The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done

I had a lot to learn about having a happy marriage

My husband photographs people for a living. In more than two decades of working with him, I've talked with hundreds of couples planning their weddings. Most people enter marriage with expectations, dreams, and a mixture of joy and fear of the unknown. I carried this to an extreme and entered marriage with a fantasy.

When I was 17, my best friend and I went to the mall to have a photograph taken with Santa Claus. He was an old man with a real beard and his own long white hair. We sat on his lap, a helper snapped the photograph, and my friend bounced up.

Before I could bounce up, Santa asked, "What do you want for Christmas?"

I looked him square in the eye. "Peace, happiness, and contentment."

Yes, a tall order from a 17-year-old, but that was me, and it was Santa.

Ironically, I left that conversation with Santa, walked into a music store, and met the young man who would become my husband. The timing wasn't lost on me. From the start, I saw this man as a gift, and I went to the wedding altar one year and two months later, expecting the same three things: Peace, happiness, and contentment. This was, after all, the list I'd given Santa.

Somehow, I thought making a life together would be easier than it turned out to be. From the start, Loyd and I struggled. We argued over the same things most couples argue over: money, housework, sex, in-laws, time, children, communication, intimacy. In the worst moments, we threatened to leave and even threw the word divorce around.

Member access onlyYou have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
orJoin Now for Free

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign Up For Our weekly Newsletter CT's weekly newsletter to help women grow their marriage and family relationships through biblical principles.

Read These Next


Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

Follow Us

More Newsletters