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A Strong Woman Deserves a Strong Man

A Strong Woman Deserves a  Strong Man

It’s Valentine’s Day, so I feel like now is the appropriate time to share! You may want to look past this one if you are looking for self-loathing and lack of doting on my husband.

love, relationship, marriage, hardship, strong

Real time love.

Here’s the thing. When you have been through as much as we have been through, you sometimes find yourself doting on one another to get through it. Don’t get me wrong, we have our days when we cannot stand one another and we need a break from each other. Totally normal, by the way.

Shannon and I have been together for over 16 years and that in itself is pretty awesome. Here’s the crazy thing, too. I want to be with him for the rest of my life and I look forward to spending time with him almost every day (refer back to the previous paragraph, for the “almost everyday” reference.)

It’s funny that I had this revelation while texting with said husband about dinner. He asked me how my neck was feeling after my thyroid biopsy and we talked about dinner. Silly, trivial stuff. But sometimes that is really all I need. He makes me happy and it reminds me that I cannot wait until he gets home. I actually long for him to be home and truly enjoy his company. This may be because I yearn for adult interaction. It also has a lot to do with the fact that I actually really enjoy my time with him.

I was literally just trying to think back about all of the things we have been through and it brought me such strong emotion. So much so, that I stopped folding the never-ending pile of laundry that I can only conquer when a certain one-year-old is sleeping and instead wrote this post. Now that’s some strong emotion right there. Am I right?! (I hate that phrase for some reason. It makes me picture some macho chauvinistic person shouting it out at me obnoxiously. I don’t know. I’m weird.)

Two very eventful Births for our boys (I should’ve known!)

First Child (Tristan):

birth, c-section, babies

Quick photo before water breaks

Three days of labor, being sent home from the hospital twice, finding out he was breech, emergency ceasarian section scheduled when my water broke green, and through it all Shannon was right there by my side. (Although he did go to work while I was in labor causing me to lose my shit and kick a hole in our bedroom door.  In his defense, I’d been sent home twice from the hospital being told I was a first time mom and didn’t know what active labor really was. Still.)

Second child (Grayson):

labor, delivery, baby, forceps

Looking content even with fourth degree tears. Ouch.

This time it was only a 16 hour labor, I opted for a VBAC and the forceps had to be used. I ended up with 4th degree tearing. I could write a blog on each of my deliveries and all the details…those will come!

I don’t even try to understand how my sister in law had her fourth-degree tears sewn up without any numbing or epidural. Not sure if she is superhuman or just crazy. Wowza.

So once again, my poor husband. By my side, watching all of this unfold. Seeing my vajayjay torn to shreds. Seeing me days later, running to the bathroom because the Magnesium Citrate the doctor gave me made me keep pooping myself.  

If that is not a strong relationship. I don’t know what is.

Then, we still went on to do it again….

Third and Final (Aubrey)

baby, c-section, baby, delivery

Third time. Here we go!

So we are either strong or just plain stupid. Let’s go with strong.

The third time was a charm. C-section all the way. She tried to throw in a hiccup by progressing much quicker than the other two, while I am taking my sweet time thinking I had all of the time in the world. I mean I guess I could add that they had to try to put in an IV for me and they could not get a vein, so they tried 5 different areas, even to the extent of moving the needle around, with no avail. But, once I closed my eyes and talked to my Grandma in heaven, my body relaxed and the blood started flowing.

This birth was easier to recover from and she was as healthy as could be. We will take it, but Momma has definitely closed up that shop! Done and done.

I cannot even tell you all of the things Shannon did to help me after I was out of the hospital. He would run around and get everything I needed, take care of me and help me with the babies. He’s pretty awesome and I kind of like him a lot. We get a little bit of help, but mostly it is Shannon and I and I have to say we make a pretty amazing team. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely days that we whine and moan and wish we had a little more help or time. Don’t we all.

Family Drama

Shannon has had to deal with a lot of my family drama. A lot. It actually had a lot to do with the reason why we broke up in the beginning of our relationship. You know that kind of break up where it’s not official because you still spend time together like a couple without the title?

I remember telling my friends that he was the one, but they denied it and said there were other fish in the sea. They wanted me to be with someone that could handle all of me. I think after that little breakup Shannon realized that he wanted to take on all of me, he loved me too much not to and I realized that him and I were a force to be reckoned with and in order to build our relationship, I would have to let some of my family drama go (or write about it in a blog some fifteen years later….I kid, I kid.)

Arizona…here we came

travel, love, relationship

Grand Canyon adventure.

Been there, done that. Yup, Shannon and I were pretty proud of our newly college-graduated selves. We said we would do it, so we did. But, holy shit was it hard.

We literally sold all of our stuff and hit the road in my red Chevy Cavalier with a crazy ass dog in tow and our clothes. That’s it. Oh, wait…I think we may have had a blow-up mattress that would inflate for about an hour and then we would end up on the apartment floor. So there’s that lovely necessity we didn’t forget to pack.

