A Second Wedding

We finally pulled into our driveway at midnight last night after a week of celebrating my sister’s wedding.  It was a beautiful, beautiful wedding.  I’ve never seen a bride so happy before.  Ginny looked gorgeous and everyone had a really great time.  I’ll be posting a series of pictures this week from the wedding festivities, so be sure you check back for those.  But today, I wanted to write about something that happened to Chris and me at Ginny’s wedding.

The past six months have been really hard for us as a family, but they have been even harder on us as a couple.  The stress of deciding if we wanted to move to Florida, the anxiety of selling out house in Connecticut, the pressure of finding jobs, the weight of going from two incomes to no income for a while, the excitement of the move, the disappointment when we got here, the patience in waiting to buy a house, the loneliness of missing our friends, the happiness of finally being near family again, the struggle to make a new life here.  It has been exhausting and terrifying and nervewracking beyond belief.  We have never been through this much stress and pressure for this long of a period in our relationship before and it was wearing on us.

I’ve mentioned the tension in our marriage recently on the blog, but I don’t know if I did a really good job of describing how much of a change I have seen in Chris and I since we’ve moved.  It wasn’t because I didn’t want to share that side of our relationship, but I think that even I couldn’t put what was happening to us in words.  We were tense, yes.  But there was a lot of anger between us.  No mistake or misunderstanding went by in our house without the other pointing out the negative.  We were quick to judge, quick to fight, and unlike any period of time in our relationship before, we weren’t making up.  It wasn’t us having fights and then moving on.  It became a pile of anger and frustration and tension that we were building on.

We’ve had good times, too, though.  It hasn’t been all bad.  We’ve had long talks and we’ve been working together on setting up our lives here.  But we seemed to be best when we were dealing with anything else except each other.  And for the first time, neither of us seemed to want to or know how to make any changes.

Looking back, I think all of those heavy emotions were not really because either of us was mad or frustrated at the other person.  It was just being mad and frustrated with the whole moving situation and not having anyone else to blame or take it out on.  The frustrations we have been going through are natural and normal and all are part of a major life change, but when you’re in the middle of that situation yourself, it is really hard to see that bigger picture.  Its hard to see anything other than the frustration.  And when there is only one other person who is going through the same exact thing as you, that’s the person who is left to deal with those emotions with you.

We had tried lots of things to get ourselves out of this.  We tried going and going and going – a trip to Atlanta, days at my parent’s house, spending time alone, spending time alone together, dinner with friends, dinner without friends, date nights, day trips.  And while all of those things were fun, Chris and I still walked into our house at the end of the day and barely saw each other.

I think that was the hardest part for me, personally.  Chris stopped looking at me.  It used to be that at any given point in a crowded room – or even just our house, for that matter – I could usually look up and find Chris smiling at me.  Just a little “hello” in the middle of whatever chaos was going on.  But its been a long time since I’ve had that happen.  I’ve missed holding his hand when we grocery shop and quick kisses hello and goodbye as we come and go.  Those little things were just the casualties of much bigger problems, I know.  But they were significant to me and I felt their absence like an elephant on my chest.

But something happened at my sister’s wedding.

I was talking to someone and Chris came up, grabbed my hand, and pulled me onto the dance floor.  This alone was surprising.  Usually, I’m dragging Chris to dance with me.  But as we were dancing, Chris whispered in my ear, “I really love you.”  As awful as this is going to sound, it was the first unsolicited, un-obligated “I love you” that I have heard in a while.  I mean, we said it when we went to bed every night and when we hung up the phone after talking and all those times when we were supposed to say it.  But in the past couple months, that phrase that used to be tossed around in our marriage had slowly dried up and blown away.  To hear it unexpectedly on that dance floor took my breath away.

With that little, stupid, insignificant dance, I felt the weight of the past six months lift off of me.  And for the first time in a long time, Chris and I had a lot of fun.  We danced, we drank, we danced, we laughed, we danced more, we flirted.  And there wasn’t one time that I looked up that night that I didn’t find Chris smiling at me from somewhere in that room.

