Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Did. He Did. We Don't Anymore, Do We?

Us 2003
In October of 2003, I slipped my slender body into waves of chiffon that were sewn together by my mom, with the last stitch being put in that day (Irish tradition). After being engaged for 4 years, Mike and I were finally getting hitched.

We had waited for me to finish school and for both of us to become more financially secure before nervously whispering our I Do's to one another that afternoon. It was a lovely wedding, with a small gathering of our closest friends and family in a church without heavy dogma, a break from the Church of our childhood. My dress was simple and had been made by my mom, pieced together from different patterns to achieve the look I wanted (which is now available as a single pattern, go figure). My bridesmaids were only asked to deck themselves in my favorite color, purple, but I left the agreement over dresses to them and their hair and nails were as they desired. Our music was fun and different (the Time Warp instead of the Electric Slide, Bowie instead of Barry) than the usual reception standards. Our reception was in a converted barn, catered with excellent food, and cozy enough for good conversation and many laughs. We were complimented again and again on our easy going wedding. We were blessed and sent many good wishes. They carried us for a long time.

Our marriage wasn't too shabby in the beginning. Mike and I had weathered a lot in our relationship, but we got through our storms and maintained a very strong bond and a lot of love. Nagging thoughts would pepper me now and then, but that's normal and happens in the course of any relationship.

I miss it. I miss the beginnings. I miss the closeness. I miss the certainty. I miss us. We're not much of an "us" anymore. It's a painful fact that has been creeping along with us for the past couple of years. It is not just one thing - there are many things. We've struggled a lot as a family for the past few years and it has really brought out old demons and issues.

My husband has a lot of demons. He is, deep down, a very good man. This is a man who has stood in middle of the street during a rain storm, ushering frogs off the road so they don't get squished by cars. He has given a lot to many people over the years and has always done everything he could to help someone in need. He has supported me, listened to my stupid fears, put up with my anxieties, and has brought me a glass of water before bed every night since before I can remember. He'll wear matching shirts with my son and is not afraid to wear the fuzzy purple tiara my daughter puts on his head in public. He has worked tirelessly for over a year in an attempt to bring our family out of poverty. I have worked hard, too, but the brunt of it has been on him. He has supported my ideals when it comes to birthing and babies and raising kids. He's been so willing to learn in that regard. There is so much good in him and I have held onto that good for so long, encouraging him to keep it up and let it shine. His demons are plentiful and they have come out swinging this year. 2014 was the year things really started to crack and the truth would show through. I kept a lot of our marriage troubles hidden for a good long while, but the truth started to come to light this year and more and more people in our life became aware that all was not well.

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