How Our Relationship Survived Years of Trials
There have been a few trials we've been through as a couple. some I will mention here and some that are a little too sensitive to openly post for the world to see. I do believe in being open and transparent with each and every one of you but that doesn't mean I need to air our dirty laundry or things that are too personal to post. if you have something in your marriage or relationship that you would like to chat about, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm more than willing to chat with you one on one.
Now that I've got that good and out of the way, I'll begin from none other than the beginning. Long story short we met online. People frowned upon that even though today it is more acceptable a few years ago it was looked down upon. The year we met I had crippling depression, lost job after job and somedays couldn’t even get out of bed. I have struggled with depression my entire life but the few years before and year after meeting my hubby were the worst. I had bad PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and was on a ton of meds that made me feel disconnected from my body and had a few breaks from reality. I was suicidal and an anxious mess.
This was not only hard for me to live through but for Chris, it was extremely tough as well. He would worry about me all day while he was at work, what he was going to come home to. If I didn’t answer his text or phone call right away his heart would sink. I would lash out at him and was so cold and closed off. But he remained there. He really pulled me out of the downward spiral I was in and slowly over time mended my brokenness with his kindness.
That was the first year of our relationship. But the end of that year I was off my medication completely, got a job, even got a raise at my job and was doing wonderfully.
I like to think of it like my life before him I was tossed into the ocean. I was just struggling to keep afloat. I wasn’t really drowning, sometimes I'd swallow some water but the water was just taking me wherever it wanted me to go. Life did what it wanted and I was just there trying to stay afloat. When he entered my life he tossed me a life preserver. No, I'm not saying he saved my life. I'm a pretty strong swimmer and didn’t need him but I had no direction or help. He helped me find purpose in my life.
SIDE NOTE: If you find my sorry compelling or want to know more about my past and how I deal with my depression day-to-day and don’t let it stop me from being successful and happy I'm writing a book on all that. I'm about 20,000 words in and have another 60,000ish to go. It goes into detail in my life, the people, the struggles, of when I started to realize I was depressed. The tools I use on a daily basis. How I started my own business and am writing a book despite depression that makes me useless some days etc. If you find my story compelling and want updates on my book sign up with your email here.
So that was the first year of our relationship. Lots of ups and downs with that one but we managed to make it through and come up stronger on the other side. Then just when things were going well. We got our own apartment, we were settled in, had a good routine. My depression seemed to be a distant memory, then I found out I was pregnant and everything went to shit. Pardon my language. Neither of us wanted kids yet. We weren't even ready to talk about marriage let alone talk about kids. But there we were, totally in shock that our dumb choices did actually come with consequences. Now, this may scare you but I was on birth control and we still got pregnant. So those of you who think you're safe .. you're not. You can still get pregnant. Anyway, so that was tough. I won't get into the details because they are still hard to talk about but neither of us wanted to have a kid. I just wasn’t ready for my life to end and Chris was so ashamed. We fought every day for the first oh I don’t know 8 months probably. It took so long before we both came around and were okay with the idea of raising this kid. On the outside maybe we looked like we were all so happy about it and excited to be parents but that’s a complete lie. Sure many many people who aren't married and accidentally get pregnant are ecstatic to have the kid. But I honestly believe more often than not that those people are really struggling with what they should do about it. Often young relationships don't last through having a baby for a reason. It's tough.
For me and my beliefs, I couldn’t ever have an abortion. That’s my personal feelings and take on it. Many of my friends have and all I've ever heard from them was that they regretted it. I didn’t want to have that regret. So that was my personal choice.
Once my third trimester hit we both started being ok with the idea of having the baby. We were getting baby supplies, tossing around baby names, wondering if it was a girl or a boy. The excitement started to kick in and we were again growing back together in our relationship after butting heads, fighting and resenting each other for the past few months. We've always been in love and, as crazy as it seems, on our first date we both said something at the same time to which my response was "we're meant to be!". And it honestly was love at first sight. That’s a story for another time. Read my book! Haha.
We started loving the idea of becoming a family. When we had her, first off we totally thought she was going to be a boy, but she completely surprised us. We were totally in love with her. All be it a little weirded out because she was a stranger living in our home who we weren't used to yet. And of course, we were super nervous to see how everything was going to unfold. To our complete dismay, she was diagnosed with colic. You can read my blog post that goes into that HERE. But for a basic summary, she would scream and cry non stop for 6 hours minimum every single day. More often than not our typical day would look like 4 pm start screaming, 4 am stop screaming. We were lucky when we made it past dinner time before her screaming would start. One day she screamed for 36 hours straight. She didn’t eat, sleep, or stop crying the entire time. This went on for three months straight.
We felt like we had been tortured. I remember feeling like I messed up as a parent. Like I was doing something wrong. I would hold her and walk around the house singing through her screams for hours. Chris and I were exhausted and stressed. If we had enough energy to talk it was always a fight about something because we just had had enough. Once she got over her colic and became the cute little baby she is today we started to mend the crap between us. The resentment, the disappointment, the hurtful words that were said.
We have seriously been through the emotional ringer with each other and every time manage to stay together, love on each other, encourage each other even through the horrible tough times and each time we do it just gets better.
We care for each other, we make a point to communicate things that are bothering us or how we feel, we make an effort to change those annoying habits we do. We work on our relationship constantly. I always thought that perhaps a relationship is supposed to just "work". You shouldn't ever fight, have differences. They should never make you mad or even make you cry. But after gaining some life experience I honestly call bullshit on that. Everyone has pet peeves, everyone has an off day, everyone says something they shouldn’t or gets on the other's nerves. Maybe they didn’t have to go through severe depression, an unwanted pregnancy or an ill child but they still go through trials non-the less.
So many people have this ideal picture in their head on what a relationship with your spouse or significant other should be that often times that picture is unrealistic and causes problems. I know I for one did. But in accepting that we're all human, we all make mistakes and life isn't a fairy tale, I've grown so much and it has made me a more accepting and compassionate person.
My hubby and I can still love each other even though he wants pizza and I want Greek food, even though I want another baby today and he isn't quite ready for that yet, even though everytime I leave a damp towel on the bed he wants to yell. We still grow together, accept one another and love each other. There are things about me that drive him up the wall. And things about him that I can't help but roll my eyes over. But were individual people. He lets me be who I am and I let and accept him. We don’t have to love absolutely everything about our spouse. Somethings are just pet peeves and others are deeper hurts and major differences. We've managed to work ours out time and time again and hopefully, we won't have to for a very long time if ever again.