taste of Chicago.
|Right before we started dating. Again. 2002|
I feel like in my first marriage, I gave up and I walked away.
Because I was done and couldn’t do it any longer.
Too much to discuss but let’s just say there was a lot of thought that went into it.
I was putting more than my share into a relationship than I was getting out of it.
I can remember sitting in therapy with my ex-husband, his last-ditch effort to save us after years of me begging him to go and all I could do is just stare at my shoes.
I was numb for seven long years and didn’t even know how to feel anymore.
|Trying on our wedding bands two days before our wedding 2006|
Fast forward 12 years later and I am definitely not numb.
I have felt every bump over the past seven years.
I have loved my husband every single day of this seven-year marriage with every bit of my being and have never ever felt like giving up or staring at my shoes through therapy.
Because even though we have had awful, awful things to go through, he never tried to put a bandaid on them.
He rode the wave alongside me and if he wasn’t riding it, he was supportive in helping me to ride it.
|A family that plays Wii together, stays together.
Or at most gets really good at Just Dance 2.
The day my parents moved three hours away, he had Kleenex, chocolate and a People magazine waiting for me in the car. He anticipated that long drive home and knew exactly what I needed to get through it.
When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, he sat up with me all night in our bed while I sobbed and even offered to drive me to Peoria in the middle of the night.
When my brother and sister-in-law moved, he obliged me by driving me by their house every week just to feel “close” to family.
When my grandmother went to Heaven, he flew to Ohio for the funeral and to be with a pregnant me. With his long hours, it meant flying in the middle of the night, spending the day, then flying back home that evening.
When he would lose a job, he would be pounding the pavement 10 hours a day and wouldn’t sleep or eat until he found something.
When Ellie was a newborn, he got up every night with her even after working a 12 hour day. He knew I was with her for 14 hours straight and it was the least he could do, in his words. He didn’t realize that at that time, it was the very most he was doing to save my soul.
My husband is a man, in the true sense of the word.
Has it been hard?
Have we wanted to hate each other at times?
Have we gone days without speaking?
Seven years is just a drop in the bucket, I realize this. Some of you “old-timers” are laughing at this, I know.
It’s all good. I plan on being here for the long haul and someday, on our 25th anniversary, will read this and laugh too. At how trivial these issues are, at how, in retrospect, fast those years flew by. At how all of that “stuff” that happened to us in the first seven years was put there to make us stronger, to make us depend on each other a little harder, to bring us closer together.