So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

When I said “for better or for worse” nearly 10 years ago, I meant it, but in all honesty, I’m not sure what I thought “for better or for worse” was going to look like in our marriage.

Job changes, financial difficulties, arguments over household chores, parenting differences—sure, I considered and expected things like these to pop in our lives, and some of them did. What I didn’t expect, though, were many things we’ve experienced as husband and wife:

Watching the TV screen together during an ultrasound, only to see my empty womb and crumpling into your arms as we began to grieve the loss of the child who was no longer there.

Watching you rush from the delivery room with our second daughter as she was whisked away to the NICU and I lay on the table trying to process what was happening.

Receiving your phone call in the middle of the night while I was away on business that our then nearly 3-month-old baby had been rushed to the hospital by ambulance.

All of these experiences, and so many more like them, have filled our lives, our marriage. And as much as these moments have been painful and trying, and even emotionally, mentally and spiritually paralyzing, there have been amazing gifts provided to us through them. As I look back across the landscape of our 10 years of marriage, I’m amazed at how I also, in my naïveté, never stopped to think about how these difficult times, the ones that no one wants to go through, the ones I think most couples are afraid to face for fear of what it will do to them and their marriages, would be the most refining and defining moments for us as a couple.

Yes, I still look at you and swoon, knowing that you are the most handsome man I’ve ever laid eyes on; yes, 10 years later, your sense of humor and wit still leave me in stitches each day, but I look at you now and I see so much more.

I see the man who has held me together as I fell apart over the loss of our son. I see the man who brought me the desperately needed reassurance that Ava would be in good hands in the NICU and our older daughter, Olivia was being taken care of by family. I see the man who encouraged me to stay calm when Ava was rushed to the hospital and I was gone, the man who was the cool, calm, collected one I absolutely needed at that time, and so did she.

I know that when we said “for better or for worse” a decade ago, you probably didn’t consider any of these moments either, but I hope you can look back on them and many others to see the “more” of me that I’ve become because of our relationship. And I can only hope that you, too, can look upon these days of our lives and see that, although they were unexpected, the fruits of these experiences are exactly what we had in mind when we said, “I do”:

A happy family.

A loving marriage that grows stronger by the day.

A bond that even that the most trying times will not break.

Strong faith.

Joy and purpose in our lives.

I look forward to the next 10 years with a mix of both excitement and peace. There will be so many more “for better or worse” moments in our lives, but I look forward to being better with you because of both the better and the worse.

Originally published on The Mighty

You may also like: 

Dear Husband, I Am With You Even When It’s Hard

Husband, We Make the Very Best Team

Dear Husband, When Life Is Hard You Are Still My Person

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here!

Melissa Ohden

Melissa Ohden is a well-known Christian and Pro-Life Speaker. She is the author of the award-winning book, You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir. Melissa is a frequent guest on radio programs such as Focus on the Family, the BBC, and the Mike Huckabee show. Melissa’s a frequent contributor to sites including The Mighty, LifeNews, and Fox News. Melissa, her husband Ryan, and daughters Olivia and Ava reside in Kansas City, Missouri.

No Man in a Girl’s Life Holds More Influence than Her Dad

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Father and daughter on amusement ride, color photo

As I sat outside Walmart watching my husband of nearly 16 years walk in with my 9-year-old daughter to buy me a box of tampons, I realized how blessed I am.  This is real life. Not only does he not care about running into the store and picking up these items, he asks our girls if they want to join him, and they use this time to talk. They talk about real-life—about growing up, changing bodies, what tampons are even for, how they can wait years and years before they need to start dating, how he will be waiting outside...

Keep Reading

That Old Chevy Tells the Story of Us

In: Marriage
Old Chevrolet truck, black-and-white photo

There’s an old Chevy that sits at the far end of our driveway, out of the way but not forgotten. It may seem like a hunk of worn-out metal to most, but to my husband and me, it signifies a whole lot more. In our town, there are not many exciting things to do, but there are endless country backroads. For two high schoolers in love, those roads were the beginning of everything—they were the highway to our futures and the start of a new chapter that turned into a book that’s still being written. The story of us. I...

