As I looked over at my husband, Chad, the other night—snoring away as I tried to fall asleep—I wondered, “How many marriages have survived this last year?” Nearly everyone I know is exhausted. So much has happened, causing mental fatigue most of us have never experienced. The result? The vast majority has a shorter fuse. We aren’t as compassionate or tolerant of one another.

 

This seems to be when so many silly arguments happen. Oftentimes it’s tough to even trace back to the origin of the tiff. Am I the only one who blames my husband for everything when my energy is zapped but emotions are high? Likely not! So, navigating a relationship during a global pandemic is just plain hard. Add kids and jobs and other responsibilities in there and 15 more layers of complexity are added.

a mug with an encouraging message on it
Reminding myself after a silly argument that everything is going to be ok.

It reminds me of when couples choose to divorce after one overcomes a health battle like cancer. This happened to a friend of mine. It took a terrifying disease to realize her partner wasn’t supporting her the way she needed him to. How my friend wanted to live moving forward became very clear—and didn’t include her husband. Whether it be a seemingly uncontainable virus, a health scare, or something in between, “Come to Jesus” moments appear when we are at our worst.

So, are all of our marriages doomed? After all, no one is immune to the impact of the last year. Nah. I think most will be just fine. Amidst the silly quarrels and days filled with uncertainty and fear, there is still so much love. I’ve found that to be the key to making my marriage work. Let’s face it. While this period in time is truly like none we’ve experienced before, every marriage is met with moments like this. Big or small, challenges arise and can easily threaten to take over an otherwise strong partnership.

a mom celebrates her birthday with a cake and her family
Celebrating my birthday with the traditional “Funfetti” cake Chad makes each year.

I decided early in my marriage to always make it a priority. Even when our two kids came along, we never lost that connection or sense of “us”. Sure, our daily lives look very different. Now our time as a couple is spent trying to keep our eyes open while watching reruns of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” at 9pm on a Saturday night. We may not even get a kiss in until we roll over and say goodnight. But the connection is still there. At any point, I can look at Chad—even during the worst of times—and know we’re on each other’s team.

I will never forget my husband telling me these words early in our relationship: “I may not always like you, but I will always love you.” We’ve been able to live by that motto throughout the years and it’s kept us grounded in our partnership. My time management (or lack thereof) drives him crazy. The fact that he can’t just relax on Saturday morning until the clearing is finished is one of my biggest pet peeves.

There have been many times during the pandemic when we didn’t agree. We’ve had to make hard decisions about whether or not to see family. Even today our opinions sometimes differ when it comes to how socially distanced we should be.

 

We don’t always like each other. In fact, sometimes I’m so frustrated with him I could scream. But I never question whether or not I love him. Hopefully, we’re all given a break from the emotional tool the last year has taken on life in general. As things get better around the world, and they will, the one thing I don’t want to forget is how Chad and I worked together to take care of our family the best we could. I’m proud of that.

Parents pose for a family photo with their 2 children
Not sure if I liked him this day, but I certainly loved him 😉

And when the next challenge comes around I’ll have confidence that we can get through it. Despite the fear, frustration, exhaustion, and any other emotions that try to separate us, we will stick together. We will allow our marriage’s motto to live on.

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