Whats your idea of a good marriage? Being happy, having a family, enjoying life and all of its bliss with your true love by your side? As long as your happy and love each other you have a good marriage… isn’t this the common consensus in our society? We all know marriage is WAY more than being happy and love only takes us so far.
I’m opening the book to MY marriage, all the good and bad. Let’s face it no marriage is perfect it consists of two imperfect people getting together and then we expect a perfect life. We look around and see smiling faces on social media and what “seems” to be a blissful marriage and then a year later they are divorced. What the heck happened? What went wrong? For the most part it doesn’t just go wrong overnight. Marriage, like all things that are worth having, is work…HARD work.
I’m hoping through this post of honesty I can help someone out there that feels like I did and still do at times. As long as you have 2 people that are willing to work on their marriage, overtime it can work as God intended it to. Don’t we all want to live in a peaceful home, with love, affection, and joy? I know I do, and while it may not always be that way that’s what we strive for. After reading you’ll see we are very far from perfect but it’s OK!
The first year of marriage… what should be and is for many, the most memorable time as a married couple. My first year was, to put it lightly, miserable. I thought I had made the worst decision of my life. It was constant fighting, never peaceful and all I really wanted to do is be away from the man I committed myself too. There were FEW memories that first year that were happy for me. However, we made it through, and why is that? Why would anyone want to live in such agony not knowing if things will ever get better? The only reason I can give you is we both made a vow, we made a commitment to each other and to God and it’s not one either of us took lightly.
That is probably the one and only reason we stayed together. We both grew up in church, we thought we had put God first but in reality we put ourselves first. We were immature to what marriage was really about. All the lovey, dovey, kissy face that goes on soon ends. It may not be in the first year like mine, it may be 4 years later you realize the person you thought you married isn’t the same person and you don’t like who they’ve become. Or maybe they haven’t changed and you have and your equally as unhappy. You may be totally happy and married for 20 years and have never had a fight or disagreement. If that’s the case maybe you’ve figured this marriage thing out early on and I’d love to shake your hand!
For many of us that’s NOT the case, and until each person in the relationship learns its not about making “me” happy you might fall in to the case of wanting out. I’ve talked about Joe Mcgee before and I’ll mention him again, because he has some of the best points to make when it comes to marriage and kids. He has a gift of teaching people the fundamentals of God’s word and how to apply it to your daily life. You can get on his podcast and listen by clicking here Fighting For Families. They are short and to the point, littered with a great dose of humor and common sense. Everything I’ve learned and talk about is wisdom I’ve gotten from him and I love sharing it!
I hope in the next few minutes of reading you can get something out of this to help make your marriage the wonderful blessing God gave us all!
The biggest lesson that I learned was I’m not perfect. I have flaws that I need to work on. I know, right now your doing a face palm and saying DUH, Right? For me it wasn’t that obvious. I grew up in a Leave It To Beaver style of parenting. Yes we had fights and no it wasn’t a fairy tale, but I was pretty sheltered. I honestly felt like I had my crap together and anytime my husband disagreed with how I did things it became a huge problem. It was everything from cleaning to cooking to time management. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. Every time I tried to do better, there would be something else he would find I was doing wrong. Not only that we would then in turn fight about how he spoke to me. He could be disrespectful, hateful and rude. I had never encountered someone talking to me like this on a regular basis and it didn’t have a positive result.
In my eyes I was working hard but getting no results. However, I was raised to be a strong woman and I have always had confidence in myself. Thankfully, I never felt inadequate and I never lost my self worth. What it did was tick me off because I wanted results and all I saw was a jerk for a husband that couldn’t see what good I was doing. So it ended in us both being unhappy.
Let me give you a small look at my husband. He is a complete neat freak, he likes everything to have it’s place. He likes order and he makes plans for everything he does. He doesn’t like to just be on time, he wants to be there 15 minutes early (or more). He always has a plan for the future, heck he has a plan for each day and what he needs to get accomplished. He’s an extremely hard worker and can’t be sedentary for very long before he starts pacing and stressing (you should have seen him in the delivery room). He hates to be in crowds or large events. When he talks to someone its usually with few words, but those few words probably have a lot of meaning. Many times while driving in the car it’s totally quiet and he enjoys that. His integrity is everything and I don’t think he could tell a lie to save his life. This isn’t just his personality, this is deep in his soul, its how God made him. God didn’t make him to be a jerk, that’s what the devil does in life through circumstances, or we do it to ourselves through choices we make.
Now, let me give you a look at me. Mess doesn’t bother me, I don’t care if there’s toys all over the place. I don’t care if there are clothes piled on top of each other in my closet. I don’t care if the bed is made. I don’t EVER have a plan and I fly by the seat of my pants pretty much with everything I do. I am a big procrastinator. I wait for the last minute to do anything, including if we need to be somewhere. I will arrive hopefully on time but more than likely 5 minutes late. I too work hard, and was raised with a hard work ethic (the one thing we have in common). However, I can sit and relax and be okay with disarray in the next room. I am a huge people pleaser and I don’t like it when I think someone might be upset with me for any reason. I don’t mind big crowds and I search for people I might know so we can catch up. I enjoy talking with anyone and everyone (a trait from my father), and I like to help others even if it’s simply to be a listening ear. This is who I am and how God made me. He didn’t make me to be a slob or to not get anywhere in life because I have no plan. The devil tries to distract you away from what God had intended for your life. That’s his mission!
After seeing how polar opposite we are you can understand how we didn’t get along. The way I lived literally pushed every one of his buttons. You’ll probably have things in common, share similar interests and maybe have a similar way of life but ultimately opposites do attract. It’s the whole purpose around marriage. You don’t want to marry someone just like you, wouldn’t that be boring?
Genesis 2:18 The Lord said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
You might have read or heard this passage before. Adam had everything, the whole world, but God said he needed a HELPER. By definition a helper is someone how helps, gives assistance and supports. Marrying someone that is the polar opposite is the best helper you can find. They see the world in a totally different light than you do. They can help you better than anyone! Where I am weak my husband is strong, where he is weak I am strong. This is a huge asset but we get caught up in being RIGHT that we miss the blessing God sent us. Instead of fighting to win an argument try and collaborate together and fight to solve the problem. I was trying to make my husband conform to be the person I wanted him to be (more like me) and vice versa. Instead we needed to see each other as God created us!
Our fighting began because of our weaknesses shining through and us calling each other out on those weaknesses. Keeping a clean and tidy house makes my husband feel better when he comes home because he likes order. Guess what, I enjoy having a clean house now! I enjoy bedtime more now with no dishes in the sink and climbing into a made bed. My husband understands how to use his words in a loving way, which also trickles down to our kids. He can let the little things go, relax and enjoy me and the kids without worrying about plans for tomorrow or that there’s toys all over the floor. We are working to help each other become better people. We have a vision God gave us and the devil will try everything to get in the middle of you and your spouse to divide your marriage and destroy God’s vision. Keep God first and study what he says about your helper. Learn about your spouse and lift each other up.
Saying all of this doesn’t mean we have a perfect marriage and it certainly doesn’t mean we know what we’re doing all the time. We still have to make a conscious effort to work on solving problems together instead of fighting for who’s right. So try and look at your marriage from the perspective of your spouse. How do they view life and how are you working to make their world better? Test it out in your marriage by striving to improve your spouses life, you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.
I’m thankful we have many more years ahead of us to continue to figure this marriage thing out!
– The Clucky Hen