I know that we are only in the middle of this transition in our lives and that we have many more months of frustrations and anxiety ahead of us, but I feel like a page has been turned and that we are starting this next phase of the transition in a much better place.  I guess my sister and John Michael had so much love on their wedding day that it poured out and helped fix my own marriage.

And I think that speaks volumes about the kind of marriage Ginny will have.

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78 Thoughts to “A Second Wedding”

  1. Gave me chills. You are a wonderful writer!

  2. Okay, I’m almost crying at work after reading that post – it’s so beautifully written!

  3. Ok, so apparently I check my reader with frightening regularity! But I had to come leave a comment because this post was very courageous of you to write. Anyone who’s been married for more than a year can attest to this kind of strain. For us it was moving, then starting graduate school, then having a baby. We found ourselves darting in and out of the house and alternating childcare and getting more and more frustrated with the situation. I’m glad you had a great wedding weekend, and a time to really reconnect. Keep trying to have the hard conversations, though. A good marriage takes work, we all know that, but I think those moments on the dance floor are what makes it all worth it.

  4. Betsy

    This is my favorite post yet!!! Hubbie and I are going thru a similar thing!!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Thats amazing. My eyes welled up a little… because I know the feeling of stress, tough times, and that anger the builds up. Reading your post made me realize all the wonderful things about my marriage that I may have missed because of the stress and resentment masking it. And I too felt a weight lift and a smile come to my face as I read this.

    I am happy for you and hope you can revisit that feeling you discovered at your sisters wedding again and again, especially when things get bumpy.

  6. Becs

    You just made me cry. My husband and I are going through a rough spot and we have only been married for 6 months. I am so scared that since we are fighting so much after so little time being married, that our marriage is doomed. I feel like this huge cloud is over my head all the time. Just this morning we fought and I have been struggling to concentrate on anything work related.

    Your post just gave me a little hope. Thank you.

  7. This post really resonated with me today. My husband and I have also recently recovered from a rough time in our marriage. I realized yesterday how far we had come and that we had made it through it. It seems like you have done the same. God is good.

  8. Carlene

    Now you’ve got me all teary!

  9. Thanks for sharing that post! I’m all teary eyed and have a presentation in 20 mins!

  10. What a wonderful post. Had to grab a tissue…

  11. Wonderful, honest post! It is so difficult to be truthful about the hard times in marriage. We went through a rough spot after having a baby. It feels so great when you ‘find’ each other again.

  12. And now I am crying! I am so glad that you both have finally caught a ray of sunshine through the clouds. Beautiful photos of you two, by the way 🙂

    And so fabulous to see the three of you yesterday. I really wished we lived closer. What’s half way between here and Orlando? Wherever it is, we all need to move there so we can have playdates together–for us, and the boys (all four of them!)

  13. You have an AMAZING ability of putting true emotions into words! Wow!
    Thank you for all of your wonderful posts and sharing your life with us!

  14. Kendra D.

    I’ve been married about 7 months now and I can feel/understand/relate to everything you wrote. It’s so easy to take each other for granted. Those little moments are really beautiful!
    P.S. Stop making me cry!!!! lol…

  15. That is so sweet!! You do such a good job writing all of these feelings and worries…

  16. Sue V

    Happy tears…for you…and me. Married almost 14 years now, and I can relate to that smile, and the simple I love you that means more than anything. I remember a point in my marriage when my husband and I were sitting in the car riding to who knows where. We had been going through a rough patch. Not enough time for anything. I looked at my husband as he drove, and I thought about the morning. We had basically avoided each other all morning. At first I looked at him with annoyance, but the longer I looked at him, the more my heart swelled. I quietly said, “I love you, you are my everything.” He grabbed my hand, said “I love you too.” Everything else went away. He held my hand the rest of the way. It’s those little moments that change everything. So happy to hear you and Chris found each other again.

