My husband and I have been very fortunate. We are each other’s first. We never dated anyone else. We are blessed that we don’t have baggage from past hurts from other relationships. I believe this has made our bond even stronger. However these feeling of shame and sorrow were new to me. I had to come to terms with what I was feeling and why I was suddenly feeling this way.
We both grew up in unstable and dysfunctional homes. His was a home littered with abuse. His father deals with mental illness, so he grew up with a father that was in and out of mental institutions during his growing up years. His mother was a severe alcoholic. His parents marriage ended the night his father pulled a knife on his mom and my husband, in his mid teenage years had to step between them to save his mother’s life. Unfortunately this was just one of many dramatic moments during his childhood. To say his childhood was chaotic and traumatic is an understatement. There are still many stories that are untold and will probably forever be buried in his memory. My childhood was not nearly as dramatic as his. I had parents that loved me and did the best they could to provide for me. However, my father is also an alcoholic. He left my mother when I was only 9 years old. This devastated my mother. They continued to stay married for 15 years even though he lived with another woman. We are often asked how we turned out okay and have an strong marriage given our childhoods. Our honest answer is, “But by the Grace of God.”
We met in high school and church. Our church family was what we as a couple immersed ourselves in. Our youth leaders were our mentors. They are the ones that walked along side us during our dating years. We would not have survived if it wasn’t for their prayer and encouragement. Our parent’s marriages were not an example of what we wanted in a marriage. We married each other with no examples of what a real marriage should look like. All we had were our vows and our God to lead us.