This post is for my very best friend, my lover, my soulmate. Fifteen years strong. And just celebrating ten years of marriage. It’s crazy to think that I’m thirty-three and I’ve been with this man through my late teens, my twenties and beyond. To say our lives together have been challenging is an understatement. We’ve been through hell. I’ve put him through hell. He’s put me through hell. And everything came burning down in what seemed like an instant, but we all know what comes out of the ashes…
On May 17, 2017 we had a physical altercation. If you read my post (Girl, Pull the Stick Outta Your Eye) you will remember me talking about how I let a monster out. That monster was me hitting my husband. I started something I could never take back.
I started it, and he finished it.
This came as a shock to a lot of people when they found out. Hey man, shocked me too!
What bothered me is that most friends got upset with him because “men should never hit women”. Forgive me, but PEOPLE shouldn’t hit PEOPLE. If you do- expect them to come back at you. I cant expect that I’m laying punches on my husbands nose for him to not come back at me. I’m not blaming just me, don’t get me wrong. I’m taking responsibility for my poor actions.
The only person we can take responsibility for is ourselves.
A lot of things lead us to that point. Our lack of communication. His alcohol abuse. My codependency. Our anger and resentment. The need for control. Lack of spirituality. Lack of care for one another. Our love was dwindling. May 17, 2017. I’ll never forget that date.
There’s another date that stands out, though. April 9, 2018. The day Nate relinquished alcohol from his life.
The past two years have been so amazing. Yes, challenging at times. But our communication, our love, our trust, just us being us…it’s been amazing and I’m never looking back. I know that we will never look back on that date and feel like we are still there…because from that day forward we’ve been busting our asses for each other. We’ve been working on our mental health strongly. We talk. We listen. Any time we have an “issue” we take the time to speak our minds and listen…and the topic may be painful but we respect each other now in a way that I can hardly explain. I’m so glad that we decided to stick it out. I don’t believe I’ve ever been so in love.
Love can hurt. Greatly. And without proper communication love can fall apart rather quickly.
I crack up at people who say, “if that were me, I would _________.” (That used to be me.) We have NO idea what we would do in any situation until we are actually in the situation. I decided to give him grace. More importantly I decided to give myself grace. To forgive myself for MY sins. To move forward and never look back. To give myself the opportunity to truly love my husband.
On April 9, 2018 when Nathan vowed to me he will not take another drink of alcohol… I was so skeptical. To be honest, there’s many times that I still am. There’s that fear that it can all come crashing down…because it HAS come crashing down before. But what I can say is that the last two years have been the happiest years we’ve ever experienced as a couple.
Our growth has been completely mind boggling. It’s really hard to explain…but I feel like I’m back with my best friend again. My high school sweetheart. I’m with the man I married. The man I knew I had, deep down in there. Without the cloud of alcohol. That’s who I’m with now. Sometimes it scares the shit outta me…because he’s everything I’ve ever wanted. He takes care of me. He provides for me and his son. He encourages me to follow my dreams. He encourages me to be the best version of myself. And I encourage him to do the same.
I don’t want it to change. But just as much- I don’t want to let fear take control.
It’s embarrassing that we ever got to that point. It really is. It’s going to be really hard for me to hit the publish button on this one. It’s hard being this vulnerable. It’s hard trying to not care what other people think. But one of my goals with this experience was to be completely open. This is a journey…not a guided tour. (Thank you, Aunt Stephanie.)
And, hey…I’m not perfect. Are you? Naw. Didn’t think so. *wink*
What’s weird is that I’ve never seen myself in that light until I was in that light..ya know? It’s strange being this loving, caring, selfless, smiling kinda person…and then one day I’m looking at myself in the mirror wondering who the eff I am. It’s strange looking in my own eyes and not recognizing myself. It’s strange picking up the pieces that I helped dismantle. But I did it. I DID THAT.
I’ve had friends in similar situations. They would cry to me asking me how the hell they could ever be like that. How could they ever let themselves come to that point. And it’s because there was something they weren’t working on. Something they let slide out of their grasp. It’s the same thing I did. The same thing Nathan did. And it hurts. And it sucks. And it’s… reality.
It just so happens that reality is real. It’s happening to someone right now…
This was an isolated incident for us. I wasn’t constantly scared that my husband was going to hurt me. I wasn’t being physically abused like many people assumed. But it came to the point where I decided that I couldn’t handle his drinking anymore, because I didn’t want that situation to happen again.
It was me or the alcohol.
He chose love and he chose to take responsibility for his own actions. And so...
Happy ‘Tin’ Year!
Thank you for…
…taking personal responsibility to a whole new level.
… your support. It’s unwavering. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.
…learning about me… with me.
… loving me just as I am and being patient with me these last few years and beyond.
… listening to me when I wasn’t sure you were ready to hear what I had to say (especially if it was about you).
… helping me to make what I see as imperfection in my life into a super power and helping me to quiet that voice in my head that tells me I’m not worthy.
… going with the flow when I fail to communicate and take charge of things I should have communicated about.
…realizing I’m still learning our new and beautiful way of life.
… being the you I knew was always in there. I missed him for a while. I’m so glad he’s been back. I’m so glad we are back.
… trying with me.
… realizing I try as hard as I can everyday. Every damn day.
… loving me the way I deserve to be loved.
I love you.
May the wind lovingly be at your back,
*featured image photo credit: Patricia (Frans) Tennille