  17. Lisa

    It is those little moments which make you remember why you love and married your spouse in the first place! I hope that things will continue to get better for you and Chris!!

  18. Ashley

    Absolutely lovely! You are absolutely GLOWING in these pictures!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  19. although i’ve read your blog for long time, not sure i have ever commented before – but i had to say – this post brought tears to my eyes. marriage is tough stuff, especially with all that life throws at you. i’m coming up on my 3rd anniversary, and we’ve have had our share of trials and tribulations, but those stolen glances and whispered “i love yous” make it melt away.

    i’m so glad you guys got your mojo back and it shows – you’re both glowing in the pics!

  20. Emily S.

    Thank you for sharing this part of your lives- it’s nice to know other couples experience this, too!

  21. Awh ~ very sweet. Brought tears to my eyes. All couples go thru the type of difficulties you have both been having and what you experienced at your sister’s wedding is so special.

  22. Kate

    You are so brave and honest and it’s absolutely wonderful. I loved reading this and I’m so happy that things are looking up for you two! LOVE.

  23. Beautiful. I can feel the love 🙂

  24. I think this is really great of you to share. I know so many young couples fear it’s over when things get tough. This won’t be the last time it’s tough and it may not even be the worst, but getting through this makes your marriage stronger so that next time, you’ll know that you can make it through again.

    This is a really touching post. Really beautiful. I never used to understand why people cried at weddings until I got married myself. It wasn’t until then that I understood just the magnitude of love involved with the act of getting married. That love can overcome many things and even help others, as you’ve shown us.

    1. I totally agree. I never cried at a single wedding until I was married! Happy tears, promise 🙂

  25. Tears. At work. Thanks. 🙂

    Really, though, I am so happy that you are the road to mending the issues you’ve been having. Sometimes it just takes that one little push.

  26. Thank you Katie. Thank you for sharing your struggles. My husband and I have also been struggling recently. I have felt more like roommates then spouses. As I sat here reading what you have been going through I could see the same things with my husband and I. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share. It helps me, and hopefully others, realize that we aren’t alone.

    I’m so happy that you and Chris were able to share that moment when he said “I really love you”. I wish you two the best.

  27. Count me in the blubbery section, you got me. What a moment, thanks for sharing it.

  28. wonderful post, i’m glad things are going well, rough spots can be hard but ‘laugh, fight, stay married’ right? 🙂 my cousins wedding was the weekend before your sisters, and i too was the MOH, and just as surprising for me my husband grabbed my hand and pulled me to the dance floor, we both had a smile in our eyes. we don’t see each other much with him working and going to school and it gets pretty rough for us sometimes but i know that one day it will all e behind us. good luck to you and chris and of course the newest Mr. and Mrs.!

  29. kk

    I know how you feel when my and my hubby fight, I can’t stand being teary and unhappy. Sometimes all it takes is just a nod in appreciation or a smile.

  30. I can’t tell you how much I identified with this post. I’ve been reading for a while, and lurking without commenting, but I simply had to today. I, too, am recently married (nearly 7 months) and my husband (half Irish, half Spanish) and I are living in Brussels, Belgium. I moved here for our relationship (transatlantic relationships are the worst, and the most expensive!), and though I have been here for a year and a half, it still adds all kinds of stress on both of us as individuals, and as a couple.

    I know we will move back to the States sometime in the next couple of years, but then I will have to contend with not only a transatlantic move, but reverse culture shock. Your post gave me hope that, despite the stressful, difficult and sometimes downright angry times, love and marriage can conquer all. Thank you for that!

    -Brody

  31. My husband and I are considering moving states to be closer to family. He went on a job interview last week! We are already feeling the stress and distance and we haven’t even started the move!!! Hearing what you guys are going through is super scary, but knowing a couple can come out of it stringer is a relief!

