In my last post, I told the history of my marriage to my husband Jamey and ended at a crux moment: the moment our marriage almost ended. This was not, however, the end of our story. We stayed together and are very happily married today. So why did I decide to begin my series on marriage by talking about this difficult moment?
One reason I did this is to try and alleviate some of the stigma of difficult and failing marriages. When I was struggling in my own marriage, I felt a lot of shame. When I did talk to others about it, however, what I found is that there were many other people dealing with the same issues and emotions that I was feeling.
I’ve read a lot of research on shame and vulnerability (shout out to Brene Brown) and shame and secrets cause disconnection, pain, and suffering. Marriages fail. It’s a fact. I don’t want to idealize marriage. It does not come easy, and even when it lasts it is often not as good as one might hope. If by saying this out loud I can help one other person to say “Me, too” or “I’m not alone, and it’s ok that this is happening” then I want to do that.
I also believe that seeing how bad it gets and then knowing that it can get better is life and marriage affirming. Couples can go through the lowest points, and come back from it and be better and healthier than ever. It happens. It happened to me.