Alright guys – in the midst of EVERYTHING else going on right now, we’re still here only now we have 4 operating companies, no house, almost no personal debt and one big cavern in the middle of our life.

I’m constantly fighting myself to overcome this part of the journey. To walk through the wreckage of a marriage that my parents left behind for me to deal with. To piece together what happiness means to me, where romance won’t carry you to the next day and you can’t imagine doing this. exact. thing. over and over again for the rest of your life.

I’m still proud of Aaron and we’re committed to our marriage – we want to be here. But being here is really difficult right now. It’s painful and precious and all kinds of fragile. I have no problem whatsoever being open about this because guess what? If you’re married, we all have the same kind of marriage. The ones that take two people to keep it a working machine. Where the give and take have a balancing act that keeps wants/needs and expectations in order.

But we also have two kids and four self-owned businesses and I want to scream. I am crawling out of my skin. WILL SOMETHING PLEASE STOP?!?!

I still know that I am not alone. I have all those same feelings I had a year ago last summer. Our life got more stressful, not less and it was all our doing. This is what we wanted but now I want to change my mind. I want to be allowed to expect that at 6:00 every night the electronic devices will stop buzzing and Aaron will be home to eat dinner with us. I want to expect that he wants this too.

I want the people we think we can trust to stop fucking us over. I want our employees to get it and I want to hear how good Aaron’s day was, how effortless his process has become because the people he thought he had in place to make them work better? Actually DID THAT.

Don’t worry, I’m furious. And the only place to put that furry is into something that cannot hear me crying. Into making food for my family or drinking red wine alone before bed. Into be lonely and really careful and honest about what this – what’s happening.

I want to get off the roller coaster now. I am done.

For the past 10 years I have literally put Aaron and his business ventures before my needs or wants. Before my very health. I wanted what he wanted because I wanted him so badly. Now I just feel used. I feel forgotten.

I want to feel chosen. I NEED to feel chosen.

I have been open and honest with our situation with family and friends and I’m going cross eyed and blue in the face with their response. Do not email me if we haven’t had a personal conversation in more than 3 months to give me your heart felt “hand out of prayer” – I will fucking slap you.

It’s belittling to be reduced to your prayer request when last year you actually wanted to share my company. I don’t even care if you’re intimidated by my honesty. Grow a pair. Be a friend. And if you really are scared? Then run in the other direction, Fast.

I am reading books on marriage – Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert for one and I’m comforted that someone is being honest (because in the Bible Belt of West Michigan it’s expected that you marry young, pop out a bunch of kids, volunteer for coffee-break and make all kinds of cupcakes for kindergarten) about the actual expectations of a marriage.

I came from a divorced family that was just as dysfunctional before a divorce as it was after – only after we finally had something to blame. Then (as I lived with my mom and was mostly influenced by her) my mom remarried and had a wonderful marriage to a man that raised me as his own, whom I called Daddy – whom I loved dearly – who died when I was pregnant with our first child.

That marriage was salve to my mothers wounds of the brokenness left in the wake of the marriage from her own youth. But there were lies in that marriage too – lies I couldn’t name until recently. The lovely man who is no longer with us put my mom on a pedestal. She had no faults. She did no wrong. And I expected as much from my own marriage.

My poop does not smell, if you get my drift. And I’ve had a rude awakening to learn that, infact, I am not perfect. That I need to work through my own insecurities and that I am responsible for my own thoughts, actions and feelings.


And fucking scary. Because now I’m feeling responsible for all kinds of feelings and actions. Like blindly getting married at 19 with nothing but hope and love to keep us together and does this not raise a red flag to anyone???

Why aren’t we TALKING about this? I chose my life, my husband and my family. I’m not walking away from them. I want them.

But I need to make peace with so much that I’m leaving behind in the process. A death to self, if you will and I’m tired of dying over and over and over again.

I want to live, too.

So. There it is. We have a cordial marriage with passion and love. We’re good to each other and wonderful parents, together. We share the same family values and want the same things (mostly) in life … only … I wish he wanted me as much as I want him. As much as I need him. Don’t you worry, crazy ex boyfriends or male gawkers, I am not asking for an affair or for you to show me that you still care. I do not want you. I want him. I will always choose him.

