Sep 192011

“Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19

I’m not sure how to explain what has happened in our family during the past week.

I think it might be best to just report it, without commentary. I’m not real sure what any of it means yet, I just know that it means a lot.

Last week, one of my little ones had a full blown panic attack. Heart racing, drenched with sweat, vomiting, clenching my arm so tight that I’m still bruised….repeating “Mommy, I’m dying. I’m going to die.”

During the days after the attack, Craig and I came to believe that our baby’s anxiety is due to my deteriorating health. I’ve been sick for a month straight now . . . in bed by 8:30 every night and weak all day. The kids are noticing, and they’re afraid. The whole family is, but it took the ingenuity and courage of our little one’s body to make us all face our fears.

So one night last week, Craig and I sat down to talk. To really talk.

I will just tell you that we removed that “love barrier” I wrote about before and we finally told each other the truth.The whole truth, the broken and confused and resentful and lost truth. As we spoke honestly, without holding back, we came to know things that we’d each been avoiding knowing. We admitted that I was really sick. And that my illness was putting some stress on our marriage.

But we also admitted that my illness wasn’t the real problem between us at all. My illness was just making our real problems harder to avoid seeing.

We have come to believe that our real problems are that we’re not taking care of each other in the most important ways. We each have needs that the other isn’t meeting, that the other doesn’t even know about. Our problem is that we are not best friends. We want to be, but we lack the skills to reach each other. We are so different. Craig survives by skating gracefully on the surface of life and I live at heights and depths that he can’t see and doesn’t know how to reach. I do not skate. I crash and fly. So, the Truth of the matter is that within our marriage, we are each lonely. I am high and low and he’s in the middle and we can’t hear each other, we’re so far apart. We admitted this to each other. We said it out loud.

We admitted that we are good at taking care of our children, we are good at taking care of the world- but we are not great, yet, at taking care of each other’s hearts.

We admitted that we needed help.

Because we also agreed that we love each other so crazy much. We will die trying to take better care of each other. There are no other priorities for us. We will find a way to trust each other with our real selves, to become best friends.

So I called a Monkee whom I love and respect and is a therapist and I said, “Help me, please.” She drove from another state and met me at a coffee shop and let me talk for three hours. Of course she did, because We Belong To Each Other. She helped me find therapists for my littles, to help them deal with having a sick mama, and for Craig and me, to help us learn how to become best friends. That’s what we want. We want to learn how to know each other, inside and out.

We start therapy soon. We are afraid and excited. We have felt something shift between us already. We are on the verge of something new.

It’s kind of like we are deciding, once again, to marry each other. And by choice, this time. I mean, I’m not even pregnant. Craig must be wild about me, to start over like this. To want so badly to be my best friend. And he’s my favorite thing on God’s Green Earth.

Anyway, wish us luck.

Also, My Favorite Monkees:

Love You,


P.S. Thanks again, Lyme.

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  44 Responses to “A New Thing”

  1. Hello, I just stumbled upon your blog and find it raw and beautiful. Your honesty makes the rest of us feel normal. As a wife married 18 years, together for 24 years, I have some thoughts on your comment, "Our real problem is that we are not best friends. We want to be, but we lack the skills to reach each other. We are so different." I am learning the key to a long and happy marriage is not striving to be best friends with your husband, at least not in the way women think of best friends. For women's best friends, God gives us moms, sisters, and girlfiends. Our husbands will never relate to us like those ladies can because men are not wired that way. Our goal as married couples should be to accept and embrace our spouses' differences and remember the reason for marriage is to raise children, help and support each other, and help get each other to heaven.

  2. I love the beauty and truth in this post. My very best wishes as you continue on this journey together.

  3. wowza. Tell the truth. Another good Monkeeism. Here's a chance to fall in love all over again. I'm happy for you both. Best to baby, too.

  4. Dearest G,

    You and your precious family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us here, inspiring us all to a more fulfilling and real life. You are such a blessing to others, so I pray you and your family will be blessed 100-fold in return.

  5. Sad for you. Happy for you. Scared for you. Praying for you. I pray a year from now your life has changed in miraculous ways. You are certainly working hard to make that happen. Inspiring all of us along the way. thx, G. lovelovelove

  6. My pastor is right. Down here on earth can be hard.
    This is not our permanent home. Our rewards are in heaven.
    Congratulations to you and Craig for keeping your vows.
    Marriage is for better or worse. We say this in our vows
    because there is going to be a worse. Always remember there
    is going to be a better too. Both of you keep your eyes on
    your rewards in heaven…..the stuff on earth will work out.

