We always say, “I wish my child came with a instruction manual!” RIGHT? So many things would be so much easier if this really happened. However, I am finding myself saying this a lot with marriage. If only I knew the do’s and don’ts right off, instead of having to learn by trial and error. Marriage has been the most exhilarating, emotional, fabulous, exhausting, exciting, frustrating, best experience I have been through. I have grown, stretched and loved more, amidst all of the trials that comes with marriage.
This post I want to focus on one thing that I did in our marriage, that I didn’t realize was actually hindering our marriage. I don’t think my husband noticed much, but as far as my emotional, mental feelings I realize now that I had been holding back in our marriage for many years. We live in a time that women have become significantly more independent and praised because of this independence. Women are making a name for themselves. They are accomplishing great things and voicing that independence. Through a recent personal struggle. I realized I had been doing this within my marriage. Not for the reasons above, but for reasons I didn’t even realize until recently.
There were a couple months this year that I was struggling with every aspect of my life. Being a mom was exhausting and I found myself not looking forward to the “daily grind” of it all. I did what was expected and became really good at going through the motions! My wife skills weren’t much better and I felt my relationship slipping. There were days when I felt I was at the edge of a cliff, on the verge of falling off and this scared me….
I remember having a local church leader come to my door one , and my innards (is that even a word?) wanted to bust out in tears and share with him everything that was going on. I didn’t. How could I share with him my feelings, when I couldn’t even understand or put them in words in my own head. I knew I needed to make/find a change. I began talking a lot with my husband, I wrote lots of feelings down, I read a lot, and prayed a lot. It was during this time a new perspective enlightened my mind.
“Your husband is your other half. Stop trying to do EVERYTHING yourself. Stop trying to live independently. You are stronger with your husband not only by your side, but in your mind, heart and soul!”
I have thought about this a lot and my marriage advice for you is do things as a team! Yes, I know we are completely capable to do everything ourselves, but that can get wearing. In 2008 my husband lost his father in a plane crash (story here). It was devastating. I watched as my mother in-law slowly learned to live her life without him. She had to redefine herself as an individual rather than as a couple/partner.
I remember imagining my life in her shoes. What would I do if I lost my husband? How would I cope and continue to raise my children. After that, I realized I slowly built up a wall to prevent myself having to go through that pain. Or so I thought. I worked hard to do things myself. I didn’t like asking for help because I didn’t like feeling dependent on someone else. I was strong and able. End of story.
Now I see how silly that sounds. A marriage is meant to be a team. Love and cherish the moments you have together. The other day my husband and I were doing something in our kitchen and we couldn’t stop laughing and talking. A girl was there helping me clean some things and she said, “I love watching you two. Your so happy and it makes me want what you two have!”
I was grateful for her comment, but what she doesn’t see are all the struggles my husband and I have been through to get there. I love to be with my husband. I rely and enjoy him more now that I ever have in our marriage.
Opening my whole self up to him has raised my relationship with him to a whole new level. I am excited to grow, love and learn more in our crazy marriage life. Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual of the do’s and don’ts because if we never make mistakes, we never get to witness the sweet feeling of getting it right. I have come to the realization that I need my husband. I need his support, his help, his love and as my son says I like “chit chatting kissy kissy” with him. I need all of this not because I’m not capable of doing it on my own, but because my husband and I are a team. We are one and we work together. We serve, laugh, work, love and play and learn together. That is how it should be!