And I’m learning that loving myself for all my shortcomings is the first to key to allowing someone else, who really does love me and want me, to open that door and welcome them in.

12 thoughts on “Ugh.

  1. So hi. I wrote this in shear desperation this morning from emotions I couldn’t let go of. I should probably let you all in on this: we’re not heading towards divorce and my marriage is not a failure … Generally speaking I feel like the failure most days for carrying these heavy and unwelcome feelings around with me.

    We can chalk this up to me “getting my crazy out” – some times we just have to say it out loud.

  2. Dude. I have mass respect for you. Bearing it all and getting it out. It’s cathartic isn’t it? You’re right. Those of us who are married, especially to very driven, entrepreneurial men, have had pretty much all the feelings that you just expressed. Okay. I’ll just speak for myself on this one. This blog post could be a page (or 5) out of my diary. Mad props to you girl for keepin’ it real.

  3. Just because your airing your feelings doesn’t mean your headed for divorce. The stuff you are feeling is normal marriage stuff. People (especially in our town) don’t talk about it. Why share? We’re all “fine”. Ugh!
    Unfortunately there is no magic answer. You just need to keep plugging away. It sounds like your doing all the “right” things but, sometimes it truly is just hard.

    My favorite resource that we have used as a couple is “Love & Respect” by Emerson Eggerich. Thats just my 2 cents šŸ™‚

  4. You are very wise Jodi. I love your last paragraph and I think that more people would benefit to sort through their feelings and get to that realization.. and then do it! I honestly feel in my heart that you’re carving out a really “life” way of doing life/marriage that your kids will thank you for one day when they are older. With love from Washington!

  5. Sarah B, Mary B and Bonnie – and countless others who have called, emailed and talked to me ….

    Thank you.

    I don’t know how often I can say this without sounding hollow – but I am so very honored by your support.

  6. Jodi, what a post! I don’t pretend to have any advice – I’ve been married for less time than you have, and don’t have any kids (or 4 businesses for that matter). But just wanted to say you are an incredible writer. And I love the way you show your real self on here. It’s one of many things I admire about you. And it makes me look forward to our next get together (if I would actually show up at one). Hope you’re doing ok.

  7. Megan šŸ™‚ Again, thank you!! THANK YOU.

    We’re almost done with our Tuesday night commitment so I’ll be showing up to more meet ups asap. I hope to make it to the 12/7 one.

    I made homemade tortilla’s yesterday for the second time (made them years ago for the first) and was happy to feel like I had you in my kitchen showing me how to do it šŸ™‚

  8. thanks jodi – your honesty is refreshing for me. your story is real and painful; and too often kept hushed.

    being a newlywed (ok.. ish.. 1 year..), moving away, new culture, new language, new calling… it’s nice to hear that in my marriage it’s ok to sometimes just not be ok.

    people don’t really tell us that when we sign up for this, do they šŸ™‚

    so thanks.

  9. Hi Carolyn šŸ™‚

    Thank you for your kind words and for joining me in the conversation and the honesty.

    Are you in Spain … is that what I remember? Or close to it? Or over there? Um … I will be planning a trip to visit you for my lifelist if so šŸ™‚ How is it going?

  10. Hahaha, We are in Switzerland šŸ™‚ – among the cows, the chocolate, the rolling hills, and in the smallest village ever.. like, seriously ever… my urban soul is almost suffocating over here – but then I look out the windows at the French Alps across Lake Geneva and decide that I really can’t complain šŸ™‚

    We head to Rwanda in 2 weeks for 3 months, then back to Holland for 3 months in April while we apply for VISAs, then back to Switzerland for another 2-3 years of working between here and rural Africa.

    If you do get over to Europe to check it off your lifelist, we have a beautiful Hospitality Wing (and you’re talking to the girl who books it out!) and you guys would be welcome to stay here at the base for a few days – as long as you can handle about 80 people from 40 different nations speaking around 60 different languages – I promise it’s a blast šŸ˜€

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