The game show of my marriage would be called “Can This Marriage Survive?

My husband and I would stand on opposite sides of the room and the host, standing in front of the podium, would be front and center. “Welcome to ‘Can This Marriage Survive?'” The tall mustached man would bellow to a studio audience as everyone squealed with delight. 

Let the game begin.

The first test: one kid, followed by two. 

No sleep. 

No more date nights. 

Weird, unexpected arguments over who’s watching who. When is soccer practice? “Why are you taking a nap when the kids are outside playing in mud?”

The second test: life. A new job, losing a loved one, financial strain, or a big move. 

Trying to communicate through grief. Or stress. Or depression. 

Wondering what love looks like in conflict. Raw, ugly conflict. 

The third test: time. 

We start to change. One person starts to focus on religion more. Another starts to drink more heavily. Friends shift, nights out look different. Passion fades. Sex has changed. 

My husband and I look at each other from across the room. We want to win. We do. But these tests are hard. They challenge us. They push, they hurt, they tear at us. 

Some days we are ahead. Others . . . behind. Some days we are on the same team and other days we are playing against each other. 

Can this marriage survive? I don’t know. But I’m not walking away. I’m here to win. 

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