The Old Blue Jean Marriage: Torn, Worn & Lived In


My 20-year marriage:

Like an old pair of broken-in jeans.

Torn, worn, and lived in.

I’ve zipped my lip. Found change. Been holy. Been shitty. Been pissy. Been flexible. Been supportive. Been supported. Softened with time. Faded with age. Dug deep in the pockets to hold on. And pulled myself up when I just wanted to lie crumpled on the floor.

I’ve worn these jeans like I’ve lived my life:

Straining and testing the strength of every inch of the fabric. Carelessly ripping and tearing at them. Wearing the material thin to the point it has no choice but to give way. Flexing the seams with added weight and hiding my frailty inside of them.

At first, they fit so comfortably, so well. I’d feel and see the kind ways they’d flatter and soften me, the way they gently followed my curves but still gave me room to move.

But in years 5-10, they didn’t fit so well. As I changed, they would bind in uncomfortable places, failing to stretch, flatter, or give.

At 10-15 years, they ended up trashed, thrown into the darkest corner of my closet. I couldn’t stand them on my skin. Rubbing me wrong. Binding me in what felt like a straightjacket. Suffocating me. My body underneath had changed too much.

So off they came. I chose being naked and free over the stifling confinement they made my body feel. And it was so freeing to stop kidding myself they could ever fit again.

Then from years 15-20, they started feeling comfortable again. I can’t be sure if I love or hate these jeans. Do I love them simply because, after 20 years, I can still find a way to fit into them? Love them because of our history? Love them because, after 20 years of being soft yet rough in them, they still resemble the jeans I picked out so long ago?

Or do I hate them because they never really fit quite as comfortably as those first five years? Hate them, because at some point, I felt dying was better than wearing them. Hate them because there seems to be barely anything left but the skeleton of what they used to be, so I move ever so gently in them, fearing if they fall apart I will regret not being more kind and gentle with them?

Or am I just indifferent about them now? I’ve come to know myself more. All those times of being naked without them has given me a greater feeling of freedom. I know the jeans never held me up. I know they only ever looked as good as I felt wearing them.

I know more now than I did back then, and as these jeans and I changed, we both wore in, wore out, and wore on.

Regardless, here I am, wearing my 20-year-old pair of weathered, broken-in, ripped, torn, stretched pair of jeans called my marriage…

And telling myself we still fit.

Photo by Imani Clovis on Unsplash

For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life.

Sip a little more:

To My Husband, At The End Of Our 25-Year Marriage

I’ve Forgotten To Be In Love With You — But I’m Still Fighting For Us

Love As An Evolutionary Force & A Heart That Contains The Whole World

"So, if you feel yourself buoying between waves, or swinging from one end to the other, know that you’re being strengthened by that unending rock and sway. And strength isn’t about becoming solid, immovable, and static. Strength is about becoming resilient. And resilience does not mean you will not break, crumble, cry, scream, denounce this life and then love it again in the very next second. Resilience means you can descend to the heart of your existence. Resilience means you can journey to the center of your Soul, and discover what it means to be." —Amanda Jade Fiorino of @wildearthmedicine #holyfire #rebirth #journeytosoul #wakeupanddream #howl Rea more: 
@kayharr73 @ladypantzz @dharmaunicorn @thugunicorn


Vicki Koritnik

Vicki Koritnik is a wife and mother. Vicki's passions are her love for her life which includes her husband, four children, two horses and her dog. Her daily practices include falling in love with herself in some way everyday and finding gratitude in something or someone daily. Her motto is to live by leading with genuine kindness and true generosity. Vicki finds life simpler and more focused with limited social media connections but you can find her on Instagram.

  1. Connie Gangler

    What an excellent article. I felt like I took the journey with you, and could definitely relate. I am so delighted you found your way through to a place of gratitude, comfort and care. Blessing to you Beautiful Soul❤️

  2. I love this poem so much! I love the authenticity and realism of it. Whether something fits is as much of a decision as anything else we might measure.

  3. Mr. Panther

    The most revealing line (and the one that hit home)
    “And telling myself we still fit.”
    When I had to convince myself to stay married (or in a relationship) it marked the end of it. Unfortunately, I have yet to heed my own advice and observations. The fear of the unknown and loneliness were far better than any rose-tinted glasses in keeping a place where I had long since, worn out my welcome.
    This confession you shared with us was beautifully crafted, and reached me on a personal level… Thank you for that.
    As for me:
    I can feel those lost pairs of jeans even now. However, the weather of my future looks to be shorts weather.

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