It hasn’t always been easy.
To be quite honest, it has been really hard.
It could even be called suckish at times.
Let me be clear, being married to him hasn’t been the hard part.
It’s the circumstances since we’ve been married that have been particularly brutal.
|Our wedding day.
Look how in love.
That’s okay, there are meds for that now.
In honor of our seven-year anniversary, I could write a mushy love story.
A love letter to my soul mate.
This won’t be one of those posts.
|We took this picture of our feet after a rare dinner out alone.
We walked out onto the beach of Lake Michigan.
And got yelled at by the manager of the restaurant.
Oh and I felt like my feet looked fat.
Because I had just downed an entire pizza.
What Seven Years Looks Like
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.
Sex? What’s sex?
No longer folding his boxer shorts. Because I am revolting.
Feeling like we are on two different “shifts” at work and meeting at the punch clock 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.
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.
Amid the tension of life.
Not at all glowing.
Now take the above and 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 gramma 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.
He lost another job due to the economy.
Mother in law stops speaking to me right after my entire family moves away.
MORE health problems.
There are more little things that seemed like huge things but these are the biggest of the huge things.
|We look happy to be here.
Ellie has it right.
Pull the hat over her eyes and it might all be better.
Add to this one more teeny element that I will share with you.
My first marriage ended.
On our seven-year anniversary.
I don’t normally talk about my previous life because truthfully, I don’t like my ex-husband very much.
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
The hubs and I may have just celebrated our seven-year wedding anniversary but we have been together as a couple for almost 11 years.
And have been friends for 20 years this summer.
So there’s this history and camaraderie that I can’t explain.
Like 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 23 and remember meeting him that July night at the Taste of Chicago.
|Young, stupid and drunk is no way to go through life.|
I feel like in my first marriage, I gave up.
I walked away.
Because I was done.
I had secretly gone through years of struggle with my decision to marry him and misery of being married to him that when I finally had enough, I just couldn’t go on anymore.
|It never fails.
I look good in a picture, the hubs doesn’t.
I look bad, he looks good.
I look like I left my dentures on the nightstand in this one.
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 just staring at my shoes.
I wanted to feel again.
I was numb for seven long years and I wanted to feel again.
|Trying on our wedding bands.
Two days before our wedding.
Now I couldn’t pry that ring off if I wanted to.
Not that I would ever want to.
Fast forward 12 years later and I am definitely not numb.
I have felt everything 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 “fix” them.
He rode the wave alongside me.
|A family that plays Wii together, stays together.
Or at most gets really good at Just Dance 2.
The day my parents moved away, he had Kleenex, chocolate and a People magazine waiting for me.
When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, he sat up with me all night while I cried.
When my brother moved, he obliged me and drove me by their house ( and my parents’ house for that matter) every week. (What? I was hormonal!)
When my dear gramma 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 newborn, he got up every night with her because he knew I was with her for 14 hours straight.
When my mil stopped talking to me, he went to her house told her how wrong she was and never pushed me to be the bigger person.
When the ex is being crappy, my husband puts on his game face so I don’t have to.
|Us at the beginning of our relationship.
Before cancer, moves and job losses.
My husband is a man.
In the true sense of the word.
And I love him.
Has it been hard?
Have we wanted to hate each other at times?
Have we gone days without speaking?
Ok, maybe just one day at a time.
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 not draw us apart.
I get it now but back then, it seemed insurmountable.
Like climbing a mountain.
We are slowly climbing the peak of that mountain and this view…..this view…..it is becoming amazing.
Thank you for being on this hard, sweaty, horrible, amazing, incredible climb with me, Mike.
I will be with you all the way.
And have water waiting for you at the bottom.
|Somehow, we look happier.
Okay, don’t push it.