Do you guys have a part of your story that makes you EXTREMELY uncomfortable to talk about? Stupid question, I’m sure every single one of us do.
It’s taken me 28 months to feel comfortable sharing this chapter in my life. Heck, I don’t even think “comfortable” is the right word here. Because I am STILL not comfortable talking about this. But I know there are so many of you out there that need to hear this message, so many of you that can relate. So. Here goes nothing.
A seven letter word that can change the lives of a family forever.
SIDE NOTE: Don’t jump down my throat and tell me I don’t understand. Believe me, this is a VERY sensitive subject for me. And I 110% understand EVERYONE’s divorces are for different reasons. I get that. Some reasons for divorce are inexcusable. I am not ignorant to the fact that God puts two people together for a short period of time– and decides when it is time to move on. I never question God’s choices.
I am solely sharing on behalf of my experience. To share my learning lessons and to show how I got through this & how my relationship with both parents continued to grow stronger despite the changes.
This is to show you how to move forward in your life. How to LEARN from these experiences instead of using them as your crutch in life. How you can understand that love STILL exists for everyone out there– even those this effected personally.
So if you’re okay with that– please continue reading.
I wanted to get this topic in this series done right off the bat because in order to understand my stance on marriage– you need to hear this first. It’s something that makes me uncomfortable. It’s something that probably makes a lot of you uncomfortable too. But it’s something that is part of my story, that makes me who I am today, and something I have yet to share publicly.
A seven letter word that can change the lives of a family forever. It can scar a child, damages trust, and lessens the power of the word love.
Weirdly enough, this post I am making right now has been sitting in the Notes section of my phone since July 13, 2016. Yep. Three days before I walked down the aisle and started a marriage of my own. A lot of you may be thinking: “Why would she even be thinking about this subject before she got married?” Honestly, it was all I thought about. But today is finally the day I feel comfortable enough talking about it for the first time.
June 2006. I moved back to Pennsylvania after spending the last nine years in Florida. I had a group of friends, I had a life. Nominated for homecoming princess, participating in pageants at school, cheerleader, volleyball player. Getting ready to start my junior year of high school. It was all interrupted at the moment my parents realized they didn’t love each other anymore.
It was a moment that impacted my sisters and I’s lives forever. Uprooted from the Sunshine State, heading back up north in the middle of high school. That’s not easy. Luckily I met an incredible group of friends to help me through the transition, but that’s an entirely different story. Going back and forth on holidays, sharing time, and all three of us having really rocky relationships with guys. Having trouble understanding it all, not even knowing if love truly existed. When you see it die before your very eyes, it takes a lot to believe it actually exists out there.
What made it really tough for me was dealing with it alone and trying to comfort my youngest sister who didn’t want to be comforted. She and I barely speaking for years because she didn’t want to share the pain she was feeling. She dealt with it by pushing me away. Those are years I missed with one of my best friends and it was because of a reason out of my control.
I’m not going to get into the details of my parents divorce because that is not either mine or your business, but what I will say is the older you get, you look back and remember things you didn’t realize back then. This whole thing got me thinking. Why do some marriages last and others don’t? What separates those who make it from those that fail?
SIDE NOTE: Don’t jump down my throat and tell me I don’t understand. Believe me, this is a sensitive subject for me too. And EVERYONE’s divorces are for different reasons. I get that. Some reasons for divorce are inexcusable. I am not ignorant to the fact that God puts two people together for a short period of time– and decides when it is time to move on. I never question God’s choices.
Divorce is an icky word– but it happens. It happens every single day. Just like so many other things, when things get hard people throw in the towel. They give up, they say it’s a lost cause. I just never understood how a love so strong can be forgotten so fast, even if it is part of God’s plan.
I’m only 26 years old. I’ve only been married for a little over a month. But it didn’t take long for me to realize a big part of the whole thing. People stop trying. They walk away because they are filled with so much anger, grief, sadness that the other person endures on them.
This post isn’t for me to speculate on why marriages end or even give you the low down on how to fix your marriage. It’s solely based on what I LEARNED.
NO ONE wants to change. No one wants to admit they are wrong. No one wants to take responsibility and in turn, the marriage ends. But I’ve always wondered, what if we tried to understand? What if we sat down without yelling? What if we tried to see where the other person was coming from?
Did you know that every single one of us speaks a different love language? Some people need attention, others need time together, some need gifts, others need words of affirmation or physical touch. The problem is (according to the book the 5 Love Languages), is that we are taught to think the love language we speak is the ONLY ONE out there. Where in fact, our spouse could and probably does speak a different one than us. That’s why communication is so important.
Zach’s love language is personal time where mine is physical touch. I had to LEARN how to speak his love language. Give him uninterrupted time with me, put my phone away, log off the computer. He does the same. Holding my hand in public, kissing my forehead, placing his hand on my leg and smiling. But I NEVER would have known that if I wasn’t always trying to become the best wife I could possibly be.
Coming from divorced families, we made a decision prior to our engagement we would never get married if we weren’t 120% sure this was a forever type of love. Needless to say, I am now Kelsey Smith. I will fight to the death for him and our relationship. I vowed to do whatever I could to make my future children realize what they deserved in a relationship. That people would look at us in envy. That people would see us growing together and in God, and that no matter what- I would love him until the end.
You guys know me by now. I am a fighter. I fight for what I believe in and I fight for who I love. I’ve seen families broken, I’ve seen people stop believing in love, I’ve seen people walk away. But that won’t happen to us. I won’t allow it.
We don’t gossip to our friends and family about each other, we don’t tell the social media world when we are having issues, and we DEFINITELY don’t slam doors and ignore each other for days. No sleeping in different beds, no embarrassing each other in public. We wait until the other person has calmed down, talk through things, trust that God has a learning lesson through it all, and we move forward TOGETHER. I love him and I know he loves me.
As I mentioned, I am not ignorant to the fact that some couples just aren’t meant to be together. God has his reasons for bringing two people together and he also has his reasons for separating them, even though half of the time it doesn’t make sense. I am confident that one day we will realize why. Each marriage comes with some sort of blessing. A child, learning lessons, figuring out what we do and do NOT deserve in another relationship, who knows. It’s never easy, especially as the child in the relationship, to deal with– but I believe I learned a lot from this experience in my life.
I still love my mom. I still love my dad. SO unbelievably much. That never changed, never will. My sisters and I have a beautiful relationship with both parents.
In my personal life, I learned a lot from this experience. And yes, a lot of it defines who I am as a person today and the kind of wife I am striving to be. As long as I can sit back and truly understand marriage is a journey and with that journey comes a lot of obstacles– mine will be okay. We will never be perfect, but I will never give up on the one that God gave exclusively to me.