Sometimes the For Worse Comes Before the For Better
On June 12th 2010 I stood before a man I thought I couldn’t love more and vowed my life to him.
I said the words that everyone knows by heart. The words so many little girls rehearse when they play pretend weddings. I said my vows “For better or for worse” and then I kissed my new husband.
Life was perfect. We were ready. Ready to start our life anew. Ready to start and grow our family. We were ready for whatever may come. I mean after all that is what For better or for worse means right? But I didn’t realize that sometimes the worse comes before the better. I was a young bride. 22 years old and I had very little life experience. My new husband had more life experience than me but I’m sure if you asked him he would tell you he expected several “for better” years before we experienced any “for worse” years.
But that’s not how life works is it?
One year six months and 6 days after we gave our vows to one another my new husband and I sat in a hospital room surrounded by family and a few friends.
In our arms we held our new baby boy. He was six days old. It should have been the most wonderful week of our lives. But it had quickly became the worst week that had lead up to the worst day that we had ever experienced. You see our beautiful first born son was born too early. His body was too weak to fight off an infection he had caught and now he was slowly dying from Sepsis.
For Better or for worse.
My new husband and I went home that night to a quiet and what felt like a now lonely house. We didn’t say much to one another.
We didn’t know what to say.
I walked down the hall to our room. To my right, across from our room, was my son’s half-finished nursery. I slowly shut the door. My heart breaking the whole time.
For better or for worse.
This was not the for better I signed up for. This was the for worse that wasn’t supposed to happen yet. Wasn’t the for worse supposed to happen way down the line ten or even twenty years after getting married and building a family?
It soon became apparent to me that sometimes it goes for worse then for better.
11 months and 8 days after we held our dying son I sat in a different hospital room.
I was 27 weeks pregnant.. again… with the start of pre-eclampsia… again. I was put on strict bedrest with my daughter B and for four weeks I would stay in a hospital bed willing my daughter to stay inside of me, just a little bit longer.
She did. We made it to 32 weeks. But those four weeks in the hospital felt like an eternity. The hospital was one hour away from my husband. I felt alone most of the time even though I had visitors almost every day. He came to visit as much as he could, usually every other day. However, he had to work. Someone had to pay the bills.
For worse or for better.
After B was born she spent four more weeks in the NICU. We came up every day to visit her.
For worse or for better.
We were finally able to bring her home and from there we continued on with our normal life. But you see it wasn’t normal. At least it didn’t feel normal to me. It took a couple more years for me to come out of the depression and anxiety that had gripped me since losing our son. But we pressed on and we grew our family with our youngest S. Tackled everything that came our way And we continued on with life.
For worse or for better.
Six years nine months and 18 days after I said I do to my new husband
We are now experiencing what I would call the “for better” stage of our marriage. Growing our family, working towards our goals, loving our life. We know now that for worse could happen at anytime. But we are in it together.
I sit in my living room and look at the life I have and realize that I was wrong on that June day when I thought I was marrying a man I couldn’t love more.
I was wrong because one year six months and six days later I fell even more in love with that man who held me up and wrapped his strong arms around me. Who was my rock when we realized we were losing David. A man who grieved with me as we buried our son and continued to provide for us as a family. Me and him.
Then eleven months and 8 days later I fell even more in love with him when he held my hand and told me that whatever happens he would always be right there with me. When he worked as hard as he could to make ends meet while I sat in a hospital bed trying to get our daughter just a bit closer to full term.
I fell more in love with him when he visited our daughter every day with me even though he was also working a full time job.
Six years nine months and 18 days later I have fallen even more in love with him
because he has stood by me even though for us The worse came before the better. He works hard to take care of his family, never forgetting about his son, and he knows that even though we are in the better stage of our life right now, we are never exempt from the worse stage.
That is just it you guys. When you make a vow to someone for better or for worse remember that sometimes the for worse does come before the for better.
But you can make it through to the other side.
Your marriage still in tact and all the more stronger for it.
Have a blessed day!