I should have divorced my husband a long time ago.
The odds were never in my favor really. I am a high risk case for early divorce, and bad marital satisfaction.
The moment I said "I do" at the age of 19 I was asking for it. I read I should wait until I was 25 if I wanted this love of mine to last. Well I didn't, I shaved 6 years off 25 without a second thought because I was in love. I was pretty much doomed the moment I put that wedding dress on my teenage body.
Neither of us had much money. He spent what he had on a ring, and all I owned went towards an old car to help us get around. We were pretty much broke before we even started our life together. I heard that will cause you to fail pretty fast too.
We didn't attend any premarital classes like the therapists would recommend, we just dove into this thing head on. We heard it was hard but we were not worried because we were crazy about each other.
We married 6 months after meeting. This is what some experts would call "marriage suicide." Because there is no way you can know someone well enough to commit your life to them in a year... let alone 6 months.
9/10 of the things statistics would say will raise, double, triple... or pretty much ensure your chances of divorce... we did.
Technically our divorce papers should have been signed *at least* a year ago.
I really should have.
I could come up with a pretty good list of reasons why, and honestly, I don't think anyone would blame me. Most would see me as just another percentage point on the divorce statistical board.
I think its fair to say I was slightly naive when I got married. Naive in the sense that I thought since I had found the right person, someone that I got along with, and who made me laugh, that marriage would be easy... Even when it was hard. Meaning that if we ever struggled the struggle would be easy to combat and we would tackle it together and be happy because when you are in love, everything is easy.
I was wrong.
Being in love does not automatically make things easy.
Just because you tied the knot does not ensure you will be happy all the time.
Having someone love you does not mean you will be treated like gold all the time.
The person you love can hurt you pretty bad at times, in ways you didn't expect, and they did not necessarily intend.
Because the fact is that marriage is as much (if not more) of a roller coaster as dating.
It is tough.
I never expected to be faced with many of the trials, pain and heartache I have been faced with.
I never expected that sometimes I would cry myself to sleep.
I never expected that love would push me to my very limits sometimes.
I never expected to go through things that I truly didn't deserve.
But all these things have happened. Sometimes more than once, because guess what?
Lots of them.
But so do I.
The truth is, neither of us is perfect. We are both pretty far from perfect and our relationship is still growing. It is a process, and it always will be a process.
Happily ever after isn't instantaneous.
Its something that takes time, effort and endless work and dedication.
But it does happen.
I should have divorced my husband a long time ago, but I didn't. It's a good thing because I have grown so much more than I ever thought was possible.
WE have grown.
Both of us.
And we are better for it.
If I threw in the towel the moment we hit our first bump in the road I would have missed out on all the beauty and hope we have experienced together.
If I quit when it got hard and I felt like I deserved so much more, I would never have learned how much I truly did have, the love you don't get until you learn to love someone for all their strengths and for their weaknesses as well.
If I opted out when I was hurt, I would have not learned how wonderful it is to forgive, and then have the favor returned to me when I fell short of what he deserved.
If I let myself believe that it wasn't a good marriage unless it was perfect, I would have never developed the gift of finding perfect satisfaction in my relationship despite all my reasons to not be satisfied.
I have learned that a happy marriage is made up of two imperfect people who realize that despite their struggles and mistakes, they are perfect for each other.
When we hit 50 years I have no doubt that we will be in more love than ever despite all the grief we have put each other through, the trials we have endured, the pain we have dealt each other, and all the countless reasons that we really should not have made it so long.
True love defies all the odds and then some. I am learning that a little more each day. I will continue to learn it in the future. And the truth is, I look forward to learning it over and over again with the imperfectly wonderful man who I "should" have divorced a long time ago... that I am forever and eternally glad I didn't.