Having my husband's permission, I'm going to write a series of posts this week on us and our marriage as I've been reflecting on our life together. He may even (crossing fingers) guest post here to share some of his thoughts as well. So stay tuned. It's getting really real around here. Starting now.
Our first year of marriage wasn't what I'm assuming most newlyweds experience. We didn't get to go on a honeymoon. And there was no season where we were just blissfully and stupidly happy. Todd and I were married in June of 2006 and by August of that year I had slipped into a dark depression. That depression was hard and consuming. I felt barely alive and something inside of me ached so badly, I was terrified that it might do me in.
I think I believed that my wedding day was going to be the most climactic day of my life. Because everything after it would be happy, easy, and rich with contentment because I would finally have everything I had ever wanted. I thought then that marriage would fix me and I was confused why it didn't. I remember thinking that when I finally found someone who loved me enough to want to put a ring on my finger and live with me and make me his wife, that it would calm all of the stirred up places in my soul. I thought getting married might heal all that had been torn open and disrupted by everything that happened in my life before I met Todd.
And it didn't do that. I was still me, so I discovered. Marriage didn't change my thoughts or beliefs about myself or how I felt. It didn't erase my past. I didn't wake up feeling like a new person. Marriage didn't fix anything.
The fact that I couldn't hide and get away was the hardest part. Having him see me - really see me - in this horrible emotional mess that I was in was too much. I felt like I had deceived him. If he had seen this before....if he only knew I was this fucked up inside....if had just known what I mess I really am....if he only knew my secrets....he wouldn't have married me. He deserves better than this, better than me. Those thoughts tormented me for months.
I gave him permission to leave. I pushed him away and I pushed hard. I can remember one night where I was sobbing in the shower and I didn't even know why I was crying. I just had this immense hurt inside and I felt like I was going crazy. He wanted to help, wanted to hold me, wanted to know what was wrong. And I screamed at him to leave me alone. I told him to go away. This man, only my husband for a couple of months, and I was trying to shove him out of my life.
But he stayed. Somehow, he stayed. He loved me through it.
The other night we talked about that first year of marriage again - those first six months specifically. I asked him what he did with those moments and the scenes where I tried to let him and our marriage of the hook. I asked him what he wanted to say to me then that he didn't and couldn't. I told him that I imagined that it might feel disappointing - to wait 36 years to finally get married, for this. And he agreed. It had been disappointing.
My heart felt grieved and sad as I stood there trying to put myself in my husband's shoes - looking in at the start of us from his point of view. On what I did, how I showed up, where I did damage.
How I broke his heart.