When you get married you stand next to a person you think you know, but truly that is a total stranger. Then you say vows that you think you understand but really have no idea what they mean or what you are saying.
I think it generally is hard on a marriage having a child. It is a period of adjustment, of finding a new normal. Experts say that the first 3 months are the toughest. But what about having a sick child? What does that do to a marriage? If healthy baby brings hardship does unhealthy baby bring devastation? Does the 3 month rule apply to unhealthy baby as well? Yah- probably not huh?
This weekend Dan and I did a lot of talking about Us. So much lately it has been all about Emmaus. Sometimes I find it is 3pm and I haven’t brushed my teeth and that is because when I was starting to brush my teeth __________ happened. (She had a seizure, the doctors office called back, the doctors office called wanting moolah, she started crying, pooped through her outfit, or about a billion other things could have happened.) So if my teeth aren’t even getting brushed how much effort can I be putting into to my marriage? This happens to new parents everywhere but I can also see that having a sick kiddo exponentially magnifies the issue. (Yes I realize it is gross I often don’t get my teeth brushed till later-so help a girl out and if my breath stinks offer me some gum or something)
We went through how we deal with stress. And how that is affecting the other person. Dan gets bossy which is kinda funny because he is the most laid back un-bossy person ever. But when he feels a loss of control telling me (or whoever is in his path) what to do helps him. Well it makes me CRAZY ANGRY. I don’t really do well being bossed around (I was sharing this with my mom and she said that I tend to get bossy too- to which I replied “no I am bossy all the time” ).
I tend to handle my stress and lack of control by organizing everything. Letting everyone know what is going on. Which leads to me being on my phone all the time. Which leads to be not being present (Which makes dan crazy annoyed). I retreat into sharing my life with others instead of sharing my life with my husband first. It is important to let people know what is going on, to be having people praying, to share our lives with those around us…however, it is not more important than a conversation with my husband, or time spent with him.
We talked about how we miss each other. How our focus so much being on our daughter, on not sinking financially, on trying to deal with the cards we have been handed leaves us exhausted and done at the end of the day. We tend to just retreat to an evening sitting on the couch zoning out and not being intentional about our relationship. We don’t really talk, cuddle, or even laugh together. We just zone out.
We have even gotten to get away without the baby a couple times in the last two weeks…yet that isn’t enough. We have to choose to be intentional everyday or else the gap we are trying to close in our nights away will just become too large to handle.
I am so thankful to have a man by my side that is crazy about me. (That I am crazy about too) Who loves myself and his daughter more than anything. A man who will work hard for us. That will fight to keep our marriage strong. A man that meant it when he said “till death do us part”. A man that is willing to do the hard work and talking that it takes to find a new normal for our lives and our marriage. Cause this is tough stuff we are going through.
I love you. I choose you above all others today and for all the days to come. I promise to love you and to show you everyday. I promise to encourage you as you reach for your goal and to help you if you stumble along the way. I promise to be faithful and to walk by your side through good and tough times. I promise to cherish our relationship and protect it from harm. Money and Ill health will not break our vows and only death will part us. I promise to pray for us and to walk confidently with you on the path God has chosen for us.
We wrote these vows together. And while we just modified traditional vows basically, we truly had no idea the promises we were making. We had no clue how much ill health and money would play a part in our relationship. From 3 months into our marriage we started encountering both of those things. I can’t help but smile at the last line. I am glad we had it in there.
I promise to pray for us and to walk CONFIDENTLY WITH YOU on the path God has chosen for us. – Amen to that.
Just some thoughts-