Eddie and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary this year! I know it’s a cliche, but it really doesn’t feel as though all of that time has passed. I still get weak in the knees when he smiles at me, and my tummy does that weird flip flop feeling when I see him approach. Yes, I am disgustingly in love with my man – and I’m not apologising for it! We met when I was just 16 and he was 20 – at his girlfriend’s house – and the spark was there from the beginning for us both. We had an ill fated fling and I moved away so we lost touch. Three years later there was a knock at my front door; standing in the pouring rain with a his crinkly eyed grin was Eddie! I hugged him so tight, my bare feet freezing and my clothes getting soaked and my heart full to bursting. He came in to my home, and he never left. We were married just 6 weeks later. I was 19 years old, he was 23. Nobody believed we would make it past two months – nobody except us, and we were right!
We were very young when we got married and we both had a lot of growing up to do. We both had tumultuous childhoods that still affected us; we were both broken and trying to help each other heal, and even with the best intentions things can and do go very wrong along the way. Our first years together were not rose tinted and lovey dovey!
We had our second child when I was 21 and shortly after his birth I began to behave strangely. Things escalated rapidly and I was placed on a psychiatric ward for my own protection. I had developed puerperal psychosis a rare form of serious post natal depression and I was very very poorly. Before I was diagnosed, the illness caused me to do things I never normally would do……. things that almost cost me my marriage. In fact, when I was discharged from the hospital I had to go live in a hostel for a while as Eddie wasn’t sure what to do for our future. I was heartbroken; a constant physical ache in my chest would keep me awake at night, it would worsen whenever I heard his voice on the phone or when I went to see my children. I knew why it was happening and didn’t hold anything against Eddie at all, it just hurt so much.
I still remember the day he told me he wanted to give our marriage another try. He was standing by the fireplace and I was sat with our girl on my knee reading her a book. He looked over at me and said “I’ve been thinking, and I want you to move back in. I’m still in love with you, I can’t stop thinking about you and I want you to come home. Please will you come back?”
Since then we have had our ups and downs like any couple, but we have always stayed together. Marriage isn’t always easy – but if you both continue to choose each other over all else, there’s usually a way through any problems.
The short answer is NO. Except it’s not really that simple, is it? Everybody is different; we all carry our own baggage with us and that affects our relationships with everybody around us. It’s difficult to take responsibility and ownership for your mistakes – especially when they are caused by external issues such as trauma, health struggles etc – but being willing to apologise and learn from mistakes is kind of a big deal for the health of a relationship.
I saw a shirt design a while ago, it said willing to be wrong; and as much as I think I am always right, I know I make a mess sometimes. What matters is what I do with it and how I clean it up afterwards!
I think I will write some more posts about marriage/relationships in future. Obviously I’m not an expert and don’t pretend to be; however the added challenges of being married young, having teenage kids, disability and carer/care receiver dynamics aren’t covered generally by a lot of relationship blogs I’ve read over the years!
Is there anything you would like me to include in future ponderings on relationships? Perhaps you have some advice for me – I bloody love hearing how other folks handle hurdles in their love life! Please do let me know in the comments below, or if you wish to keep your question private then please email me instead,
Much love, Dee xx