I met Doug in 1989 in Germany in a little bar on a blind date. One of my co-workers, Tina mentioned that she had a hometown
friend stationed in Germany and she wanted us to meet. I was single, so why not! I agreed to the blind date, we met and had a great evening. Doug was quite a distance from his barracks in Darmstadt, so he had already planned to stay at Tinas that night. I went back with them, and Doug and I stayed up the majority of the night talking. I remember a feeling of safety when I spoke to him, like I could share anything, and he would just listen and not judge. We dated for another nine months, and I had fallen in love with him. Doug, well he had other ideas and found me to be too serious, so he broke up with me. I was devastated. Although time went on, I had my son Seth, I never forgot about my first, and only love.
When Doug called out of no where I had no idea that one call would turn into almost 12 years of marriage, but we will celebrate that this summer. We have made it through 5 deployments, the loss of one parent, two siblings, a Christmas morning heart scare, a suicide attempt, a blended family, four moves, and two businesses.
After my overdose I would often wonder what Doug thought when he looked at me; was it pity, embarrassment, or shame? I think for many the idea of marriage can have delusions of grandeur. I did not expect a fairy tale ending, I expected happiness and I thought I would give that back to him as well. Fairy tales by their own definition are an incredible or misleading statement, account, or belief. I think back to those first few years of marriage with becoming stepparents and it all seemed so difficult; it certainly wasn’t easy. There have been times over the last four years I would take that back instead of the recovery from my suicide attempt.
I look at Doug and I see a man of incredible perseverance. He has stood by me as I have revealed my darkest secret. In sharing this I do not just open up about my life, I am sharing his too. That is not something I take lightly. I love, respect and appreciate him for standing beside me as I share all of it.
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:24
I know that God saved me that night, and he saved me for His purpose, I know that as much as I know I am happy to be alive today. What else I know is that Doug has stood shoulder to shoulder with me throughout, from the days of threatening suicide, to overdosing through sharing my story today, knowing part of his would be told as well. I know that if Doug could have taken my pain, or endure the embarrassment I felt deep within me, he would have done that a thousand times over. He cannot, but he can and did show unfailing love throughout this chapter in our lives. He stood by my side even though it created great sadness for him for so long. I don’t know how to thank him for that other than continuing to get better and stay alive.
Speaking out is healing me and renewing my spirit and joy for living. I do believe that sharing our story is realigning our marriage as well. Although sharing a part of our lives is not always easy, I believe it is necessary. I do hope that my story can help another person; especially if that person is the spouse and they can see that the person hurting can get better and the road to recovery is real.
Doug strength has been tested and proven over and over again. His hardiness has been shown when he stands by my side, proud to call me wife, and allow me to share not only my story, but our lives.
God has aligned our brokenness to stay strong as one. For me being broken together is enough.