How many of you are married? How many of you are on your second or maybe even third marriage?

Marriage is hard, especially if you are not sure how to do it. Let’s face it, first marriages are hard because we’ve never done it before. Additional marriages are even harder. Each party has baggage, children, ex-spouses, and a number of other facets. I read once parenting isn’t for the faint. Well, marriage isn’t for the faint. Marriage is hard on any given day, with or without kids, with jobs or job hunting, ex-spouses or first marriages, it is all just hard, If you say it isn’t I am not sorry to say, then you are doing it all wrong and one or both parties are not being who they are and being who you want them to be, bottom line. I don’t care how much you love someone or happy they make you marriage is work.

If you married someone like myself with an extensive history with domestic, sexual abuse and PTSD, you have your hands full and your spouse deserves a medal, TRUTH. You can read all the books on marriage, you can listen to a podcast, radio shows, tv shows, and seek advice they can help but will not adequately prepare you for what you are getting yourself into, Seriously!

From the moment, actually, before my husband and I were married he has displayed nothing short of extreme ninja warrior like patience with me. I have spent most of our thirteen-month marriage hiding most of my anxiety from him. I didn’t think he would understand. I thought he would judge my weakness. I was afraid he would minimize my feelings, be dismissive and unsympathetic. Because that had been my experience in my past relationships. See, I am known as a tough gal because I am. My kids can vouch for this, and I wanted to stay tough for my husband. I have to keep up my reputation (wink, wink).

My anxiety is usually set off by nightmares or heavy stress. I had a nightmare one-night last week. My nightmares that are few and far between, but when they do happen they are vivid and real. Replaying every detail of previous incidents. Then the following day the stress piled on. I was sitting on the couch late one night crying. Let me tell you I am NOT a crier!! My husband walked in worried, asking me what was wrong. I tried to hide it and tell him everything was okay. He was aggravated I wouldn’t talk to him, therefore he couldn’t fix anything. He’s a man and he wants, he is designed to fix things. I was upset he wouldn’t quit asking. Which only made things worse. We went to bed, not talking. Something we DON’T DO. Which carried over into the following day, this is not a good thing.

The following evening we went on a date and had a conversation about the issue with not talking to him about the problems stemming from my anxiety. Such as how I don’t need to hide these issues from him, he may not be able to fix them, but he can share in them. This is a hard concept for me to follow through on. Being open, raw and vulnerable even with someone who loves you more than life is harder than you would think. Well, last night I woke up with an anxiety attack, it was a bad, unable to breathe, talk or sit still. The whole crying and shaking were hard to let my husband witness. I can say if he hadn’t woke up on his own, I probably wouldn’t have woke him up. He stayed awake with me, rubbing my back until I fell asleep.

After I fell back to sleep, I woke up to him with his hand on my back praying for me. I had never witnessed in my life such pure unadulterated love in my life from a spouse. He wasn’t praying where the world could hear, he wasn’t posting on social media, he was just relentlessly praying over me, nothing more than nothing less. I can’t tell you the feeling that sweeps over someone when this kind of selflessness is displayed. It made me realize if I had shared with him, earlier in our marriage he would have been loving, sympathetic, and understanding.  He would have known what my anxiety consisted of and he now knew exactly how to pray over me. So, let me challenge any spouses out there that may be struggling by themselves in an area, share with your spouse. Let them hold your hand, talk to them, and let them experience what you are experiencing. I will be honest, to hear the sweet heartfelt prayers from my husband in the still of the night, were a game changer. Not only for me personally but for us. I text him this morning letting him know I appreciated his prayers. But, I don’t think he knows the real extent of them. I don’t think he knows how hot that makes him either.

So, I pray this blog post will encourage you as a suffering spouse, or as the supportive spouse to share, to listen, to love, to be sensitive and to pray for each other. There is nothing purer in a marriage than unadulterated prayer over your spouse, let me add again there is nothing hotter either.

Remember keep your prayers and coffee hot,

Hollie McCalip

Unadulterated Prayer