Getting Through the Rough Spots in Marriage: Pour Your Heart Out

When we were first married, we were starry-eyed-in-love newlyweds.

But really, we didn’t have much of a clue how to be married. Being young, we thought we could float on a cloud of love and that would be enough.

When you throw in a baby and big job changes a little less than two years into marriage… And then add in a huge move and another baby in year three, it got rocky.

We thought maybe love wasn’t enough. That maybe it’s possible to fall out of love.

Accusations of I’m not happy and You don’t make me happy flew fast and furious. Thinking the other should change.

Some how, we made it through that rough patch, realizing that love is a decision and marriage required effort and should be taken more seriously than deciding to quit some hobby that we no longer felt like doing.

Once we made each other a priority and accepted that it’s okay and even normal to have ups and downs, our marriage became much stronger.

We had another baby in year five. And made another big move in year six. But this time, the stress wasn’t there because we knew we’d be there for each other.

As we approach our ten year anniversary this week, I couldn’t imagine my life without Hubs.

He’s my best friend. He gets me like no one else does. He’s my partner in parenting our kids. He can make me laugh so hard that I can’t speak and tears run down my face. He supports me when I try something new. And he loves me even when I’m being unlovable. And I try my best to do all that and more for him.

The thought of life without him is unimaginable. I’m so very grateful that we chose to work through those hard first years because life is so much better with us together.


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  1. Incredibly sweet. There is something to said for surviving the first few years especially when you add in babies, moves, and job changes (my hubby and I did all the same things in our first three years of marriage). I definitely don’t fear any challenges that may come up for us becuase I know we have each other’s back! Congratulations on 10 years!

  2. Love this. That’s a lot of major changes in the early years. We’ve experienced similar phases but yes, when we accepted each other, stopped trying to change each other and made each other a priority, it got easier. Happy Anniversary Shell! 
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Dear Body…My Profile

  3. I love this, Shell. It’s such an important reminder. Marriage, love, life – it’s all hard. But worth the work and worth the time and just worth it all. Thanks for sharing.
    Andrea recently posted..That girl.My Profile

  4. What a wonderful post. As someone whose marriage did not make it through those rough spots, it makes me happy to hear that you know it and appreciate the hard work it takes. I know I do! Happy Anniversary!
    Single Mom in the South recently posted..Re-PrioritizingMy Profile

  5. You had so many changes. I think the best one was excepting each other and deciding to work on things.
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..23 Moms Share B-Day Treat Bag IdeasMy Profile

  6. Happy anniversary! Ten years is a big deal – and worth all the hard work.
    Tracie recently posted..In Your Anger, Do Not SinMy Profile

  7. it’s 10 years for us in August and I have to say that you’re words really resonated with me. it IS hard, it’s not always happy, fun or whatever…but it is worth it. You are such a wonderful couple and I wish you love and light and laughter…even in the hard times.

    Kir recently posted..The 5 Reasons We’re Sending Our Sons to Catholic SchoolMy Profile

  8. This is so touching and so true. Marriage is such hard work and it’s so easy to place blame or take it for granted. It’s a constant effort to make it a priority and I love that this was an honest post about that. You guys make the cutest couple both then and now. Happy Anniversary!!
    AnnMarie recently posted..The Gifts of CFMy Profile

  9. Sending Happy Anniversary wishes and prayers for many, many more!

  10. Happy anniversary!! You two look so cute together.
    Wow, your oldest and your youngest look JUST like Hubs!
    Kim Young recently posted..February Twitter Party!My Profile

  11. Simply, wonderfully stated, Shell.
    John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted..Where I’m reminded to be cautious while parentingMy Profile

  12. Happy Anniversary!!  Beautiful photos!
    cyndy recently posted..On HoldMy Profile

  13. Happy anniversary! You guys doing anything fun?

  14. These are beautiful sentiments that are so very true to every marriage.  Love this statement:”love is a decision.”

  15. Congratulations on 10 years!  That’s an awesome accomplishment.  It was hard for us as well the first couple of years being married.  We did fine the first 4 years of being together, but then we got married and had a child (who was born with special needs), I quit my job to stay home with our son, and it was very stressful.  It could’ve ruined us.  But we chose to go the other way.  Boy, am I thankful for that!  It’s always gratifying to know that your partner is there for you and you for him/her no matter what.  Congratulations again!  And happy anniversary!

  16. 10 years of marriage is a true testament that your simple decision (philosophy?) to make it work because it matters, really is key. Happy Anniversary and may you have many more happy years.
    Alison recently posted..Things I Learned From (Getting Into And) Staying In The PictureMy Profile

  17. So true, all you wrote. What a sweet tribute to your hubby. Happy anniversary!
    Mare recently posted..Ben & Jen (oh yeah, and Oscar)My Profile

  18. Happy Anniversary!  Life is full of “rough patches”. But your character tells how you will weather them. We have been married 42 years and not all of them have been blissfully happy. But we truly love each other and took our vows seriously (not to mention we are both pretty stubborn). We have been blessed to not have insurmountable issues, but I still like to think we have accomplished something pretty good. Hey, Hubs retired 6 months ago and I haven’t killed him yet. That must be love!
    Seams Happy recently posted..Tea Pot Cozy TutorialMy Profile

  19. You are so right about love being a decision! Too many people view love as just a feeling and not as a verb. Loving someone and being in a relationship requires hard work, compromise and a consistent decision to support one another. Thank you, as always, for sharing such important words!
    Xiomara| Equis Place recently posted..With Great Risks, Come Great Rewards.My Profile

