Twenty years on, do I love him like I did?

I was chatting to someone a few days back and they said something that really made me think. They told me they loved their husband the same as when they first met them. This got me thinking.

Do I love my husband the same way?
It’s been twenty years since our first date, do I love him like I did then?

My answer 

Dear Alan 

From the moment I saw you I think I loved you, no matter how hard I tried to deny it you were in my heart forever. 
When you asked me to marry you my heart finally felt complete.

The day I became your wife I questioned if I could ever love another as I love you.

Still twenty years on I have to admit I don’t love you like I did then. 

You don’t make my heart skip a beat anymore at the sound of your voice.

My skin doesn’t tingle when you reach out for me.

It’s not the same 

It’s so much better

I look back over our 20 years, over all we have been through and how I know I couldn’t have survived it all without you. 

My heart may not skip beats at the sound of your voice but my soul feels a peace it only knows from you. 

My skin may not tingle at your touch but my whole body burns to be close to you, connected with you.

20 years ago I didn’t think I could love you more, but I do. Gone is the flirty lust filled love and in its place is a deep emotional connection. 

We are so different you and I. 

I wear my heart on my sleeve. My mouth opens quicker than my brain engages. I stress the little things, the big things and those in between. 

It used to frustrate me how laid back you are, now I see you are the calm to my storm. You are the peace to my hurricane. 

Life has blessed us and hurt us. I have found myself falling into the depths of despair only stopping in my freefall by the strength and love you have wrapped around me like a safety cradle keeping me safe.

I watch you grow each day. Taking on challenges, pushing yourself. It makes me so proud to call you mine. You encourage me to reach out for my dreams, always supporting me on the sidelines.

My heart is full from the way you care for our children. Ones ours from birth others ours by heart. Nothing is too much to make them happy. Your girls have you wrapped around their fingers. Your boy looks up to you his eyes saying “that’s my daddy”.

I think of the children we have still yet to meet, how lucky they will be to call you dad.

The last 20 years have been one heck of a ride. But if I had to do it all again I would in a heartbeat as long as you were there by my side. 

Marriage is a crazy thing, I’m sure no one has all the answers. I’m just glad I got to face the questions with you.

I don’t love you like I did when we first met. 

No I love you so much more.

Thanks for putting up with this crazy girl.

  
Here’s to the next 20. 

Sara xx

Making changes

For as long as my mind and my heart knows I have been responsible, but for longer than that I believe I have had a desire to be responsible.

To be able to fix, change, make things right.

But sometimes you can’t and its this knowledge this acceptance I am finally allowing myself this year.

You see if I don’t I will crumble.

It’s like I’ve been using my reserves, the last of my strength for so long that I simply have nothing left.

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My health has paid a hefty price.

My heart a lot more.

So 2013 has been a learning curve for me.

I cannot be all things to everyone, it simply isn’t possible.

This doesn’t mean I stop loving people or wishing them well. Of course I do but I have to put certain things first, certain people first.

My beautiful daughters, some may look at them and see happy healthy young ladies and yes they are all that but scratch a little below the surface and you will see three incredible young souls who have faced more heartbreak in their young lives that many will every see in a lifetime.

You will see three overly empathic children who feel the burden of pain for the outside world. Why because they understand, they relate more than they ever should.

You will also see three young ladies in the journey from childhood to adulthood with all the stresses and pain that journey alone can bring.

I want to be their strength, their place of comfort.

My marriage, yes I am blessed with a great guy but together we have been to hell and back. Both so very heartbroken and not knowing how to voice that pain. We have had to take time to remind ourselves of happiness and work on making it happen again.

I want to be the wife this wonderful frustrating man deserves.

My health , stress plays an evil game both on the mind and the body. At times my body feels so battle weary. The chronic pain drives me slowly insane. I need to focus on letting go of the stress and that overload of adrenaline that causes this heart of mine to flutter.

I want to be able to be healthy enough to enjoy life.

My job, I use these words tenderly as my job is maybe one of the best in the world. I have been given the change to love upon a child. To help make a difference. It isn’t easy anyone who has every cared for a special needs child could vouch for this, but it is so very worth it.

I want to keep making that difference.

Myself, for a long time this was where the shortfall would happen. Never giving myself time, never believing in who I am.

This needs to change, to be all of the above I need to love myself more.

I need to allow myself to live my dreams.

I need allow myself time.

So yes it’s been a season of change, but it’s been good. I am finally on the journey to self acceptance.

To look into who I am and say “you know what you are ok”.

