Year three of marriage, was much more eventful than year two!
In the third year of marriage, my true love gave to me: determination & snuggles.
Shortly after celebrating our second anniversary @ that lovely fanciful restaurant, we moved into a new & more affordable apartment. Then my parents’ house caught fire. They lost so many of their things & a cat, that had helped my Mum through some difficult times. It was very emotional walking through their home, with my Dad, trying to figure out what we could clean & salvage & what was lost for good.
It was shortly after this that I realized, Hunky Hubby had started struggling with his addiction to pornography again & hiding it from me. When I accidentally found out, I was devastated. Which may sound like an exaggeration, but having been so negatively impacted by a relationship with someone who struggled with the same addiction…let’s just say I didn’t respond well at all. I was afraid that I had messed up again & chosen to love someone who would never see me more than an object. Which wasn’t the truth, but my fear often spoke louder than my reality.
I remember saying to him after I found out: I made a commitment to stay married to you no matter what & I want to keep that commitment. But, I respectfully request that you sleep on the couch until further notice. & yes, I said it that way. Because, although he was a pretty accommodating hubby, there was one thing that he rarely wavered on & that was sleeping on the couch. He would say, that it was his bed too & that he wasn’t going to forfeit that, just because we were arguing. If I didn’t want to sleep by him, then I could choose to sleep on the couch, if I wanted to.
It sounds rude, & at the time it would infuriate me. I mean, this was not how it happened in the movies! But in the end he was right, just because we were arguing didn’t mean, he no longer deserved a restful night’s sleep. So we would often just sleep next to one another upset.
You may say, ohhhh…you aren’t supposed to go to bed angry. Hopefully that’s another lesson they learned, later on. But, I will tell you, that in the beginning, we were set on not going to bed angry, & we learned this actually made things worse for us. We would get so tired & I would be crying so much, we just ended up arguing in circles! Then at 2am while we were taking a small breathing break from one another, one of us would fall asleep, making the person who managed to stay awake, even more upset. So we decided that sometimes going to sleep, getting some rest, & then talking about our issues the next day worked well for us.
So back to me respectfully asking Hunky Hubby to sleep on the couch. He agreed, & ended up sleeping on the couch for a couple of months.
I felt so trapped, because I felt like not only did I not want to divorce him, but I wasn’t allowed to, even I did. Money troubles, fighting, family drama [on both sides], & now addiction. It felt very heavy & I didn’t know how to proceed.
In the middle of this season, my Mum had kept asking me to go see Joyce Meyer with her & my Dad. Wanting to get out of the house, I went.
You see, Nate is a guy who is pretty logical, when it comes to arguing. So although he’s fairly emotional, he somehow compartmentalizes things when he’s in the middle of an argument. For the first few years, any time I would get upset, his logic clicked in & rarely what I said was taken seriously. I was seen as irrational.
& often times, I was. I totally was. I did not know how to present the millions of emotions racing through me.
I needed someone who could hear my heart, despite my presentation. I didn’t know how to verbalize that well & he didn’t know that’s what I needed.
So I went to this Joyce Meyer conference & afterwards started searching the merch tables for a book on marriage. My motive? Find a book that had proof in it that HE needed to do this married thing better. He respected Joyce Meyer, so if she said it, he would certainly listen to her!
There it was – Making Marriage Work
I bought it. Took it home. Started reading & was surprised by what I read. I actually had a lot more control than I thought! I didn’t have to make a big deal out of everything. I could keep loving him, even when he didn’t treat me, how I wanted to be treated. I had been so focused on how he had “done me wrong” that I didn’t pay nearly enough attention to what I could control…me.
Was I being kind to my husband? Was I engaging him in meaningful conversation? Was I satisfying his sexual needs? Some of these things I was doing an okay job at, but for the most part, there was much room for improvement.
I remember sitting at that Starbucks & deciding whether or not we were going to make our marriage work or call it quits. There were apologies. There were tears. There was honesty. & we decided, that:
Yes, this marriage thing was hard.
Yes, we were both flawed individuals.
Yes, we would try again.
Yes, we would try to love one another better.
That was in the fall of 2008. After that, things did get better-ish. We fumbled our way through. Things with our money & our families didn’t end up getting better, for quite some time though.
Some highlights from year 3:
- Moved to a more affordable apartment
- Binge watched Heroes = lots of snuggles
- Valentine’s Camp Out in the living room
- Started walking together regularly
- Chose to stay
Difficulties from year 3:
- Almost separated
- More family struggles [on both sides]
- Money issues
- Still not able to get pregnant
- Parents’ house fire
At the end of year three we moved to Lakeland, closer to my parents & our church. We were broke & honestly I remember sitting in our new apartment, surrounded by boxes, feeling so depressed. Our life didn’t look anything, like I had wanted it to. But I was determined to change that.
Because we worked at Disney World, we ended up celebrating making it through year three, with a day at Disney. We explored attractions we’d never seen before. When I look at those anniversary pictures, I see hope in our eyes. We were tired, but we were determined to make it work.
On the third year of marriage, my True Love gave to me:
determination & snuggles
anger ever swelling
arguments & smooches
& a set of wedding rings
The Mess in Me Honors the Mess in You
Have you gotten a chance to listen to our podcast!?
It’s now available to listen to on 10 platforms!!
Me & the Hunky Hubby are going through & talking about each year of our marriage. All the highs & lows, mixed with nonsense & laughter.
It’s called M.F.E.O. & you can listen to it here: M.F.E.O. Podcast