Sunday, July 13, 2008

Before the Fairytale...


Being married to Alfred is so easy now, but it wasn't always so. We had many turbulent years of marriage. Thankfully, we were both too stubborn to call it quits. I wish we could have had the peace and serenity we now have years earlier, but it makes it all the more sweeter now.

We both brought issues into the marriage. I had trust issues after my parents' divorce. Alfred grew up in a dysfunctional home and had been on his own since he was 15. He was a party animal and that didn't stop once we were married.

I was pretty sheltered growing up & was not comfortable with the party scene. I wanted him to be with me - and that was the start of our marital troubles. I did everything I could think of to be the perfect wife and to make him want to stay home. It never worked.

I thought if only I could be perfect enough, keep house good enough, look prettier - blah, blah, blah. I had all of these unrealistic expectations for myself. I came up with elaborate plans to be Mrs. Perfection, only to crash and burn heartbroken and in deep despair.

Alfred had a 14 month military tour in Iraq - which was hard on our family. We had a lot of heart to heart talks in those months and I just knew things would be different when he came home. It was for a time, but he went back to his familiar ways and I gave up all hope of things ever changing.

Once I completely gave up that is when the miracle occurred!

The drinking stopped. Alfred began to come straight home after work. I was skeptical that this was all real! After all, I had heard this all a million times before. But eventually, I began to relax into our new ways of relating.

From time to time we would have heart-to-heart talks and afterwards I would come away with a greater feeling of healing and release. Just to get those things out in the open and clear the air was freeing. We finally get it!

It was a long, hard road to get to where we are now, but it just makes me appreciate the life we have now all the more. There is no drama. Our home is so peaceful (well as peaceful as it can be with children & pets!) and fun. We laugh and enjoy each other's company. Life is good!
***
It is my hope that my story will offer a little encouragement to someone else who is going through marital difficulties.

5 comments:

Sacred Suzie said...

Oh Tracy, this is a horribly long tour! We don't get those in Canada, I don't know what I would do. I dread my guy leaving for six months one day, jeepers!

In the beginning relationships can be hard. You have to figure out how to be yourself in this new dynamic and with us there were some serious power issues. Over time the balance can be struck but it is work.

I'm so glad you have found it and in your journey gave up control and found out that happiness came to you!

Sandcastle Momma said...

What a great story! It's sad to hear of so many people divorcing before they ever find that good place with their spouse. My husband and I have been together for 21 years and there were many times that I wanted to walk away (or kill him LOL) and I know he's felt the same but we stuck it out and now have that peace that you've described. Marriage takes really hard work and a TON of patience but it is so worth it if you can make it through the bad stuff. Your story is inspirational!

Wendy said...

Oh how your story rung true with me. Not the same circumstances, but the feelings of wanting to be Mrs. Perfect - perfect housewife, mother, lover - everything so he would change.
As you found out - it doesn't work.
I am so glad you found happiness together.
I divorced my first husband.
Now married to husband #2, I couldn't ask for a better man. He is just wonderful. Oh, yes, we did have our baggage to sort out, but we did get through it.
Your story is encouraging. I hope others will find it.

Lady Laurie said...

Thanks for your honesty Tracy. I think every marriage goes through their rough spots ~ and really marriage is something that a couple has to work at.
I hope these next two weeks go by fast! My hubby was on a remote once for 14 months too...never again!!

oma aka meme said...

we had speed bumps too- in the early years- and then we learned to let each other just ''be'' and so we had almost 42 years - we honored our til death due us part- there is a song ''look at us''
that was us - I miss the 'us' and I am glad we made it to the end together- hugs from Meme