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Letters From Listeners

I Didn't Choose Wisely, But I Got Lucky

I did not choose wisely, however I did get lucky. I married when I was 18 after dating my husband from the middle of my freshman year throughout the remainder of high-school. In hind-sight, I think I was clinging to him for stability.  Sure over that time I had come to love him and trust him as much as any 18 year old can. However, we had no idea how life would change and mold us.

When we married we both SAID we wanted children. But we grew up and in doing so found we DIDN'T both want exactly the same things out of life, children being the biggest difference. That said, we were committed to one another and took that very seriously. After 13 years of marriage, I was ready to start a family. Period. Ultimately, my husband convinced me he had a change of heart and wanted to have a baby. I allowed myself to be convinced for obviously selfish reasons. My pregnancy was perfect medically speaking but brutal emotionally. My husband, friends and co-workers would tell you I was a very happy pregnant woman. But my husband was unhappy, stressed, resentful and took it out on me verbally. It was a difficult 9 months. Although, he was and is a very loving, attentive and involved dad, his behavior toward me continued for about the first year of our child's life.

Finally, when it got to a breaking point and I offered him an "out" he realized what he was doing. Although it was ultimately his decision, he blamed me for this new burden and responsibility in his life. A man who was known for his sensitivity, generosity and kindness had become unbelievably selfish. But he took responsibility for his actions and I began to change in how I responded to his negativity. Rather than lash back I would try to do or say things to soothe him. I treated kindly. This worked. You see, ultimately I married a GOOD MAN!

We have now been married for 18 years. Our daughter is almost 5 years old. Our marriage has survived this very difficult hurdle, but not without scars. My husband has come around and no longer seems to be resentful of the added responsibility that is inherent with parenthood. He is very kind and loving, he is our kid's father and my boyfriend and I am our daughter's mom and his girlfriend. We both tell each other AND show each other often, how much we love and value one another.

But still, we've learned a valuable lesson about marrying too young and would ultimately advise against it. At that age, you just don't know what you don't know. I say I didn't choose wisely because I simply didn't know enough to consider what to look for in a husband. Let's face it, when we started dating in high-school I was NOT in search of a husband, I just wanted someone to hang out with and take me to an occasional movie. But I did get lucky because he has risen to ALL the challenges we have been faced with.


Tags: Divorce, Marriage
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