People who have known me for a long time, know that for the majority of my young adult life I have been very fearful of getting married. While normal little girls were dreaming of their prince charming and of their fairytale wedding, I was having nightmares about being handcuffed and drug down an aisle to my doom. Don’t worry I have been to counseling, I’m all good now haha. No but seriously, I’m cool.
It was even a running joke in college that nobody was allowed to even say the “M word” around me. It was not until Shain and I had been dating for about 6-7 years that I finally came to terms with the idea of getting married. Now, I have great relationship with my parents who are both happily married to my amazing step-parents, but growing up in a divorced household really took it’s toll on me. It made me question what marriage/family really means and what it stands for. Which I guess in hindsight, is not a bad thing at all.
However, since becoming engaged… this fear has crept it’s way back in a little bit. Not a month goes by where I don’t hear of a co-worker, friend or acquaintance talk about their recent divorce. It is everywhere. What scares me even more is when people say things like...”We never thought this would happen to us” or “We have just grown into different people”. When people say these things, I just want to cry. My heart aches for them and for their families. It also scares the living daylights out of me.
What if Shain and I don’t make it? How can we be sure that this doesn’t happen? This has become a frequent topic of discussion for us this past year. I don’t think a week has gone by that we don’t talk about it, that we don’t address the question of, “How can we make sure we are different?”. We have made lists of pet peeves of each other to work on, we have talked about our “family game plan” for how we want to raise our kids, we discuss each others goals and how we can help each other reach them and we have talked about what we are both willing to sacrifice when it comes to our family and marriage, and what we are not. We have literally sat down and written all this stuff out and had hours of discussion. But once the kids start coming, once life starts to get crazy and hectic…how hard will it be to hold each other accountable to all this?
As crazy as it seems, we very often talk about wanting to move far away from society as we know it and live in a cabin in the woods, or maybe the mountains. So much of how we live our lives and what we believe in, is not normal to society. So the idea of just moving far away from civilization to live a “simple” life sounds so very appealing. Away from the materialism of wanting more, doing more, having more and spending more. Away to a place where not eating crap food or worse WATCHING what you eat in general (gasp) doesn’t come with awkward stares. Away from the need to fill our children’s’ schedules with club sports, private lessons and god knows what else…because everyone else is doing it and if you don’t, your kid will be behind. Away from the pressures of this society that make sustaining a healthy relationship and focusing on what matters, very hard.
As awesome as an isolated cabin in the mountains sounds, we know we can’t do that. We have to stay and we have to fight. We have to fight for our happiness, for our balance and for what we believe in. We have to continue to go against the grain. Because if we leave, it means we are not strong enough to handle the challenge. Of course it would be easier to just get away from it all, but then what kind of example would we be setting?
I am not sure what these next years are going to bring. I know there will be good times, tough times and just plain crazy times. But I truly hope we can stay focused. Not on buying a big house, having nice things or spending so much time running around..that we forget who we are. Just two people, who love each other very much and want to leave a positive mark on this world. We will make that official promise to each other in less than 6 months, but that wedding day means absolutely nothing if we can’t actually keep that promise. I have faith that we will stay in the fight.
Stay blessed in the mess 🙂