Guest Post by Kim Gunderson
No one told me how difficult marriage could be.
Most of what I knew I gathered through observation. Observing my parents navigate cross-country moves and long work hours. Observing my newly-married friends enjoying one another’s company while striving to put the other first, learning the power of love and respect.
But no one told me marriage doesn’t always look like that. Challenging, sure. But no one spoke of the other kind of marriage. The darker side after saying “I do”. The secret longings and hidden hurts. The silent treatment and unmet needs. Fear-driven what-if-someone-finds-out thoughts locked behind closed doors.
Learning how to tiptoe through the eggshells.
That was the kind of marriage no one told me about. And then it happened to me.
My marriage began in crisis. Three months in, my husband experienced a devastating stroke. “Took out the left side of his brain” according to the neurologist. Who knew I’d live out “for better or for worse” before the better had barely begun? No explanation. No cause. Seizures, extreme tiredness, memory loss, and depression combined forces as we battled through the years that followed.
I think I ran on adrenalin during those early years. There were decisions to be made, appointments to attend, and health issues to navigate. Add to that raising three kids while pregnant with our fourth and working full-time and all we had was a recipe for exhaustion. Who even had the presence of mind to squeeze in a date night?
But then the other stuff began to reveal its ugly face. The stuff I still don’t share but you may know and think . . . me, too. Stories of broken dreams and unmet expectations. Stories of hopelessness and confusion as […]