    Praying for your health, your babies health, and the health of
    your marriage.

    Praying for your health and your babies health…and the health of your marriage.

  7. Love this, love you.

  8. Thinking and praying for you and your beautiful family. God has a rhyme and a reason for everything. Be comforted in knowing how much He loves you and calls you His child.

  9. Glennon. Thanks for sharing. I went through this in my marriage. You are not alone. I am so proud of you and Craig. Taking that first step together is the beginning of a beautiful new start for you. I wish you the best! Thinking of you and your beautiful family!

  10. PS. Hope this isn't too preachy, but Husband and I took the advice of some very smart people and instituted sacred tea time every day. It's 5 minutes or an hour, of alone, adult time where we make tea and sit down and look at each other. We check in. We say hello. We take the time to see each other. I love it now. Initially it could be painful. Sometimes we fought. Or it was silent, but now it's sacred time.

  11. First off, so proud of both of you.
    Second, I pray that it will be such a healing, creating time for your whole family. Getting help was amazing for my marriage.

    My littles have had panic attacks and rescue remedy has helped a lot.

    Lots of love.

  12. Good for you all for confronting things while you can still make the changes you need to. So sorry that the little one had to go through that, but with help one can learn how to diffuse them. One of mine suffered for years but can now calm herself sufficiently to head off full blown panic attacks. And I know the right couples therapist can bridge the kind of differences you mention, because one did so for us. Nothing's perfect, but we understand each other so much better than before. A lot of it was recognizing the patterns set in childhood. Switch therapists if you don't feel a true connection. All my best to your entire family.

  13. DH and I are on the same path. With my health issues and this realization that we aren't best friends, we've been in counseling for a year or so now. With an active toddler, multiple health issues for me, worries about having another baby and how it would affect our marriage/relationship/family, and money woes, it's easy to just lose the marriage and focus on getting by. But you are so right-it's lonely and scary and when you have health problems and it's starting to affect your kids, it's time to reconnect and recommit. I hope you find your path together. It'll be hard but it's worth it. We are still on our journey but in my mind that means we're already stronger. Together.

  14. Pure and brave, G. Hugs.

  15. I have read every single one of your posts in 'real time' for almost a year now, & I've gone back and read most of the older ones as well. As someone else here said, it is uncanny that your posts almost always are exactly what I need to hear in that moment. I am touched to the core each time, and reading your words helps me live a braver life and be a better person (although I'm still WAY working on that).

    This post is no exception, & my husband & I were both shocked how your situation resembles our own. It gives me courage that you & Craig, whose relationship I admire so much, are on this journey too, and you set a remarkable example of perseverance and love.

    I usually don't comment because my heart and head are full after reading your posts, and I can't formulate anything logical to say. But I wanted to say how much your writing means to me. Your posts make me think of a stone dropped in a pool of water, with ripples that spread out and continue on, far far beyond your eyesight.

    Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your gift with all of us, and my thoughts & prayers are with you guys.

  16. Hope you get better soon honey, there is no one like you and your spirit will shine through. If you ever want to talk, you know where I am.
    Santa Fe

  17. I have nothing meaningful to add — just wanted to add my hug and my prayer to the chorus. Good for you, and thank you for your honesty and brave attitude! xoxoxoxo

  18. Any couple that can sit down and lay it all out has my vote for "Couple Most Likely To Last in Love." The first step is bringing it out there. Love isn't the problem. Clearly, commitment isn't the problem. You will find your way.

    I'm thinking about your little ones and you and Craig and how there is A LOT going on….but we know we can do hard things and we will pray and be there and do whatever needs doing.

    We love you, all of you.

  19. G,

    First of all, I'm so sorry your little is having panic attacks. I had my first one a about 5 years old, when my parents were getting divorced. No one really thought about kids having panic attacks in those days, evidently, so we just called them my "freak outs" and I suffered for years before anyone really got a clue. As as adult, I know that when my anxiety and panic attacks come back, it's my body's way of trying to get me to wake the hell up and pay attention to something that's hard that I'm trying to ignore. I HATE it but now I see how useful it has been in my life. Sounds like it's the wake up call for the family. So glad things you guys are able to hear the call AND I still wouldn't wish that feeling on my worst enemy. If your munchkin wants to talk to someone else that had panic attacks as a kid, I'd be happy to be a pen pal or talk by phone :-)

    L and I have done therapy here and there over our 9 years together and even though I don't really like it, I think about it like a bridge. Sometimes life has expanded so much and is moving so fast that we can't even hear each other from our respective riverbanks. Sometimes therapy is like a FEMA or Red Cross team rolling up to help rebuild what life tries to carry off as it goes rushing by. (Pardon the analogy- we were just in Vermont, post-Irene). To me, marriage isn't about being a perfectly happy couple year after year. It's about becoming better people TOGETHER. It's really hard to become a better person. Especially when someone else is watching. And doing hard work means getting sweaty and mad and dirty and loud and asking for help sometimes. As you say, it's brutiful.

