7 years ago today, at the age of 21, I was walking down the aisle to say, “I do.”

My wedding was perfect. Well, almost. I got married at the Gaylord Palms Resort, which is beautiful, especially at Christmas time. I had a wedding planner who made my wedding day way less stressful. My sister was able to attend and be my maid of honor, even though she was only 10 days post-brain surgery. The people whom I care about the most attended. We had a small wedding – 47 people total. It was everything I could have wanted….with the exception of a couple of things.

When I got into the elevator to go down to the ceremony, it stalled. We had to get out and take a different one because my wedding planner didn’t want us to get stuck in the elevator. I distinctly remember saying, “Maybe this is a sign haha.”

When I got to kiss my new husband after saying, “I do,” I could taste nothing but liquor on his breath. Yep – that’s right – prior to marrying the “love of his life,” my husband felt the need to have a few drinks….even though we had discussed not drinking before or during our wedding. Neither one of us are pleasant people to be around when we’ve been drinking. After the ceremony, I was trying to talk to him about it as we were getting pictures taken. My mom then accused me of being a controlling bitch. There’s this “super sweet” picture of her whispering in my ear with her arm around me. Everyone talks about what a great picture it is. What they don’t know is that in those moments, my mom is chastising me for being a crazy bitch that no one will want to stay married to.

At our reception, my husband’s nephew sang a song about cheating on your significant other. I was pissed. Really, the pictures that show the look on my face during this part of our reception are priceless. For me, it was exceptionally aggravating because my husband had cheated on me at one point in our early dating days.

I stayed sober for the entire reception – only having a couple of sips of White Star Champagne during toasts. And while some things didn’t go the way I had envisioned, for the most part, my wedding day was perfect – one of the best days of my life.

7 years later, I am a totally different person than I was when I walked down that aisle. The things that mattered then, are no longer as important; and the things that I didn’t care about at 21, matter the most now.

After a little over a year of trauma work, I have realized how much I need a spouse who can be supportive and reliable – emotionally, physically, and financially. I have learned that communication goes both ways and I have to work harder on being open about what is going on with me. I’ve also come to accept that, while I hate marriage counseling, it is actually good for us and we need to go. 

I still have not disclosed the details of my childhood sexual abuse to my husband. At this point, I don’t know that I ever will. I still struggle to be open with him, but due to his choices and behaviors, I don’t always trust him to meet my needs. Our relationship is like a rollercoaster – it always has been. I hope that in the future, there will be more ups than downs…and when there are downs, I hope they won’t be as big of drops as they have been these past 7 years. 

Here’s to hoping that the next 7 years are better than the first 7. 🍾