To receive a compliment and say “thank you” without the need to lower my head and turn away.

But to continue in this journey I have to make changes, to prioritise.

I remember back in school a teacher telling me that “I couldn’t be everything to everyone”

She was right, though at the time I disagreed I just believed I needed to try harder.

Trying harder isn’t always the answer.

My life lesson.

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Is ok to feel this way?

I’ve had a really strange week, my emotions have been on a journey full of confusion and guilt.

Yes I’ve been feeling guilty.

Guilty for not feeling fulfilled.

That this life just isn’t enough.

That I want more.

I know that I have four amazing children and a great job as a foster mom and I cannot say for a moment that I don’t love being a mom but at times it’s not enough.

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I also know I have a marriage that is so blessed and 18 years on we are still happy.

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Yet it isn’t enough.

Is it wrong to want more?

Maybe it’s just pre- birthday blues, I don’t know. Yet as I turn 37 tomorrow I am feeling lost and unfulfilled?

Is it ok to feel this way?

Or should being a mother and wife be enough?

Is it wrong to want more?

To want something that’s mine?

When I was younger I used to spend afternoons reading and chatting with my grandad and he always told me to never settle for just enough, always reach for your dreams.

Those afternoons I spend dreaming of my future. The dreams I held.

To write a book.

To stop poverty.

To change the world.

I guess I was an idealistic kid, and slowly my naivety disappeared. But deep down inside of me a little of those dreams still hold on.

Being a mom, being a wife they are all such gifts which I hold dear but it’s as if they are pieces of an unfinished puzzle.

I’m searching for that missing piece that will make me complete. Make me whole.

I’m searching.

I want more.

Is it ok to say that ?

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It doesn’t have to be inevitable

The other night I sat and watched the film “Rabbit Hole” starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. I wasn’t too sure why I wanted to watch a film dealing with the emotions around the loss of a child. To be honest its a little to close to home. I guess it was just curiosity, wondering how others had faced the heartbreak, coped with the pain. (yes i know its just a film).

The film was extremely well acted and at times I found myself walking through the emotions with the cast.

The desire to change everything.

The need for space.

The anger,

the raw unadulterated anger.

The emptiness inside.

“The only way out is through

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There is a moment in the film when in a bereavement support group another parent speaks about the separation of her marriage and that it was “Inevitable”. The grief books often state that “many or most marriages cannot survive the death of a child”.

This statement didn’t surprise me, all the research I had done all the self help books I had read all say the same thing.

It’s inevitable.

Grief is such a individual journey, everyone travels the road in different ways and at different times. Even when you lose the child together your grief is unique to you.

I experienced this in my own marriage,my husband deals with things quietly and internally. This at times has left me feeling alone and rejected, not the way he ever meant for me to feel. But the way it did, alone and hurting.

Exhaustion also is such a big part in all, the weight of the pain can be so heavy that even getting out of bed requires effort. Let alone finding the energy to be there for others.

Circumstances too play a major role, many times bereaved parents find themselves having to go back into work not long after their loss to an environment that requires them to be a professional not a grieving mother or father.

Its not easy and I know that, even now four years into this journey it still isn’t easy.

I also know I am one of the lucky ones, I had a husband who tried so hard to make it as right as it could be. Tried to understand, showed me compassion without no bounds even when he was struggling too. He sat and listened as I tried to digest the reality of our loss. Held me tight when the reality finally hit home and my heart shattered into millions of pieces.

He held me then.

He holds me now.

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Marriage is hard and it requires more work than you possibly could imagine. It didn’t come with instructions. So when a marriage faces such a loss and the two people in the union suffer the utmost heartbreak its hard to keep it together. It is simply easier to walk your grief journey alone. It may seem selfish but its about survival.

We struggled, we still struggle. There is a hole in each of our hearts that can never be filled. We lost our beautiful daughter and nothing can fix that.

Yet as the catchline off the film states “The only way out is through “.

In life we all face things we never could of imagined, pain we don’t think we can survive. Whatever, whenever situations arise the truth is simply “The only way out is through ”
You cannot hide, you cannot go around it. Believe me I’ve tried.

Through it is the only way.

For my marriage talking was our saviour,

Ephesians 4.26 “do not let the sun go down on your anger,” became our daily scripture.

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There were so many times I was angry at my husband and he was angry at me and we were both so angry at the world. But we worked hard to communicate. Worked hard to cherish each other.

We had lost so much, losing each other wasn’t an option.

Separation doesn’t have to be inevitable.