Did you read the fine print on those vows?

**Sorry for the confusion as I learn the lay of the land around here, comments are now enabled for this post!**

For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

I took those vows, I said them with all sincerity and genuine belief in my heart that we would honor those promises.

And we have, we’ve loved each other through it all….it hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been pleasant, we’ve struggled mightily with those worse, poorer and sickness parts. Who doesn’t?

But I know in my thinking, I made that vow regarding my husband’s health. It never even crossed my mind that we would fight to keep our marriage together over the sickness of a child that was yet unborn, unimaginable, just a wisp of a dream.

One of the scarier statistics we heard over the months following Peyton’s cancer diagnosis wasn’t about her survival chances or secondary disease, it was about the divorce rate. We were told that while fifty percent of American marriages would end in divorce anyway, when a child with a critical illness was thrown into the mix, the divorce rate was over eighty percent.

I still remember Peter and me getting wide-eyed and just looking at each other for a moment. Then he leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Don’t leave me, ok?”

Yeah. Same here, buster!

Really, though? Could you find any better breeding grounds for a divorce? I have watched marriages around us crumble, the overwhelming circumstances transforming minor irritations or unhappiness into full-blown, catastrophic level relationship breakers.

If you have a tendency to need to control the life swirling around you, these are the moments that you realize you can’t and your method of coping with that can be to lash out. Perhaps you’re married to someone who is driven to hide in busy work, you may find they’re distancing themselves from the situation and farther away from where they’re needed.

A friend told me, “All the things that might be wrong with you? 1000 times worse now.”

So true.

I took all my anger and frustration and unspoken fears out on my husband. He took the brunt on of it all because I didn’t have anyone else to unleash it on. And I give him big HUGE credit for being the main reason we didn’t crash and burn, because it would totally have been in his right to volley back the enormous ball of crap I continually threw at him. During a sit-down heart to heart, I tried to explain how overwhelmed I was, how out of control I felt, this place of fear I lived in and how I didn’t mean to constantly rage at him, but he was the only one I could take it out on.

His words to me?

“I have big shoulders, I can take it.”

That communication and understanding is the only reason why we’re still together today.

Has there been a make or break moment in your relationship that you realized you were teetering on the brink of a breakup if you didn’t change the way you were handling things? What did you do?

You can also find me at Hope4Peyton, you come by, it’s nice…we have cookies! Feel free to email me at Anissa.Mayhew (at) gmail (dot )com.

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