It’s exactly one month until our first anniversary!
How quickly the months have flown…and how the heat is really on for us to get the rest of our Thank You cards out. Doh! Anyways, I was reflecting over this first year of marriage that everyone has cautioned could be one of the hardest years you’ll go through. Was it hard? What were the hardest parts? What made things easy?
I’ll start with the easy. First, I am SO THANKFUL that we are on the same page regards to our faith. We value and practice it similarly and I honestly believe that is the biggest factor in helping us through some heated….”discussions” we’ll call it. At the end of the day, I’m accountable to God for how I respond…whether Christ-like and gracious…or not as well as being open to the Holy Spirit convicting me of my pride or wrong doing. And, so is he. If I have a beef about something, I ask God to deal with him. ha ha. This is fantastic as neither of us are burdened with the responsibility of convicting the other person to change or apologize. It also makes us more gracious to hearing from each other when there is something negative to be addressed…but now it’s framed with love. So I’m really really thankful.
They say sharing a bed for the first time can be a source of grief. Well you know what…neither of us move much at night. Nor are we snorers beyond heavy breathing. No one’s a blanket hog. Or a starfish. Or a flipper/flopper. We have a queen size bed (no pocket coils), a queen size duvet and it’s great!
On cleanliness….we learned a few things. Skywalker is cleaner than me. *gasp* I know. But I’m a stronger organizer. When I do it anyways. =)
There are a number of other things…but those are definitely the top three reasons why our first year has been as smooth as it has. I’m feeling blessed!!
And the hardest thing about marriage….I speak for myself….is to stop the mental counting.
“I cooked every day this week and he’s only helped with the dishes twice.”
“That’s the third time he said he would _____ and he still hasn’t done it.”
“I already do ____ for him, why doesn’t he do ______ for me?”
“He didn’t ____ for me, so I’m not going to ____ for him.”
Somehow, somewhere, at some point in time, my brain just got wired to count. She only gave me two cookies when she had six to share.She took four days to reply to my email so I’m going to wait four days to reply to hers. He doesn’t respond unless you’ve asked at least four times. I’ve treated coffee every time and she hasn’t offered once yet. This counting has carried over into marriage. And it shouldn’t.
My Dad taught me something rather profound to me before I got married. He asked me how I saw marriage. I said a partnership…one where it takes two people pulling their weight to make it work. He told me that was the wrong mindset. “It’s not 50/50….it should be 100/0. Even if your other half doesn’t do it, you do it. Because you and your husband are ONE.“
I remember being quiet as that sunk in. We are ONE now. Thinking back to when I was single and living by myself, if there were dirty dishes in the sink…I’d do it. If there was laundry…I’d do it. Logging expenses? I’d do it. Anything really….because there was only one. I did all the cooking AND all the cleaning. **click** Being married is really learning to become ONE unit. There isn’t room for counting because I’d be counting against myself. I usually give myself a lot of grace…don’t you?
And I see now that counting is really a form of pride. In relationships, especially in marriage, pride is a killer. Pride is the root of all grudges, unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, feeling superior, jealousy and condemnation. Pride is also usually blind to the fact that everything you hold against your spouse are probably the same things he/she would hold against you…even if it comes out as different things. i.e. One might say, “You never help with the dishes!” And the other will say, “You never clean the bathroom!”
Back to the ONE-ness thought…imagine if BOTH husband and wife saw marriage that way, both parties putting in their 100/0. No matter what mess or how many times or whatever it is, things get taken care of by that person as if it were their own. Their marriage will grow and flourish when everyone else is just trying to keep afloat! You’d have all this extra emotion and energy to invest in each other! Why wouldn’t I want that?
It’s just really hard. And that is the hardest part so far. =)
**Pardon the re-post. I was getting a lot of spam to the original post so I deleted it.