Have you ever seen someone finally make the BIG decision to get married…so they could feel miserable?
Me neither. That would be, as we all know, silly and absurd (and insane?)
Maybe that’s why when this ends up actually happening – e.g., pain and heartache multiplying early in marriage…well, it’s pretty hard to stomach.
Bliss ahead. After all, virtually all of us bring the highest of hopes to a marriage decision – expectations, if not of hollyhocks and roses, then certainly of an immediate increase in happiness and sweetness catalyzed by life-with-our-beloved.
That, at least, was what we imagined….Bright eyes. Pitter-patter heart. And outsized dreams brought us together.
At that high point of our wedding-and-honeymoon crescendo, the future horizon of our can-you-believe-it-we’re-going-to-live-together seemed like a glorious fantasy-come-true.
Until it actually started.
Within one month, something had changed – a visceral shift that left us unsettled and more than a little rattled. With the wedding still visible in our rear view mirror, a new and terrific ache descended on us – an underlying tension that wouldn’t fully leave us for another five years.
What the (HECK) had happened to our HEAVEN on earth?
As dramatic as it sounds, that was the essential question that preoccupied both of our minds and hearts over the days and years that followed…moment by moment.
How is this happening? How is this fair?
Not only were these ambiguous and despairing feelings confusing….they were NOT okay. NOT okay. NOT not NOT. Did you hear that? NOT!!
[That’s pretty much how the Thought Stream sounded…]
Making things worse. Goodness sake’s alive, we were married because we thought this would increase our happiness. And THIS is what we get?
In addition to the actual emotion (of sorrow or anger or fear) we were experiencing, both of us spent plenty of time fighting, controlling, forcing (or trying to manipulate) that emotion away. That created a second layer of complication, wherein we weren’t even communicating honestly (with ourselves or each other) about what we were actually feeling – or what exactly was going on.
It took us literally years to realize the degree to which this fighting, controlling and forcing (of ourselves individually…and of each other) lay at the heart of our problem together.
But in the meanwhile, the resistance was constant – both within our body-minds – and across the divide in relation to each other.
Tears, cold silence, hot arguments, accusations (some voiced, others hidden), and grinding resentments…with little to no resolution on the horizon.
Bleh. Isn’t that moment when people throw in the towel?
Even writing about this wild, torturous ride through chronic conflict makes me feel int he body how much that fatigued and drained both of us. Our hearts go out to any couple experiencing such a chronically depleting (and terrifying) moment.
And seriously, how could you blame someone – anyone – from walking away from THIS?!
Bigger picture. We obviously know we’re not alone. In our love-toxic society, any soul(s) bold enough to aspire to lasting, long-term commitments will – no question – come under fire…especially since there are literally hundreds of factors and forces that uniquely subvert that kind of love today.
In fact, you could probably argue that we’ve never had a more marriage-and-true-love toxic culture era in the history of the world. Seriously, glance at one of the Omnipresent-Screens filled with demi-god like figures evincing their bliss in pursuit of the hottest of pleasures…
What does the Screen say to committed couples? Can you imagine a better entreaty to dissolution – a better pitch especially to wounded hearts…just begging them to walk away?
Not only are these couples faced with the enormous despair of disappointing real-life-hard-stuff in a relationship anticipated as bliss – they SEE that bliss flashing before them every where they look…available at their fingertips.
It’s what you might call the Triple Threat of Newlywed Life in 2016 America:
(1) Ultra-high expectations of how wonderful life is going to be.
(2) Some deeply painful relationship experiences early in marriage that not only betray the expectations, but almost seem to blow them up?
(3) Immersion in a media atmosphere of near-constant sexual pleasure – with endless variation in fascination around IMPOSSIBLY beautiful relationships.
You add all this up, and what do you get?
A Life That Sucks (at the very least). At the most, how about…um, Newlywed Torture?
We’re not being dramatic. Can you imagine something more painful than such expectations of bliss dashed against a brutally painful reality (that doesn’t seem to have any end in sight)?
No wonder people bolt…Wouldn’t you?
Maybe that IS you…reading this now.
If so, please know you’re NOT crazy to be feeling that way.
We’re no longer baffled at couples walking away from each other.
This tough stuff.
So why would anyone be crazy enough NOT to bolt?
Our answer: Because of what comes NEXT.
Life after the tension. Yes, yes – there is a LIFE AFTER. Trust us!
As we’ve only begun to describe here on this blog, the changes we’ve experienced in our relationship have been dramatic and mind-bogglingly refreshing.
Today, we have a profoundly sweet and constantly enjoyable relationship that we literally couldn’t have imagined during those dark days.
The contrast between THEN and NOW couldn’t be more dramatic.
Our purpose in writing this blog is to share what got us to this point, in hopes of sparking similar possibilities and conversations for other couples.
If that describes you – it’s probably hard to imagine a future any different than today. The despair and tension of THIS moment can be so overwhelming that it’s hard to see anything beyond it.
But TRY. Or better said – don’t give up…not yet.
Research shows that some of the happiest couples are those that make it beyond (and through) THOSE hard moments.
What they (we…you?) find on the other side of that tension and heartache is not only worth it…it’s truly beautiful.
A treasure waiting for you to find it…if you’re willing to hold out for the adventure?