the marriage fight

Posted By on Jun 26, 2014 | 4 comments

We were married ten years ago today. At 6:30 in the evening – we stood before God and our families and friends and said yes. We will. Forever.

While we were on vacation last month – my sister pointed something out to me. She said – why is it that growing up – YOU were the romantic. And now you’re not? We’ve kind of switched roles. And it hit me. She’s right. Growing up – I daydreamed about love and boyfriends and marriage and romance and dates and romantic getaways. There was ALWAYS a boy that I liked – one that didn’t like me back – but oh did I like him. Every time. And in my journals – I gushed about love. It’s all I thought about. I just wanted to be married and have babies. That’s it. No college – no job. Just love and marriage and baby carriages. But those boys didn’t return my affections. So off to college I went – more boys to oogle over and more boys that didn’t return my affections. And I still journaled about love. I still daydreamed about romance.

And then I met Jared. And he pursued me. And I didn’t know what to think. He had a reputation in college – a good one – don’t get me wrong. But he was THE Jared Barden. It was intimidating. Why would HE want ME? All the other boys I pined about didn’t. And it scared me. I called my mom and she said – Danielle – if you don’t give this Jared guy a chance – you could be missing out on your whole life. So I did. Our first date was my brother’s soccer game. He met my family. He knew within a few weeks that he would marry me – but it took me a little longer. And then all my notions of romance seemed silly. Over the top. Who needs roses and candlelit dinners and teddy bears holding little hearts when this guy loves me when I’m in my sweats and eating a carton of icing. Jared fit into my family perfectly. I fell in love with his kind heart and sweet spirit. And we said yes. We will. Forever.

And almost right away – reality set in. Losing jobs – leaving apartments – praying for paychecks. Moving into a home that I didn’t want to be in (and still being there today) – battling chronic pain and wondering if I would ever feel well again – deciding that it was time to start a family (and losing and struggling and finally holding a baby in our arms – now two). Rehoming our sweet puppy – starting a business (pouring myself into it) – struggling with anxiety. Time has flown by. Seriously. And I look back and wonder – what ON EARTH did we do with our time. How have we been married 10 years already? I’m breathing heavy just thinking about the next 10 years FLYING by.

And just when things seemed to finally be “normal” – life threw us yet another curve. The biggest yet. And I was lost and broken and hurting. My best friend became someone I didn’t know. My husband – the man I vowed forever with – was trapped. Recovery was intense – secrets exposed. Our world was crashing. But we said yes. Forever. And I loved him. I needed him. And my love took on an even less romantic feel and more of a survival mode. Fighting for our relationship and our life we had built. In the midst of that fight – romantic love was hard to find – is still hard to find sometimes. Forgiving (really truly forgiving) and moving on (not holding on to yesterday). Taking care of a toddler and welcoming a new baby into the mix – all while recovering and literally just trying to survive day by day – overwhelmed me. Still overwhelms me at times.

And then this man walks in the door at 5:20 and looks at me. And smiles. At me. The girl he pursued over ten years ago. The girl that he chose. The girl that he asked to spend his life with him. This man that has struggled and worked so hard over the past year to show me his sorrow and his love. This man that loves me. The man that God put in my path. The man that has given me two beautiful boys. The man that just loves me.

And I am truly amazed.

I love you Jared Barden. And I am anxious to experience a whole new level of love with you.


  1. No really, stop! Stop making me cry at work.

    It has been a wonderful, scary, short/long ten years, for sure, but you guys have grown so much during that time. Soooo much. And the wisdom you have, you share, and you will share it again and again, and God will be blessed because you do, and others will be helped, and your two boys will have the strongest, most loving, most surrendered heroes any child has ever had watching over them and directing their lives. God knows what we need–so glad he gave our family YOU and Jared!

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    • I loved it when you said “This guy loves me when I’m in my sweats and eating a carton of icing.” I thought I was the only one who loved frosting (icing) so much that I would eat it right from the carton. Shew, (wiping sweat from my brow) what a relief to know that there are at least two of us.

      You know, Danielle, this story could be just about any of us. I, too, dreamed of that romantic love. I wanted a guy who would automatically know what I wanted in the romance area. That he would cherish me and tell the world that he couldn’t live without me. We have had some really tough moments, some I didn’t think we would get through including the loss of three babies. In the end, it is all about commitment. We make that commitment before God and it is til death do us part, in good times and bad, richer or poorer, sickness and health. I truly believe those vows are because God knew that we, as humans, would like to just chuck it all when the going got tough, but it is during those tough times that, if we don’t give up, our love grows stronger and we can find that next level. You found it as we did. Cherish this time together. Yes, the next ten will fly by too, but you have a beautiful and wonderful family. You two are survivors. The couples out there that ditch a marriage at the first sign of trouble have no courage because that is what it takes to stand up and say, I’m not going to quit and satan cannot have my marriage, my family, my husband or my life. I love your smile and your commitment. Jared IS an awesome guy. I can still remember him as a little boy. God brought you together and He will bring you through.

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  2. Again, I must say you both have the best way with words! My eyes are leaking; not good as I am at work and have to sit here and greet people:) God is great! Praise His holy name!!

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