I microblog (write and share in smaller snippets) over on Facebook and the other day, the Wizard of Zuck showed me this photo—wanting me to know it was my most commented on photo of 2016.
I’ll roll witcha, FB. Not sure it’ll be what you had in mind, though. Because this was back when I only shared the happy. The joy. The triumphs. The highlight reel. I didn’t know any better back then. I didn’t yet know it’s sharing our truths and our imperfections that help us all the most.
I shared this photo on our anniversary. Our 20th. We were twenty years in and doin’, um, ok. I thought.
Only nope, nope we were not.
I posted this photo in commemoration of two decades of marriage together and the week after, Erik told me he’d been unfaithful with a co-worker and was being forced to leave his career as a result.
I lost my marriage as I knew it and we lost the bulk of our income in one fell swoop. Along with our health insurance. And then our son slid into second base and broke his ankle in three places. When it became clear he’d need surgery, probably twice, I nearly lost my mind in the ER that night.
For the way life was crumbling around me, I wanted to leap over the hospital bed and strangle my husband dead. I guess I made that clear because at one point, our son’s doctor actually pulled me aside and asked as sweetly as possible, “WTF is wrong with you?” Ish.
So I told her. All of it. And her demeanor changed in a heartbeat. Her eyes softened. Her head tilted. She reached out to touch my shoulder and murmured, “Well, no wonder.” She turned fierce ally then and piloted me through that awful night.
By the grace of God and every last vapory dreg of strength, stamina, and determination I never knew I had—I’ve navigated through a thousand more nights to arrive at today. At twenty-three years in. Or rather, three years into the new marriage we began after the old one failed.
Because I love this man. Full stop.
And today—though I don’t fully understand the mechanics of this truth, the mystery or the miracle—I love him better. Bigger. Bolder.
I don’t like how we arrived at today. I’ll never say I’m grateful for the path we took. But I might.
I truly may.
Because our marriage of today was not to be missed. And I’m beyond glad I didn’t.
Since we’re not promised tomorrow, since we can’t know what’s coming and we likely don’t want to, we’ll focus on today and be glad in it. We’ll no longer take today for granted. For it won’t always be.
Since we’re not looking back, because we’re not going that way, since we’ve forgiven and atoned, since we’ve learned to love for no reason and without conditions, we’ll celebrate today and rejoice in it.
Because for us and our marriage, today wasn’t a given.
No matter the state of your own marriage today, it doesn’t have to repeat itself tomorrow. Or at least not all of your tomorrows.
You can nearly lose your mind in the grief and heartache of it all today and still begin to find a way forward together tomorrow. Or the next day. Someday.
I just wanted to make sure you know that, in case today finds you utterly unsure.
6 thoughts on ““WTF is wrong with you, lady?” and other gruesome moments in the ER—an infidelity story for all struggling marriages.”
I truly admire your strength!
Thank you! Though I’m quite certain it’s God’s strength and I’m just channeling it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
This gives me hope.
Oh, I’m so glad! Thank you for letting me know.
I held on to every word like it was mine. There were chills flowing through me while absorbing all of the raw truth and accuracy that you’ve managed to express for a situation that usually feels impossible to explain. At some points it seemed like I was reading straight from my own tragic life events. But now, I have more confidence in being able to survive this nightmare. Completely and wildly awesome how the right words can teach a brand new perspective, restore general faith, hope and self-confidence.
You have a gift! ….and thank you kindly for sharing! 🙏🏼😊
Hatti. I hear you, love. That’s how it all went down for me when I read the book Love Warrior. That book is also the catalyst to me writing and sharing my story. There’s nothing quite so healing as hearing a story that sames with yours, especially where major trauma has occurred. The jumpstart it provides to moving forward via the routes of onward and upward is proof positive we’re meant to tribe it up in this life and form community around our pain. That’s how we shrink what hurts and foster big joy again. Thank you for reading along and connecting with me here. Welcome to the utter imperfectionist community, as well.