Mom Gets Real About Marriage: ‘Sometimes I Want to Give Up’

mom blogger real marriage
Mark and Whitney Fleming. Courtesy Whitney Fleming

Parenting bloggers are famous for chronicling the joys (potty training success!) and challenges (mega meltdown in Target!) of raising kids. But on Sunday, November 5, Whitney Fleming took a break from writing about her three children and got real about a rough patch in her 22-year marriage.

“Sometimes I want to give up on this,” began Fleming, 44, in a brutally honest Facebook post. “Sometimes I want to leave the man who gets frustrated too easily or often doesn’t see the world the way I do . . .  Because sometimes marriage is just hard, too hard to see it through to the end.”

mom blogger real marriage family photo
Whitney and Mark Fleming with daughters Payton, Olivia and Camryn. Courtesy Whitney Fleming

But whenever the mom of 13-year-old twins Payton and Olivia and Camryn, 11, feels like calling it quits, she looks at old photos of her and Mark. “I see the multitude of lines that adorn our faces, the result of so much joy and laughter shared between souls,” she revealed. “Each smile reminds me we overcame the pain of miscarriages and infertility and deaths and illnesses that we endured only by grasping each other tightly. The sight of us touching reminds me of how just simply grabbing my hand used to take my breath away, and still does upon occasion.”

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The Chicago-based writer continued: “Sometimes marriage is hard, harder than maybe it should be. Giving up may be logical, easier or sometimes even the right thing to do. Sometimes I want to give up on this, but not today. Because although I’m in the season of marriage that is difficult and exhausting and hard, in these pictures and in this life, there is always a new reason to fall in love with this man all over again.”

mom blogger real marriage wedding day
Mark and Whitney Fleming on their wedding day. Courtesy Whitney Fleming

Fleming’s message struck a chord with many readers. “Oh my word! This so fits my life right now! Thank you for saying what I am feeling,” one person commented. Added another: “Wow! Just wow! Courage to say out loud what we all think and feel. Hang in there sister and I know that one most days I am hanging there with ya . . . by a thread.”

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Fleming, who blogs at Playdates on Fridays, was shocked at how many people said they felt the same way as she does. “I think we live in a world where talking about problems in your marriage is taboo. We all post these pictures showing how happy we are, but on the inside, we are lonely and scared and a little bit broken,” she tells Us Weekly. “And we don’t discuss it for fear of being judged. Just because you admit you are going through a rough patch doesn’t mean you are failure — and I think we all, including myself, feel comforted knowing we’re not alone.” 

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