One evening I was lying in bed, finally unwinding from the typical chaotic day and catching up on all my messages from friends. Now was the time I could elaborate on the “sounds good” or “cute” quick reply I sent earlier. (Truly this is one of my favorite times of the day). I could check my calendar and RSVP to those Facebook invites for mom meet-ups, and chat back and forth with my friends who just got their kids to sleep, too.
As I was checking in on a dear friend, she opened her heart up to me and said her marriage was a sham, and she was struggling. That things are nothing as they seem with the two of them, and she spent many nights that week crying herself to sleep. I offered to come over and sit with her but met her at her comfort level of just messaging back and forth. She let me in on a few secrets and how alone she felt. How social media was wreaking havoc on her with unrealistic expectations of how marriage is.
Oh, boy, if she only knew the last six months my husband and I were having. Maybe she needs to know? To feel like she isn’t failing as a mom and wife.
Because truth be told . . . my marriage was in a rut, too.
You see, I thought we made it as we concluded 2020 after all the Covid challenges. Financial hardships, extensive travel, big life changes, and running this ship we call home. But we didn’t make it. We merely bandaged ourselves up enough to see another day. Then we bandaged some gaping wounds up improperly which never fully healed and reopened months later.
All the straws on the camel’s back came off with a fury. It was as though our closet packed full of secrets was opening, and we were drowning in arguments. How do you even pick which ones to tackle? There were so many. To be frank, we couldn’t even stand the sight of each other. It wasn’t worth fighting and addressing anymore.
We concluded we were incompatible many times and looked for the quickest exit and best case for our family. We gave up.
There didn’t feel to be much love left, and my husband had grown so much over the last year, he felt miles from being a father and husband and was hyper-focused on personal growth. He was bored of the mundane life and only wanted some excitement again. Hey, me too. My only excitement was Target curbside pick up and that wasn’t cutting it either.
We continued to bandage ourselves up for sporadic couples nights and emerged from our car as a loving duo. Only to get in the car after the evening concluded and sit in silence. To then brush our teeth and get into bed both agreeing we weren’t happy anymore. For months.
My son heard words he shouldn’t have, and we were absolutely broken. We still are pretty broken to be transparent with everyone, but we’re taking each wound and fixing it completely (no patch jobs allowed) before we move on to the next. I say all of this because my friends are terrified to be the only marriage on the block that isn’t shiny right now.
Marriage is hard. Life is weird right now.
So if you ever go to bed wondering what if or how did you get here—to this place of sadness and defeat, I lie awake at night with you in solidarity for wanting to make it work, but not knowing how.
Giving up is hard, but fighting when you know it’s a steep climb is even harder. Hold your friend’s hand as she weathers this storm and trial in her marriage. You can’t unbreak a heart, but you can repair a marriage. Don’t close this chapter, start a new book—together.