Monday, March 25, 2013

a life altering book

My parents are divorced. Their story is something I never talk about, but remains the biggest challenge I have faced in my life. Before my junior year of high school, I was a kid who had it all. My siblings and I were blessed with many family vacations and everything we ever wanted growing up. But around Halloween my junior year, my happy family memories would be covered up by the pain my parents caused. Their divorce was  still is ugly and their decisions have far surpassed our tight-knit family of five. Because of them my view on relationships will forever be changed.

Flash forward to when I met Matt: I knew I was going to marry him. I remember specifically the night he started asking questions about my parents' divorce and I remember fighting back the tears and refusing to talk. We were in his car driving on 93 headed to his apartment in Brighton. Damn. I came to the realization that if I was going to spend my life with this man at some point I would have to tell him the truth. So when we finally parked in our "safe zone," I told him everything.

Matt and I quickly got engaged after 8 months. People thought (and probably still do) we were nuts. But I didn't and still don't care. Marriage is a big deal to me and because of my parents it is something I will fight for.

During the summer of 2010, a few months before our wedding date, my Uncle Brian gave me a book. I remember thinking it was a little odd, I didn't even know Uncle Brian read books, let alone giving them away as presents. Our conversation was short that night; he casually handed it to me and we quickly discussed he experience with the book. To this day, I never brought it up again, but that night and his gift have forever stuck with me. I will be forever grateful for my shy uncle exchanging something so small.

The book he gave me that night was 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married by Linda and Charlie Bloom. It remains on my nightstand as a simple reminder that good things are worth a fight. Simple short lessons on relationships written by a couple who have a long-standing marriage. It is funny, witty, honest and true. So my hope is to pay it forward for someone like my uncle did for me.

My marriage won't always be perfect or easy. (and those who say anything other then that are not being truthful) But as long as I am trying to work on myself in order to benefit my relationship, there is hope.

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