Marriage and partnership have always been a desire I’ve had in my life.
That feeling of having forever with my best friend and lover all wrapped in one.
That feeling of coming home and sharing my hopes, dreams, and frustrations with a man that encourages me and is also my place of refuge.
There was a time where I could no longer envision my life as, “a party of two.” I was flourishing in all areas of my life except for romantic love. I had lost the ability to imagine my life as a wife with my future husband.
The image of being entangled in my husband’s arms at night, or drinking coffee in the morning was no longer a picture I could visualize.
When I could no longer feel the butterflies in my stomach as I tried imagining him coming home from a long day of slaying the dragons and his warm embrace and soft kiss made me feel weak in the knees.
I realized that I had lost hope for marriage. The one thing that I had desired all of my life. I no longer believed that one day I would be a wife.
I can not pinpoint precisely when I lost hope for marriage. Maybe somewhere within the 15-years of being stuck in a cycle of a failed relationships.
Maybe it was when I was paralyzed by the fear of abandonment and rejection and would self-sabotage my relationships.
Perhaps it was all of my inner circle of friends were getting engaged and married, and I was still single with no potential mate insight.
It could have been the combination of the fear of the future that I would get to the point that I would settle for an unhealthy relationship so that I could have someone in my life. That relationship would end up ruining my life.
What if I was wrong and indeed the purpose I thought I was created to do as a wife was all just wishful thinking.
All of these things left me hopeless and unable to visualize the marriage and family that I had always dreamed of having.
After crying and praying for several weeks, I choose to find a way to renew my hope again. I called my Sister and asked her to help me pick out a wedding dress. She of course agreed, and I tried on dress after dress, after dress.
I chose the dress that sparked hope in me again. I could not afford to buy it straight out, so I put in the layaway and paid on it for months.
At this point, your head is probably doing a swivel as you ask yourself, “Wait. Did she put a dress on layaway for a man that was technically still on the shelf? Chiiiile….”
For me, marriage and partnership was a part of the dream that I was not willing to let slip away, and while it was a non- traditional route, my longing for a partnership fueled me to do more.
I placed it in my closet up front to remind me that one day I would be a wife. It allowed me to be able to visualize myself walking down the aisle and my husband smiling and crying tears of joy. The wedding dress that sat in my closet for over 5 years was my symbol of hope.
I went a few steps further to renew my hope and do everything I could to connect better and build healthy relationships with men romantically.
3 Ways to Keep Hope Alive
1. Write down your dreams of marriage as if it’s a novel headed for the New York Times Bestselling list.
a. I would read my story as often as I could to evoke emotions and restore my vision when I felt myself getting discouraged.
2. Never allow present situations dictate your hope for a different tomorrow.
a. I choose to change the way I saw my current situations. I learned that my today does not have to be a duplicate of what tomorrow will bring.
3. Protect your heart’s desire and get a symbol that reminds you that nothing is impossible and that your day is on the horizon as long as you don’t’ give up hope.
a. My wedding dress was encouraging to me, and I was a motivator for me to make better choices in my relationships.
While a dream deferred makes the heart sick, remember that delay is not denial. Love is the greatest thing in the world. We all desire to give it and receive it, therefore, prepare yourself to be a wife by never allowing your hope to fade away.