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  • Sarah Joy

Sometimes You Just Gotta Roll with It


I don't really know what a healthy marriage is supposed to look like. My parents divorced when I was 6 years old and they have both remarried twice since then. My first marriage was to a sex addict so I'm betting that doesn't qualify as top tier either.

And then there's my current marriage. When we're good, we are blow your mind good. We communicate. We laugh. We decide. We support. We are the teacher's pets of our marriage counselor. On the other hand, we experience extreme lows--at least half of the time. A wise friend recently said to me that she doesn't know of another couple who works as hard as we do. She said that we are so intelligent and we've had so many years of counseling and recovery, that we simply aren't willing to settle. We don't sweep stuff under the rug. And as with an onion, there's always another layer. So, we keep facing challenging stuff.

We're in another hard season. As I said we've weathered hundreds of hard seasons, but every time we're in the middle of another one, I despair. And when they're really desperate ones, I worry that we'll never find our way through it. We've faced that twice before. Sadly, this makes three.

About a month ago I came home from a week in Michigan with my sister and 10 month old niece. I told Randy that I wanted a baby. Lots of back story, but the most important detail is that 15 years ago he broke up with me because we were getting too serious and he didn't want to have any more children. After a month I went to him and pleaded for our relationship. I told him I didn't want a baby, I just wanted him. Fast forward 15 years and I'm essentially asking to change our marriage contract. This went over like a ton of bricks. A ton of water-logged bricks. A ton of frozen, water-logged bricks.

I totally understand. It's not fair to Randy. He is 58 years old. He has dreams of retirement and building a shop and piddling around with projects. He wants all the things he's worked hard for, and he doesn't want to share me. I feel terribly guilty for asking. But then there's me. I want to create a life. I want to teach a child what I believe it means to be a child of God. I want to place a baby to my breast and provide sustenance. I'm 41 years old. I don't want to miss out on my chance.

Needless to say, things have been tense. We keep trying to find each other. Most of the time we fail. Friday morning Randy asked if I'd like to go for a date that night. We could set aside our tension for the night and just remember that we love each other and we're friends. Sign me up!! We made our way to Carrabba's for dinner on the patio. 5 minutes in and we're talking about the baby. Appetizers came and went. Drinks came and went. Entree came and went. Check paid. Still we sat there arguing. I finally said that I felt bad hogging a prime table on a Friday night so we moved our conversation to a sloped hillside beside the parking lot. And again we argued. After about 30 more minutes we were both feeling tired and frazzled. I looked around and noticed the lush grass we sat upon. I noticed the gentle slope of the hill. I swung my legs to the side and slid off my sandals and made my way onto my back. I glanced again at the slope to make sure nothing was in my way and I wrapped my arms around my waist and barrel-rolled down the hill. We both began to laugh as I trudged back up the hill. I sat down and found myself lying down again. And down the hill I rolled again. As I rested at the bottom, I looked up at Randy and suggested he try it too. And my big husband laid on the ground and rolled toward me. He made it to the bottom and we erupted into giggles.

We both climbed our way back up the slope. We laughed and we sat in each other's arms. We remembered for a few minutes that we love each other and we're friends. We soaked it up knowing there were many tense days yet to come, hoping that in a heated moment we'd remember with a smile, "Sometimes you just gotta roll with it!"

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