Keep Reading

Marriage Is Better When We Bring Our True Selves

In: Marriage
Man and woman hook fingers with wedding rings on

There once was a boy whose favorite toy was a scale. He got it from his mom, a loud divorced woman who always showed her independence. He hoped that one day, he and his wife would never divorce. They would be aligned in everything—in perfect balance—just like his scale. One day, he grew up and became a man. He met a woman who told him he would marry her if he gave her the scale. He happily did and proposed. Everything she wanted, he did, and he felt they were aligned. Five years passed, and he noticed the scale seemed...

Keep Reading

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Don’t Want To Fight

In: Marriage
Husband and wife facing away from each other on bed

Dear husband, It seems like every month, we are embroiled in the same “discussion,” which inevitably turns into an argument, and if we go down the well-worn path, eventually becomes an ear-splitting match.  Talking over each other’s voices, we battle it out in an attempt to be heard. The more we try to explain ourselves to each other, the farther apart we push each other. Still, we persist. We want so badly for each of us to try to understand where the other is coming from, but we can’t seem to do it at this moment. You think, If only...

Keep Reading

The Conversation We’re Forgetting To Have About Birth

In: Baby, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman having a baby man holding her hand

My husband lay sleeping, his head resting on a fluffy, down-stuffed pillow in our hotel room. His bag was packed neatly, ESPN was playing quietly in the background, and he had unopened snacks at his disposal on the end table. Our hotel phone rang, and my husband groggily answered, ”Yes? Oh, sorry. Yeah, we’ll keep it down. Sorry.” He hung up and found me miserable and shaky in the shower, the thin shower curtain clinging to my legs.  “Steph, we got a noise complaint. You have to keep it down!” he whispered. This is not how I expected labor to...

Keep Reading

Is Our Love Enough To Withstand the Devastation of Addiction?

In: Marriage
Couple walking hand in hand black and white photo

I lie awake at night listening to my husband’s breathing. He is clearly asleep. I, on the other hand, am wide awake feeling sad and alone. Where did we go wrong? How did we end up here? I look back fondly on those early days when we were madly in love. We couldn’t get enough of each other. It was like there was a magnet pulling us toward each other, insisting that our bodies connect. A caress under the table, a hand on the small of my back, there was always some part of us touching. I felt loved and wanted....

Keep Reading

My Husband Makes Me a Stronger Woman

In: Grief, Loss, Marriage
Daddy standing over hospital crib with infant, black-and-white photo

A little over a year ago, my husband and I went through the unimaginable. We lost our child, Lillian, to a congenital heart defect. The days following that, and even to this day, people will comment on how strong I am. How well I’ve dealt with this darkness. How they can’t imagine what I am going through. The truth is I was never alone. From the day we found out I would give birth to a child who had complex heart defects, my husband has been there. Always in the background of what others saw but ever so present in...

Keep Reading

I’m Mostly a Mom Right Now and Sometimes I Forget How to Be a Wife

In: Marriage, Motherhood

Sometimes it’s easy to take you for granted. Sometimes it’s easy to put my focus on other people, things to get done, places to go. Sometimes it’s easy to assume that you’ll always be there. But sometimes I need to make you a priority. I need to thank you for your hard work, your dedication to me and the kids, your selflessness. I need to ask how your day was, take an investment in your interests, and be more considerate of your needs. The hustle and bustle of everyday life gets in the way and is an easy excuse. Honestly,...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, Where Did You Go? Where Did We Go?

In: Marriage

When did it all change for you?  When did you stop looking at me that way? You know, the look. The look you gave me when you wanted me. Truly wanted me. I could feel the desire for me down deep in my bones.  When did your smile fade? Actually, I think it has disappeared completely. It used to be so big it took up your entire face. Where did it go?  I remember being unable to keep our hands off of each other. There was a force pulling my skin to yours. It was magnetic. Do you remember that?...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections