I have been married for 4 years tomorrow. FOUR! That is a lifetime in Vanessa time. I am such a passionate person, which means I love intensely. Which also means I burn fast and quick. Nothing in my life lasts a long time, until now. That is one of the things I am really working on, contentment. Learning to love and appreciate what I have. It was never that I wanted what someone else had, or grass is greener type thing. I was that I was just curious. I wanted to experience, know what else there was. This is me in life, not just relationships. I wanted to explore the world around me.
Our wedding is one of the few things I regret. I remember that day because I remember how badly I wanted/needed a drink. It wasn’t because I was marrying the love of my life. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have loved Travis Mark Fletcher even before I really knew him. I still remember the first time I saw him, at a distance. He doesn’t even remember the first time we met. He swears he would have,but he didn’t I remember every interaction with him very clearly. What I regret about our wedding was how far gone I was in my addiction, the grip it had on me. I didn’t know it at the time, well, the full extent. I thought I could go a night without alcohol, I was wrong. I spent the night at my parents’, you know, the whole bride can’t be with the groom the night before. I hadn’t gone a day without drinking in a very long time. I was shaking and felt sick. I couldn’t even eat at our reception. I couldn’t eat those beautiful cakes my mom had made for a surprise. I was that deep in the clutches of addiction. I regret that. I wish I could do it all over and really enjoy that day like I should have.
We were married 4/30/11 and my recovery date is 11/29/11. I have been in recovery most of our marriage. Vivienne was born the very next year on 12/4/12. Our lives have changed dramatically since the day we met. Like I said, I knew I loved him from moment 1. I can truly say I love him more as the years go by. I enjoy him more. As I learn to love myself I can learn to love him better.
I can imagine that being married to me isn’t easy. I hope it is worth it. I think he would say it is. I hope at least. For the first time in my entire life I am really just enjoying this phase in my life. I am happy with what we have and who I am. I can say I am encouraged to truly be myself and to do what I feel is best for me. I think we do want each other’s happiness over the our own, which is key. That is what makes a marriage work. I feel like marriage and parenthood are the two hardest things I have ever done, but the most worthwhile things I have ever done. Learning to be selfless and put another’s needs over your own is hard, very hard. It is work, loving someone more than yourself.
It isn’t all hard. The good is very good and the bad is very bad with us. We are learning to disagree without it being devastating. We are both very headstrong people who don’t back down. That can be difficult in an argument. People are going to fight, that is just human nature. I don’t believe that you can have a true, raw relationship without a disagreement every now and then. The passion is there. We are not the same, so when we don’t agree, it can be hard to overcome because we both want to be right and we not only want to be right, but we want the other person to know we are right.
I think most of our fights stem form my recovery and everything that encompasses. It is hard to start life over, especially already being married. It is no secret we have had trouble with that. He didn’t stop drinking the moment I go sober, like my mom did for my dad. I had that expectation in my mind, that he would do that. The fact that he cut back drastically should be enough, it isn’t for me. That is me being dead honest. I am working on that because our marriage is worth it. You make sacrifices for the person you care most about in life. It doesn’t make him bad or me bad. It is just how things are right now. He has transitioned with me from parties to church. He is doing it all on his time, which is exactly how it should be. I have been using the oil called ‘Surrender’ to help me let go of needing to change him. It help me release that need to control every little thing, even with my toddler. I can see a huge difference.
I also think that learning his passion has helped me to truly connect with him. I remember wondering what the heck I was going to do on the boat since I couldn’t drink anymore. I had to learn how to fish. The great thing was, he taught me. He was happy to share his love with me. That has made all the difference in our relationship. When things get crazy, we go fishing. We are able to connect on the basic level. I relinquish my desire to be in control and allow him to take the lead. He has helped foster that love for me. He gave me my present a day early since he will be at work on our anniversary. It is a cup with a beautiful rainbow trout on it. He said, “And it’s glass! So you can drink your oils out of it!” He gets me. I love that. It is those little things that bring so much joy.
I will say, it is nice to be married to your best friend.