Monday, August 6, 2012

Here's to Us


I had heard tales of how hard a first year of marriage could be. Two separate people coming together and trying to merge two different lifestyles. I have personally watched those I love struggle through their first couple of years of marriage. It wasn't enjoyable to observe, so I imagine it must have been hard to work through. When Tom and I had been married a couple of months an unmarried cousin asked if it was as hard as we are led to believe. My answer? Being married for me was easy. It is true that Tom and I became engaged on May 17th and married August 6th of that same year. With such a short engagement how could I find marriage easy?

Tom brought stability to my life. Someone who was always there with a listening ear and encouragement. Even though he had quit working at the Malt Shoppe he still came most nights to help me close. The dreaded class of Statistics that I had put off until the end of my college career Tom helped me with. I had my own personal tutor. My grades went up to where they originally had been for so long before college. But I wasn't doing it because I felt I had to or needed to. I just worked hard with Tom's support and was able to do it (even with skipping a few classes here and there which you now know is breaking one of Tom's rules).

Now all the reasons I listed above are good reasons, but they are not why I found it easy being married to Tom. Tom and I were in the same ward for a school year. I knew of him but hadn't personally met him or exchanged words with him. He was nicknamed the 'Tall One' in my apartment. I didn't meet Tom until I started to work at the Malt Shoppe. It quickly became obvious that he was friendly and fun to work with. It also became obvious that everyone flirted with him because he was "safe." I admit that I flirted with him too though at the time I was in a serious relationship. The month of August of 2004 my boyfriend and I agreed that we could date other people. Did we really want to? No, but I wasn't going to let him show me up so I got the manager of the Malt Shoppe to get Tom to ask me out on a date. He treated me to a movie and to lunch. Then we spent the evening working together. Neither of us had feelings of a romantic nature for the other. We were friends. Good friends. But I thought he was too tall for me, a little too nerdy and a little too naive. But we spent many hours working and talking together and continued to be in the same ward. We were friends first.

It took time for me view Tom as someone more than just a friend. With the help of roommates and friends I gave Tom a chance. It was then like God hit me over the head and said he has been here all along. He is the one for you. One Sunday after we were engaged and sitting together in church together all of a sudden a warmth spread from my head to my feet. I looked at Tom and saw him how God viewed him. A son of God with much potential and that God had plans for him. It is a moment that I will never forget.

After we were married I would still have what I would call my "weird" moments. Moments where all of a sudden I would see Tom the way I saw him before I fell in love with him. But those moments slowly slipped away. Now my "weird" moments are when I look at Tom and wonder how did I get to be so blessed to have him as my husband. In the beginning I worried that he would die young so that I would truly understand how blessed I was.

Now looking at our first year of marriage I view it differently. We had our struggles. There are things we had to learn about the other person. I learned what Tom's rules were and how disappointed he would be when I would break them (that still occasionally happens). If you were to ask me a year ago which year had been the most difficult for us I would have told you our first year of marriage. Why? Because with each passing year things have gotten better. We know each other better. We love each other more.

If you were to ask me that same question today my answer would be different. This year has been the hardest one for the both of us. Most undoubtedly the hardest year of our lives. Those of you that have kept up on my blog know why. My struggle with depression and anxiety didn't just affect me, it affected Tom too. There was even a time where I wasn't sure I would come through this trial and still want to be married. When I first voiced this to Tom it broke his heart. I'm not sure why I felt that way. Maybe it was because I was unsure of everything. Luckily I had the sense to not make such a life changing decision while being down in the depths of despair. I also knew that those who loved me would think I was an idiot and would be making the worst decision of my life. And yet Tom continued to stand by me. Through it all he was my friend. The one that I would turn to and for most of my struggle he was my safe place. Many times he would just hold me and repeatedly tell me that it was going to be OK.

Tom had to put up with a lot. More than just breaking his rules and putting me first. I know he had moments where he truly believed that he was going to lose his wife. Either by divorce or death. Sometimes he left for school not knowing what would be waiting for him when he returned home. He felt pulled in many directions. Since I know Tom so well I would manipulate him to where I knew what decision he would make before he actually did make it. I walked all over him.

My time in the Johnson Unit wasn't only good for me, but it was good for Tom as well. He knew I was in a safe environment getting the safe space that I needed. It was there that I came to understand that both Tom and I were seeking a different marriage environment. You would think after 6+ years I would have figured that out. I knew that I didn't want to have a marriage like my parent's, and Tom did want a marriage like his parent's. Those two marriages are like night and day. I wanted to land somewhere in the middle. Tom came to accept that or at least is trying to. :o)

As it became apparent that this present struggle of depression and anxiety developed into something that both of us never dreamed of experiencing, that it would either bring Tom and I closer together or tear us apart. I believe that it is bringing us closer together. Tom has been a trooper. I never realized how patient he could be or how devoted he is. He has never given up on me. He has held me as I have sobbed my heart out to God. He has held me to keep me safe. He has held me as I cried in anguish wishing that I was dead. He has held me and loved me through it all and continues to do so.

I am so blessed that a little over seven years ago God opened my eyes to what he knew I would need. Not only through this trial but the ones to come. So here's to us. For continuing the fight and sticking together. And here's to Tom for loving me even at my worst. Love you. Always.


Thomas said...


I know this year has been hard, but I do think that our relationship will be the better for it. I love you so much. You are the greatest wife a guy could have. :-)

Gayla Snow said...

Dear Tom and Melissa. Congratulations! I am writing through my tears after reading this. I love you both, and am glad things are on the way to being the best years of your lives. " To life, to life Lechiam. Be happy, be healthy, long life. May you both be blessed to have the future of your choice. May you live to see a thousand reasons to rejoice. " I love these words from Fiddler on the Roof, and pass them on to you with all my love, Gayla

Leslie said...

Dear Melissa and Tom
I hope you had the most wonderful anniversary. You guys have had a tough year but I am happy things are getting better...You have a special relationship and I am so happy to know you both! Keep up all you do for each other. I know Tom is truly grateful for you too Melissa!! Love both of you!! Leslie

Leslie said...

Tom and Melissa
Happy Anniversary! You two are very special to me. You have an awesome marriage! You are so good for each other. I love to read your blogs Melissa. Keep up the good writing and thanks for your wonderful friendship. I love you both! Leslie

Matt and Haley said...

This was a beautiful post! It's fun to get to know Tom better through your writing. What an amazing guy you have there! Congrats on your anniversary!

Anonymous said...

What a touching blog post!! I love you both and hope you can always bring each other happiness!



Alison said...

LOVE this!! You guys are SO great. And even though you left out the HUGE role I played, hehe, I think you covered the important stuff. You two are fantastic people independently, and even greater together!!