  32. Tressa

    This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing! I just texted my husband “I love you”, hoping to make his day 😉

    You and Chris look stunning in these pictures!!

    I’m really happy for you both!

  33. Kat

    What a great post! I do agree that some weddings will do that to ya – make you remember why you got married in the first place.
    http://www.livinglikethekings.com/

  34. Kelley

    Moving can be incredibly stressful. My boyfriend and I just did the same thing and have been experiencing similar “troubles” in our relationship. It’s so frustrating because you don’t want to exist like that and you just have a hard time “fixing” it. You get more frustrated because the “fixes” aren’t working.

    Too many people pretend that everything is just fine and dandy… which makes all of us die a little inside when our own relationship isn’t fine and dandy, like everyone else seems to be. We feel like we’re the only ones struggling. Guess what? You’re not. We’re not. It’s real life. Thanks for not pretending and sharing your story. And cheers to finally sharing a special moment with Chris. I bet you feel a little lighter today. 🙂

  35. Thank you for putting into words the things in my own marriage I haven’t been able to verbalize myself. And congrats on your relationship’s refresher. I pray for the same in mine. : )

  36. Aww Katie that was really touching! Time for some 10 second kisses 🙂

  37. Meredith

    Crying at work…

    and agree with Sarah H about those 10 second kisses!!

  38. I love these sorts of posts from you. Well, I love all of your posts. But these are the ones that have made me such a loyal reader of MC. I’m not married. In fact, I’m 20 years old, but I love to read your blog because I’ve been in a relationship for about 5 years, and I imagine one day that our lives could turn out like yours. A lot of times I feel self conscious that we have been through so much, and had significant rough patches in the time we’ve been together because most of my friends relationships are still new, and therefore have had very few bumps in the road, if any. It’s hard to have someone to talk to about my relationship issues or even triumphs when so few people that are around me can relate to my relationship. So instead, I read yours posts, and they affirm everything that I believe :).

    Thanks, Katie.

  39. That is one of the most accurate accounts of what typically happens in marriage that I have ever heard. Thank you for putting it all back in perspective, every couple has crazy amounts of stress at times and we really need to remember to keep the little I love you’s and smiling across the room at each other alive. You guys are going to get through this, and looking back I think you will be surprised how much stronger it has made you as a family.

  40. Diana

    Very touching and sweet post! I think anyone who has been married for any length of time can identify to some degree. The thing that’s really sad is that so many couples get to a rough spot and then decide to give up. One of the wonderful things about these difficult times is that once you make it through you become stronger and closer as a couple. Isn’t it a blessing to be in a good place again?!

  41. Trish

    Very sweet post!

    I would love to see the back of your head up close. Ok..that just sounded weird! I have naturally curly/frizzy hair too…and living in New Orleans…well, you know what humidity does to our hair! Did you get any pictures of the hairdo up close? It looks gorgeous from what I can see!

  42. Thanks for sharing. It was a harsh reality for me when I realized that my marriage wasn’t perfect all the time. But I appreciate the stressful times because they make the happy times that much better. I understand now that marriage shouldn’t be perfect all the time. That’s what makes your love for your husband and his love for you so special. It survives the stress and you come out the other side closer than ever. So glad you guys are back into a good place. So glad the wedding went so well!

  43. ahh you got me all teary, you are such a great writer, hope u are feeling happier 🙂

  44. Heather in ND

    I’m all teary too!! This post is so happy and wonderful and great!! I’m glad you and Chris seem to have found each other again!! LOVE IT! 🙂

  45. Tears of joy for the restoration of your marriage! It’s a long hard road to travel, but well worth the ‘speed bumps’ along the way! You two are an inspiration for couples everywhere!!!

  46. Thank you for sharing. The honesty of what other couples go through is appreciated!

  47. Stephanie Neal

    Great post. Thank you for sharing your feelings. You are so honest & it is touching. Glad you & Chris got to dance & flirt!

