Troy and I have been experiencing some pretty crazy days of roles changing, schedules being wacky, and having to adjust our family to a new city. I want us to always be the couple that remains transparent and open with people about the journey we are on. I’m pretty sure you are aware that marriage isn’t always perfect, and that at moments we choose to love the one we are with… Let me say that again: You actively, in pain and feeling frustrated when things suck and you don’t even like each other, choose to love the one you are with.
So much change for me at once has brought up some crazy emotional things I was not expecting. I went from being a stay-at-home mom 80% of the time—one who had the flexibility to train clients and blog when her babies were sleeping—to being a mom whose work schedule has her leaving the house most mornings at 5:00 a.m. to train clients and invest time in taking her business to the next level. There are mornings my heart hurts that I’m not being woken up by little people calling my name and that this role has now shifted to Daddy. It’s funny that I had so often wanted to escape the chaos of Motherhood in the past, but with this shift of life I find myself missing every crazy second of it. We always want what we don’t have, right?
I do feel very blessed, though, that my work days often end early in the afternoons (due to my early start) so that I can pick the kids up and spend the rest of the day breaking up fights and loving on themJ
But let’s talk about marriage…
Two months ago I was married to a hard working business man who had tons on his plate. Fast forward to now, and he’s in school, he’s investing time in the local church, and he’s changing. His life has shifted, his goals have changed, and the man he once was is no longer the man I see every day. I have seen him choose to set aside comfort for a goal that is bigger than himself. I have seen him carve out time every day to fit in studying and family time. I have seen his heart grow for me as endure my own lack of comfort with change. But most of all I’ve seen him change…
Often we think that when someone changes for the better, we will madly fall in love with him or her and it will really take this marriage thing to the next level. Change is still change, though, for some of us—good or bad. Unpredictability breeds discomfort and often stirs up fears we didn’t even know existed. For some of you I’m sure this may sound crazy. You may even be thinking “It sounds like you are married to superman! Get it together and just love him!”
Two months ago I was married to a man who was amazing at his job and whose job was secure. We owned a beautiful house, and our children were in one of the most amazing schools. We had incredible friends, and to be honest, life was pretty happy go lucky.
Life has changed. It is amazing, and we are loving our new life on the coast, but this change has brought up many challenges for us in terms of our place in our marriage and who we are as individuals. We are only nine and a half years into marriage and are really getting our feet wet, but one thing we have learned is to love one another when it hurts. There are going to be things that come your way in marriage that will rock you on many different levels. Maybe it’s a job change, maybe it’s a loved one lost, maybe it’s losing your identity after investing all your time in raising babies…
Whatever it may be, life is going to happen, and it’s sometimes going to bring disappointment. With disappointment will come emotions you did not even know existed. When it happens, don’t lose hope. Despite the pain of the moment, press in and stay committed to finding one another in the haze.
Having to switch roles and be the working mom whose husband drops her children (our children) off at school and knows more about Adelaide’s napping habits has not been easy for me. This adjustment has brought up anger, resentment, and fear that I’m not enough. In my tired haze of the first month of our changed routine, fear of not showing up as the world’s best trainer, mother and wife totally overtook my daily thoughts, and marriage got rough. When we find ourselves standing on shaky ground instead of the sacred ground of certainty, we get rocked—and so does our marriage.
Troy cannot fix me when I find myself in this place, and I doubt your partner will be able to either. (Unless you’re married to Brene Brown. In that case, please tell her I’m a huge fan.)
It has only been a month, but it has felt like a year of learning for me! Things are not perfect. Troy’s not perfect , I’m not perfect, and our marriage is not perfect, but one thing I have learned over this past month of discomfort and rediscovering my passion for business and the role of working mom is that pressing into your discomfort and not running away from it really is where you will find the answers. We have pressed in hard over our nine and a half years, and each time we come to one of these interesting points in our marriage, I see more clearly how important it is to battle it out and press into what makes us want to crawl out of our skin…or for some people, makes them want to crawl out of their marriage.
How do you make it through the crawl-out-of your-skin moment?
I’m no expert, but for me choosing to put others before myself has helped a lot. We hear a lot of about self care and self love. It’s part of our generation. We are so fixated on loving ourselves that we totally miss the most important thing that really fuels us and what we are made for, which I believe is the love we invest in others.
When I get caught up in my own pain and feeling sorry for myself, I totally miss the moments when I could pause and invest in someone else’s story. Do I believe in taking care of ourselves and making time for personal time? Yes I do, one hundred percent! But I also believe we often go from one extreme to the next…from meditation to walking right back into our craziness and forgetting to see people along the way. These people include the ones we spend the most time with (our partners).
Are you struggling to love the one you are with? I want to encourage you today to start small. How does he or she feel, receive, and want to be loved? Maybe today it’s something as small as holding his or her hand or encouraging him or her through reminding your partner that you believe in him or her. Start small, invest in the little things, and make room for positive change in your marriage. This is going to take effort and work, and it won’t feel good for some of you at first. It may even suck, but I promise your investment will be worth it, not only for the health of your marriage but also for your own health. What has nine and a half years of marriage taught me?
Life is not about us. It’s about finding ourselves through loving someone more than ourselves…
Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become “whole” and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.