I could not WAIT to get married!
Not only was I looking forward to the wedding, but I literally could not wait to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. Dan and I, as different as we were, just worked. He was laid-back, I was uptight. He spent all he had, when he had it, while I saved every penny. I was an early bird, he was a night owl. I always thought about the future while Dan lived life one day at a time. He ran the gas tank until it was on E; I got gas with a 1/4 tank left. But we just seemed to work.
Then the first year of marriage happened.
Our honeymoon to Mexico was one of the best trips of our lives. We both had just graduated college, Dan started a full-time job in youth ministry, we had bought a house and renovated what we could, we got married, and I moved to a different town. Our honeymoon was a time to sit back and do NOTHING. I remember the “activity” people at the resort telling us we were lazy for not wanting to play volleyball and normally a comment like that would bother me, but I didn’t care! We did go on a snorkeling trip, but other than that, we just soaked in the rays!
We got home and slowly reality hit. I wanted to go to bed at 10, and Dan went to bed at 2:00am (thanks to his ADD meds). We were miscommunicating, we were disagreeing on things, and we seemed to not see eye to eye on everything. Granted in our dating years we had disagreements (I like to call them “discussions”), but it seemed like they were more in number, now living together.
At one point, we were both lying in bed and Dan said “man, we gotta do something different here…”
Not as in get a different bedspread. Not as in get a new mattress.
As in figure out how to do marriage better.
There was one time we had finished eating supper and Dan wanted to paint the dining room. I was thinking we were going to do it a bit later, so I sat down and started to do something else. Then Dan became silent. He had his ear buds in, and anytime I asked him a question, he didn’t answer. I just figured his music was really loud.
I had screwed up. I completely misunderstood what Dan meant and he was thinking we were going to start painting right away. I just thought he was getting a head start.
Dan later confessed that he actually heard every word I said because his batteries on his ipod had died, but he decided that saying nothing was just better.
So little, and something we now laugh at (especially about the batteries being dead), but it was just one more thing.
A friend of ours worked at a place that did biofeedback. Dan was on a pretty high dose of ADD meds and every evening at about 7:00pm, Dan would crash. His meds wore off, and he was more than comfortable to just sit on the couch and stare out the window. He became a different person. Not the man I married, but it was not his fault and I just was not patient. I’ll be the first to admit it! We both knew that this was not how life was supposed to be lived, but what were we to do?
Like I said, was impatient, I was hard-headed, and I was not gracious. I did not try to understand where Dan was coming from. I clearly was not who I should be!
After talking with our friend about Dan’s reaction to his meds, she gave us some information on biofeedback, and even though it would cost thousands, it was worth looking into. We did not believe in divorce and we never even once mentioned the word, but we knew the medication was too much and something had to change. And I needed to change too.
We decided to start biofeedback and do the at-home process. I found out that I actually had a slight form of ADD as well (not NEAR as severe as Dan), but nevertheless, I could stand to do it too (since it was at-home anyways). It was a 2 month process and I can’t even put into words, what a difference biofeedback made. In the BOTH of us!
I would say biofeedback saved our first few years of marriage, but it was GOD who used that tool, to help us figure out that indeed, something wasn’t quite right, and there was a way to fix the problem too.
Now, Dan is on just a very small dose of ADD meds and I would say I live my life with less anxiety! I also can now enjoy reading a book and actually remember what I read, thanks to biofeedback. That first year was tough. I feel like everyone said that the first year is the BEST year, but I have to admit, it was probably our worst. But I am glad all that happened because it taught us so much about ourselves, our relationship, and God’s provision. We sure learned a lot! We were no where close to divorce, but like Dan said that one night, we had to do something different!
I don’t want anyone to ever get the impression that our life is perfect. That our marriage is perfect. We still have “discussions” about many things, but we always work them out. We know how each other works, and we know each other is worth it. We could not be more in love, even after 10 years of marriage! We still leave the gas tank at different points, but that’s okay. Just as long as I am not the one who gets stranded. I have my share of faults too – I tend to accidentally bite my fork when I eat (whoops!)
I don’t know about you, but maybe your marriage has had a few rough patches. Maybe you too, just had a year that was particularly tough. If you have, you are not alone. EVERY marriage has bumps because a marriage consists of two broken people with two different minds, trying to become one. That makes for some interesting happenings, to say the least!
I hope this gives you encouragement that maybe the season of life that you are in may not be the easiest, but don’t give up!We always seem to come out stronger in the end!