Hi I'm Karissa I blog over at A Fresh Start on a Budget. I want to share with you the story of how the second half of my marriage has been better than the first and why that is. I think that one of the greatest lessons in making a marriage survive over time is explained in these two quotes.
There will be times when your husband will need you to give him strength and support him through things as well as there will be periods of time where you need his strength and support. This wasn't something that I understood in the beginning of my marriage though and as my husband and I began to learn this our marriage has become stronger and better.
If you aren't familiar with my blog and background let me explain how we got a huge lesson in strength during our marriage. When we first started dating my husband, Blake, was going through a lot of family issues and really leaned on me a lot. This went on for years and into us starting our marriage. While it was great for him to have me to be there for him I also never learned to depend on him or to let myself need him. Then when things would get hard for me, he didn't know what to do and then I would feel let down and wouldn't go to him for strength. This was bad on our marriage. During this period we were very uneven. He could depend on me and let me be there for him when he needed it but I didn't feel the same. So for the first few years of our marriage things weren't as good as they could have been. This was made more apparent once our daughter was born in 2006, we were married in 2004. Now I felt that I had to be strong and take care of a husband and a child, with neither being someone I felt I could lean on for strength.
It made me resentful. I felt like I was carrying the bulk of the weight for our family and didn't know how to fix things. At this time I was working, going to school and caring for our daughter. I would ask for help but since I had never needed it in the past my husband didn't know why I needed it now. I felt stuck in this vicious cycle which was damaging to our marriage
Then I feel God stepped in and gave our lives a huge shock and turned things around. See I suffered a massive stroke in February 2010. It caused me to be in the hospital for a month and it’s been a process of recovery and adjustment for the past 4 and half years. It changed our marriage though in a very positive way. Blake learned how much I had been doing and was now forced to do a lot of it because I couldn't. He also had to step up and take care of me and I couldn't be stubborn and demand to do it all myself. We also both learned to appreciate each other more because of going through such a tragic event. It’s not something that I would have ever wanted to go through, because having a stroke is horrible but I honestly don’t know if I would be married had it not happened.
We were married for over five years before the stroke and they were some of the hardest years. We have now been married for ten years and while dealing with my health and recovery was really hard I learned I could trust him and that he would be there for me. I hope that those of you going through hard times can get through them and it doesn't take a crisis for you to improve your marriage.
On my wedding day
On our 10th anniversary