Marriage can be one of the greatest journeys two people can take together. Just knowing you have that one person to go through life's ups and downs with is both comforting and terrifying. It's inevitable, though, that every relationships will have its trials and tribulations because, well, life. For the longest time, my partner and I weren't sure if we'd make it or not, and felt divorce nearing. There are some things we learned about our marriage through counseling, though, that made us pay attention, before it was too late to turn back.
My partner and I had a divine romance when we met through mutual friends at an open mic some (almost) thirteen years ago. He sauntered in to play drums while I, a struggling singer/guitarist, drove two hours from my hometown to play this bar my friends suggested. It was a chance meeting, really, and many times though the years I've stopped to think of all the dots that had to connect for us to cross paths. It's really quite intricate and amazing. I wouldn't say I necessarily believe in fate but, somehow, it worked in our favor despite a long line of odds.
Sparks flew immediately and it didn't take long for us to fall a little too hard and a little too fast. I moved across state lines and, not long after, he settled in with me. Things traveled at a harrowing, unstoppable speed. We were young and hopeful that regardless of the obstacles, we were determined to make it work. Then, one cold February morning, I woke with morning sickness and, that very day, discovered I was pregnant. We'd only been together a year and a half at this point, still unsure of our paths in life or how to get there. All we knew was that we loved each other and would make it work. At the time, we had no plans of marriage and, I'll be honest, that stressed me out. Having come from a tumultuous childhood, security was something I'd forever lacked and desperately needed. Marriage, to me, felt like the answer. I didn't realize it then, but I was only looking to fill voids my partner never could.
Eventually, after our first child was born, shortly after marrying, and after I struggled with severe postpartum depression (PPD), our relationship took a nosedive. Communication had always been lacking but as exhausted, overworked parents, it became nonexistent. I started to resent him, and he started to resent me. The love never disappeared, it just, well, became dormant for awhile. This is when we decided to either fix it or move on. It's a scary feeling, standing at that crossroads of now or never, but we knew that regardless of how things played out, we owed it to ourselves to find out. This is when I finally made an appointment with a therapist. At the very least, I hoped we'd find some way to communicate with one another for the sake of our daughter. What we found was so much more.