It’s funny—I have been blogging for over two years now and I have yet to actually write a post on marriage. I’d like to believe there are a few reasons why I’ve steered clear of this topic of conversation. First of all, I have failed, I do fail, and I will continue to fail in my marriage. When you are well aware of this fact it makes it hard to want to discuss it, am I right? We are quick to show off an outfit that we feel confident in..but to dive into a topic that you feel FAR from successful in? Doesn’t make it nearly as much fun. Secondly..I am very careful about sharing MY story on this blog and not anybody else’s. Marriage is made up of two people—what I say about marriage (and our marriage particularly) affects both of us. Some opinions I have on marriage, he may not. I want to be very careful that I write from a place that allows me to share my honest, real thoughts on marriage, but that is done so in a loving respectful way. What I am about to say are my thoughts on marriage in general and what I have learned from being married over the past 7 years (yes, I got married before I was old enough to drink..). I want to be able to discuss what makes marriage hard, what makes it great, and what makes it grow. So today—I’m going to share with you 5 honest thoughts on marriage. Hint: They may surprise you.
Oh and hey before I begin I should state that I am SO fortunate to have the husband that I do.
He is my better half, my best friend, and really one heck of an admirable man.
1. I love more than I am in love. I absolutely love my husband. Do I always feel “in love” with my husband? No. This is not what my 15 year old “in love, can’t get enough, if you leave for more than 10 minutes I will fill up with tears” self thought it would be like. We all know what the beginning of a crush feels like—your world is butterflies, floating hearts, and little pots of gold hidden around every corner. And then life happens. You become comfortable with each other, flirting is a thing of the past, and those little butterflies fly away. Far far away. Do I experience those moments of that all-consuming, passion filled, feelings anymore? Occasionally. Perhaps rarely. But do I wake up every day knowing that I would take a bullet for the man laying next to me? Yes.
2. Not being aware of (and accepting) the fact that you and your partner have different love languages can be a very dangerous thing. We all have a love language whether you are aware of it or not. We feel love differently and we express love differently. So what happens when the way you feel love is not how your partner shows love? Well, unless you become aware of this fact early on and learn to accept it..it can be grounds for very dangerous territory. Hear me out. I feel love by words and physical touch. I want to hear that I am beautiful. I want to hold hands in public. I want a text message in the middle of the day just to be told he is thinking about me. None of the above are natural ways that Shawn would choose to show love. Instead of holding hands, he makes sure my car is running well. Instead of telling me I’m beautiful, he makes a glorious little Excel document for me to use for keeping track of my sponsors, and instead of texting sweet little nothings, he works really hard to provide for our family. Can you see where this could get dangerous? I want to hear love—he wants to serve love. It’s easy to start taking note of others who have the same love language as you. “He is so good at telling his wife how pretty she is…” “She always puts his clothes away..” “I wish you were more like him..” “I wish you were more like her..” and so on. I know that my husband may not say the words “you are beautiful” but I do know that when he sweeps out the garage he is pretty much telling me the same thing. Become aware of each other’s love languages and accept that they may be different. On that same note, work hard at meeting each other’s needs. I have learned to find great joy in mowing the yard because he appreciates it. He has learned that sometimes he is going to have to allow me to cuddle up on the couch right next to him, whether he likes it or not. We all have needs—take responsibility for this and step out of your comfort zone for your significant other. Without doing so, a lot of bitter, jealousy, and grudges can build up.
3. I don’t believe that there is one soul mate for each person. Awhile back a friend of mine was saying that no matter how much she loves her husband, she believes she could be very happy being married to several different men (not all at once for clarification purposes). Hearing this initially, it took me by surprise and I didn’t know if I totally agreed. It can sound disrespectful and make you wonder “If you truly love your husband how do you believe you could be happily married to somebody else!?” But after a little thought, I agree with her. The main reason this makes sense to me is this—our primary source of happiness can’t be ultimately fulfilled by another human being. If it is, we will always be let down. As a Christian, my main source of love and fulfillment comes from Christ. Aside from that, if you honestly love yourself, know how to love others well, and can receive love well…you could be happily married to all sorts of people. This does not mean that I want to be, but I do think that there are several people you could “do life” with and do it well.
4. Somewhat along those same lines—just because you are married, temptation does not stop. God created beautiful people. I think it is a very naïve statement when I hear somebody who is in a relationship say that they don’t believe they could ever find somebody else to be attractive. Shawn and I somewhat differ on this. I point out beautiful women all of the time and say “DID YOU SEE HOW GORGEOUS SHE WAS?!!” and he always replies with a casual “eh’, not really..”. On that same note, I am also very quick to point out how extremely attractive Luke Bryan is while shaking his butt in a pair of tight jeans. I think (again my opinion) that you are placing yourself in a position of greater danger by not believing that you could be tempted. We are humans. Don’t you want to know that you are a vulnerable human being and by knowing so, you can prepare how not to give into that temptation rather than being completely blindsided by it? Just some thoughts there.
5. And last but not least, you chose to be together— now have fun danggit. With anything in life, if you aren’t having fun..it’s most likely going to suck. Life will throw you curve balls, some days you may want to kick each other in the shins, but I genuinely think that if you are making a conscious effort to enjoy each other’s company, you most likely will. Laugh together, try new things together, just keep your relationship interesting. The word “interesting” can be interpreted to your liking. You’re welcome. Focus on enjoying the journey..it’s one worth doing so with.