|Photography by ZenRG Photography|
Back on June 15th I said it was my two year blogging anniversary!
The very first post I wrote was not about why I decided to start blogging, or what my blog was going to be about. Nope, I jumped head first into it with some of the things I had learned as a newlywed. That was 8 months into our marriage. I still didn't have much figured out, but I did learn a lot about the pressure that had been put on me as a wife. And not only as a wife, but a Christian wife! As you will soon find out from our love story [part 1, part 2, part 3] Alex and I did not have a typical relationship.
We didn't meet, start dating, fall in love, two years later get engaged, and a year after that get married, like it seems so many had expected of us.
Nope... for us it went much differently. Once we started dating, which was quite awhile after we first met, our relationship progressed very quickly. We were engaged within 6 months and married 4 and a half months after that. And for us, I think that the timing was perfect.
Honestly, the only things that I regret are 1) that I didn't stand up for myself and what I wanted our wedding to be like, and 2) that it seems that our wedding caused so much strain in the relationships around us. We had to fight tooth and nail on almost every issue that pertained to our wedding, whether it was the date, time, place, what food we served (or didn't serve), what kind of cake we got, what kind of dance we did, if we had a "cut the cake" portion.... blah blah blah. The list goes on. I say all this because when I wrote my very first post I was chalk full of pent up anger, frustration, and a bit of resentment. I was tired of everyone telling us how and when to live our lives. And then, after everything was all said and done, I felt as though everyone sort of abandoned us. I felt the waiting and watching to see if we had truly made the right decision or not. To see if our marriage was going to quickly fall apart. It was frustrating to say the least. Especially after all our friends and family seeing exactly what we had gone through to be together (which you guys will learn about soon).
Well, here I am two years later and I feel like some of that "waiting and watching" has stopped. Maybe after almost 3 years of marriage people have finally accepted that we might actually be happy?
Here are some of the things I have had to learn, after I realized that regardless of what everyone else says or does, this is still my marriage. We still have to work through the hard issues together, and putting up fronts and pretending like life is perfect so people will get off our back does not solve our real life problems.
1) I am so selfish. Sometimes in marriage, we have to give up the things we love for the things they love. And boy, am I bad at this one. It might help if he wasn't so willing to do whatever I wanted to do. He lets me get away with far too much stuff! I wish that I was more loving and gracious and sacrificed to do some of the things he loves more often.
2) We don't have a perfect marriage. Sometimes people comment (IRL) about how in love we are or how happy we seem or that we look like the perfect couple. But we aren't. I don't really think anyone is. I promise you that we have had some bumps in the road. And I don't mean about who is going to do the dishes. We have had some real heartbreaking struggles. But, at the end of the day, he is still my husband. I still love him no matter what. I still know that I couldn't live without him. No matter what mistakes he makes, or I make, we still make each other better people. He is still my best friend and the only person that I have ever been able to trust my whole heart with.
And to be 100% honest sometimes I lean too much on my trust in Alex, and not enough on my trust in God.3) He becomes the punching bag of my frustrations far too often. I learned a lot about this during some counseling sessions that I just went through. When I get angry or frustrated, I take it out on him, even when it has nothing to do with him. He will do the slightest thing wrong, but because I am mad at so-and-so for saying who-knows-what he gets the bum end of the deal. After I went to counseling I've started to learn that he is really my support system, and I need to treat him as such. I need to lean on him and allow him to be my support, because he is pretty good at it.
4) Sometimes I just need to keep my mouth shut. Like when he is driving. Enough said, right?
5) Alone time is still important. It's funny now that I'm not in school anymore and I am only working 20 hours, it almost feels like we have too much time together. I never thought there was such a thing. Sometimes we just need a little bit of time apart. A time to go to a coffee shop by myself. Reminding myself that I can still be an independent person within an interdependent relationship. It isn't that I don't love to be around him, but I've really learned to value my alone time, as well as his. We both come back refreshed from having a bit of time to ourselves.
Obviously there are so many other important lessons I have learned, but I think that these are ones that I have to work on daily. Marriage has been one of the best experiences of my life. It didn't take long before I started to see so many thing in myself that I needed to work on to be a better wife, and just a more caring and loving person in general. I still have a long ways to go. I'm never going to be perfect. But hopefully I will improve somewhere along the way.
If you are married, what are some things that you have learned about marriage?