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.
picture taken by our friend Jeremy Gallegos