I saw a meme on Facebook today that hit home. It read,
“Always strive to give your spouse the very best of yourself; not what’s left over after you have given your best to everyone else.” –Dave Willis
Ok, it didn’t hit home, it smacked me between the eyes with a bat.
I look back and know how I failed here (like seriously failed). It was never my intention, but I wanted to be a mom who was involved and had her kids involved, and maybe along the way I lost sight of being involved with the man I chose to marry. As the kids grew up and on, I realized we had a completely new marriage. In the connection I did as a mom, or tried to do, I could not sustain the one to my husband.
I know I am not the only one. Though that doesn’t remove the guilt and sadness of what I missed along the way. While there is nothing I can do now, the sting remains. I remember the passion and enthusiasm for my kids, for my career, for my church events and classes. Unfortunately, after giving my very best in all those areas, I saved nothing for my husband.
This strange walk through the past is eye opening. How I thought things went down and what really happened do not always align. It is difficult too see the complete picture when the movie ran through your memory different. I thought I resolved possible regrets, but it turns out there will always be something to regret and lessons to learn. The goal is to not repeat.
Did I take my husband for granted? I suppose I did. As we raised kids with me living my life as mom, and him living his life as provider, the distance grew between us. Yet, through this distance, I comfortably lived. No matter what, he was over there on his side of the divide, it was guaranteed. This lifestyle led to fights and misunderstandings, silent treatments, and lonely nights. It was not worth it.
I want to apologize for my lack of attention, respect, and care to his needs. He will tell me it’s over and we moved past it all. After 22 years of marriage, and with our baby now 21, he says we did something right. I am still left searching for what that is. Eventually, I hope to find it.
Do not waste the years of raising kids filling yourself up with all the wrong things. I’m not saying kids should not be a priority, of course they are our priority. But there were lost years with the one who is still here. This man, who will be here for the rest of my days. Long after the last kid moves out, we will be together. Remember that lesson. Don’t lose sight of your marriage while in the marriage. One day you will appreciate that you held on.
As we work to bridge the distance created so long ago, I learn about myself, my faults, and my strengths. I see clearly the reason issues unnecessarily arose, and often, I was the reason. I am not ashamed to admit this truth. I would only be ashamed if I never grew from the lesson.
Love God above all things. Putting God before everything else in complete surrender, including your spouse and your children, will keep everything in perfect order. God has a way of helping us organize our thoughts, or homes, our lives, and our relationships. He knows what we need and provides in amazing ways. Once I learned that, things changed, they improved. I improved.