Welcome New Contributor, Kim Anderson!
I am curious, when you got married, what did you think? Were you prepared for the road ahead? Did you talk about major life decisions? Did you both know and agree on the big things like children, money and goals? Were you even thinking about it, or did you think that once you said “I do”, you would just live happily ever after?
I was going to say that I am no expert on marriage, but in some ways I am. I got married right out of college; I had just turned 22 and couldn’t wait to get back from my honeymoon because I couldn’t wait to start our new lives together.
Boy, was it different than I thought it would be! Not that I had this idea it was going to be a perfect Disney experience, but…..well, maybe I did. We don’t really get that much training on how to be married unless we have excellent role models for parents. Even if that is the case, I have found the odds are against us.
Eight years later, living in a nice house, privileged to stay home with two small boys, 3 and 1, my world fell apart. I was shocked. I knew there were problems, but I never, ever thought I would hear those words “I want a divorce”. It seemed to come out of the blue. Later, I could see that there were signs, but still, I was shocked. My world disintegrated. I had to leave my home, find a new place to live, go back to work and try to maintain my composure for my boys. I have never felt lonelier and more broken. How was I going to make it? Could I stay strong? I didn’t think I could, but I did. I got a job, found a place to live and started our new life. I was completely in survivor mode at that time, but I did it.
Then, things got better. I say things got better because I met someone who was not in my circle of friends and still believed in me. He had gone through the same thing and thought that he could help. He did, for a time. Yes, it was a rebound relationship and I saw things that were red flags, so I ended it. About a year later, I got a call; he had straightened his life and wanted to talk. I was skeptical. I met with him and he did have his life in order. I actually admired him for the changes he had made.
He told me he realized he was going down a wrong road and wouldn’t have me in his life until he changed. Again, I was skeptical, but I let him prove himself and he did. We married about a year later, I was 32. At the age of 34, my third son came along. (Okay side note here. I had really wanted a girl and he promised it would be. I have NEVER once been disappointed, though). Things were difficult with our blended family, but all of our family regarded all the kids as their own and THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Then, just a month before our son Stevie’s 4th birthday, he died. Now I was a widow. Really not something you expect when you are in your 30’s. Once again, my world was turned upside down and I was devastated. But that is another post for another day. I could have stayed in that chapter, but I knew that would not be healthy, neither for me nor for my kids.
Whatever It Takes
I may be a lot of things, but I am not a quitter! I had closed that chapter in my life and was ready for whatever God had planned for me. I won’t bore you with all the details, but when I first met my husband, it was not love at first sight. As a matter of fact, we didn’t really like each other that much. The fact that we are married now and share wisdom that we would not have had if we hadn’t gone through the things we did is truly amazing. Okay, I didn’t mean to make a short story long, but I think that “happily ever after” is a journey. It takes perseverance, courage and love (love as the verb, not the noun). It is sharing wonderful moments with someone who is your best friend and knowing that no matter how the world knocks you down, there is a soft place to fall.