This marriage thing

My husband and I were having some serious issues in our marriage. It seemed like every other day or week we were arguing over something small and I was packing my bags to leave. We knew we loved each other but we had so much baggage that we didn’t know if love would be enough.
This man fought harder for me than I did for him to the point that he put me in a position to have to address him with my readiness to leave him and our kids. That’s when him and I both realized our arguments were superficially over small things but we actually had bigger issues.
We had couples therapy before but really didn’t do anything with it but in this conversation we used all we had learned and applied it. Before I go into that conversation let me tell y’all about our background.

I met my husband over 20 yrs ago in Durham at a mall. He was his oldest child with him who was crying for whatever reason but even that didn’t stop me from wanting to talk to him. One thing led to another and he became my 1st everything. My first love,my first partner,my first source of security in a life where death seemed better than life. He made sure I not only ate but that I didn’t throw it back up,he provided me with a place to sleep and gave me the love I so desperately needed at the time. I thought it would never end but…….life isn’t a fairy tale.

He lost his place and ended up moving to another county and I stayed in Durham. We saw each other as often as we could but eventually he started doing his thing and at the time I was content with just being in his life no matter who I had to share him with. Eventually,I found out I was pregnant and was very hurt when he told me he wasn’t going to be their for our child but that didn’t stop me from continuing to allow him in my bed nor my heart. At the time I knew that he loved me but what I didn’t realize is that his words didn’t match his behaviors. LESSON!!

Eventually,I decided to move on with my life and I met someone else though I didn’t stop messing my 1st love. Once again,I became pregnant but this time I wasn’t sure who the father was. Listen, I’m not the 1st nor am I the last woman to be caught out there slipping but I made sure to tell both of them the truth up front. I just didn’t have the energy to keep up the lie when it came to a situation like that. The guy I was dating decided to raise that baby as his own just as we was doing with my 1st child. I stopped being intimate with my 1st but we remained friends. I ended up getting married to the guy who raised my kids as his own and I got the family that I always wanted by being married into his.

Who here understands that when you ignore the writing on the wall that the writing eventually slaps you in the face and hands you consequences? LESSON!!  Let me tell you that marriage of mine was no exception to the rule. I ignored the writing on the wall and became a Mrs. and because of a rape I became pregnant again. So I’m now a mom of 3 with none of my kids being the biological children of my then husband but he was willing to raise all three of them as his and they were all welcomed to his family. Life comes with twists and turns,don’t let someone tell you otherwise.

About a yr after I had my 3 child I divorced my husband. I just got to the point where I was tired and when i went in on him so hard that I blanked out,I knew it was time for me to let it go and I did! LESSON!! After the divorce I decided to stop having sex and focus on myself,my mental health,and my kids. I got therapy and became a better person until… 1st love came back. Looking back at it,I should have told him no but the heart wants what the heart wants and my heart wanted him. I became that young lady I was we I first met him and it was heaven until he had a mental breakdown and ended up inside a mental institution. A few days later I found out I was pregnant once again and I was on my own to raise this baby. I didn’t care that this time his mental capacity was low all I cared about was that he had played me again. Thankfully,I had the support of my friends and family because not only was I raising 4 kids by myself,the baby I was pregnant with ended up having and still does have GI issues. He’s been in and out the hospital since birth. As I continued my therapy,I once again became strong and once again I decided to be celibate. Wouldn’t you know it,her comes my love back into my life but I was different this time around. I knew and accepted that I was worth more than words,I was worth actions! LESSON!! When I asked him if he could be with me and only me,he couldn’t tell me yes so I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do to him. I left him alone. I dropped him off at the bus terminal and cried my eyes out on the way back but I knew I was doing what was best for me. A few days later he called me and told me that he knew he didn’t want to be without me having me kick him out was eye opening and needed to be done to give him a reality check.

Marriage,a birth,and another birth and we were at a standstill. Well, really I was at a standstill. We decided to get marriage counseling and it helped but we didn’t use what we learned on a consistent basis and there we were wondering what I wanted to do. I wanted to make this work and to do that we had to apply what we learned. We allowed our conversation to flow in a peaceful environment which meant no tv,no kids,and no phones. It was just him and I expressing myself. I told him I was still angry for how I was done. He told me all he could do was apologize and make it right. I told him that I loved him but thought we should have gotten to know each other again before we got married. He told me we can’t go back in time so our options are to work it out or let it go. He told me he wasn’t ready to let it go and that he lives for me and our family. He told me my mouth was reckless but he know understood why. We let each other know all the things that irritated us about each other and then we talked about all the things we enjoyed about the other. We listened and not just heard. We allowed our hearts and our minds to speak and we followed it with our words. This was probably one of the most difficult yet enlightening conversations we’d ever had and in all honesty our marriage has improved from it.

I’ll never tell anyone to stay in a marriage just because of history,kids,or any other reason but I will tell any and everyone that this marriage thing is hard. It requires patience and understanding. Love and wisdom. Compromises and uncomfortable conversations. This isn’t tv and your marriage shouldn’t be compared to another person’s. Marriage doesn’t come with 100% lifetime guarantee. What it comes with is good and bad times,sad and happy moments, confusion and insight. More than anything is comes with another imperfect person who’s perfectly made for you.

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