He held my face between his warm hands and looked me inventively in the eyes.
“I’m not going to leave you.”, he said as he leaned in and gently kissed my forehead.
Hot tears ran down my face as the snow flurries kissed the windshield. The heater was on, but I was chilled. I wanted to fling the door open and run as fast and far as I could, but I knew that even then I would still hurt. I looked down at my sparkling wedding band and up at my husband. Anger rose in my chest and I sobbed.
“You deserve better! You had no idea you would have to put up with all of this. I hurt! I hurt so bad because I can’t be better for you.”
I looked up from my ring and at his face which held a weight of sorrow that I wasn’t sure I had seen before. His eyes were filling with tears, but they didn’t pour over onto his cheeks.
This time he took my hand and held it to his cheeks.
“There’s nobody I’d rather spend my life with.”
Then, slowly and steadily his tears created small nearly invisible streaks down his cheeks.
The snow flurried outside and a Christmas song came on the radio. The world was bustling around us in the mall parking lot, but our universe had come to a standstill just long enough for us to catch our breath.
May ushers in Mental Health Awareness Month and with that I felt such a strong desire to share something of value. I have shared my own story in bits and pieces, but I have noticed that there isn’t a lot of energy given to discussing how mental health so intimately affects marriage.
I came up with an idea.
This month, my husband and I will share candidly about our own mental health struggles, the immensely difficult journey we have endured, the things we wish we would have known, and how struggle has both broken and ironically mended our marriage along the way.
We’re just two people that want you to realize that you’re not alone.
You’re invited to come as you are.