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Friday, October 9, 2009

For better or for worse


Sixteen years ago today, Mike and I said "I do." Actually, we said "I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life."

This morning Mike said something to Annie about this being one of the best years of our marriage. The statement caught me off guard.

"Really?," I thought to myself. "This is the year that we were separated for three months and he can say that it's one of the best years of our marriage?"

We promised to be there for each other in bad times and, in my mind, this past year had more than its share of bad times. But when I thought about it a little more, I realized that Mike was right. This has been one of the best years of our marriage because we really did live up to what we promised each other on that altar 16 years ago.

We were separated, yes.

If we had parted ways, thrown up our hands and said "been nice knowing you," then it would have been bad. But we didn't.

We parted ways with an honest promise to work to find each other again. It's been hard work. Going to marriage counseling sometimes stirs up stuff one or both of us would just rather ignore. But we don't. We sit with it and we work through it. And we're better for it. So is our marriage.

While I would like to have been able to give my children an Ozzie and Harriet picture of wedded bliss, I think the example that we've provided to them over the past year is just as powerful. That love is not always rosy. That love is not about a feeling. Love is choice to honor a commitment that we made to each other and to God.

So, my huzzzband, 16 years ago I chose you. Last spring, I chose you still -- even when so much of me wanted to turn my back. And today, I choose you again.

Happy Anniversary.


Anonymous said...

OK - that one made me cry. I am so happy for you 2. It is so hard to hang on when things get that rough. You are right, you have given your kids an awesome example of love for them to draw on in the future.

Cindi said...

I applaud you for not taking the easy road and ending the marriage. I only wish that more couples would work through rough patches, instead of throwing in the towel.

I also think that it's wonderful that you sought counseling. Too many couples think that counseling won't work and it just prolongs the inevitable. You're proof that that's not always the case.

Amy'sMom said...

Beautiful, Amy AND Mike. Our whole family admires you for your strength and courage the past years.

Joanie said...

I'm so glad you were able to work through your separation and find each other again.

I fought like hell to save my marriage. Greg even made it sound like he was coming back when he never had an intention. So I'm very happy to see that there are men out here who do come back.

I also think now that God allowed Greg to leave so I could find John. It's taken me a long time to "get" that.

Momza said...

May the next 16 years be the very best!!

Marine Wife said...

happy anniversary! and good for you on realizing that love is a choice and that marriage takes work. It doesn't just happen. and even better for you showing this to your kids!

Amy said...

@Joanie - I do know how lucky I am that to this point, my story has a happy ending. I know that not everyone who is divorced chose that for themselves and that some of them chose it because it truly was the best option for their families.

smilinggreenmom said...

Congratulations. That is a true testament of love...through good and bad, that is what it is all about!

Stephanie said...

OMG AMY! I just read this for a second time and it still gave me chills and brought a tear to my eye. It is such a great example for someone entering their first year of marriage. Thank you so much for sharing the strength of your marriage to this newbie.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. Sister-in-law/brother-in-law are working at getting their 37 year marriage back on track. She's let him back in the house,only months of counseling-individual and as a couple. Hope that gives you even more hope.

Anonymous said...

previous post should have said-only after months of counseling

Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

That is so incredibly sweet!!!