I don’t talk about it much here, but I have been married almost 14 years. We were babies when we said our vows.

Or, at least, that’s what everyone said.

At 21 years old, we were getting a lot of advice on how to make a marriage work. People were concerned, you see. We were warned about financial stress and the temptations that could exist outside of our relationship. We were told that love changes and loses its passion. We were told to have babies young. We were told to wait until we were older.

We were told a lot of things. But what absolutely nobody told us was at some point, no matter how much we loved one another, there would come a time when things felt broken beyond repair.

Of course, we had seen couples split and move on over the years. Even couples we admired. But we figured that kind of brokenness was for people who didn’t love one another as much as we did.

Like I said, we were young.

(And, we were wrong.)

Whenever I get a chance to counsel a young couple these days, I always start by saying how much I love Ian. He’s my best friend, my life partner, and my person. I rely on him and trust him with my whole heart. Our relationship is a force to be reckoned with.

But it isn’t unbreakable.

The truth is, we barely survived our first year of marriage—and we share that with anyone willing to listen. We fought often, used cruel words, and cut one another down. There was more resentment than love in those early days. One day, less than a year in, I found myself crying in the shower, wondering how something so precious could just fall to pieces the way it did.

The truth of the matter is, friends: anything precious can break.

RELATED: The Secret to Marriage is to Hold On For Dear Life

A few years ago, I was perusing an Asian market in Orlando, Florida when I happened across a delicate pearl-colored tea cup. It was the kind of fragile thing that makes you nervous to hold, and as I examined it closely, I noticed several glimmering golden streaks painted across its body.

“What a beautiful design,” I muttered.

A man at the market was hovering nearby and quickly responded, “This is Kintsugi.”

I knew that was a statement begging a question, so I asked him to explain what Kintsugi was.

He smiled, “In Japan, we do not toss away precious things that are broken. With Kintsugi, we repair the broken parts with gold. We do not hide the cracks. We honor part of this object’s history and know its story. And then it becomes more precious and more strong than it was before.”

Even now, I can’t help but consider how many broken things I toss in the garbage each year. Just last week, my dog knocked a cup off the counter, sending its shards in ten different directions on our kitchen floor.

I stared at the floor, and for two seconds considered the art of Kintsugi. Then I laughed out loud because no freaking way was I gonna glue that Dollar Store glass together, piece by piece.

The truth is, sometimes it’s just easier to replace a cup than it is to repair one.

But how much more precious was that China tea cup when compared to my Dollar Store everyday glass?

To compare the two is pretty ridiculous.

I understand repairing a beautiful tea cup. I see the beauty in its broken story.

But then . . . how much more precious is a marriage than any piece of China man can buy?

I’m not going to lie, there have been many moments in our marriage when Ian and I stood at the kitchen floor, staring at the proverbial pieces, and wondered if it was worth the effort of fixing.

But then we remember how precious this love has been for so long, now. Even when we are exhausted and frustrated and absolutely over it. Even if it’s his fault the damn thing fell to the ground. Even if there is some other “cup” at Target that might do the trick just as well . . . 

We pick up the pieces. We place them together. We carefully line our broken parts with gold.

RELATED: Marriage is Worth the Hard Parts

Then, when all is whole again, we sit back and wonder at the beauty of it all. There is no such thing as a flawless marriage. But that doesn’t bother me at all. Now I celebrate the love I have for exactly what it is—with every single crack on the exterior.

I’m amazed at how powerful a promise is. And how nothing precious is ever truly broken.

Not if you don’t want it to be.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page


Recommendations in this post contain affiliate links. Her View From Home may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Mary Katherine Backstrom

Mary Katherine resides at MomBabble.com, with her son (Nugget), daughter (Toodleboot), and The Hubs (Ian). There you can find the dreams and musings of a messy, slightly opinionated Southern mama who survives on equal parts grace and coffee. Y'all should be friends. Find her on Facebook or Twitter.

My Husband Doesn’t Change Dirty Diapers

In: Marriage
Father holding baby

My husband doesn’t change dirty diapers. He hates it. The mere thought of a dirty diaper makes him gag. He will drive almost any bargain to get out of changing a diaper filled with anything stinky. In fact, there are a few things my husband doesn’t do that fall solely on me. If I sat down (okay, sort of like I am right now), I could compile an entire list of things my husband doesn’t do for our family. I could write about everything I do better than him and everything I know more about. But that wouldn’t be fair....

