“For Better or For Worse” is a series of one woman sharing her story about dealing with infidelity in her marriage and why she chose to stay with her husband.
When I first set out for this venture I was still very naive, I believed in eternal marital bliss. We both came from very traditional families that held together by decades of successful marriages. The fact that we stood before them, and God, professing our undying love and devotion to each other was the creation of an impenetrable bond. A bond which grew stronger as the years passed. I sit here today, 11 years, 2 children, and countless memories later, and I ask myself how did I wind up here? I’m at a place I thought I would only reach if I were to fall out of love, but I am still very much in love. Even though it’s not the same invigorating, inexperienced feeling, as it was in the beginning of our marriage, it has ripened into an unwavering emotional stability. We promised each other “for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part” and we have both lived up to it.
At first we were embarking this new adventure, ready to take on anything that came our way. We started as two unseasoned individuals walking down an unrecognized path. Along the way we encountered many obstacles, and we stumbled and fell. We unconsciously brought the other down at times, unaware that what were once “my needs” had been converted to “our needs”. We learned how to provide support for each other and realized that when one was weak the other had to be strong. We needed balance in order to survive. Now the path is not unrecognizable. We’ve been walking on it long enough to anticipate the obstacles. We can see much further ahead so we stumble less. In the beginning we used to fall together and get back up again. Now we almost always catch each other before we fall.
My marriage is based on love, communication, and most importantly, sacrifice. Love is the foundation. It’s what everything else is built on. It’s the reason we sometimes make right choices as well as wrong ones. It helps us see clearly but can blind us at the same time. When it is true it has an infinite grip and has no boundaries. It can be the reason behind delirium or the cause of despair. A successful marriage always has love. You can’t begin to build without it. There is no middle ground. If there is no love it will eventually fall apart because the foundation is weak. My foundation is strong and everything that has been built on it has remained whole.
I sometimes find myself reminiscing about our wedding day, the days I found out I was pregnant, the days I gave birth to our children, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and realize that the more time goes by the more substance in our relationship. Every little detail, good and bad, becomes a part of what defines our union. Some things are debilitated by time, others are empowered.
Communication is the key, however cliche it might sound. If we don’t express our feelings how can we expect another to understand them. I don’t know how many times my husband has told me that he’s not a “mind reader”. I realized that instead of getting upset I should start telling him how I feel. Throughout the years there have been times where I felt my marriage was becoming monotonous. We fell into the same mistakes many couples make. We stopped going out of our way to have a productive relationship and this made it less productive. We would forget the essence of our happiness. Communication helped us break away from these mistakes. It helped us understand each other’s needs and as a result do something to satisfy them.
I remember one day waking up realizing that my husband had stopped kissing me goodbye in the morning before he went to work. I spent a whole week frustrated at him because he would leave the house and barely gruff a farewell. He has always been an affectionate man but sometimes he can forget the little things. After a week he asked me why I’ve had such an attitude before he left the house in the morning. I told him and his response was, “why didn’t you just SAY something”. Exactly…why didn’t I? Never again has he left the house without saying goodbye.