A couple years ago, I started a blog. I only had a vague idea about what I wanted to write about in it, but I knew I somehow wanted to write about the realities of love and marriage. I wanted a place where I could be an encouragement to others who might be feeling how I felt in my own relationship: sometimes stuck, yet choosing to push through the hard times still.
Though I appreciated the chance to write out my thoughts, I also struggled with knowing that I didn’t really have all the magic answers. I was (and am) still figuring out the best way to make my marriage work just like everyone else is trying to make their marriage work too.
Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to regularly contribute personal stories about love and relationships at I Believe In Love. It didn’t mean that I had any more magic answers about marriage than before… but it was my hope that by putting myself out there that I was committed to making my marriage work no matter what that it would be an encouragement to others that they can do the same.
But another thing happened earlier this year too. I found out that I was expecting a third child, only to discover at an 8-week ultrasound that there was no longer a heartbeat. I was going to miscarry.
I know that miscarriages happen. But, I still found myself reeling from the news with much more sadness and grief than I would have expected. And unfortunately, instead of my husband and I coming together in unity over this shared loss, we allowed it to drive a wedge into our relationship.
I acutely felt the loss of life that had been inside me, but my husband couldn’t comprehend the extent of my grief; to him my pregnancy at that point had been little more than a second line on a test and a picture of an ultrasound image. Even though he loves me very deeply, he didn’t know how to discuss the topic with me, and so we didn’t talk about it. I felt alone and even slightly bitter at him for not sharing my pain as I thought he should. Our glaring disconnect certainly didn’t make us the kind of awesome couple who has marriage all figured out and should be giving advice to others.
There I was though, supposed to be writing these wonderful stories about love and marriage to encourage others when I didn’t feel at all that I had anything encouraging to say.
So I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t write. I didn’t feel qualified. My marriage didn’t feel qualified. I didn’t know much more than anyone else trying to make their marriage work too. However, as with many things in marriage and life, the dawn eventually came again, the darkness eventually subsided, and my husband and I eventually talked it out and came to understand each other.
Since I had felt unable to talk to my husband about my grief, I decided to instead write out my thoughts and then share them with him. Later that night when he came home from work, he thanked me for being so vulnerable. It had allowed him to understand my perspective and why I was hurting. We were able to talk more that night, so that I no longer felt as though I were going through the sadness alone anymore.
I’m definitely not an expert on marriage. My marriage is not perfect. Even after writing all these encouraging stories. Even after blogging about marriage. We still don’t have it all figured out.
BUT. We try. And we keep trying. Because we’re committed to doing so. For life. And here I am too, back to writing personal stories about my marriage and hoping, once again, to encourage others in their marriages as well.
Because you don’t have to have a perfect marriage to still be an encouragement to others. You just have to be honest. And keep trying. Because marriage is worth it.