This is the last of my marriage journey blogs. If you haven’t read my previous posts, click here. Danny and I have come a long way in our relationship. I hope to post a guest blog from him someday soon. I’d love for you to hear his perspective.
Somehow, through lots (AND LOTS) of practice, Danny and I made it through the process of learning a new way of communicating, a new way of handling disagreements, and a new way of handling our emotions. I truly believe it was a miracle. We almost didn’t make it. But we did. We did it with God’s help, with really great counseling from a trusted professional (God Junior ;)), and with an awesome support system of friends and family.
We tried several other counselors over several years before we found the method that worked for us. The point is, though, that we kept at it. We were literally on the brink of divorce. I had already thought through the worst case scenario, trying to prepare myself for what might happen. I thought about holidays split between me and Danny with the kids and grandkids. I wanted them to have parents and grandparents who were together. I thought about how much it would cost for me to live alone, pay my bills alone, and support myself alone. I thought about living alone. While it sounded good for a season, forever was a long, long time of loneliness when I had a husband I could fight to keep. I thought about how much I wanted our family to be together, how I didn’t want to be divorced.
Thankfully God was faithful, as always. And thankfully, Danny wanted the same thing I did. He wanted our family to be intact, he wanted us to live to be old together. If he hadn’t, we wouldn’t have made it.
One day as I was driving home from work I realized that I was looking forward to seeing Danny. It caught me off guard – it had been a long, long time since I’d anticipated with excitement him being home when I got there. It felt good. When I leave town now I look forward to coming home. I am so glad we stuck it out. We always said that our marriage was worth fighting for, but when the fight got horribly hard I’m glad we kept our armor on and our swords engaged.
We still have our ups and downs. Terry, our counselor, often told us that if we came back to see him in ten years, whatever problem we were currently struggling with would boil down to that same ol’ cycle. He was right. Even though it hasn’t been ten years yet, every single – and I mean every single – time we have an argument it is the exact same cycle. It’s frustrating on one hand but on the other, we know just what to do to spin out of that cycle . . . and we do.
We are happier with each other than we’ve ever been. We enjoy being with each other, which is great because we are in that “empty nest” time of life. Trust me when I say that if you are married, your marriage is worth fighting for. Every marriage is different – every spouse is different. I realize that every spouse is not willing to “go the distance” like Danny and I both were. I hate that because if they only knew that there really was an end in sight, they probably would. It takes faith and without it, you just can’t make it through hard times like Danny and I have had. We had faith in Terry, that what he said would work even when it felt like it was fruitless. We knew he prayed for us between sessions. We knew he loved us and wanted us to succeed. The Holy Spirit gave us peace with Terry’s leadership even through the muck. A relationship with God brings that peace in the storm. He’s so good.
I’m so thankful for my husband. He’s not perfect, any more than I am or anyone else, but he’s stronger than I ever thought he was before. I’m proud of the man that he is and proud to be his wife. Thanksgiving is about 10 days away. This year I’m thankful for my man.