I have been married for almost 6 years. It’s a relatively short time, but in this time I have gained some perspective and have a trade secret that not many people know. Are you ready for it? Do you want me to share it with you all?
Well here it is, in marriage, there is no such thing as 50/50! Now that I know better, it really bothers me to hear people say that marriage is 50/50. This is what I grew up hearing and learning so this is what was imprinted into my brain. But this is NOT accurate. You have to give it your ALL! When you are married under God, he does not unite just half of you; He unites you completely to your spouse, for life! Marriage is 100/100. Now, that is much easier said than done. In our marriage, there are times when we are overwhelmed, underwhelmed, dealing with the needs of the children, irritated with each other, we need our space, we’re sick, etc. The list goes on… But what we realized is, that we have to give it our all or our marriage will fail, and it almost did once. God’s plan for marriages and family is to put the spouse first – always. The children next, and everything else goes after that. If we keep the needs of our spouse and our marriage in the very front of our hearts and minds, instead of the needs of our “selves” then we “fight” better and more productively, we communicate better, and we love unconditionally.
When we went through our rough patch, when our marriage almost failed, I had a very selfish viewpoint of our marriage. We fought horribly and I would put the blame on him. I expected so much of my husband and when he didn’t live up to the expectations I had, I blamed him for not doing well enough. How does the saying go? When you point the finger at someone else, there are four more pointing right back at you. I am not saying that our marriage almost failed entirely because of me, but I was definitely not helping it succeed. We went to counseling through a church, and during the sessions my heart was convicted. I learned so much. Ultimately, when we would fight, for me it would boil down to me versus him. I didn’t have the marriage in mind. I learned that it’s not just about me or him, it’s about both of us all the time. As humans, we are very selfish by nature. I am human, and I was VERY selfish. On top of that, after we had our son, I put our son’s needs ahead of my husband’s and that put a wedge between us. During these counseling sessions I learned that in order for my husband to be the leader of the family, I had to tend to his needs first so that he could tend to OUR needs. And the same goes the other way. In order for me to be able to meet the needs of my kids and the family, he needs to tend to my needs first. It is what gives us the strength, courage, energy to get through each day and take on new obstacles. If we neglect each other’s needs, our parenting is affected, our relationship is affected, our family is affected, etc.
We made it through our rough patch and came out of it stronger and happier than ever. We even welcomed another child into our family. When I first got married, I didn’t know what to expect from marriage or from a husband, and what I did expect were the wrong things. I was young and naive. Marriage takes work… A LOT. But, man, is it worth it in the end. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful husband and family. We do not have the perfect marriage and we still hit bumps here and there, I sometimes even have my selfish moments. But what we do differently now is we ask ourselves, “is this what is best for our marriage?” or “am I putting the marriage first?”. Sometimes the answer is no, and we adjust our perspective. But because we know to ask ourselves those questions, we WILL have a successful marriage.
Here are some photos of us:
What have you learned over the years that has helped your marriage last? What advice would you pass on to young couples entering into marriage?