Stronger Through Tragedy


I expected Brielle’s diagnosis and death to damage our marriage. That outcome is certainly not unheard of.

Where I expected communication issues, there were none. When I expected the stress of grief to pull at us, it didn’t.

Our honesty and vulnerability with each other has brought us closer together. I see how much David loves and misses Brielle and it makes my heart overflow with love for him.

The ways he cared for me during the pregnancy and the ways he loved and embraced Brielle fill me with more love than I could have ever imagined. I am closer to him now than I have ever been.

And through this tragedy in our lives, I’ve found myself revisiting the hard times in our relationship. Thankful for how those experiences shaped and molded us into the people we needed to be for each other.

It’s funny how Brielle’s life continues to give. I thought the days of butterflies and starry eyed love were over, but instead it’s better.

I get that old flutter in my stomach when I look at him. I find him more handsome than I used to. Everything about him seems better, fresher. And in a way it feels like the beginning all over again.

But it’s so much better. We know each other. We’re comfortable with each other and we have an easy, carefree relationship. Becoming parents, losing a child, holding onto each other through grief, it’s made us whole in a way I can’t describe.

And now, more often than not, we find ourselves happily telling each other how much we love being married. And we remark on how much better life is now that we are married. It’s as if something just came together and we feel right. I’m just so thankful I get to do life with David.

My Failings As A Wife: Part Three


Sometimes I’m fed up with everything weighing on my shoulders, the stress pushing me to the point where I feel like my shoulders will physically snap. I lash out, snap at him, and think that maybe if I leave things will get better. That maybe if I walk from my responsibilities life will be easier.

But nothing is ever that simple.

I’ll take out my frustrations by criticizing him. I’ll be hypercritical, as if that’ll make it better. Sometimes I can be so foolish. And sometimes I do it without even realizing it.

I can be a handful.

A long time ago David told me that my criticisms hurt his feelings. I hadn’t realized I’d been criticizing him. And it hurt me that I was hurting him. I worked hard to change my mindset.

What I did realize, was that the more upset I was with myself, the more critical I was of everyone else. And that’s not fair to anyone.

This is one of the things I hate most about myself. I hate hurting others, so when I retort with a biting remark or a sharp criticism, it eats at me. There’s no reason for me to be cruel to others because I’m uncomfortable in my own skin or I’m overly stressed.

Over the years, I’ve become a lot better. I rarely find myself critical or cruel. I spend more time trying to be empathetic, and more attuned to David’s needs.

Keeping my mind focused in this way has helped me be kinder. And I think it’s pulled out more of my “goodness.” I’m always going to struggle with this. I’m always going to be flawed, but I can be a better person.

I’m not always a loving wife. Or a good wife. But I’m grateful for the understanding David has and our determination to make each other better.

My Failings As A Wife: Part Two


There are times when my anger is justified. David took six years to marry me, I was not happy about that, and he fought me every step of the way. His fear of marriage put us through years of full on blow outs. David may be quiet but he is stubborn. And when he wants to be, he is immovable, and nothing I say or do will change things.

This ignites a rage in me I have trouble turning off. I don’t do well with authority or hard no’s. One man described me as a, “Formidable opponent.” So when David makes a final decision about something and it’s something I don’t have a say in, well, I get nasty.

This is a facet of myself that I’m not proud of. I don’t want to be reactionary. David rarely pulls out his stubborn side, but of course when he does, it’s over something critical. And I lose my mind. I feel shut down, meaningless, and the fighter in me comes out, because I refuse to be denied the right to speak. I refuse to be undermined. I have value and my words have value, and I will fight for that, I won’t let anyone shut me down, including David.

We spent three long years “working” on this issue. He refused to yield and I refused to give up. He would not marry me (there are a lot of reasons why) and I wasn’t going to give up. I love David wholly and completely. So if that meant I had to, metaphorically, pull out my gloves and duke it out with him, then so be it.

He communicates with subtle hints and clues, quietly dancing around the subject. I get straight to the issue, I’m direct, honest, and I don’t mess around with games. It’s like mixing oil and water.

I’d yell and rant, furious that he’d put us through this. I couldn’t understand him, couldn’t understand what he was ever saying, I knew he loved me, but why wouldn’t he fight for me?