  48. Brook

    Thank you for sharing. I know that’s never easy. Enjoy your second honeymoon!

  49. Katie – I just read this post sitting next to my boyfriend and it made me tear up a lot. We’ve been together for a year today but it feels like so much longer, I hope that one day our marriage will be as strong as yours and Chris’. It’s refreshing to hear that not every day is amazing when you’re in your relationship – I feel like there is so much pressure on people to have the “perfect” relationship and if you admit that there are hard times then people look at you like you’ve got two heads. I’m so happy to hear that things with you and Chris are back on track, people like you and Whitney from GlamLifeHouseWife give me hope that one day I will be as happy as you are. Can’t wait to see the pictures from the day.

  50. Debbie

    I am so happy that I found your blog. If nothing else I’m reassured that I am not a lone soul in the world. Being a wife and mommy is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I taught middle school for 5 years :). It takes a lot out of a person. The stress does pile up after a while.
    I am happy that you have seen some light. My husband and I have been through some rough times, but this weekend was the best for us as well. Hang in there; it is most defiantly worth everything.

  51. Amanda

    Oh how I am so glad to hear someone else admit that at times they struggle too. My husband and I have been through a rough time recently and there are times where we were more like roommates rather than husband/wife/partners/friends, etc. and I hated those times.

    Thanks for sharing

  52. Heather

    I got married 6 years ago on April 24th, 2004. My husband has now been deployed for 3 of our anniversaries. We’ve had some rough patches during and after deployments but now we are in a great place (even though he is deployed yet again.) Next year scares me though, he will be leaving the Army and we will be starting a new life on the “outside”. It’s even scarier because he will be deployed until less than 2 months before his separation date from the Army so he will have very little time to job hunt while in the states. I know it will be worth it though to never have to spend an anniversary apart again. I told him I want to break the tradition and spend 8 together for a change. Fingers crossed that happens.

    Thank you for being honest and open with your life.

  53. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I could just put a giant “ditto” over everything you said, and the previous comments. You have said everyting that I’ve been afraid to admit over the past 6 months. I’m using your post as a jumping off point to have a conversation with my husband and try to get us back on track.

  54. Kelly H.

    Love your post! We will be married for 3 years in June and there are times where we just drive each other crazy. It made me feel better to hear that we aren’t the only ones that go through rough spots. Thanks for you honesty!

  55. vava

    Thank gave me goosebumps! Thanks for sharing… ~sniff~

  56. Oh, how I love your honesty. Seriously – it takes a lot of cojones to put such stuff out there for ANYONE to read ANYTIME, but you are helping so many people by doing so. People can read your thoughtful reflections and see themselves in it, and feel hope for their own situations. They can feel more normal.

    Oh, and by the looks of these pictures, you looked aaaaawesome at the wedding. Just sayin’.

  57. Emilyc

    What an open and honest look at marriage! I think every married couple can relate. Great post! 🙂

  58. Ashley

    *Tear* This was a fabulous post! I’m getting married in TWELVE DAYS (oh my goodness!) and this really resonated with me! And PS – You looked gorgeous in your pink dress! Ya’ll are so adorable. I can hardly stand it!

  59. Keshet

    I love this post! I think there are so few messages in our society about what marriage REALLY is–people expect the fairy tales from the movies and are shocked by reality. But what you’re describing is real life, real people, real love. So absolutely refreshing.
    Oh, and that photo of the two of you is so cute!

  60. I’m so glad you had that experience. Gives me hope for the world! : )

  61. It really kind of freaks me out how similar our lives can be at times.

    Thank you for sharing this difficult subject.

    Blessings to you!

    🙂

    Megan

    http://reddirtandcrazy.blogspot.com/

  62. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing. I love the way you are able to communicate with your readers, and make everything sound so elegant. I’m glad Ginny’s wedding (yay!) was the burst of fresh air you needed.

