Wednesday, May 23, 2012

About Staying Together...Forever.


I heard through the grapevine (that's what I call Erin), this week, that in the midst of Mothers Day shopping last week, and my birthday shopping this week, Emie had told her she was very concerned about mom and dad--and our marriage. She told her she was worried we were going to divorce. This concerned me for many reasons--but most of all it just made me sad.  Sad that I am not good at hiding my feelings, or acting like things are okay all the time.  Sad that I wear my emotions on my sleeve--and everyone suffers around here sometimes because of that, including my husband and my children.  Sad because sometimes I am a little too REAL, and kids should not have to see their mom be real--kids want to see that super hero mom, you know, the one who never has problems of her own--because she is too busy dealing with theirs.  Everyone deserves such a mom.  I used to be one, (and I also had one--thanks MOM). The last few years, full of challenges, have thrown me off my game! Not that Todd and I never fought.  We have always had a very passionate relationship.  I am a passionate person--so is Todd, and sometimes I love a good argument.  Anyone who's ever talked to me about politics knows that.  But in the end, things have always settled down, we have always worked things through, and we have always loved each other.  The last few years, though, things have been strained.  Much more than normal.  I try to explain to my kids that grown ups have grown up problems sometimes.  As much as teenagers think their lives are hard--they don't have bills to pay, and kids to raise.  And sometimes those problems push you to the brink. The last few years, I feel like I have lived in and out of that brink--sometimes teetering on the edge of a cliff, wondering when I would fall over the edge.  Some of the fights we have had have merit--some have been irrational, and had nothing to do with our marriage--but everything to do with what was going on outside our control. Here's the thing I've realized:  I get frustrated when I can't control things.  Todd gets frustrated when he can't fix them.  It's just how we're wired.  And since we haven't been able to control--or fix--our current situation, it has boiled over into our marriage, and obviously our kids have noticed that.

Last week was going fine until we got a bill from our lawyer for $7,000, and another bill related to our lawsuit for $2,000.  The number was shocking to me--especially since the bill was only for a month of work.  I had a good friend who once told me that when they were involved in a lawsuit, it almost destroyed their marriage.  It is stressful, and emotionally taxing to have this cloud hanging over our heads day in and day out, and try to make a living and go on about our business.  When the lawyer bills come, it only adds to that stress.  While I believe that we are doing the right thing--(these men ripped us off to the tune of almost a million dollars--I don't think they should just be allowed to get away with basically stealing our business)--it's still hard to make it through the accusations and the lies without getting personally offended and hurt by the whole thing. And boy are they dishing out a ton of lies, it's pretty sickening.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about--read more HERE or HERE or HERE).  It's also hard to find out that you were SO wrong when you thought you were a good judge of character, and I did.  At the same time, I am determined--DETERMINED--that Todd and I will not let this lawsuit destroy our marriage.  I will not give these men the satisfaction of knowing that not only did they steal our business, they broke up a happy family.  Financial problems, while SO stressful--are no reason for divorce.  I know that.  Yet, they can cause so many problems that undermine the love and devotion that you feel for each other.  We have to be so careful to not judge or blame each other for what has happened, but to present a united front--and put the blame where it belongs.

While I'm sad that our children have been witness to some of these fights and hard feelings, I'm not entirely sure it's horrible that they see us argue and fight sometimes.  I think they need to know that marriage is not always bliss.  Sometimes it's HARD.  Sometimes there are tears, and hurt feelings, and sometimes we treat those we love the most harshly, because we trust them that they will still LOVE us--even in our worst moments.  Am I proud that I have those moments?  No.  None of us are.  But they have seen us fight and battle it out--and they have seen us stay together through all of it.  Why?  Because I signed on to this thing, and I signed onto it FOREVER.  If there's one other thing I'm good at--it's being determined, and by gosh, I'm determined that something stupid, like a few years of bad luck, will not tear this family apart.  I want my kids to know that I don't give up--even when it's hard.  I want them to know they can do hard things--and sometimes, marriage can be one of those hard things.  Not many people I know have a marriage that is perfect--it's HARD.  But it's also so rewarding, and fulfilling, knowing you didn't give up on each other, knowing that you made it through good times and bad with that same loyalty and devotion that you promised you would give in the beginning.  It takes time, and love, and commitment, and most of all it takes forgiveness--but it is worth it!  I know that.

What I really want my kids to know--is what a great dad they have.  And how lucky I am to have him.  He is a good man--who honors his priesthood, and loves his family, and works hard so we can have a good life.  Even though I get frustrated, and we fight--I KNOW that we were meant for each other.  He is my better half (truly), and my life would be meaningless without him by my side.  Those times when we are in the heat of the moment, even if I think with all my heart that I might never forgive him this time, for whatever stupid thing we are fighting about, I think of a life without him, and I know I would be lost. I want my kids to know that I love him with all my heart! We didn't come this far--almost 20 years--to give up on what we have built together.  We have a beautiful family, and we have made covenants with my husband, and with God--and I don't take those covenants lightly.    Russel M. Nelson gave this amazing advice about marriage: (emphasis added)

"Brethren and sisters, material possessions and honors of the world do not endure. But your union as wife, husband, and family can. The only duration of family life that satisfies the loftiest longings of the human soul is FOREVER. No sacrifice is too great to have the blessings of an eternal marriage. To qualify, one needs only to deny oneself of ungodliness and honor the ordinances of the temple. By making and keeping sacred temple covenants, we evidence our love for God, for our companion, and our real regard for our posterity—even those yet unborn. Our family is the focus of our greatest work and joy in this life."

We made a covenant to honor each other, and be true--in good times, and in bad. Not just for now--but FOREVER. Forever is a tall order sometimes--right now, I prefer to take it one day at a time. And that's just what we're doing.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Wow...beautiful and well said!

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