    I am holding you and your perfectly imperfect family in my heart, G. And I mean it about your little. Happy to help however I can.

  20. Glennon,

    You do show up. And you do do Hard things. And you do them all so openly and honestly and so willingly share it all with us. I think you have already accomplished so much in this next journey, simply because you are both so willing to even try. Hugs and support to you both. And I hope the kids are ok too, last week just had to have sucked on many levels for all of you…

  21. Oh G,

    I've started to write you so many times, but I never have the nerve to finish the email and hit "send". Thank you for continuing to open your heart and your life to us. I can relate so well to this post. I hope we can find the bravery and resolve within ourselves to take similar steps. You babies are so lucky to have you two for parents. Good luck on this new path in your journey. As another commenter said (and explained so well), Congratulations! You guys can do this and in sharing about it, you are helping us all to do hard things.


  22. G – You are so brave! I know everything which you speak of. As you know, for my husband and me it wasn't an illness that made us face our issues, but boy did it help us see what we hadn't been providing for one another.

    I have also used the phrase new marriage as my husband and I find out about this new relationship. Sometimes we work better at it than others. Sometimes we have to come back to center and see each other in focus – instead of being the blurry background.

    I will keep your work and the work of your family in my prayers. it is the most important work we can do for our families – thank you for reminding me of that through your own journey.

    Love and prayers – Kent

  23. Wow, thanks for being so honest and sharing this with the world. I really appreciate it! You are an inspiration to me.

  24. After reading this, the only word that came to my mind was "congratulations!"

    Weird huh? But I think it's appropriate. After all, newlyweds start out with a plethora of congratulations. I don't think this is so different. Deciding to be strong and starting your marriage over again-congratulations. Working to do what is best for your kiddos-congratulations. What a great example you are setting with your brave, mature decisions.

    Sending luck and prayers your way :)

  25. I meant to say as well – praying for your babies too; that they will feel peace

  26. Marriage is SO hard and no one can really explain it before you try it, probably because each marriage is hard in its own special way. And as always, good for you for saying it out loud.

    Good luck to you and Craig – we all need it, don't we?


  27. Adrianne:

    Glennon, today's post is so loving and honest and BRAVE. I wish Trent and I had sat down to have this conversation long ago, before the really sinister stuff began.


    Y'all are brave and I am thankful for your openness. I'm still in Year One of marriage and I hope I get to find out someday that I have learned well from what you and Craig are willing to share. And sending good thoughts your way.


    I love you, G. You and Craig are two very smart monkees bubbling over with love… you'll get where you want to go–fast.
    15 minutes ago · Like


    A wonderful therapist once told me that the people who stay married for 50 and 70 and 80 years aren't the ones who have only a single marriage, they are the ones who have many different marriages. Because they are brave and strong and loving enough to reinvent and redefine their marriage as each partner's needs and who they are and the external circumstance inevitably change. Its only where people are too afraid that they try to cling to the marriage of there 20s where things ultimately get dicey beyond repair. You and Craig are probably as different as you say in many ways, but in the brave, strong, and loving departments you sure seem very close together.

  28. This is honestly & beautifully written. I'm new to your blog and grateful to have stumbled across a place of such authenticity. Prayed for you, your husband and children as you seek counseling. May God use it to bring you to new levels of healing and intimacy – I know the rewards will be well worth the journey :)

  29. Gutsy to put it all out there. Both of you. It's going to be one of the best things you ever did. I should know. My wonderful husband (The Package aka TP) & I went through this 5 years into our marriage. Was do or un-do. And since we decided that 'undo' wasn't an option for us, we did the work. And are so grateful that, since we were willing, God worked us out. It's never been the same (thank you God!!) TP & I are stronger now – individually and together – and I love him so much better now than I did on "I do" day. He truly is my bestie!

  30. Mama G:

    I'll meet you anywhere, coffee shop, or mountain top. To say that it is a relief to those close to know you are formulating a plan, is probably trite but there it is (just like stupid flowers).

