I am not a marriage counselor by any means. Everything I have learned about marriage comes from my own experience which has been trial and error at best and through teachings of my faith
Are we happy? Yes, for the most part, we are.
Do we argue? Yes ma’am, most definitely.
Have we threatened divorce, either in our minds or with our words? Most certainly we have.
We have gone in circles, paced straight lines back and forth, climbed the walls, and ripped our hair out in anger, sadness, and finger-pointing. If anyone ever tries to tell you the ‘he said/she said’ conversation is a myth…..they are wrong! It is absolutely true.
However, we have snuggled in for movies, held hands on family walks, sat up for hours just talking and falling in love all over again, thirsting for more, and feeling pure joy in our hearts. We have fallen asleep holding one another and we have fallen asleep angry at one another. Fortunately, we always make it back to ‘us’ again.
I remember once when he worked out of state. I had the kids (only 5 at the time) and other responsibilities at home so we decided he would go to work until a layoff occurred at which time he would return home. One evening after a night out I decided I wanted to surprise him so my friend and I gathered my children and we hit the road with my friend driving. We drove all night and pulled into the place he worked shortly after his first break so he was already back to work. I conspired with the ladies in the office trailer and waited for him. I was around the corner when he walked in and I heard him talking to the ladies. They sent him my way and I made my appearance. As he grabbed me up in a BIG hug, I could feel in my heart the smile he had on his face as well as the surprise he felt. It was one of the most romantic moments in our relationship.
It’s these kinds of moments that a wife looks forward to in the relationship with her spouse. Soon enough, it seems all those romantic notions get lost in the jumble of every day life. Like most girls, I had my version of what marriage was like although my version was far different than the marriage I actually witnessed (my parents). So, as I said in the beginning, our marriage has been trial and error at best. It could be any number of things, but I will contribute the following misconceptions about marriage to trial and error.
- Easy: No matter what anyone tells you, marriage IS NOT easy. It is a constant struggle, but one that is completely worth it. It stays a struggle until a truce is made either silently or aloud with your spouse. By this I mean, if one decides to make a mountain out of every molehill encountered, the struggle begins. It doesn’t end until one or both spouses decide/s that not everything is worth an all out war. As they say, pick your battles (this applies to spouses and children). Keeping the peace in a home is a full-time job and, more often than not, falls on the woman of the family who tends to be more of a peacekeeper anyway.
- Read My Mind: We all like to think that our spouse should know exactly what we are thinking at all times and should be able to finish our sentences for us. This may be true for some relationships, but hardly for all. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s probably not true for many at all. Rest assured, though, because you were drawn to your spouse because of the unique qualities he/she brings into your life and the relationship. Build on those rather than hold onto the lie that said spouse should know exactly what you are thinking exactly when you are thinking it.
- It’s my spouses job!: Happiness starts inside our own hearts. Despite what one believes about marriage, it’s not your spouses job to make you happy. Yes, that sounds harsh! Terrible even because it completely goes against everything one may believe. Before you jump to any conclusions, I didn’t say your spouse shouldn’t make you happy because, in truth, out of his or her love for you he/she will do what is necessary to help you reach a state of contentment. However, if you rely solely on your spouse to get you there then you will never reach that place because, as I just stated, happiness is in your heart. Without that happiness or joy in your heart, marriage will not fulfill that ache for joy.
- Arguments shouldn’t happen: Disagreements happen, more than you think actually. Not because the marriage shouldn’t have taken place, but because one or both parties in the relationship tend to see one side. Their side. How each spouse responds to the differences is what makes a marriage stronger or weaker.Without adequate communication, a marriage slowly starts to deteriorate. This is especially hard for women because generally women are more emotional beings anyway. For that reason, they want to talk everything to death. Men are wired differently. Sometimes the best thing one can do is walk away. It took me a long time to learn that and I still have a hard time allowing that action to take place. He likes to walk away from the situation more than I do. Honestly, I can and will talk any and everything to death if given the chance.
- All about the kids! Wrong! Marriages are a commitment from both parties to spend an extraordinary amount of time maintaining the relationship. A marriage should continue to thrive even after the children come along because when it stops thriving, the couple grows apart which can and does, sadly, lead to the break-up of a family. Your marriage is like a garden: it needs to be watered, it needs to be weeded, it needs roots, it needs light and it will grow. Sure, you might can grow your garden without much water, being overrun with weeds, and not much light, but will your plant thrive? Your marriage needs water (love), light (God), to be weeded (what’s important and what’s not?), roots (your home, a platform to build on) will help your marriage thrive.
Marriage is a gift meant to last until death, hence the words “till death do us part.” As I said, I am not a marriage counselor. What I have learned about marriage has been from my own experience and teachings through my faith. However, misconceptions about marriage are aplenty. When entering marriage, each individual then has a responsibility toward that marriage despite the misconceptions floating around.