Sticking to It

Jay and I – I know in my heart this man belongs with my heart. I know that there is no other reality for either of us than, God willing, to grow old together, weathering life’s storms side by side, hand in hand. I’ve been feeling so blessed lately by his love, by his unconditional and unwavering love. I’ve also been feeling really reflective, and kind of been marveling at how far we’ve come – as a couple, as individuals. See a head strong girl, meeting a soft, gentle man – it was not always easy. It will not always be easy, I know.

I react, proclaim, live; unapologetically, I am 100% authentically me. It’s doubtful that you’d ever wonder where my mind sits on something. If this girl has got something to say, it’s just coming out. It’s the way the good Lord made me. Jay watches, absorbs, lives; quietly, humbly, passively. God, when we first got married I almost ate him. Neither of us knew what was happening but I almost ate that man alive. He just didn’t know how to exist, let alone thrive next to and support a women that had so much to say about this world. He lost himself, it happened so quickly that we didn’t even know how to react to it. It just depressed the living day light out of both of us. I knew, that by being me, I was diminishing him. He knew that by being him, he was uncontrollably falling into his own perceived pit of non-existence. We got angry with each other. I wanted a husband that could stand as my equal, support me, advocate for and enhance me. He wanted a wife that could stop long enough to listen, to love him, to nurture him.

We didn’t have a honeymoon phase because the first year of our married life was just brutally hard. We both wanted, so badly, to be so happy. Because we both loved each other. From the deepest part of our souls, we both loved each other more than we had words to say. More than we knew how to say. Most people, most couples, probably would have thrown in the towel that first year because every single day was a struggle. We both felt like we were spiraling out of control. We both felt like there was no conceivable way for us to right this ship. It was so damn heartbreaking for both of us to struggle like that.

But you know what, looking back on that sweet, young, confused couple – I know that there was one thing working for us every single day. We both woke up with conviction in our hearts to be married to that person another day. To never quit, to commit to that person, even when – especially when – it was difficult.

Once we realized that we had survived those first few months, that first year even, we kind of looked at each other and assessed the damage. We were both still standing. We were both still here. We were both still in this thing. And every day, as we realized this person was still standing beside us, despite our numerous and abundant faults – we grew closer, we confided in each other, we learned how to love each other, as the other needed to be loved. As hard as those first few months were, I wouldn’t change them for the world. They made us so much stronger, so much wiser, so much more appreciative of this other human by our side.

My Mom said something to me once that I’ve never forgotten. She said, “Mary, your Dad and I have not always had the easiest marriage. But you know what, your Dad decided to stick with me”. and she looked at me and just said, “Isn’t that the biggest gift in life, to have someone willing to stick it out with you”.

And even though I know Jay and I are still new on this journey, even though we still have decades to put under our belt, the long and short of it is there is no other human on this earth I’d want to walk through this life with. We learned a life time in that first year – and we continue to learn – through our conflicts, through our love, through our devotion, through our journey. How lucky am I that I found someone willing to stick it out with me? Like it or not Jay Thomas, I’m stuck like glue to you.

In Car

12 thoughts on “Sticking to It

  1. This was beautiful. Marriage is full of ups and downs and ultimately, it is a job… but it’s so rewarding to see the benefits of your hard work. If it’s love, true love, it will always find a way through the storms. Stay true to your hearts. This might just be my favorite post of yours. 🙂

  2. Mary I feel the same way about my hubby. We will have been married 50 years on Oct. 3; wow it”s almost here!!! I can”t believe how fast these years have gone by.We have 5 children and 7 grandchildren! We also have had our ups and downs; I”m like you and I speak my mind and I am very assertive. My husband however is very quiet and patient and not assertive at all; you know how it goes “opposites attract”. From reading your blog over the last 4-5 months I can see how patient and kind that Jay-bird is! You have a real jewel in your life as do I but I think that we both realize that so that is sooo inportant.Just keep loving each other and try to never lose That “JEWEL”. Sandee-Fairfax Va.

  3. This is beautiful. When we celebrated my grandparents’ 50th anniversary (they’re up to almost 64 now!), my brother asked my grandpa how they did it. He looked at him and said, “We never fell out of love at the same time.” That’s something I’ll always remember.

    1. It’s the truth, Megan! I’ve been blown away by how much we’ve evolved over the past 6 years or so, I can only imagine after 50. Both my grandparents had the honor of celebrating many, many years together. It’s amazing to watch and such a big blessing.

  4. Oh my God it’s like reading another incarnation of myself written by someone who is not me, but is me. PLUS, at the end of this story you wrote about my husband and I, I realized that your last name is Thomas? It’s not, is it? Because I feel like I would have known if your name was Mary Thomas because that is MY name. And I almost ate my husband too lol.

    High five doppelgänger!!

  5. Thank you for sharing your story! It is refreshing to hear someone in the blogland of our age group, talk about the real relationship and not just the omg, this man is perfect and we are perfect and I adore him everyday. Well, yeah, but…
    We just put our first 18 months of marriage under our belt, and honestly, it was really easy. HOWEVER, I think we have not really dove in and been there. We haven’t yet hit that wave that knocks us over and we stand up, shaking and a little afraid, but exhilarated that we stood up together. I’m scanning the horizon though. When it hits, I’m going to remember those wise words your mother told you and the strenght that you have displayed.
    I totally took this comment overboard and make it about me and not your story. Anways…thank you for sharing. I am proud of you!

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your candor and openness with this post. My first eight or so months of marriage were HORRIBLE. I vividly remember laying in bed one night wondering if I made the biggest mistake of my life when I married my husband. It was terrible, and hard, and lonely. I felt like everyone has this happy, easy, fun first few years of marriage. Everyone said it gets harder down the road and I feared if we were struggling so much in the beginning, and people say it will get harder, we were doomed.

    I am happy to say now we are on an upswing. Things in the last 6 to 8 months have been amazing, everything I was imagining it was supposed to be. We have learned how to better communicate and work together, easing many of the early on problems. I learned to communicate when school and work were starting to overwhelm me instead of taking out that stress on my husband, and he learned how to help ease my stress and take some of the weight off my shoulders when I tell him I’m feeling that way.
    I thought everyone else in the world looked back at their first years of marriage with googly eyes, and that I did something wrong. I thought I failed at my first year of marriage.

    Thank you for making me feel a little less alone today.

    1. I think it’s not easy for a lot of people! It’s just such an adjustment learning to live with and (selflessly) love another person. Jay and I knew each other for years before we were married, but at the end of the day, being married to someone is so much different than just dating them! I think when it doesn’t come easy right off the bat, it’s that much more rewarding once you hit your stride 😀

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