Marriage: Post-Hurricane

By September 3, 2005, three months into my marriage, I had lost all my possessions and all the homes I had ever lived in were unlivable if not gone. My husband and I made it to middle Mississippi, where my family was, and we sat in limbo for weeks. No jobs. No money. No cars. No privacy. No clue what to do.

Those limbo weeks were spent with so many people, I basically forgot I was a wife or that I was in a marriage. The husband and marriage, were actually the only things I had left (besides family). I most definitely cherished it. And, with an incredible amount of family and friend’s support, we slowly waded our way to the outskirts of limbo. While living in limbo we slept in multiple homes, usually apart because of space and amount of people. Say what you will about the South; but when the shit hits the fan, we treat each other extremely well. It was hard and uncertain but the decision to move to a more metropolitan area was made. We would stay with family, find jobs, and start over.

Learning about maneuvering your marriage is hard. Learning about maneuvering your marriage while you are both basically refugees, is a very quick test in its strength. We made excellent teammates and we learned very quickly how to wisely pick our battles and keep the lines of communication open and honest. Like before the Hurricane, we still engaged in many deep and important conversations; but, needless to say, they were one hundred times bigger than any we’d ever had. Every decision we made felt like it was going to affect every detail of our future. A future that felt so hopeful and guaranteed not three months before this.

We did the best we could with the best we had. We lived in close quarters with each other and in the same house with my great aunt and uncle. Fighting was frequent and frustrating due to our living arrangement and the fact that neither of us could find jobs. Unemployed newlyweds, with no prospects and no friends, we spent all of our time taking turns searching the web and looking at newspaper classifieds. Repeat. Sleep was almost useless. I think we went to bed only because we knew it would get us to a new day.

I spent the next three years completely codependent on my husband. He had to try to meet every single need I had. And he did, to the best of his ability, and I am sure often much to his dismay. That Hurricane and subsequent, abrupt move changed me forever. I did not have any of the same goals anymore. My goal was now to get through each day. My goal was now to keep breathing. Keep waking up. My life became an awful lot about me, despite the fact that I was a wife. And, I must admit, he came to task. He came to task so much so, that I ended up feeling like he was my family. You don’t have sex with your family. You don’t marry your family. So, I divorced him.

**I have more to say on this whole marriage thing, but I now need to process this entry, especially the sentence, ‘I spent the next three years completely codependent on my husband.’ because it is the first time I have said that out loud.**



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