*VERY TRANSPARENT POST*
Marlon and I have been together for 3 years. Of that 3 years we’ve seen a lot of ups and downs. It’s funny because I always think that the hardest part of our relationship is yet to come, but then I think of the storms we’ve overcome and I wonder just how bad things can get.
So many people, black people especially, deal with mental illness in a private way. We pride ourselves on being strong and resilient. We find ways to cover our flaws by over achieving or submitting to societies messed up idea of the black man/woman. We don’t get a chance to be vulnerable or to honestly go through our storms in order to be stronger on the other side of things. Instead, we fight our way out of the storm, only to provide more fuel to a simmering fire. Marlon and I are no exception. We battle our personal demons as well as attacks on our union. Our marriage has come across it’s first test.
Old folks use to say “just keep living”, unbeknownst to them we are fighting to get through the day. Marlon has battled anxiety since before I met him but it was controlled. That is until our wedding ceremony came and went. As mentioned in a previous blog, the ceremony was like a relationship reset for us. It made it real. It made it so our hidden insecurities, doubts, and self sabatoging ways were no longer our own. Now we share these things just like we share money, children, and a home. And to be honest, our issues have hit us like a sack of bricks that have been lying in some old abandoned front yard.
It started with a false sense of dishonesty. Marlon thought I was being dishonest about things from my past. And in turn, it made me upset and caused arguments. However, after a few disputes we both realized that it really wasn’t about my past at all. There was something bigger deep in the depths of these arguments and we were just scratching the surface. Marlon was holding onto things that happened long before me. We prayed about it together and separately. I bought reading material and called our marriage counselor/minister to talk us through. And even with the continuous prayers and Bible readings we weren’t getting anywhere. It got to the point where I had to decide to remove myself from the situation. I had to surrender it to God even if my husband couldn’t.
We’ve been stretched in ways we didn’t think we could. Marlon has been battling things and trying to be “strong like the man should” but sometimes that very sentiment is what keeps us down. Learning to be vulnerable with one another has been our saving grace. I’ve learned to listen more and speak less. Allowing my husband to fully express himself so that I can receive what he’s saying. At first I was listening to respond but now I listen to understand. And even still there are things that make no sense to me but I promised him I would be here through it all. I promised God I would be here.
With God all things are possible. Fighting through this is possible. We are possible. And we will fight with all of our might to steadfast and be who God has called us to be. Sometimes the battle is only half the fight. The other half is living out your truths and God’s plan with joy. Marlon is being tested because the light on the other side of the storm is blinding. It’s beyond our hopes & dreams. I believe God has something great planned for my husband and our marriage. I have faith and my husband has faith. And with Faith, we will get through.
One day we’ll be able to look back and say “Man, that was tough. BUT GOD.” And I am so thankful for that testimony. I don’t put any human on a pedestal. And I’ve told Marlon time and time again – we never know whose turn is coming next. He very well may be talking to me about my issues one day and I pray that I am showing him grace, patience, and endless love now so that he can return that same energy.
Our love will prevail.