I have a confession to make.
Now I understand that is a very strong accusation to make, and probably one that might confuse some of you. According to Instagram, Facebook and all things digital, my marriage may look perfect. My marriage might even look like something I enjoy on the daily.
That’s the thing about social media that I fully loathe. It’s entirely too easy to hide the mess sitting outside the boarders of a photograph. It’s way too easy to post a “happy” photograph from a month ago to hide the pain I am experiencing today. Aside from all my efforts to appear somewhat put together on social media, I’m forced to violate all my natural instincts to paint a more truthful picture.
So here’s to me being honest.
I don’t enjoy marriage on the daily.
In fact, after having two kids, I find my marriage a kind of nuisance.
I’m already wiping two asses, about 6 times each daily. That’s 12 ass wipings a day (I’m not even counting my own). When Dad comes home from work, the last thing I want to do is take care of one more person. I’ve got one baby sucking on my boob, while the other refusing to eat her potatoes, and now he’s asking for sexy time? Seriously?
I didn’t even brush my teeth today.
If you are already married, you know what I’m talking about. If you are married and have children, then you really know what I’m talking about. For those of you singles out there, don’t be fooled. Marriage will not solve any of your problems. Hear me when I say this:
Marriage will unquestionably, undoubtedly, undeniably create more problems in your life.
So why be married right? Why subject yourself to such torment?
Hear me out.
Last year won the oscar for “Worst Year In Our Marriage.” Despite our desire for a second child, the timing of my last pregnancy unexpectedly opened a big can of slimy worms we had no idea even existed. If you read Two Little Lines you may know a little about what I’m talking about.
I spent the entire year pointing fingers at all the wrong things he did to me.
He spent the entire year apologizing which only fueled his feelings of being a complete failure.
Yes, we had some redemptive moments. A baby moon in Laguna. Several trips to Disneyland. The birth of our daughter. I will not discount those moments. They were real and full of love for each other. But because they were few and far between, our insufficient humanness would inevitably draw us back to our pain.
So after 11 months of feeling hopeless and incapable of pulling ourselves out of the muck, we sought help.
I started to see a therapist in November.
By December, we began marriage therapy.
I’ll be honest. It is a very weird feeling admitting you see a therapist. Very similar to confessing you had to take a poop in your high-school boyfriend’s bathroom.
Why does it feel awkward and a bit shameful to admit you need someone outside of yourself to help you with your problems? Why do we feel we must solve these issues alone?
We all poop. We all got issues.
Within the first month of therapy, everything shifted. I began to heal from wounds that were placed on me since childhood. Wounds I didn’t even know existed.
And then we began to heal. Slowly, wounds we’ve left open and neglected are finally being tended to. We’ve been together for 12 years, married for 6, so you can imagine how many battle wounds we’re dealing with.
As we continue to live this out, I’m witnessing the beauty of vulnerability. As we willingly sift through the dirt and grime of our past, we’re uncovering the diamonds and sapphires that have been there all along.
The reason why I said marriage sucked was because my immature self didn’t want to admit she was broken. My immature self didn’t want to acknowledge that half our issues are my fault. My immature self didn’t want anyone to know from time to time, I too poop.
It’s way too easy to point fingers at the other person and blame them for your chaos. You made me feel this way! You did this to me! Maybe they did, but the only thing we can control is how we respond. I can choose to respond with grace and love, or I can react with sarcasm and blame. Marriage has forced me to take a really difficult look into my own heart and take ownership of the issues I bring into the home.
Marriage sucks because it’s good for me. Think of something labeled “good for you” that you absolutely hate. Broccoli. Vitamins. Wheat grass. Go ahead and add marriage to that list.
Marriage is good for you.
Marriage is good for you because there are things that you won’t have to deal with until you are under the same roof with the same person for long enough.
Someone once explained to me that marriage was designed to be a mirror, to allow the other to show us who we really are. After six years, I’m finally understanding what that person meant.
Because of this very fact, I love marriage. I love that it was designed this way. I love that marriage gives us the opportunity to acknowledge wounds we would otherwise ignore. I love that marriage isn’t a destination but a very difficult journey that brings healing to yourself and your relationship.
If I never married Chase, I would still be facing these same obstacles. If Chase never married me, he would be dealing with the same crap, just a different face staring back at him.
So to those who feel stuck in an unhappy marriage. I feel you. But this is the moment we were made for. This is the moment when we get to practice unconditional love. This is the moment when we get to choose unconditional grace.
Meaning, we get to choose to love our spouse at their most unlovable moments. Obviously this is way easier said than done. Unconditionally loving my husband is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But trust me when I say this, when I am successful at it and when he sees through my pain, we are creating something more real, more tangible than I’ve ever known. We are creating a marriage that will define how our daughters choose their spouses. And that is more powerful than I can even dare to admit.
To those looking for love, find someone who wants to fight battles with you. Find someone who shows grace when your hangry and forgiveness when you finally eat.
The Beatles once wrote “all you need is love.” I’m here to tell you, all you need To Do is love.