I am really big on anniversaries. I think about how things were this time last year and it’s just completely unbelievable to me. At the beginning of November 2006, I decided to start going to marriage counselling. Alone. Because my hubby wouldn’t go with me. I was sure he was depressed but he wouldn’t admit as much. He was full of resentment and anger and it was permeating our entire life together. Things weren’t bad. Things were pretty much exactly as we ourselves had planned them. Yet, he found any way he could to be miserable about our life and take it out on me.

Some could say that I was a living breathing doormat for enduring what I did. He wasn’t physically abusive but he was verbally and emotionally abusive and he did and said some terrible things. And truth be told, so did I. It wasn’t pretty. Bug was about 2 1/2 and she shouldn’t have had to go through what she did and I’ll always regret it, as will hubby.

Anyway, so we made it through some ups and downs and promises and broken promises for a couple of months until the last week of December 2006, I moved out for real. I was dead serious about not coming back. Although, considering I was 7 months pregnant, I was scared and hoped things would still be able to turn around for us. And, thankfully, they did. Hubby went to our marriage counsellor every week by himself to talk about stuff. He got on medication for depression. Most of all, he admitted that he had a problem and that it wasn’t me causing his misery. And he started to do what he had to do to regain my trust. For a few months, me and Bug lived with my parents. After Monkey arrived, we stayed with them another couple of months until the house was suitably far enough along and finished for us to move home.

It is astonishing to me that a year ago, LESS than a year ago, this house was still the crapshack we called home. Gross. Just gross. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how nice this house is now and how awesome it is how far it’s come in 8 months. When I start to get frustrated that not all my doors have trim and that we only have two finished bedrooms and one finished bathroom, I remind myself about when we were showering with the hose in the yard and didn’t have hot water. I remind myself that we were all sleeping in the living room for months. I remind myself about the day I was cleaning out the kitchen cupboards with the vacuum and the cupboards started coming apart into the vacuum.

It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, and really when I think about it, it’s like a whole other lifetime away. I do know that when we bought this house and when things were going wrong in our marriage, I thought both were a bad idea. I shouldn’t have married this jerk and shouldn’t have bought this crapshack. But I guess all I can say is that faith, perseverence, and a lot of love can keep anything together and make anything really wonderful. I am so proud of us, how far we’ve come in the 10 years we’ve been together. How far we’ve come with this house. It’s not for wimps, house remodeling, or marriage for that matter.

Both take so much time and effort. But that time and effort pay off so much in the long run. Cultivating something cozy, filled with love and wonderful together. A relationship, a home. I am so grateful for mine.

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