For anyone who has been or is married, you know that a successful marriage does not come easy. My husband and I had both been married before, and when we decided to get married, we had a lot to work on, not just when it came to our marriage, but also, when it came to our ideals, our personalities, and even our beliefs. We had been together for four years and half years before we have even decided to get married and we are now going on two and half years of marriage. Now, I am not saying just because we were married before, we were the marriage experts. That is far from the truth. One of the reasons it took four and half years to decide to get married was that we had been burned, and already each having been divorced once, a second divorce was always on our minds.
In the last year, our marriage has taken some heavy tests and our relationship has suffered. When I first met my husband, we always had this disagreement about the importance of money in a relationship. I always said that money doesn’t make for a successful relationship. My husband disagreed telling me that money is the source of all problems between a husband and a wife. Unfortunately, my husband’s theory turned out to be correct; however, I was also right as well. Our financial issues have taken a heavy toll on our marriage, but what I have learned through all this is that it takes more than some money issues to tear a marriage apart.
In my first marriage, I was married to an abusive control freak. My husband was burned too, but of out of respect for my step-son, I generally don’t talk about that. I loved my husband from the day I met him. When I say, love at first sight, that’s exactly what it was, and it wasn’t because he was wealthy (which he wasn’t) or because he was good-looking (but he is!), I feel in love with him because he was intelligent and kind. One thing my husband does not have is a sense of humor, and despite being completely the opposite, I feel in love with him anyway. Sometimes, my sense of humor drives him insane, and sometimes, his lack of it drives me insane, but I love him anyway. Sometimes, I think his biggest flaw is loving me, despite all my imperfections. As intelligent as I am, I can barely balance our checkbook, I can never remember where I put my keys, I lose my debit card on a monthly basis, I hate failure, I cry whenever I am sad, when I am angry, I speak my mind, I am always brutally honest with everyone I come across, and I am not perfect – far from it, and he loves me anyway.
In the last year, with our financial difficulties not subsiding, I have often found myself angry because of the bad investment choices my husband made that lead to our current financial situation, angry because he doesn’t always get or even want to understand how difficult it has been for me, and angry because when he is depressed about something this big, he keeps to himself and does everything not to think about it, leaving me to pick up the pieces. These are the things that make me sometimes want to walk away, but I remind myself how long it took me to trust again, how long it took me to love again, and how long it took me to find a place where I truly belonged.
Despite our enormous debt, I am happy with the second chances I have been given. I am happy with the family we have created. I love our three boys more than words can ever express. Our oldest (my step-son) is 20 now and making his way in the world, and mostly, without our help, and we are very proud of him, though sometimes, I think we do not say it enough. Our nine year old, he is an amazing big brother and son, who would do anything for me or his baby brother. And our youngest just turned a year old, is the biggest blessing I could have ever gotten, a blessing I did not think I deserved. Nine years old I walked away from an abusive marriage with not only a heavy heart, but also without my three daughters. It was the hardest choice I ever had to make, and despite knowing that I had no choice, I always wonder what I could have done differently. I also have learned that I should never walk away and that I need to keep fighting for the ones I love. If I had been as strong as I am now, my ex-husband and his family wouldn’t have been able to take my girls away from me.
Despite the tough choices I have had to make, and the struggles I have come across, I don’t regret a thing. I am better for having worked hard and not having had anything handed to me. So, I have learned my marriage is just another test, and the one thing I hate more than anything on this earth is failure and I refuse to fail. I have seen successful marriages, and I have seen unsuccessful ones, and at this point, my marriage seems to be somewhere in between, and I refuse to give up because it is not worth what I would lose if I did. These are times when I watch marriages fail many that were once strong, some after 20-plus years, it makes me sad, but I remind myself that it takes two make a marriage work, and one to tear it apart. My husband and I may not always be on the same page, but we didn’t walk into our marriage blindly, we worked hard to make it happen, and because of that, I know it is worth fighting for, and it is one marriage that will stand the test of time.