This very moment, my husband and I are in the thick of (what I deem) a marital crisis. This won't come as a shock to him, as we've been fighting through some things for some time now. After 13 years together, I've learned there will always be moments when marriage will feel harder than labor and delivery, but it's how we work through them that determines where we'll end up. To me, marriage means whatever we put in it is what we get out of it. Sadly, that's not always a good thing. A harsh, often times sobering realization that there are far too many things wrong, or different, between us than right.
My husband and I met soon after I'd left my first husband — the high school sweetheart whom I'd married right out of school — so, at the time, I wasn't looking for anything remotely serious or intense. Actually, because I'd been dating since I turned 14 (pretty much), I wanted to be free and figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life. I was young, confused about my purpose, and, with everyone I knew doing that exact thing, felt I had more things against me because I'd already been married once. I lost out on key memories like college, late night study sessions, and casual dating. It was hard to know what I liked and didn't, having missed so much of the process of growing up.
Instead, I met my (current) husband. It was fast and furious like most other decisions I made back then. Things felt right so we moved in together, eventually had a baby, and eventually got married. We had a passionate relationship early, but with a lot of complications. There'd always been a communication gap and we'd come from two very different upbringings. Still, and in the end, we wanted to be together.
Now, 13 years and two kids later, we're feeling some of those complications rising up again and again (and again). It's not that we love each other any less — we've grown so much together, I'd argue our love has grown exponentially. However, love isn't enough to survive "'til death do us part'." We're working on us, but some days I'd trade the emotionally exhausting drain of "figuring things out" for the physical pain of labor and delivery. With that kind of pain you know it's short term, and at the end of it, there's a gift — a baby. With emotions (and my heart on the line), who knows when it will feel better and, in the end, what will be left of us. Here are some of the struggles we've faced that, to me, are so much harder than giving birth: