May 17, 2011
Posted in Journal
The 20th marks Ben and I's 5th wedding anniversary. I cannot believe that is has both been that long, and only that long. It seems to feel like more time or less time on any given day.
Now, 5 years is not very long in the grand scheme of things, so this list that I wanted to share with you is probably not a very good one. I certainly wouldn't call is sage advice, and those older and longer-married women reading this are probably laughing at my silliness at thinking I know very much after 5 years. Especially since I still have a hard time following my own advice sometimes. But, here it is anyways.
What I've learned - so far - about being married (and wanting to stay that way):
1. Respect first. Always, always show respect. For their thoughts, feelings, ideas, body, everything. If there is no respect then the rest of it is hard to follow. That means keeping your mouth shut when they are talking (hard for me), not laughing at their ideas, and realizing that their fears need something other than "oh, don't worry about it".
2. It's not about you. Do you know the true meaning of "love"? Most people think of love as that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you look at/touch/are with someone. The dictionary defines love as "a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person". But true, pure love is the act of giving of one's self, one's desires, one's comfort, even one's life, for the good and happiness of the other. Focusing on what the other wants, and not what you want from the other, will give more peace and happiness than getting what you think you want. (Even if it's not easy.) I hear lots of people talk about how much they love their spouse. Then why are you so upset when you don't get your way? (I've been guilty of this myself!)
3. Play. Playing - in whatever fashion you choose - will mean the world to your marriage. Go out. Go do things. Have fun. Remember what brought you to be married in the first place.
4. The children DO NOT come first. In fact, no earthly being should come before your spouse. I've tried very hard in the time we've been married to make sure that the kids do not come first. And while I've probably failed sometimes, I think I've done a pretty good job. That means when your spouse wants something, you drop what you're doing with little Johnny and do what they want. Your child will not suffer. In fact, they'll be blessed and happy knowing they have parents who love each other so much.
5. Be patient. Now, y'all know I'm not a very patient person. And goodness knows I've been given a lot in my life that tests that fact (three boys!). But it's important to practice patience in marriage. That means not getting angry (or trying not to). That means waiting, happily and quietly, for them to make a decision. That means knowing that yes, your husband (or wife) really does know what he's doing so just let him do it. Aaaand it also means that even if he doesn't know what he's doing (and you do), let him figure it out and don't jump in to spout off your opinion (another sin of mine).
And, if you are the female in the marriage:
6. You do not wear the pants. Being submissive and letting Ben be the head of our household is not terribly difficult for me (*cough* most of the time), because I have great trust in my husband and I know he is a good leader. But, sometimes it is hard to remember that our role as women is to be the secondary person. We are supposed to take direction, not give it. And when you get an answer that is your answer! Even if you don't agree with it. This one final thought sums up all the other thoughts. Being respectful, loving (remember the true meaning!), and patient I think are the key points to letting your husband run the house. I have heard of women complaining that their husbands never lead, never guide the family. Well...
Do you let them?
Now go! Be married!
Wishing you all a wonderful, love filled week,