17: We Have It All

17: We Have It All

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings

We Have It All

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times,
always with the same person.

~Mignon McLaughlin

We thought we had it all—a beautiful house, three healthy children and one more on the way, two cars, a couple of four-wheelers for entertainment—and we loved it. We spent money like it was going out of style. Then, the market turned and my husband’s job as a bigwig at a construction company was gone. The company had declared bankruptcy and was closing down for good.

We both started looking for jobs right away, but there weren’t any to be found. With each passing day our panic increased and we continued to work together in order to pull our family through. The more we pulled together, the closer we got. I felt feelings of adoration for my husband that I hadn’t felt in years.

That’s why it was so hard for me to watch him blame himself for our current situation. I knew that he had no control over the economy, however, he constantly degraded himself and his spirits sunk lower with each snide comment. I continually asked him to stop, but he seemed to want to punish himself for not having a job.

Finally, one afternoon I pulled him aside and said, “We have four healthy children and each other. That’s what’s important. That makes you a rich man.”

“But what if we lose the house? They’ll hate me—you’ll hate me,” he replied.

I smiled at him and put my hands on both sides of his face to make him look me in the eye. “If we live in a cardboard box on the empty lot across the street I will be happy—as long as I have you.” I smiled again as I realized that I wasn’t just saying it. Somehow, in all the struggling together I had found that deep abiding love for him that I had on the day we said “I do.”

I could see relief wash through him as his shoulders and neck relaxed and the tension left his body. He held me close and we were able to talk and plan and dream together in a way that we hadn’t in quite some time. It was a turning point for us as a couple and a family.

We are still struggling financially, but I consider us well-off because we have something that money can’t buy and no one can take away from us.

~Christina Dymock

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