I Don’t Like You, But I Love You

VERY recently, Justin and I went through an extremely difficult time in our marriage. Pretty much November, December, and January were hideous months for us. There were a lot of stresses going on.

We had just moved over to Spain and the reality of that was beginning to sink in. No more wonderful honeymoon stage. Our residency was having all sorts of ridiculous unforeseen issues. I was expecting our second child and was scared that he wouldn’t come in time and that a home birth wouldn’t be an option if that were the case. Maisie was accepted into her school, but we didn’t have the finances to make it happen. Our apartment was empty with no money to furnish it. We had biting ants from the furniture we did find on the streets! My grandfather passed away and we were unable to be a part of the whole (or any of the) process. I was feeling extremely alone and felt sorry for myself for not having family around during such an important time in our lives, preparing to welcome Matias Cutler into the world. Justin was stressed beyond words with finances and residency. We were walking on eggshells with each other. Poor little Maisie one time even covered her ears as we were yelling at each other. It was something you would maybe see on a movie where the parents are just awful parents. It was a hard and lonely time.

My mom came to visit and she saw firsthand how difficult our life/marriage was. It should be a time to celebrate life, yet we were just trying to survive. If we had known what was in store for us once we moved to Spain, I honestly wonder if we would have come. There was a time where I even yelled to Justin that I was going to take the kids and move back to the states and let him and his crazy self stay here by himself! Haha! We get in some good arguments (and at least they make for good stories later on)! He responded that we didn’t have Cutler’s passport yet for me to take him. Burn! In my heart of hearts, I did want to leave. I’ll be honest. Life was hard and I saw no way out. This isn’t what we had signed up for! A marriage that lacked communication and understanding! It had never been this hard before. If this is what it was going to be like, then forget it, I would rather save our marriage and family life and get the heck out of Barcelona.

I’m not really sure when things began to change. I do remember one instance where we were both feeling frustrated at something outside of marriage and personal life. It sort of brought us together on something and made me thankful for Justin. He then left for a week and I missed him! I actually missed him and realized how much he was doing for the family, even in his grumpiness and craziness. Through some friends (in a roundabout way) I realized that I had begun to be mean and disrespectful to Justin. I obviously don’t want to be like that, so I’ve been working on it. Justin’s been less stressed and we are back to liking AND loving each other.

Thank goodness we are both communicators! We’ve talked a lot lately about how we feel a sense of growth in our lives. Maybe (and hopefully) this last season of our life was so ridiculously crazy because we are to grow from it and become more of what God wants us to be. I pray that our marriage will be stronger and we can learn from the last few months.

25336_349762453040_686973040_3757681_4863096_npicture taken by our friend Jeremy Gallegos


  1. Ann on March 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Marriage can sure be a tough process but totally honors God and all that He has done for us. Thanks for your honesty. I know it will be a blessing to many. Praise God for the two of you and what God has in store for you in Barcelona. You are stronger for what you have been through and are a testimony to others. George and I love you both!

  2. jen on March 18, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    jen, thank you for this. thank you for your honesty and not being afraid to share the good bad and the ugly. love you guys. praying for you guys. and if you EVER need to talk call me up on skype. xoxox

  3. Justin Powell on March 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Hey Babe…Good post. I, too appreciate your honesty and transparency. I’m thankful for the journey together and that you are such a great wife! Love you!

  4. Amy Edwards on March 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Jen, I love your transparency. I so respect it.
    Love you!

  5. Amy Edwards on March 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Oh whoops…didn’t even realize that Justin had already written the word “transparency”. Sorry for being a copy cat. Sheesh.

  6. Mom on March 18, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Jen…I too love how you are able to unravel all the pain and hurt to your friends and family. That is always part of the healing process. I love that I was able to be there and help (at least I think I did :-). It’s awesome that you are taking this experience of change and challenge…using it to grow in your relationship with Justin. That speaks volumes to having God as the center (even when you’re yelling…)

  7. Nora on March 19, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I know it’s crazy that I even found your blog and read it! I Just wanted you to know I love you and miss you even though we don’t get much time to talk. So sorry to hear that you guys had such a rough time but so glad you came through it with your marriage in tack!! So many don’t. Just know you’ve got a family back home that believes in what you are doing and loves you a ton!! We are honored to know you and Justin. Oh and Intense Moments Of Fellowship only make us stronger and our marriages stronger!!!!!!

  8. Katie on March 19, 2010 at 1:17 am

    Hi Jen, thank you for sharing this. It’s very brave. I guess a lot of people identify to those difficult times.. I do anyhow and I have seen myself become very very mean and unkind in those times when I feared and couldn’t see where my life was going. I feel ashamed when i look back at my reactions! It’s so great to bring this to light and I believe it will help us all when going through downs in relationships.

    Anyway, this is an experience and a good one in a way as you have got through it. Love you guys!!! I hope you are feeling in peace and joy now. I wish you all the very best. Lots of love xxx

  9. Bandna on March 19, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I freakin love you. Im scared when I get to those points in the future with Marc but im so blessed to have people like you to help encourage me through it!

  10. Chelsea on March 25, 2010 at 9:51 am

    You guys are awesome. Thanks for being so real. I really admire you guys for doing what you do! Crazy stuff! Not everyone is cut out for this.

  11. mariah on March 25, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Bold post friend. Isn’t it amazing how finding a common disagreement can make you agree?!!

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