Working on our communication for three years, meant fighting for three years. Crying. Breaking up and getting back together. Driving each other crazy. Accusing each other of things. There were times where we were at each other’s throats. But we were committed and we were going to make our relationship work.

And one day, it clicked. I’m not sure when it happened. I’m not sure how it happened, but one day we realized we weren’t fighting anymore. And our relationship was affectionate, light hearted, and it felt like the beginning all over again, but different, familiar. Comfortable.

I’d learned to be patient and wait for him to find the words he needed to express himself. And he’d learned that he needed to be direct. He’d also learned to incorporate me fully into his feelings and decision making and that it was okay to be vulnerable. We learned how to respect each other’s differences.

I still work on my patience and do my best to be understanding, even when I really don’t want to be. And, at times, he still slips into his old communication habits. Which is generally when I say, “I’m not doing this with you right now. Just tell me what you want. Or what you’re feeling.”

I didn’t understand at the time why we had to struggle so much. It seemed ridiculous, looking back, it makes sense. And it made us a better couple, a stronger couple, and without those hard years we would not have lasted. Sometimes, our flaws, our bad times, make us better. And sometimes you have to fight with everything you have.

My Failings As A Wife: Part One


Maybe I’m too sensitive. Or maybe I’m justified. I’m not sure if it really matters. Some days, some moments are more difficult than others. When I step back and look at my marriage I’m very happy. I’m loved, respected, and adored. But little things turn into big things and big things get heavier and heavier.

And I have moments where I throw my hands in the air, look him in the eyes, and say, “I’m done with this. I want out. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

I throw ultimatums at him, reach my breaking point, and in a rage, I storm out of the conversation. It’s not because I don’t love him. I’m not wanting to hurt him. It’s simple really, I am flawed and, at times, I am an imperfect wife.

I’ve walked. I’ve slammed the door and left. I’ve ignored his calls. Ignored his attempts at reconciliation. But even in my anger, I can’t burn through the love I do have for him.

I come back, my anger long gone, and I’m welcomed back with open arms. I feel embarrassed, foolish, and ashamed, but David loves me unconditionally, even when I’m an angry unlovable mess. He doesn’t hold my outbursts over my head, it’s forgiven and forgotten.

David is, more often than not, the calm eye in the center of my storming emotions. I feel everything strongly and, with him, I am my most authentic self. He has never once asked me to change or hide my feelings, even when I’m raging.

His patience encourages me to be better. Kinder. I can’t change my personality, but I can change my reactions. I can correct my flaws and be a better wife.

I am thankful that David gives me the time and encouragement I need to work on my patience, my snarky mouth, my emotional immaturity, and, most importantly, my foolishness.

David Has A New Job


David has a new job! I wanted to make sure everything was final before I shared the good news. The interview went great and our prayers were answered. God did some pretty cool things during the interview, so I’m going to brag on Him.

I sat down to pray after David left, and in the middle of one of my sentences to God I felt a huge urge to pray for David’s parking situation. I stopped what I was talking about, prayed that David would find the spot he needed to be at and that he’d make it to the interview at the right time.

I checked the time, it was 12:51 PM. I asked David later if he had parking problems. He said he did, he got lost, and was really starting to panic and then one spot opened up at 12:53 PM. He walked into the lobby at 12:59 PM. His interview was scheduled for 1:00 PM.

I prayed that everyone there would be blown away and desperately want David. I prayed that they’d give him an offer that day and that they’d give him the best offer they could afford. I prayed that he’d mesh well with everyone there and would make a good impression.

He got along with everyone, they wouldn’t stop smiling. They were incredibly impressed and gave their highest compliment, “He’s not an idiot.” After the interview, they unofficially told him he’d be receiving an offer. The official offer came in three days later and they offered the highest option they could give him.

The company sets engineers as the VIPs of the company, not management. They have a pancake printer, open vacation policy (as long as your work is done), hover boards, flexible hours, they even had a viewing of Star Wars a few days before it came out. The company is styled after the dot com era Silicon Valley startup, it’s a nerd’s paradise.

We’re incredibly thankful for your prayers and God’s work for us. We have needed a win and we’re looking forward to a better job and lower stress.