DISCLAIMER: It's kind of scary putting something this personal, vulnerable and intimate on a blog like this. Please, please, be kind.
We call this picture "the miracle."
This week, Amber sent me the painting above that she created for me and my husband. As soon as I opened it I cried.
A couple years ago things weren't going well. Okay, that's probably a serious understatement. To be more specific, I was heartbroken that my marriage and subsequently my life had both fallen apart. I will always remember exactly where I was when that all changed.
We had an appointment we needed to go to and I was in the bathroom straightening my hair. My husband came in and sat down, watching me. He then looked up and asked "is it too late for us?" He was being sincere. I knew he didn't know the answer.
I took a deep breath and immediately said "no." His face lit up a little bit. I knelt down beside him and we talked. We talked about hope. We talked about faith. We talked about us.
This is the place that we decided to make it work. This is the moment we decided to defy the odds and make our marriage better. We decided no matter what the cost or how hard it was, we would both do anything and everything possible to stay together, be in love, make it work.
From then on, our marriage would be our highest priority, our greatest focus. We both had to make a lot of sacrifices. We both had to work really hard. We both had to do things we never would have thought even two months before were possible.
We did it. We made it work. We not only kept our marriage together, we made it strong. We've never been more in love. We've honestly never been happier.
People comment all the time how cute it is that we are so close, so in love. They comment that we work so well together. They ask us for advice, marriage advice. Most of them have no idea we've been through so much.
We still work on it every day, not because we are trying to get stronger but because we are trying to stay strong. Every morning my husband has an alarm that goes off in his phone that says "what have I done for Jessica today?" He probably doesn't need a reminder but he starts off every day thinking about what he has and how he should be treating me. We never want things to go back to the way they were.
I'll be honest, I'm a little hesitant posting all this for everyone to read. Although my husband and I are both comfortable with and open about our past, I don't think most people we know have any idea what we have been through. However, after a lot of discussion about it together, we decided if it helps anyone even have a glimmer of hope that their marriage can get better, that it's worth saving, then it's worth it.
I want to make two things extremely clear.
1. My marriage was worth saving. It's amazing. Everything you have seen and will see on my blog, Facebook, Instagram etc. is genuine. We are no longer, in any sense of the word, in a "struggling" marriage. We are honestly and sincerely head-over-heels in love with each other. We are best friends. We are happier than we ever even knew was possible. It was worth it. This is why we spend so much time together. This is why we try so hard to spend so much time as a family, because we don't take a second of it for granted. It's what is most important to us and therefore gets most of our time and attention.
2. I am not, nor do I pretend to be a marriage or personal therapist, although I am a strong advocate of seeing both if necessary. I am not in any way saying my situation is just like everyone else's. I am just saying for us, it's the decision that made all the difference, the best decision that we could have ever made.
I want to thank Recreate Memories, who paints pictures of memories you don't have a picture of, for giving me a painting we can hang in our bedroom as a permanent reminder of what we have. It symbolizes both how far we have come and also how close we came to losing it all. It will be an every day reminder of the importance of my marriage in my life. I don't want to take even one second for granted.