Keep Reading

You Came between Us

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler between mom and dad under sheet

Right in the middle of our deepest love, you came—just between us. A silent, unseen surprise. A mysterious miracle of incarnated love and joy. From that sacred moment that we couldn’t imagine being any sweeter, came you. Sometime in the middle of all the daily goodbye hugs, my stomach began to grow and you came between us. This beautiful bundle of life blossoming right inside of me. And we were in awe of every single tiny formation of you. In awe of who you were, excited by who you’d be, in awe that you were ours. You came between us...

Keep Reading

To My Wife: I See Your Sacrifice

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Family of 3 sitting on floor together at home

Selfless. No other word more clearly depicts your commitment to your family. Motherhood is drastically different than you dreamed of your whole life—the dreams of what sort of mama you would be, of how much you would enjoy being a mother even on the tough days. Since day one of our relationship, you’ve been selfless. Since day one of being a mama, you’ve been selfless. Your love for your family shines through on the brightest and darkest days. But on the dark days, it shines the brightest. I can’t count the hours of sleep sacrificed, the tears cried, the time...

Keep Reading

If You’re Fighting for Your Marriage Right Now, Keep Going

In: Marriage
Couple embracing with worried look on woman's face

My husband and I just celebrated 20 years of marriage last week. For the first five years of our marriage, we had no kids. We now have six. We have been through multiple moves, job changes, pregnancies, miscarriage, child loss, the death of loved ones, grief, three adoptions, mental illness etc. I see marriage totally differently than I did 20 years ago.  I believe, above everything, it takes two people willing to sacrifice and work hard (maybe one more than the other during different seasons) in order for the marriage to stay afloat. Marriage, if done right, does not puff one up...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

“I Can’t Do This Anymore,” He Said—Then Everything Changed

In: Living, Marriage
Woman with head in hands

The questions are very much valid. Did I know when I married him? Did I know when we struggled with infertility and trying to become parents? Did I know when we unexpectedly became pregnant with our second child? When did you know your husband was an alcoholic? The answer is simple yet so complex, I pretty much knew from the first year, yet I was in complete denial. When I met him, he was just my type—a bad boy with a bad reputation, yet so cute! On our third date or so, I saw how much he could drink and how...

Keep Reading

I Want More than Mediocre Love

In: Marriage
Man and woman holding hands facing away from each other, silhouette

It felt like an out-of-body experience as I watched my fingers type into the Google search bar, “Local divorce lawyers near me.” I just want to know my options. Yet, my heart pounded as realized I was halfway serious in considering a divorce. There was no betrayal, no abuse, no lying, or cheating. My husband was and is a good man. The truth was he did not do anything wrong, I was just convinced he was doing nothing right. We were in the thick of life with a new baby, and I was certain that the man I loved was...

Keep Reading

My Husband’s in Love with a Different Woman Now

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Couple standing by Christmas decorations

He’s in love with a different woman now . . . I met my husband seven years ago. We got married and went on adventures. Went to some weddings and had a bunch of kids. Every Christmas party season, we would celebrate by going out to dinner . . . except this year that one dress didn’t fit. I had my husband try to zip it, and then my mom . . . there was no budging. I had been tiny, I had been heavy—sick and healthy. My weight had been a roller coaster always. But, this special dress had always...

Keep Reading

Did I Deserve My Husband’s Affair?

In: Marriage
Woman looking out window

When my husband left and ran off with a lady from his office, all of my friends and family bombarded me with one massive conclusion: Divorce him! You deserve better! Back then, I agreed. “Yes! I deserve way better than this!” And like a fast-moving train locked in place, my deserving something better became the fuel to cut him off. Then, as time wore on, I began to wonder, what exactly did I “deserve”? In the dictionary, “deserve” means “to have earned or to be given something because of the way you have behaved or the qualities you have.” Am I...

Keep Reading

I’ve Changed My Mind about Everything but You

In: Marriage
Husband and wife selfie in field of wildflowers, color photo

I’ve changed my mind about almost everything but you. When I was a little girl, I couldn’t pick my favorite Spice Girl. I loved Baby Spice, but was also a big fan of sports. So what about Sporty Spice? And all their outfits were so cool, I couldn’t make up my mind about which one I hoped to become one day. When I was in middle school, I’d eagerly await my bi-weekly orthodontist appointments just so I could pick a new band color for my braces. And within a day or two, I’d have already decided I hated them, and...

Keep Reading