  63. What a nice story! I’ll bet your sister’s wedding reminded him how much he loves you and why marriage is such a wonderful thing :). When life gets stressful sometimes it is so hard to stop being angry and enjoy each other!

  64. Jen

    That was awesome. I teared up while reading this post, mostly because I completely get where you’re coming from. We’ve been married a little over a year and we just came through a rough patch ourselves and this is exactly how it felt when we began resolving our issue and going forward. How did you articulate all of that in one blog post? Amazing.

  65. Sue

    I welled up! Oh so Beautiful! You guys are so lucky to have each other.. and i can tell u guys a have a strong relationship. hold on to it, its not so easy to find. Very beautiful.. <3

  66. Jeska

    Thank you for your honesty, Katie!

    I’m so happy you two always seem to find your way back. I often think of you and Chris in the yard, you storming off into the house and taking a nap. After wards coming back out and seeing Chris wholeheartedly happy to see you.

    You have a beautiful marriage, and you’re inspirational. Thank you for sharing with the world.

  67. You always have a way of writing exactly what I’ve wished I could describe but have never been able to. Sometimes I make my husband read your posts so he can understand how I have felt/feel. Thanks for your courage to post about your marriage. Tell Chris that I said “thanks” as well because I’m sure it is weird for him some days.

  68. Katie, that is beautifully written, but I think even more so because it is so honestly written. Thanks for sharing. The time you speak of will strengthen your marriage as you move to the other side…turn the page as you said. 🙂
    Those pictures of you guys are fantastic…so glad you have them!!

  69. Ella

    Great post Katie. You guys look so happy in those photos 🙂 Glad you two are in a happy place again.

  70. i’m so glad to hear that you and Chris are finally getting back on track when it comes to your relationship.

    if it’s any consolation, my boyfriends parents moved up here from New Orleans when he was just a teeny tiny little boy- and they knew absolutely no one, had no family or friends, but eventually they found their niche in a new, totally different place and turned out to be one of the happiest couples i have ever met, even though they’ve been together for over 30 years! it’s important that you’re focusing on your marriage, because those other things will fall into place in due time.

    also, post pics of the bridal party and Ginny in her wedding dress plz! i’ll bet you both looked gorgeous!

  71. Jen

    Gave me chills and a couple tears. I appreciate your honesty Katie. I am so glad you felt a weight lifted this weekend. Happy for you!

  72. Joke

    Heeeeey you almost made me cry!
    Thank you for being so honest, thank you for being so real.
    And everything else Jessica said.
    I had a similar weightlifting moment a few weeks ago and I am so happy you are doing better too.
    I wish you both the best!

  73. Postpartum hormones nonwithstanding, this made me teary-eyed. Yay for love!

  74. Wow, that’s powerful. I could just sense the love you must have felt when your hubby said that to you.

    My hubs and I have been through some tough times and have always come out better on the other side. But we are definitely the most stressed out and worn thin that we have ever been. Financial strain can really do a number on any type of relationship! But I have to believe that better times are ahead and I can’t wait to look back and be so glad that we came through it together, as a couple, as partners and be stronger than before.

  75. Chloe

    I know exactly what y’all have been going though. In January we relocated to a new town to move in together. Our friends are hours away, and neither of us had jobs for a little while. The stress of the money situation, moving in after living on our own, finding jobs, and planning the wedding has been nuts. We snap at each other for every little thing, too. We recently sat down and discussed the situation honestly and although we’re still in this phase, we at least know that this time will pass.

    I’m glad to hear y’all have trucked though this together. 🙂

  76. As a newlywed, you are constantly encouraging me that ups and downs are normal. Thanks for your honesty!

  77. Jess

    Katie, I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and stumbled upon this post. It is so beautifully written and holds such honesty. Thank you for being so willing to show that marriage takes work and that tough times DO happen… I’m a newlywed and definitely needed to hear this!

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