February 15, 2013 I, the formerly dubbed “cat lady” got married. That day my stomach was filled with butterflies and my heart overflowed with love. Fast forward one year later… I’m still feeling butterflies and my heart overflows, but now for totally different reasons. I earned this love (and by earned I mean I fought for, stuck out, humbled myself, prayed through, cried, laughed) my way to this point. Marriage (a successful .marriage) is a miracle. I mean that in every sense of the word. Taking two imperfect people and joining them together 24/7 can create the atmosphere and time for drama that atl housewives could only dream of. But that’s only if you aren’t willing to learn to love.
When I was younger I thought love was simple im nice to you, youre nice to me and we shall skip through life lovingly. But see what I didn’t forsee were (differing views on parenting,money,etc.) plus the added bonus of having two additional co-parents. That makes for some interesting conversations.
What I wish someone would have shared with me is that love is more about humbling yourself and submitting yourself to a cause bigger than yourself. Having a mission field 24/7 that will test your fiber but when you succeed and learn those tough lessons your love will mean so much more to you than on the day you married. When I look at LaDarren now the love is pure, I’ve seen him at every angle of life…and I still get butterflies. But that’s because I choose to love him like he chooses to love me.
Our first year was hard because I had a deteriorating relationship with my father. For years after their divorce I struggled (and at times still struggle) with feelings of abandonment. I thought I had a close relationship with my father, but when my parents divorced an invisible wedge grew between he and I. This affected my entire dating experience because I kept having to fight feelings of unworthiness. This was one reason I had such short term relationships if even the slightest hint of “abandonment” reared its head I was done. When you’re unhealthy you can’t view actions correctly and it either causes you to over attach or detach too quickly. This is why I was so leery about my feelings for LaDarren because I did fall in love with him. It took alot of work the first year for me to relearn healthy emotional ques. I even had to distance myself from my father. In order for me to be healthy I had to let God restore my broken areas in my marital relationship before I could focus on my parental relationship. I have hopes that some day this relationship will be restored. But it has to be healthy on both parties for me to pursue that again.
I share my complicated father-daughter relationship status, because I didnt realize how deeply this affected my view of men and marriage. Without recognizing the source of my true discomfort I was doomed to be a very bitter wife and not bring “good not harm” as the Proverb wife does. If you find yourself angry at men, thinking all men are no good,or if you emasculate evey man you date…you might want to look at yourself and determine why. It might not be because of your dad. It might be something your mother or grandmother taught you. All I can say is that mindset will not only damage you and your marriage, but also your children. I would not want my boys to marry a broken woman. Nor do I want to exemplify that for my boys.
During the first year of marriage I was able to learn what love does, is and consists of. I hope I continue to learn, heal and grow.
One day at a time.