I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since my husband and I walked down that really long aisle outside in the freezing cold. Who knew it was going to be such a great foreshadowing on how the next 5 years would go. Everything was peachy and perfect, especially that October Texas weather. Until it wasn’t. That week was beautiful and around 75° all week. Rehearsal dinner it was 84°. Walking down the aisle, it was 50°, and no, I’m not exaggerating. It only got colder.
Realizing the weather earlier that day, we decided to up the red wine, add some soup shooters to the menu, and rent out the last 4 patio heaters left in Dallas. Me, being with child, left me with a White North Face jacket to keep me warm. Yes, I was about 5 months pregnant with an out of left field pregnancy, and the show had to go on. Because, well, we had already bought a dress, paid for a photographer, paid for a venue, so, you get the idea.
Shortly thereafter, we had a baby. Ezekiel James.
This is exciting, right?! You thought you would have to adopt, or do IVF, or be on your knees praying every night to conceive. And yet, you got pregnant on birth control, 5 months before your wedding. Yeah, yippee…
Due to this surprise, we entered our marriage with a lot of resentment. Mad at each other, mad at God, mad at ourselves. We weren’t in a good place, and many would say, and have actually, that we should have probably waited. And maybe we should have, but we didn’t.
The Next 3 Years
Our marriage continued in a direction that included trust issues, more resentment, job loss, debt piling, neglect, and a complete disappearance of communication. We did therapy, both group and individually, we put on good faces in public. But if you were in a room with us for more than an hour, you could tell. The eye rolls, the arguing, the short words, the snippy comments, we didn’t hide it all very well. On this side of things, I’m sorry to everyone who witnessed that.
We would have a good 3 month period of tolerating each other again, I don’t know why or how these moments came about, but we did. Then we decided to bring another baby into this mess. Enter Isaac.
After Isaac was born, I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror anymore. Not just physically, but emotionally did not know who Heather was. Of course this marriage was a sham! At least 50% of this marriage didn’t even know for what purpose she existed. I felt like a shell of a person going through the motions of feeding kids, working, bathing kids, and doing bedtime. How did it take me 4 years to not only dig that trench I was living in but realize that I had dug it and was living in it for that long too!?
I have done a year of pretty focused work on myself. A lot of the issues brought up were about my marriage, my self (worth, image, care, love), and how to move on and find me again. I’ve become stronger in my faith, in my thoughts, in my conviction. I truly doubted everything about myself before, so how could I not doubt everything about the person I chose to marry? I’m so thankful for the work because I have noticed an insane shift in my life and marriage.
Today, October 6th, is our 5 Year Anniversary. We both have acknowledged how it feels like such a refreshing restart. Coming into this “newness” together, hand in hand, for the first time in a long time. We are relying on strong communication with each other. Leaning on God and our faith so much more than ever. Parenting as a pair, instead of against each other. Actually putting in the work that it takes to make a marriage work.
Because, it is WORK, can I get an AMEN??!!
We have been learning a lot in the past few services of our Church that I have been to, that you should enjoy these messy and hard seasons. I know that sounds crazy to enjoy this, but this season is just a seed. It is a seed that is going to create the most beautiful harvest you have ever seen. My seeds have been working for 5 years now, and I’m praying that this stage in life is the beginning of a really long and fruitful harvest. That it’s a harvest that leaves behind a nourished and solid field behind for the next season of seeds to land a little bit more softly.
Four to five years is a long time to go through a “season”, let me tell you. But we, my husband and I, are so excited about the future right now and doing it together. We are so grateful for everything we have been through and accomplished. And in my heart, I know we are not the only ones to have faced this, so I hope this helps one person realize that their harvest is on the horizon. You just might need to stick it out for a little longer and do the work.
I know we still have a lot of work to do because we always probably will, but Damany, I love you. I love you more than I did this day 5 years ago, and I want to say that every 5 years that pass. We have 2 beautiful babies, a great house (that we want to sell asap), our purpose in life is continuing in a positive direction, and God-willing, we will be debt free this year! Woohoo! You have taught me so much. Given me so much. Loved me so much, even without having it in return some days. For all of that, I thank you. You have stuck around for the 5 hardest years of my entire life, and for that, you should probably get a medal of some kind. I’ll look into it later. Happy Anniversary Shmush Face, let’s go drink some wine!