Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sometimes "I do" really does mean "for worse"

Today is our four year wedding anniversary. Amazing to think it's only been four years.

Photo by Brad Hollenbaugh

** While Dan and I didn't recite the traditional vows, I'm going to reference them for this post.

It's hard for me to look at that picture, even though it hangs on my stairway, and I see it every day (just as I did when a copy hung in the living room of our old house). I look at that girl, and I'm jealous. She's happy. Life seems so full of promise. The idea that she could need someone to stick by her in sickness and through "worse" is foreign to her even though she'd already endured some of life's challenges. She was twenty four. Getting married "for better or FOR WORSE" was just something that people said. They didn't really have to endure it.

But we have.

Three years ago we went to Tahoe for our first anniversary.

Even that trip seems happy and full of promise. And yet on our anniversary, we spent the day wandering around Tahoe looking for a place to draw my CD3 fertility bloodwork. On our anniversary, I started Clomid to help us get pregnant. It didn't work.

Two years ago, we sat on the foundation of our new house feeling homeless and without the things that had been a part of our newlywed journey. The toasting flutes from our wedding were ash. The champagne from our honeymoon that we were saving for our son's birth or Dan's graduation, evaporated. My wedding dress. Our whole life was gone.

Photo by Bonnie Creevy

Last year I had just learned that I likely had Lyme Disease, and we were traveling to Seattle, where we spent one of the rainiest weekends of my life holed up in a hotel room with a child who wanted none of it.

And this year, I spend the day in bed, crawling out of my hell to go to dinner. I want to blow out my hair so that I at least look presentable, but that takes energy, energy I'm not sure I have.

Dan and I have been married four years, and our lives have been tried beyond what seems fair or reasonable. I didn't enter into this marriage thinking that I was going to put my husband through "worse." I wanted to make his life better. Instead, I feel like I've drug him through hell (with me).

I think all you can do is hope. Hope that one day we get to experience highs in our marriage and in our life that make up for the lows that we've had to endure.

Sometimes saying "I do" really does mean getting through the worst of times together. Even if all you ever wanted was "for better."


  1. Happy Anniversary! (a few days late - I'm running a few days behind these days) You and your husband have been through a tremendous amount of hardship - some couples would have given up a long time ago (maybe myself being one of those people) but you are strong and I'm sure will have decades more of anniversaries to celebrate. I hope you are feeling well today, sending lots of warm wishes your way!

  2. You're actually super privelaged and have it better than many.

  3. I'm sorry @Kathy, but I really don't understand your comment and am a bit defensive about your comment. My saying that my marriage has been tested because my house burned down when I was eight months pregnant followed by a two year battle with Lyme disease isn't enough?! What kind of hell do you wish for me?

  4. @Kathy.... I don't know where your post comment came from either. I think it was very ill-informed and inconsiderate.

  5. Well, I guess one could argue that you at least have the "privelage" of knowing how to spell, Brooke. ;)

    Beautiful post. I know you have had more than your share of trauma in the past years, and I hope that the ones that follow bring success, love, and good health.

  6. As another almost newlywed, who has had a LOT of pretty bad stuff happen, starting within weeks of the wedding, I feel your pain. Some people, usually women, love to play the " My life is worse" game, or just discount the impact several nonrelated negative events can have on our physical and mental health. Been there; done that. I am grateful that it wasn't worse, but still, there were some pretty bad months. Still are.
    I have watched a friend go through almost 2 years of h3ll, because of a smaller fire; insurance issues; and some shady contractors. She so wants to move back home. Few people are still giving her family the emotional support they need. Many never did.
    Ignore anyone who can't respect your right to share your feelings on your own blog.