My Husband Isn’t the Man I Married.


I don’t know if there’s a married person out there who doesn’t cringe at this picture.

Today marks my and the husband’s fourth anniversary. We’ve made it. This far anyway, heh. But I will be the first to admit, my husband is not the man I married four years ago. Nor am I the same wife he married.

Which is why we’ve made it this far.

Four years ago, both of us had very different ideas in mind what marriage was and while we discussed here and there changes in our (then) current relationship that would have positive impacts, we never discussed the how which means changes rarely happened. We each brought different baggage to the ceremony and after the honeymoon (actually during) propped those suitcases on the floor next to our real suitcases in Budapest and opened them up to release a whole lot of destructive shit.

And there we sat. Honestly, by the end of summer I was asking repeatedly why in the world he wanted to marry me so bad when in reality, he didn’t even really like me. I threatened constantly that I’m not going through this again and am ready to bolt (in truth, I’m always ready to bolt. Bolting’s my thing. Think of how terrifying that would be for a man who wanted the security of marriage and my constantly reminding him that a little piece of governmental paper was little defense for me sticking around.)

Boundaries were in place on where fights/arguments COULDN’T go; however, many were pushed right up to that line. I kept asking myself, where is the fucking honeymoon stage? Like, shouldn’t we be able to hold this together for for more than a week or two at a time? What’s the point of being shackled to shit (the bolt in me) if I know peace is fleeting?

It was tough. But we just kept on stepping. Some days being married was enough of an accomplishment, don’t muddy it up with conversation or even laughter. There have even been a couple of Anniversary’s where the last thing I wanted to do was celebrate our marriage. The fact that I was still here should have been enough and truth be told, we’ve just been getting rolling this past year on celebrating things so we ran low on celebration on a good day.


It kind of surprised me how many images come up on the google-foo for “fighting couples.” I tried to pick the most dramatic.

About two and a half years ago, things came to a head. Another failed trip where I wanted fun and only got fights and I’d had it. Literally had it. In my mind, I stayed where I would have bolted and good on me and see ya. Life was about to take a very unpleasant turn and I was looking at spending between then and dead without my bigg man. (By the way, I will always own my shit and for the most part can be open in regards to some of my contribution to our situation and never feel bad about it. But I’m not sharing Matt’s in this, his story is his to own to share or not share. While both of us were dancing in destruction, I’ll only reference mine here.)


Dark days behind us, in our midst, and ahead. Big Highland Games we had been looking forward to canceled. OH, on that note…

While this was happening, someone I’ve never met who had been commenting here and there about Games accomplishments decided to step onto my FB Sandbox and lay it out for the world to see that I had pulled out of Pleasanton Games because of some rant I guess I had about the high school behavior of some of the women competing in Highland Games. While I don’t give two shits what is gossiped about me in various circles, if you step onto my computer and make accusations that are baseless, well-it’s game on. (Yes, I’ve heard about people who say that I’ve claimed to be “unbeatable.” I guess the fucking empirical evidence says otherwise because I’ve been beat plenty and not once has it ever stopped me from stepping back up to the Trig or the Platform. Please to fuck off.)  Add the fact that he chose to be confronting to me on my own FB in front of the world, claiming that HE knew anything about me and I need to fess up why I’m not going and really, I give no shits how long you’ve been in the Games. You’re a POS that will never be welcomed on my computer much less my life. The other two people who knew why we pulled out was Matt, and the AD.

Also, there is not one weightlifting meet/strongman competition/highland games that is more important than what’s happening at home. Ever. Those are hobbies. Outlets for some competitive drive but more importantly time spent with those we love doing some fun stuff eating some fun food and drinking all the fun bevvies. But if things aren’t square at home, than everything else gets put on the back burner very quickly.

Sorry not sorry.


That was our turning point. Boxes being packed. Plans being made. Realizations that there is no longer anger, just sadness and hopelessness. And things started changing. One step forward, two steps back. But there WAS a forward and some days that’s all it took to make it that day.


Quite honestly, if you did this to Matt after a hot day on the field, I don’t even think he’d care. In fact, hand him a beer after and he’d be a pretty happy guy;)

Soon enough, we were even taking TWO steps forward. Some weeks we’d even go without taking a step back, whoooohooooooo. What changed?

Suddenly staying married was more important than everything else. Words were heard. Words were SAID in different ways. Value was being placed on that little piece of paper. By both of us. We just kept stepping. Threats were no longer allowed. Bolting was put on hold. Other aspects of our lives began to have value where there was none before which greatly impacted how each of us viewed our spouse. (I know, that’s super vague. Don’t you just hate that?)

Six months later and we were still making it. I guess we just decided to go ahead and make a run of it. We had an upcoming weekend in Vegas and we decided it would be fun to renew our vows. The truth? We weren’t renewing our vows, those didn’t work. We made vows to each other


I don’t know why this picture is so foggy. Don’t care, I love it.

that we knew were needed to stay married. We then learned that our dear friends, Max and Yvonne, were going to be in Vegas the very same time and we had a wonderful celebration on our hands (and Manhatten’s. I don’t remember how many, but enough that makes me not remember how many;)

After that, everything was perfect. Our marriage was perfect, our communication was perfect. Our fights were perfect…we were just perfect. But not really. In fact, few things changed after that but the few that did got us to Anniversary number 3. A place I never thought I’d see. I’ll take it. Even better, is that the steps forward kept happening. Walls were maybe not removed, but thinned out enough that we could keep connected in spite of them.

Suddenly having a marriage wasn’t just the goal, having a STRONG marriage was sought. One filled with more fun; more laughter; more connection; more peace; more healthy communication; more respect; more honesty; more admiration, more. Honestly, that’s when we started picking up steam.

And here we are. Number four. We are finally entering our honeymoon stage. Which is probably why we protect it more. We talk about potential threats and how to avoid them. Not just threats to our overall marriage but threats to our everyday peace. Little things that add up and cause resentment (Dude, it’s not fucking hard. Just push the toothpaste up from the bottom!) Heh. I don’t say that. I just do it and am thankful for the fact that if the toothpaste is fucked up at the top it means I have my hubs at home for a rare week instead of him being on the road. That’s a good thing.

So ya, my husband is not the man I married. Nor am I the wife he married. If we were, we’d be toast. Neither of us wanted that. Thank goodness. If you are someone who’s marriage just comes easy to you, dudes, good on you! I’ve met people who have said this before, marriage isn’t hard. I dunno, maybe that’s true. It hasn’t been our truth and I’m not afraid of it. What I am is incredibly thankful that I have a husband who I want to be married to and he has a wife HE wants to be married to (assuming.) Heh.

Women seem to not understand, or underestimate, the profound power they have over their husbands.

Dr. Laura


About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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1 Response to My Husband Isn’t the Man I Married.

  1. D. Bag says:

    I don’t know you, and the last time Matt and I crossed paths was over a decade ago, but I wish you both the best. Sounds like you’re learning how a marriage really needs to be, and may you be blessed with decades of happiness together from here on out.

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