Countdown to 10! Mrs Enginerd

Marriage: Year Four

This year, 2018, marks the 10th anniversary of my wedding to W. As part of the celebration, I will be documenting our relationship from the proposal up to the wedding, and each year up to our 10th anniversary.

For those following the story, year four was mid-late 2012/2013. Due to the DUI event horizon that sucked everything into this black hole of rancor, emotion and stress, we had to take a step back and figure out if staying married was going to work. The January Daytona trip had been a nightmare but once W got his license back in April things started to turn. The game changed. Even though I know when to fold and when to hold my cards before calling a play, the stakes were too high to waste my hand and the deck was running out of cards. Quitting was starting to seem like the only natural option.

The wedding vows bound me to stick around and not call it. Not yet “In good times and bad” meant exactly that: no quitting allowed. I was so certain the bad wasn’t really worth waiting for the good at this point but I persisted. The ultimatum was handed down: To be a good husband and partner, W had to quit drinking or quit me. He couldn’t have all the blondes and reds of the [beer] world and expect me to stay up at night waiting for him to come to bed. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t enjoying his company. Most importantly, I wasn’t enamored with the idea of being an alcoholic’s enabler. At some points of sobriety he would slip back to “I can drink in my home damn it” mode and wreak havoc on my peace of mind. Many times friends called for assistance in the early hours of the morning and I had to come to their aid while W lay like a dead guy in our family’s sofa.

They were calling him to come rescue them. Then again no one was offering to rescue me. The irony…

By early 2013 I had come to realize that this problem wasn’t going to be solved by my departure. Chances were high that he would hurt me or others in the process, and I couldn’t live knowing he did something to compromise the safety of his future conquests, random strangers on the road, or worst his new family. I rolled up my sleeves and started to work on solutions that could help mend the broken hearts that got us into this mess to begin with. I knew I was part of the road to recovery so I started blazing a trail. For a few months things started to look good and I held hope we’d make it through. I declared to myself, and much to W’s chagrin, that the reign of trying was over. I rather be doing and achieving that feeling we needed pity parties for all our sorrows and perceived marital shortcomings.

No kids. 💑 Dual income. 💰 No problem.

We were a family of two and it was about damn time we started to enjoy each other again. Tending to the interns turned into a full time job and the trips I took with them to Canada, Portland, LA and San Antonio (NBA Finals against MIA) made me realize W and I needed to fuel the jet and get some international exposure. Ironically, it did help our case that W got jealous of the attention given to me by a particularly good looking and charming intern. What we had really neglected during all those years of infertility appointments and career letdowns was our relationship to the world, not just each other. As we delved inward to deal with the guilt and anxiety of our failures, we forgot to seek the wisdom and kindness of friends, family and strangers. What could we do to turn broken dreams into a colorful and fulfilling reality? 🤔🤔

I’m still not sure how the answer to all these questions became planning a trip to Barcelona but it did the trick. September 2013 was selected for this adventure, giving us more time to grow and calm the turbulent waters of our deep and dark hearts. To keep the peace and excitement flowing, we extended an open invitation to our circles of friends to accompany us. Only L and LM (the friend I lost to a collision back in 2017) volunteered to join us. [To learn more about that adventure take a moment to read Seven Days in Barcelona, Spain.] I made sure they knew we were forever grateful for their participation. Why? The trip ended with W all 🤮🤢🤒 due to food poisoning and me mad cause I missed Messi’s gol during the Barça game against Real Societá. 😡🤬 My husband didn’t want to go to the soccer match so L took me but we got there late…geez!

Staying together would require assistance from the community. I’m proud to have friends that greatly cared and were brave enough to assist in such a challenging and personal matter. Year four of marriage was also year 11 of being together as a couple. That was a long time of memories and experiences to walk away from but I wasn’t ready to learn to live without him. No one would’ve faulted me for getting out of a verbally abusive and mentally exhausting situation. W was Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, still is to this day, but I didn’t concentrate on how much worse it could get or be. I was dead set on building something better.

The reign of the Queen turned into the rule of Empress. I wasn’t giving up on my humble empire any time soon. Things started to turn around. Taking control of the listing ship was hard but necessary. Growing up forces you to learn, at a vert fast speed, that we must work hard to make a marriage successful, sacrificing certain societal rules and expectations for the sake of those involved. I could no longer afford to have my husband risk all of our accomplishments – the house, the relationship, and the common goals – because he was now a walking and talking liability. If he made another mistake we could lose it all; we could lose ourselves in the process. The going would get tough. I adjusted my crown and got cracking…

Stay tuned for Marriage: Year Five.

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