What Does “For Better Or For Worse” Really Mean? (Part Two)

Marriage…this story is a continuation from this post.

Two years after my battle with depression, we had a marriage crisis. I don’t know that any marriage is immune from having one. I do have friends who seem like they never fight, and agree with each other on just about everything. Perhaps they’re just really low-maintenance. Perhaps they’re hiding from the truth. In our case, we were living in denial. We had been brushing things away, thinking they were no big deal, when in fact we were sweeping it all into an enormous pile that became the elephant in the room.

There is a type of grief that comes when you realize the solid foundation you thought you had is really comprised of delicate particles. When the person you had faithfully given your life to, in all its intimate moments, becomes someone you loathe and fear. Suddenly you question your own judgment, your own self-worth. How could I have been so stupid? How did I not know this before? How could I have not seen this coming?

I asked these questions as I violently ripped up an entire roll of toilet paper, sobbing hysterically. The mountain of tissue filled the air as I flung the pieces at my husband.

But here is the true miracle. That we went from being separated to being together. That I went from questioning my marriage to knowing I had married the right guy, after all.

We know it’s not happily ever after from here. There will inevitably be more “rock bottoms.” But now that we actually have an idea of what for worse, and in sickness, really means, we embrace life in the moments that are for better, and in health. Because when the good times do come, they are not to be taken lightly. They should be cherished…and celebrated.

Marriage-4 Nha Khanh dress, Bloomingdale’s cashmere shrug (similar, steal)

Whether you are married or not…what does “for better or for worse” mean to you?

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Comments

  1. says

    Amen! I also LOVE your beautiful photos in the sand! So sweet!

    Sometimes I think I know what “for better or worse” means, but then I think the trial by fire is when we really find out, and like you, I am sure there are both rock bottoms and magical moments yet to come. One thing that did come to mind is this verse: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 In some ways, I feel like that is God’s “for better or worse” towards me, and it puts a lot of things about marriage into a new perspective for me.

    • lifeunrefined says

      Well, I have to credit Mr. Campbell for taking our lovely photos. 😉 And yes, we never really “know” until it happens on a personal level…but hopefully each time a trial comes, we will be better prepared for the next.

  2. amy says

    just love the honesty and tenderness of every single word and emotion you are sharing with the world. just love love love.

    • lifeunrefined says

      Thank you for your kind words about my blog! Remembering that you still love each other (and your kids!) despite the tough times is key. Thanks for sharing.

  3. says

    For better or for worse as far as life struggles, arguments, and just being human. I guess when I do get married, that is my life long commitment is to make it work and that is why you just have to make sure the one you are committing to is the “one” Nice post!!

    Kreyola Jounerys | Instagram

  4. says

    Hi Jen! This post was very powerful and I admire you for sharing this personal experience. I’m glad everything worked out for you and you were able to get back up after hitting rock bottom :)

    RE:I love the look of a sweater over a button-down but have yet to master it. Any tricks in buying the right sweater/shirt combo for this look?
    Hmm, I would say try finding a sweater that is loose but isn’t too big on you. Then look for a button-up shirt that is a little thin and peaks the right amount under your sweater. I hope that helps! <3

    Tina
    http://www.justatinabit.com

  5. says

    After 14 years marriage, I am still not sure there is magic in marriage or not. I guess each marriage can be unique in its own way. Unfortunately the reality is that only small percentage couples are truly compatible and are right for each other.

    Best wishes!

    From Jing at http://www.bejingxu.com

  6. says

    Beautiful post and pictures!! I really resonate with some of your thoughts…important things like love are often in flux, and it’s something we have to learn to be okay with! <3 Thanks for sharing
    allygong.com
    -Ally Gong

  7. says

    I love how honest and real this post is. It is so refreshing to hear about the daily lives and sometimes even struggles of other people and bloggers. So good that you shared this and it seems that you are doing so much better, and I am so glad. “For better of for worse” really differs with each couple and i think finding a good balance is always essential.
    These photos are absolutely gorgeous and you both look so amazing.

    Denise
    http://www.fashionloveletters.com

  8. says

    It was so brave of you to write about your own problems. I can’t imagine why a girl as beautiful and talented as you would be depressing! May each of your future day is a better day in your life!

  9. Kim says

    Your words about the solid foundation actually being made up of delicate particles are absolutely beautiful, and so true! I recently had a very long-term relationship fall apart in the face of struggles with depression, and it is such a devastating dose of reality to realize that you have so little control over things you thought you could count on. It also makes us re-evaluate what we truly want and need out of our relationships, and I hope to someday find what you and Mr. Wonderful have.

    I love that you embrace that things will always ebb and flow. To me, I think “for better or for worse” means riding out that wave of “worse” while knowing that “better” will come again, and that you’ll do everything you can to help the other person (and yourself) get there. I feel like in our darkest times, we really learn to appreciate the little things, like when strangers smile at us on the street, or when people (like you!) bravely share their own journeys, and help us accept our own. Thanks for sharing!

    • lifeunrefined says

      Kim, I really appreciate your comment, and for sharing a bit of your own experience. I am so sorry to hear about your long-term relationship falling apart, and I sincerely hope you will one day find that someone who cares for you no matter what. In the end, I think it is about the small things. Thanks for reading!

  10. Linda Manns Linneman says

    Marriage is hard for everyone. I always have believed that being able to communicate and come to a shared decision makes for a great marriage. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless

  11. Julie says

    I stumbled upon your blog posts and found it so candidly well-written. It is not so easy to put yourself out there like that and share relationships struggles especially when all around you see glossy pics of sugary-sweet romance posted on social media.Not sure if everyone is in denial until one needs to act honest within.

    After having being in one myself, I can see how I used to romanticize married life and admire the magic of real life (after the rosiness wears off, you start appreciating those who stay authentic all the more). Without needing to know your personal stuff, I wonder if you could share what kind of problems form the delicate particles that can so seriously mar a solid foundation. After all you knew each other for sometime before marrying. Is this something that we could look out for or prepare for in advance? I appreciate your beautiful mind, and the way you are so articulate in your posts.

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