I boarded the bus at 6:05am. Pitch black. In the dead middle of a Utah winter.
My life had just changed drastically. Granted, it was a change I wanted with all my heart, but that doesn’t make the reality of an adjustment magically disappear. I was taking the semester off of school, to do an internship in a city an hour away. I had just moved away from the social mecca that is life right off a college campus. And most importantly, I now lived with a man.
That morning, when I boarded the bus? My husband had dropped me off.
My wedding dress was at the cleaner’s, and the house was strewn with gifts waiting to be put away. As the days went by, I learned that navigating a marriage was much harder than navigating a relationship with a roommate. We were tied together forever, and at 21 years old, I didn’t know how to be me and be part of this partnership at the same time. My feelings—my confidence—were entwined in him.
I made a friend on the bus that morning. She was young and newly married, like me. She joked about some odd habit of her husband, and we eventually bonded over the adjustment from one to two. Our paths crossed just a couple of times a week, and I never saw her again past that semester, but I knew—at that point in time—that someone else in the world was like me, and that was enough.
In my eight years of marriage, I’ve found a few people to open up to. (I talked about my need for a sounding board here.) But they have been few and far between. Marriage is hard to talk about, because we want to respect our spouses and to keep intimate matters intimate. Even online, it is much easier to find community as mothers than it is to find it as wives. But for the next three months, we’re opening a dialogue.
I’ve invited six tremendous women to participate in a new series here called The Marriage Diaries. Each writer will be talking about one aspect of her marriage that surprised and challenged her. We’re getting as personal as we can, and we hope that our stories will help women feel more normal and less alone in their relationship struggles. Even more, we hope you’ll be a part of the conversation.
Update! We’ve finished Round One of the series and have started Round Two! To catch up, check out these wonderful posts:
Mary Carver: “Surprise! I Was a Lousy Wife”
Emily Anderson: “I’m a Runner”
Anne Bogel: “One Thing We Were Horrible At”
Julie Renbarger: “The Little Things that Pull People Apart”
Alisa Bowman: Do All Couples Settle?
Jill Anderson: Fighting the Pull to Drift Apart