Image Map

Saturday, May 28, 2016

True Stories About Our Marriage

Today is our Ten Year Anniversary.

The easier post to write would be the one where I post the adoring picture of us and caption it with something along the lines of...

Happy anniversary, babe!  It's been the most amazing ten years!  Can't wait to see what the next ten years holds!  Love you BIG!

I just can't type that without feeling awkward about it.  It would portray my marriage as glossy and superficial.  And, not only is our marriage not glossy, but there is nothing superficial about marriage. Marriage is complex, refining, and beautifully brutal.  It's loving despite

There have been many times in the past ten years that I didn't think we'd make it another day.  Where loving despite seemed like a challenge we no longer wanted to endure. Because that adoring couple you see above, they only sometimes exist.  They've disagreed and said hateful things to one another in heated arguments.  They've gone to bed angry and been on the giving and receiving end of The Silent Treatment countless times (such an unfair game to play, btw). There's been shouting matches where no one wins, and there's been times where leaving seemed like a better option than staying.  

Marriage is work. Every. Single. Day.

But, it is worthy work.  I have to remind myself of that daily.  It's a sacred covenant that God intended for His good.  Marriage is an enduring, undeserving, sometime one-sided love that requires less of me and more of Him.  It's accepting that 50/50 rarely exist, and that we're given each other to offset that imbalance.  Loving despite.  

While each of these pictures shows a smiling Brandon & Abby, the back stories contradict an always-happy-always-loving couple.  

True Story: We were in Hilton Head and spent a large part of our time there arguing with one another.  I couldn't wait to come home. 

True Story: Brandon had just quit his job of seven years.  The future was uncertain.

True Story: We were headed to the fertility specialist, hoping to get pregnant. SUPER stressful.  Hormones were TERRIBLE and I was NOT a nice person during that six month stint!

True Story: We took Becks to the pumpkin patch. I took the day off of work after finding out the mother we had been matched with - and were expecting to bring her baby home to our house in a matter of weeks - had changed her mind. I was devastated and could barely function for days.  

True Story: We were at my grandpa's 80th birthday party and  it was a challenge to hold a conversation without crying about our failed adoption. Ironically, we'd leave this party to find out our daughter had been born the week prior :)

True Story: Faith had been in the hospital for a little over a month at this point and was enduring a second extremely intensive 4-hour surgery.  We were just trying to keep our heads above water at the hospital and at home.  I still don't know how we survived.

True Story: We were headed to look at Christmas lights with the kids, and almost didn't make it after getting into a ridiculous argument in the car.  

True Story: I'm about six months pregnant here and we're at Graeter's for ice cream after a session of marriage counseling.  One of the best things we've ever done for our marriage and each other. Counseling, that is.  Not Graeter's ;) 

True Story: I'm about six-weeks postpartum with Ben, and am heavier than I'd like.  But, I LOVE this picture. Even though we aren't like this ALL the time, there are plenty of times when we are.  When we look at each other as if we're the only two people in the room.  When we know that the decision we made to stand by each other forever ten years ago was the right one. 

I am a better person for being married to Brandon.  He is my best friend, my confidant and lover.  I would stand next time him today and do it all over again.  

Happy Ten Year Anniversary, B. I love you BIG. 

(PS. We are staying in downtown Cinci tonight WITHOUT kids, and will probably sleep through the night for the first time in almost three years!  Wooooo to the hooooooo!)


Teaching Happy Hearts said...

Your honesty is truly inspiring my sweet friend! I always LOVE reading your posts. Happy 10 years!!! I will be celebrating 24 years in August;) #thinkhappybehappy #choosetobehappy
Love & Hugs,

Simply Sherri Mc said...

I can hardly type because I'm crying all over my phone. Happy Anniversary Brandon & Abby! Much much love and admiration from aunt Sherri ❤

Growing Firsties said...

Thank you so much for every single word of this post!!! I needed it in the most poignant way. ❤️

Mommy Webb said...

This is so so so good. And so real. Marriage is a lot of contradictions, but I love the way you said it - we will in the 50-50 gaps because we love each other despite our shortcomings. I always love reading your blog!!��

Krystal said...

I love this so much. Thank you for your honesty. Marriage is definitely hard work! Happy anniversary.

Jackie said...

So real and so honest and a good reminder that I'm not the only one with the imperfect marriage. Thank you Abby, and happy anniversary to you both!!!

Deedee Wills said...

Yes! AND YES! Happy anniversary!!!

Anonymous said...

Despite the "true story" posts, to still be able to stop, smile and pose for a picture speaks to the underlying strength of marriage and commitment...happy anniversary.

Unknown said...

I love this!!!!! Everyone can relate!! Thank you for sharing ����.

Unknown said...

Everything about this post is raw, real, and beautiful. Thanks for keeping it real. My husband and I are approaching our 10 year anniversary in 2 weeks and there is so much that I can relate to in your story. Thank you for writing this.

Kindergarten Squared said...

You are truly one of my favorite NIRL friends I have! You are my go to "keeping it real" girl. I pull for you all the time and pray for good things. I think you do so much for so many who don't even know you, just by laying it all out there. Thank you! Truly!!!

One Giggle said...

Fabulous post Abby! Thank you!
One Giggle At A Time

Jennjilla said...

I love everything about this post! The back stories on you photos could very well describe many of our photographs, too. Happy 10 years! I hope you have the best time sleeping through the night. Best present ever! Hahaha

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty!!! Marriage is hard work!

The Hoscheits said...

I love this post. It made me cry because I appreciate the realness. Thank you for sharing!!

labride said...

Love this! We are celebrating 7 years tomorrow, and I can totally identify with you. Marriage is tough but rewarding:)

twolittlebirds said...

Beautiful!! Happy anniversary to you!!

Traci said...

Every word was so true. Thank you!
Happy Anniversary!!

Shelley H said...

What a realistic, heart-warming story. I loved reading this and wish you two many more happy days and moments ahead as you navigate life with the rest of us. :)


Thrills in Third Grade said...

Congratulations and Happy, happy 10th anniversary!!
Thank you so much for your openness and honesty in your post. I'm coming up on my 3rd anniversary in July, and I often think how am I going to do this? I love your words about "loving despite". So perfect and so true. Thank you!
Enjoy your evening and may you continue loving "despite" for many more years to come!


JanCT said...

What you said about marriage being refining is SO true. Loving DESPITE is what we all need to learn to do and marriage is certainly a place to learn it. Bless you for being so real and for writing a post that will give hope and encouragement to others. Happy Anniversary! In Him, Jan
Laughter and Consistency

Luv My Kinders said...

What a fantastic post! Thanks so much for keeping it real and laying it all out there. Marriage is work and kudos to the two of you for making it work. Happy anniversary!

Luv My Kinders

Stephanie said...

I love this! You've been such an inspiration to me professionally and as a mom and wife. Thanks for keeping it real! Happy Sunday!

Anonymous said...

I fell upon this blog by accident one day and
have been hooked ever since. Your wit, honesty, and charm are refreshing. And real. Thanks for sharing your gifts. You make my heart smile. Happy belated anniversary.

Natalie Kay said...

Just wanted you to know how much I love this post! I don't know how I missed it before. Marriage is work and I appreciate your honesty and openness! Love you!!