So I started writing this list of what I’ve learned in marriage on October 1st. I wrote one for each day leading up to my 8th wedding anniversary!
We got married on October 10, 2010.
Ten. Ten. Ten.
8 years. *Contented sigh.* It’s seems like a blink and a lifetime all at the same time.
We dated for 5ish short months before saying I do. It has been a journey...It has been fun. It has been hard. It has been at times painful and annoying too. But ultimately, marriage has brought me so much joy and growth. I would not be this woman today. I would not have this faith or compassion (I don’t think lol) has it not been for these past 8 years with my love.
So here is my list of experiences and lessons I’ve learned during these 8 years. Feel free to share lessons and experiences you’ve learned in marriage or what you’d like to experience or learn when you get married in the comments.
#1. Marriage is what you make it.
I’ve posted this before. It’s so true. Your marriage will be as fun, prosperous, loving, and content as you strive for it to be. You must be intentional. Intentional of how you treat your mate, who you let in, what your speak, etc.
You create the marriage you have by you words and actions.
It’s so important to surround yourself with people and resources who will feed your marriage rather than hinder it.
#2 his actions do not determine yours
If he’s being funky, don’t participate! Lol. Give him grace. Your positivity during his negative moments will cause him to calm. You cannot feed fire with fire.
#3 laughter gets you through
So many times something has gone array and we have laughed. Laughter is like a balm. It helps ease the tension. Sometimes you just can’t take life and the situation so serious. It will all work out how it works out. Spending time being upset and angry is a waste of that time. It won’t fix the situation.
#4 his love language is respect
Above all else, your husband is in need of respect. It will not go well when he feels disrespected. He will not feel loved if he feels disrespected. He will not feel motivated to be there for you if he feels disrespected. He will not take being disrespected over and over again without it changing his demeanor toward you.
#5 your husband becomes your family
A friend told me this before I got married and I truly understood it once I got married. Of course your family is still your family but it’s like the circle widens and they now surround you while you and your husband are in the middle.
There’s no person closer to you or close in this manner. Of course your mother birthed you and would give her life for you but the intimacy you have with your mate is a different love. The two becoming one is so powerful.
#6 prayer works!
I pray for my husband every time I think of him. I pray for his prosperity and safe travels and his dreams to manifest. I also pray when he’s out of line lol. No one can correct and restore order like God. It has worked for us! I mean something will be all the way off and I will pray and it will just shift in a favorable direction.
Prayer is not magic. You have to listen to the Holy Spirit when he prompts you. If he says apologize even though you didn’t start it, you have to listen. Work with the prayers and the Holy Spirit, not against.
When I want to be mad, petty, keep a grudge or give the silent treatment, I pray instead and God gets us both together.
#7 I am not perfect
*gasps* yeah...lol I knew this one too going in, but the magnifying glass that marriage puts on your whole life, attitude, character, and quirky ways can be a little tough to bare. The sheets are off! Your true self is unveiled. Yaaaay! What fun. Not! lol. And you get a partner to refine yourself with as you journey life together.
#8 you and your spouse will change
It’s inevitable. Especially if you get married before 35. You just aren’t the same person at 21, 25 or even 31!
I feel like I just resolved certain things within myself as I entered my 30’s. For example, I like to wear black. I keep buying color and I wear it sometimes but black just makes me feel good! This is just one example but it’s like you settle into your true self in your 30’s.
In my 30’s I’m learning to accept things about me that are just me! Coupled with the fact that my mother passed when I was 29 it has been quite an awakening. When your mother passes, life becomes that much more precious. The line in the sand is drawn indefinitely separating who and what you care about. Like your whole attitude shifts. The things that you gave energy to change.
Also, some of the things you needed at 21 have changed and what about the things you didn’t know you needed at 22 but absolutely need now? You have to communicate that to your spouse and be prepared for them to not know exactly what to do with it immediately (and try not to get frustrated with your new unmet need).
Meanwhile as your mate is dealing with the new you, he starts going through his own changes? Weight loss and gain, changing hair, unhappy with career, new friends and hobbies. These are examples of real life concerns both you and your spouse may face. You change and your spouse has to deal with you and vice versa.
More grace, more love, honest communication and learning who these new people are. But this doesn’t have to be a drag. New adventures, different dates, different hobbies and more memories.
#9 friend is one of his most important roles
We have only been married 8 years but when I tell you we’ve been through more than some people have been through in a life time, I’m not exaggerating. No hyperbole lol. His friendship has meant the world to me through some of the trials we have faced. I could say so much but I’ll just end by saying I’m grateful for his friendship and I work hard to preserve that aspect of our relationship.
#10 I am resilient
Now this isn’t about marriage specifically, more so about my personal growth, but that’s the thing. You never stop growing when you’re married. You grow individually. You should be. Your dreams, desires, goals, and aspirations matter. Your spouse can be your biggest cheerleader, confidant, critic, whatever you need, but you’re still you.
Preserving, refreshing, loving and appreciating yourself and having adequate self care helps your marriage. You being your best you serves your whole family.
Welp. That’s all I’ve got. If you’ve made it to the end, thank you for reading!
I’m praying for many more years of marriage for me, for you if you’re married and a wonderful partner if you’re looking to be married.