CLICK HERE to read Part I.
Since the day that we said, “I do,” we have been on a ride. And just like a roller coaster, the ride has not always been straight, level, or simple.
There have been hills and dips.
There have been curves.
There there have been changes.
I have changed. My husband, Jessie, has changed. And while we made a commitment on our wedding day to stay with each other no matter what, living with each other through all of our changes, growth spurts, or stunted periods of development hasn’t always been easy.
And so we’ve wondered (or at least I’ve wondered) if the mis-match in our places of growth meant a mis-match in our marriage forever?
There have been times when we…
… didn’t like each other very much.
… thought the other was slowly losing their mind.
… wondered if we were on the same page.
… felt unappreciated or taken advantage of.
… experienced resentment when one of us was putting in just a little more effort than the other to keep things moving.
Sometimes marriage is not pretty.
It is hard.
It can leave one spouse, the other, or both with yucky feelings in the pit of their stomach or their heads spinning in disillusionment, confusion, or dismay.
So we’ve wondered, but we have managed to stay on the ride.
But here’s the good part.
Do you know what happened when the Six Flags roller coaster ride came to an end?
My son looked at me, with evidence of dried tears still on his face and said, almost in a whisper… “Mommy, can we do that again?”
Somewhere between the tumultuous beginning and the feeling of terror in the middle, my son had decided that the thrill was worth it.
Please don’t let this article discourage you or make you feel guilty or ashamed if your marriage didn’t make it.
I just want to acknowledge that marriage — even for those who “stay on the ride” — isn’t always pretty.
I just want to acknowledge that marriage isn’t beautifully perfect 100% of the time.
I want to admit that people who really do love each other and desire to stay committed don’t always feel love or a motivation to stay the course.
Sometimes it is hard.
Sometimes it is difficult.
Sometimes you do wonder.
And sometimes it is through the tears, tears freshly dried on your face, that you make the decision, almost in a whisper, to keep going.
Sometimes, despite a tumultuous beginning or a feeling of terror in the middle, you decide to stick with it.
Sometimes, it’s after you’ve hung in there, made the decision to stay in your seatbelt, and lasted through the worst part, you realize that the ride is wonderful after all.
So if you are not happy, not fulfilled, or wondering if you married the right person…
Please know you are not alone.
My son wasn’t the only person screaming his brains out on that ride. Lots of people were.
He was not by himself.
And sometimes, on the real-world-ride of marriage, it helps to know that you are not the only one – the only one “wondering” – too.
Hang in there.
Marriage may have its ups and downs, but I’ve learned (and am still learning) how wonderful the ride can be.