Dear Husband, The Truth About Our Marriage

Dear Husband,

This season of life has been a challenging one.

I know it shouldn’t come as a surprise, since people have always told us how hard the first few years of marriage can be. We are smack dab in the middle of those years, after all.

And I know we are not the only ones feeling it. As a matter of fact, I’ve recently started to see other young couples our age announcing the end of their marriages. At first, these announcements always shock me. How could a couple so young be ending a marriage that has only just begun?

But, as you and I sit here in silence in front of the TV after a long day, staring at our phones, I have to admit that I get it.

All of those people who warned us that marriage isn’t always easy? They were right. It is hard. I think we would both admit that this whole “for better or worse” thing hasn’t always been a walk in the park. In a few short years, we’ve already been through so much together. There have been new jobs, unexpected jobs changes, and jobs we’ve hated every second of. There have been new homes, gross old homes, and even homes attacked by centipedes. There has been miscarriage, illness, and the loss of family members. There have been financial worries and more “adult” decisions than I thought two kids like us would ever have to make in such a short time.

And if we are being totally honest, I think we’d both admit that adding children to the mix has been one of the hardest changes of all.

We fight over things that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for our kids – Things like, who has to get up at 6am on a Saturday with the screaming alarm clock, who has to discipline them after the tantrum in the middle of the frozen food aisle, and why in the world you would give our toddler a cookie just 10 minutes before dinner.

We spend very little time just the two of us these days, and when we finally do find time, we usually spend it doing “boring” stuff. We catch up on episodes of our favorite shows, we go to Target just to walk around in peace without a ticking-tantrum-timebomb accompanying us, or we sit in a movie theater shoving our faces with the sugar we usually deny our kids. We don’t spend as much time talking and laughing and playing as we used to, because we are both so tired. When we get the chance, we just want to turn our brains off. We don’t want to think. We stare at our phones instead of each other. Somedays, it feels like we hardly talk at all. And when we do, it’s often to take out our stress and frustration on one another.

I know that there have been times during our pointless arguments that we’ve both wondered if these years are supposed to be this way. We’ve wondered if we are the only ones who don’t know how to pass the time with our antsy toddler on those long Saturday afternoons. We’ve questioned whether we are the only ones who argue over who has to watch the kids so one of us can have a break, instead of spending our free time going on elaborately planned family adventures together.

Since getting married and having kids, we’ve spent less time taking care of ourselves in favor of sleep. We’ve started to “let ourselves go” and, let’s be honest, we might even be starting to rock the “Mom and Dad bods.” We don’t go out with our friends as much as we used to and staying up late usually means 10:00 (or maybe 12:00, if we are feeling extra crazy). Our idea of “partying” is ordering pizza so that neither of us has to cook or clean up the kitchen.

Let’s face it. In just 3 short years together, our marriage has already changed a lot. And to some, our marriage might not look all that exciting.

But, I want you to know something.

This season? The good, and even the bad? It hasn’t surprised me. I knew it would be challenging. And you know what else? I’m not naïve. I know that we aren’t going to “outgrow” the hard. It’s not like learning to ride a bike. You don’t just figure out the hard part once, and then cruise through the rest of life. Each season ahead is bound to bring challenges of it’s own. I know our marriage will continue to change, and there are sure to be continued growing pains along the way.

But, even now, in these first few “hard” years, I love our life. I love our boring, weird, simple life. Even though my words and actions may not always show it, I love you through the quiet nights of staring at the TV in silence, because I’m sitting next to you. I love you through the financial worries and hard decisions, because I’m facing them with you. Despite the challenges we have faced as a young married couple, I know this is just a season, and I am so very glad that I’m living it with you.

Yes, it’s hard sometimes.

And there will be more hard seasons, no doubt. There will be days when I’m crazy about you and days when I don’t like you at all. There will be times of pure bliss and times when our faith is the thread holding us together. There will be hardships ahead like nothing we’ve ever faced before, and there will be times so good that we will do everything in our power to hold onto them forever. We’ll face boring and crazy, easy and hard, babies and budgets, wins and losses, joy and pain, long hours and sleepless nights. The seasons will just keep changing, and so will our life together.

But one thing will never change, I’m certain.

Through every season, dear husband, I will love you and our life together.

(You can also find this article over on Scary Mommy and The Huffington Post)

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  1. Megan Sollenberger

    This is perfection! Exactly, exactly, exactly how my husband and I feel right now. Thanks for taking the words out of my mouth and putting them so beautifully on paper. (Well, the internet, haha.)

  2. I love this. I think we go into marriage not realizing that it is actually work. That even the best couples have hard times. And it’s definitely not easy. But, those of us willing to do the work are the ones that, hopefully, are still married 50+ years later. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Marielle- this is where my husband and I are at. 3.5 years of marriage (but knowing each other 5), our beautiful daughter almost a year old now. Patient with this less than glamorous time and grateful we’re both willing to stick out the boring stuff, while enjoying the exhilarating new parenthood stuff together. Thanks for voicing what I’ve been feeling.

  4. This is beautiful, Marielle. My husband and I have been married almost a year and a half now and we have learned so much!
    We are not parents yet, but as we look forward to those years I am glad to know that there are other parents out there who are loving each other (even imperfectly) through the tough seasons.

  5. This is beautiful. You know one thing I always say is, “There is romance in the dishes.” Hollywood gives us this picture of romance. One that is spontaneous dates, just because flowers, staying up late together, extravagant dates, etc. But really the true romance is every day life when that person chooses to love you through it all. The romance is in watching your favorite shows, raising kids, cleaning the house, waking up early on Saturdays, it’s messy life with the one you love and loving them more and more. That is true romance. :)

  6. Debbie

    FYI it does get better. I’ve got 3 (!!!) kids 6,4, nearly 2 and 10 years of marriage under my belt. We have moved 7 times in our marriage. My husband is also a physician in the military. We are just 32 years old. Some of it, as they say in the military, is surrendering to the suck. This is not a time of your life that is about either of your wants etc–it just isn’t. Once that is established, it makes all that comes after a bit more bearable.

    And you’re together through it all…even if you are hanging on by your fingernails.

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