It was crazy with a capital C. Man, we thought we had some hard times behind us, but moving out on our own without any friends or family nearby was quite the adjustment. I’d have to say that our neighbors got to know us well by the screaming matches that endured in that lovely 500 square foot apartment.

Shannon and I are both very passionate people, even Tristan, our eight-year-old uses that word to describe us (he may have heard it a time or two.)

I won’t go into too much detail about that two-year journey, but we can say that it ended with a newly engaged couple moving back to Ohio with their dog in tow. We somehow managed to make it through it all. We are kind of strong like that and we kind of love each other enough to endure the complications.

Battling Colitis

Colitis, relationship, hardships

We looked so happy, but it was flipping hard.

Shannon had some major stomach issues since the beginning, but back then we always attributed it to our college ways of eating, partying and just not taking care of ourselves. The poor guy would get so embarrassed about it and I’m sure back in the day the idea of me writing about it would have ruined him. We dealt with years and years of fighting over silly stuff. He wouldn’t go to fairs with me or places that he could not predict how far away the bathrooms were or if he could get to them easily. It wasn’t until before we got married and he had a colonoscopy that we figured out he had Colitis and an actual condition that he could be treated. It made our lives a little easier, but he is still not keen on a lot of those activities he dreaded (so maybe it was all an act).  I am totally kidding. A colitis diagnosis does not change your love for crowds and circus-like activities. It’s a known fact.  

Unforeseen Circumstances

I will never forget the night that Shannon was displaying stroke-like symptoms. It was not long after we moved into our house. For once, I felt like my rock really needed me to be the strong one. I remember seeing him sitting in the hospital bed with the hospital gown on. The unflattering light hitting his face the way it does. It was a sudden reminder of our immortality, it truly hit me hard and sudden. I have always felt like I am pretty young, but that was when the realization occurred that one day I could lose him, or vice versa. What a sad place it would be for us. Life is short.

He ended up having Bells Palsy and thankfully the symptoms went away for him in the coming months. Our relationship continued to grow stronger. Times like that remind you to continue to be thankful for your time together. It’s a combo of not knowing what it was, thinking the worst and just knowing that one day it could be so much worse.

My Somebody to Lean On

Another memory that pops into my mind automatically is something that I have dreaded for as long as I can remember. Death is not an easy event to tackle. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without Shannon.

Shannon has stood by my side during the loss of both of my grandparents and has been my rock. I remember the days when I was much younger and it was so hard for me to understand how I could ever lose them and be ok. I did not envision a man like Shannon that would listen to me cry for hours about how much I miss them. Listen to me recap stories that I am sure he has heard a million times. Sometimes I just need him to hold me while I break down and ugly cry until it hurts. He knows. He just sits there and listens and understands. That is one strong guy right there. He endures the pain with me and never lets me feel that my pain should be expired or lessened. I pray that we are teaching our children to be the exact same love and support to their forever love.

love, Grandma, marriage, trials, death

Forever in my heart.

The most memorable moments are just having him by my side, to be my somebody to lean on. Just like the song. My Grandma’s Funeral was one of the hardest days I have faced. I had done my Grandpa’s Eulogy and in my heart, I felt that I had to do my Grandma’s. However, my Grandma wasn’t there to tell me it was ok. Just writing this makes me tear up. I miss them so much. While I was reading her eulogy I didn’t make it very far into my writings and I started to break down. Shannon was right there with me and he kept whispering into my ear how good I was doing while rubbing my back. His presence and reassuring words reminded me to breathe and just take it as it comes. I cried, but it was ok because he was right there by my side.

I have not even begun to touch on my boys and the behavior issues that we have been through over the years. I will one day write about it separately because I feel like it is the least we can do to justify to other parents that we have been there and we understand. They will get through it.

I am also not going to write about the fact that I am an extrovert (with extremely anxious tendencies) and Shannon is an introvert (with a very successful work history that has pushed him to be the extrovert he is not, nor does he want to be). These are just a few things that help to keep us balanced. We learn from each other. We try to understand one another and we move forward. I remember I used to get so mad at Shannon when he wouldn’t try to interact with new crowds of people. Silly me. I now see those same hesitations in my kids and I am understanding and at times defensive of their feelings. I have learned to be the same for my husband.

These are just a few of the instances in this life that Shannon and I have created that has helped us to grow stronger. There are more and I am certain there will be more. We are equipped. We have learned to apologize, talk it out even when we can’t stand each other. We have learned how to work on changing things to be better people for our children. I love this man and I know he loves me.

family, relationship, strong, marriage

Life is not easy but it is worth it.

I hope that if you cannot relate or if you are not there yet, that you never settle for less. You deserve to be loved and find someone that loves you for you. I hope that you know that your person is out there. God will help you find them when the time is right.

Or maybe you would rather be alone. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Actually, I applaud you. I think this is a major step because it shows that you love yourself and you don’t feel the need to be validated by another. I hope you are happy and surrounded by others that love you for you.

love, relationship, marriage, trials


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