    Smooches babe. I sent you stuff on FB so keep a lookout.

  31. Therapy helped us quite a lot. I wish you all the best and I hope that you are able to find your common voice. Much love to you both!

  32. Sending extra love to you and Craig!!!

  33. Proud of you – and believing with you that Love Wins and you CAN do hard things.

    and as always – praying for you to feel better!

  34. So. There have been days that I mosey (yes….mosey) over to your website and read. Sometimes cry. Sometimes laugh. Sometimes I go for days without reading…then I get to moseying. And then it happens. Again. Almost everytime I stray, when I come back, we are on the same page. It's just weird. There are words in your posts that have been tumbling around in my brain….and you have said them. For example, the words "therapist" and "help" and "Diet Coke"….wait….anywho – they have been in my brain. On the tips of my dialing fingers. On the unspkoken undertones of my sad household. I love you for saying them, and shoving them like a cream pie in my face. Got it. Dialing now….help. Therapist. Diet Coke……

  35. Just read this passage and LOVED it, "We create the illusions we need to go on. And one day, when they no longer dazzle or comfort, we tear them down, brick by glittering brick, until we are left with nothing but the bright light of honesty. The light is liberating. Necessary. Terrifying. We stand naked and emptied before it. And when it is too much for our eyes to take, we build a new illusion to shield us from its relentless truth. " From The Sweet Far Thing ( kinda silly YA book, but great passage!) by Libba Bray

    Thank you for sharing your journey with truth in your marriage ( so, so relatable- marriage is hard- if we're honest I think we could all use help sometimes) . I wish you and your husband all God's blessings!

  36. Oh honey. You are so brave for writing about this. For laying it open for everyone. But the truth is, that every good partnership that I know about has done this kind of work. And let me just tell you, it is worth it. It's good work, work that will overwhelm in its rewards.

    It's also a gift that you can give to your kids. I was not fortunate enough to have parents or other adults around me in marriages that I admired and aspired to emulate. I've been writing my own rules (with help from many places). That has been hard. It has also rocked my faith at times, in myself (am I just forever broken because I didn't learn this as a kid?) and in marriage (does anyone really make it work the way I think it should?) I think I've mostly come through it okay, but I do so envy people who have parents who have paved that way for them somewhat.

    I hope that I can give all of the answers I have found to my children someday, should I have them.

    If there is anything I can offer you (I have read some great books that have changed my life), let me know.

  37. This post was eerily like a commentary of what's been going on (and not going on) within the walls of my marriage this year.
    It started differently — the sickness was an addiction, instead of lyme — but it made us realize all of these things. We tried counseling, but after the first time realized we just couldn't afford it.
    So now we're kind of swimming blindly through it ourselves — I won't say that it's with success, but we will keep trying, all the same.

    Thinking of you and praying for you as you travel this journey. We can do hard things.

  38. Thank you for being do honest and so brave. We all need to take bett care of each other and tell the truth. We all do. But sometimes I am f#cking terrified of the truth. And I'm just too tired (or maybe selfish) to connect with my husband and care for him in a way that is meaningful. But your blog never fails to make me think, pray, and feel renewed enough to try harder. To do better. Thank you.

  39. Your Honesty is truly amazing and inspiring.

    I love that honesty. Always.

    I'll be praying for your health and the health of your family. As I'll be praying for every single marital relationship of every single Monkee here. We all need it, you know.

  40. This post feels brave, and honest (like all your writing). Thank you for writing it.

    "Our real problem is that we are not best friends. We want to be, but we lack the skills to reach each other. We are so different. Craig survives by skating gracefully on the surface of life and I live at heights and depths that he can’t see and doesn’t know how to reach. I do not skate. I crash and fly. "

    I relate to this, although in a rather different way. My husband is quite a lot further along the Aspergers spectrum than I am (not officially diagnosed – he's very highly functioning and from the outside you wouldn't know; and partly because of that it took us several years before I started to really realise how differently we think) and there are so many ways in which we do not comprehend how the other one thinks and experiences life. We're learning, but it's definitely a case of learning rather than it coming naturally.

  41. G–
    Love this. Love you. I needed this now.


  42. very sweet Glennon. I will be praying for your family.


  43. Wishing you all the best as you take this journey together.

  44. When I asked Craig's permission to post this, he sent me this message:

    Baby, I love it. It’s the truth and I’m not ashamed about our marriage nor afraid to admit that we can’t do it alone. That’s what life (and your blog) is about huh? Tell the truth and help each other.

    Go ahead babe, let’s do this. I love you.

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