Marriage & Recovery

There was a time in my life when I wholeheartedly believed that finding “the one” would fix everything. That my prince charming would sweep me off my feet and make every insecurity and addiction disappear. Over the years I realized the naivety of this belief, yet there was still a part of me that believed, or maybe hoped, that having a ring on my finger would make every other struggle in my life vanish.

I’m here to say that this is 100% not the case.

I’d learned well before meeting Ryan that being in a relationship would never fix my problems. No man would ever come along and miraculously make my trauma disappear. However, there were, and always will be, men who try to convince women that they are indeed the answer to all of their issues. It’s these men who reinforce codependency and lead their partners even deeper into the pits.

One of the reasons I fell in love with Ryan to begin with was because he never tried to be my cure-all. He’s supported and encouraged me from the beginning, but has never pretended to be able to “fix” me. Instead, he has loved me through relapses, grief, insecurities, depression, anxiety & nightmares. To explain a bit more, this is part of the little speech that I gave at our reception:

“I’d never ever been the one to make the first move, or say those three little words first, but I did. He was different, he is different. He is my knight in shining armor, but not because he saved me. But because for the last three years he has challenged me to save myself and continues to be my support and my best friend… The point is, he is not like anyone I’ve ever known, and I cannot believe that I’m lucky enough to call him my husband.”

It’s been difficult for me figuring out this whole “wife” thing. I have the same, if not more, unconditional love and support from my husband, but I’ve been struggling. I think I’m trying too hard to identify who I am as a “wife.” I’m still me. I’m still the same woman who is learning to love herself, despite not necessarily liking what she sees in the mirror. I’m still the same woman who has claimed victory over some of her most aggressive demons. I’m still the same woman who is madly in love with Ryan Norton, and who is working so freaking hard, every day, to be a better human.

So here’s to marriage not fixing all of our problems, but to being able to celebrate the victories, big and little, with your permanent roommate. 👫

NN


Seasons, Chapters & Changes

Whether it’s marriage, a new baby, or retirement, we always hear, “enjoy this new season of life”, or “what an exciting chapter ahead of you”. Ultimately, all anyone is trying to say is enjoy the journey – but that is often easier said than done.

Not every season can be Spring, and not every chapter will be the happy ending. We also face times of uncertainty, anxiety, unemployment, illness, death of loved ones, and so much more.

All this to say that using the words “season” or “chapter” make change sound a little less scary. Because let’s be real, change IS scary. It can be good or it can be bad, but the fear is real either way.

Ryan and I find ourselves facing a lot of changes right now. Including a new season of home ownership and a new chapter called marriage. It’s a lot, and as excited as we are, it’s still terrifying.

As I was thinking about seasons, chapters & changes this morning – this popped up on my Pinterest, and it just fits so perfectly. Immediately my anxiety evaporated. All of my life, in every season – He is still God. Can I get an amen?!

For me – it makes change a little less intimidating when I know that the next chapter of my life is already written by the One who calls me His child.

👐 NT