The Reminder

There's this picture that sits on my kitchen windowsill. To any bypasser whether family, friend or newcomer, it shows a happily married couple. There are big smiles on both faces, their bodies are close turned in towards each other.
It's a daily reminder of where we were and where we are now. 

By all accounts, this couple is head over heels in love. 

What this picture doesn't show is how miserable I was. I was beyond unhappy in my marriage. There were a lot of things wrong. He was working 70 hours a week, stressed and taking it out on me and the girls. I was closed off, snapping at everything. Neither of us was communicating properly instead, we were blaming each other. There was disdain and resentment on both sides of the marriage. 

Six months after that photo was taken I asked Mike for a divorce while on vacation in Florida. 
I'd reached my breaking point that night over dinner. I was tired of being made to feel less than and so very tired of the bickering, the pain, the never-ending unhappiness. 

My marriage felt as unsteady as the ocean is when a storm fronts moving in.

Over the last three years, Mike and I have worked hard to fix our marriage. It started the morning after the divorce request. We woke up in bed with our little one snuggled in between us and both realized that the pain we felt would be so much more on her and her sister. I can remember him reaching across the big king-sized bed and petting my hair. He softly told me he wasn't going to let me go. 

We've come along way since that day. He works less, has learned how to handle his stress; I no longer push his buttons on purpose and am not as angrily defensive. We both listen to each other, we both talk to each other. 

We are more in love today than we were when we got married over 12 years ago. 

And now each morning as I fix breakfast and start my day I'm reminded that I need to look deeper than the surface emotions. That taking things at face value isn't always the best course, that I need to pay more attention to not only others buy myself as well. 

And each night as I finish up the days' dishes and get ready to crawl into bed I'm reminded that I'm crawling in next to a man who was willing to fight for me.


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