I started to title this post “The Newlywed Game” but that just didn’t feel right. While our wedding and honeymoon were amazing, nothing about this has felt like a game.
Before I proceed, please know that Tim read this before I posted it. While I do share more than the average person shares in an elevator ride or in line at the coffee shop, I never share anything that I haven’t processed thoroughly with a trusted mentor or friend, or now with my husband.
So allow me to paint a picture of what newlywed bliss looks like for us. Two days after we returned from our honeymoon, Tim was fired from his job. I will not go into the details, but it was an incredible shock to both of us. We were neither emotionally nor financially prepared to face one of us being unemployed. And it isn’t just about the money. There are so many ugly and complicated emotions that come with losing a job. When I was “forced to resign” from a job I loved back in 2010, I battled depression, anxiety, inadequacy, fear, insecurity, and all of the other dark thoughts and feelings that come with just not feeling good enough.
And now I am watching the man I love walk through all of the same things, and there is nothing I can do. I am completely powerless. I can’t change it. I can’t fix it. I can’t make it better. I can encourage him, and support him, and spell check his resume, and give him back rubs, and cook his favorite dinner, but I can’t change the circumstances one bit. I feel helpless, and that is not a state of being I like one bit.
It is easy to want to find a silver lining, especially when people start “Romans Eight Twenty Eighting” me. I KNOW we will be ok. I KNOW it will all work out. BUT IT STINKS. And it is hard. And this is not how we wanted to start our blissful first month of marriage. I can say that I have learned more about my husband in the past two weeks than I thought I could learn. He is a man of incredible integrity. I have watched him navigate this life curveball with dignity and grace. Let’s just say he has handled it more kindly than I have.
So newlywed life doesn’t look at all like I had hoped it would. I thought we would both come home from work every night, blissfully happy to see each other, fall into each other’s arms, enjoy the perfectly home cooked meal I had whipped up in 30 minutes, watch a favorite show, laugh, crawl into bed, read a little, and fall asleep dreamily in each other’s arms.
Instead, it looks more like trying to remember who took out the trash last and when, debating whether or not we can risk losing another night of sleep trying to share the bed when Tim snores like a broken-down freight train and I apparently battle invisible demons in my dreams, tracking down automatic draft payments as we move towards combining bank accounts, putting off going to the social security office at 7:30 a.m. for just one.more.day. because that is just so early and it is just so far away, and searching every website for Motion Graphic Designer openings that don’t look like scams or require us to move to East Jerusalem.
But we still laugh, and hug, and kiss, and have fun. We still look at each other and say, “I can’t believe you married me” and “I am so glad I get to call you wife/husband”. We know that one day we will look back on the 800 square foot apartment we share and remember it with fondness, even though it felt suffocating on the hard days.
I am so glad Tim is my husband, and that he chose me to be his wife. In a few months this will be behind us and life will present itself with new challenges and gifts. I hope we never forget how we feel when it is late at night and we are tired and we are not sure how all of the bills are going to get paid but we are just so stinkin’ happy to have found each other. I hope we never forget that our first month of marriage was exciting and painful all at the same time.
I can’t wait for the adventure that lies ahead.