  20. Happy Anniversary! I loved the part about loving you when you’re being unlovable. It’s not so tough to love people at their best, but the ones who love you at your worst? Keepers! xo
    angela recently posted..The Magic They MakeMy Profile

  21. Love IS a decision. Much like faith. Too many people don’t realize that and I think that’s why marriage fails so often.
    MiMi recently posted..InspirationMy Profile

  22. Happy 10 years, Shell and Shell’s hubs!
    just JENNIFER recently posted..Wordless: February ’13 #FMSphotoadayMy Profile

  23. When I was a young girl, my grandparents used to tell me that the first 5 years of marriage were the hardest. I never could understand this, although I should have listened because they were married for 50+ years before my Papaw passed away..Anyway, they were right. The first 5 years of our marriage was not always pretty but, we too knew that our love was more than a feeling – it was a commitment. I am so glad we stuck it out because I can’t imagine life without my husband now.

    Congratulations to the two of you for being married for 10 years. Even in the best of relationships that is no easy task. Happy Anniversary + here’s to many many more!

    Lacey @ CHARM + Sass
    Lacey recently posted..Addiction + Honesty in BloggingMy Profile

  24. So sweet and so true. Love isn’t always pretty but when we stick with it, it can be pretty sweet. Happy Anniversary.
    Cam | Bibs & Baubles recently posted..Love It. Want It. Covet. Repeat.My Profile

  25. It is a decision. I like the saying, “love is a verb.” It is something you do, not something you feel. I think that’s a good reminder.
    Jennifer recently posted..You fall, I fallMy Profile

  26. What a great post and so true. It’s so true, marriage takes work, and it is not a hobby – great line.
    Carolyn Y recently posted..FortyMy Profile

  27. Congratulations on reaching this milestone in your marriage. Any lasting relationship will endure many ups and downs. Still, after almost 33 years of marriage, I am so grateful to have my husband by my side…..still.
    Janet Singer (ocdtalk) recently posted..Lighten UpMy Profile

  28. Happy Happy Anniversary!!  And yes the best things in life are the things we work hardest for. 
    Emmy recently posted..A Birthday PostMy Profile

  29. Really great post. I needed this today, too. My husband and I are seven months into our marriage and life is hitting us fast. =) Thank you.
    Christine recently posted..App Love: PocketMy Profile

  30. Shell, you never fail to make me nod my head in agreement with your posts. you by far are my favorite blogger EVER! just saying.

  31. Oh, how beautiful and inspiring and yes – love is a choice – and a daily one! 
    ilene recently posted..The Fierce Diva Guide to RomanceMy Profile

  32. The first few years of marriage are hard. I know we had our ups and downs those first few years. Love is a decision and marriage requires effort, you put it so beatifully.
    Julia recently posted..Promises to My Future Daughter-in-LawMy Profile

  33. I get this. Oh, you just don’t even know how much I get this. 

    Happy 10th, Shell. Cheers to understanding what marriage is really all about. 
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..On the RoadMy Profile

  34. Happy Anniversary to you! And thank you for this much needed message today.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..Our FamilyMy Profile

  35. I think those of us in long marriages come to love and value our spouses even more over time than when we first fell in love. After a few years you’ve seen the best and worst of each other, and still choose to love.
    Patricia recently posted..Kitty Cat BirthdayMy Profile

  36. Happy anniversary! We are in year 13 and no one told us it would e this hard!
    Robbie recently posted..Childhood MemoriesMy Profile

  37. I think it takes a really long time to get to know one another. It happens way after the wedding bells, for sure. It’s great that you stuck it out. You are right; marriage is a decision. A decision that comes out of love.
    Rachel recently posted..This Time is OursMy Profile

  38. We are at 5 1/2 years of marriage (11 years together) and those rough spots can be really rough. Thank you for writing this – it’s so reassuring to see that we’re not alone in having some rough spots.
    Caitlin MidAtlantic recently posted..Shin Splints of the SoulMy Profile

  39. Hope you have a wonderful 10th anniversary.
    We just celebrated 5 years last week, and, our marriage is stronger because of the big changes (buying a house, having his younger brother live with us for a year..etc) and the little things. We both make an effort.
    :) It’s work – but the thing I’m willing to work the hardest at.
    mrs.d recently posted..Back to basicsMy Profile

  40. So true!!  I love the photo of you guys by the way…both of them…happy anniversary!
    Natalie recently posted..Toddler Busy BagsMy Profile

  41. Yeah for you both!! Getting through that rough patch is hard. It was just a few years ago for us, but we kept fighting and now the bog stuff doesn’t seem so big. It only gets better from here, right? ;) Happy anniversary!
    Adrienne recently posted..10 Things Nobody Tells You About MotherhoodMy Profile

  42. I know I am late to this…but congratulations on learning what it takes to have a successful marriage!! UNconditional love. What a crazy ten years you have been through! You are amazing. XOXO
    Chris Carter recently posted..My Big, Wide RoadMy Profile

  43. Marriage is a constant work in progress but totally worth it! They say the first seven years are the most challenging, I disagree. It’s always challenging until you find the right balance and even then it can be too. The difference is knowing how far you’ve come and what you have overcome together.  
    Charity recently posted..Quiet weekendMy Profile

  44. We are in year four (anniversary in November) and there are changes/growth/adjustments but as long as you work through it all you can keep going!  Happy 10 years to you guys!!  
    Stephanie @ Babe’s Rockin’ Mami recently posted..Living with a Picky EaterMy Profile

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