Yo... let's just start this out and say, I am not a pro.
Marriage is H.A.R.D.
And marriage is GLORIOUS.
It is a mystery and it is magical.
Marriage is such a blessing and such a challenge.
My husband and I have been married almost 9 years and some years have been sucky. I'm just being real with y'all. And some years have been pure bliss.
All in all, I'm just so glad God brought me a man to walk through this life with. One who supports me, loves me unconditionally. One who still thinks I'm sexy with no make up on. One who is still craves intimacy even after walking past the bathroom while I'm pooping. Dude, my man rocks. I have never felt unloved by him. Or unwanted.
Even after 9 years, we still don't have it all together. And I'm glad we can continually learn, grow and be better together. Through trial and error we discover new things. New ways to do this life together.
One thing that really helped us understand each other better was when we learned each others love languages. Made a world of difference for us.
I would leave him sweet notes all around the house and give him little gifts. Have surprises and treats for him on random days. I was walking around thinking I was the BOMB. Thinking to myself, "Dang... I'm such a good wife. Look at me being all sweet and thoughtful." When really, all he wanted was to cuddle, kiss and have sex. I realized this once I found out his top love language was physical touch. So yah... that backfired on me.
I was able to adjust HOW I showed him love and how I could fill his "love tank" and he did the same for me. And this is STILL a process for us as we both naturally express love in different ways so we have to be intentional about it.
One thing I kept hearing from married couples who ended in divorce was, "We just grew apart." And in my mind, it was a call to action in my own marriage. My husband and I are both completely different people then who we married almost 9 years ago. We look different, we act different, we talk different. Our values, passions, interests have all changed over the years. And in all that, we have grown and morphed into we we now are. And I know for surely we will change even more as the years go on. I want that. I don't want to stay the same. I want God to mold and make me into His likeness. I'm so glad I'm not the same 21 year old Meghan who got married all those years ago (she was kind of a bum.)
But through all these years, my husband and I have not used that growth and change as an excuse to us growing apart. We have deliberately chosen to GROW TOGETHER. Taking the good and the bad. Remembering those vows we took. Loving each other and supporting each other through the growth and the changes and doing it together. Being intentional about growing together has made a big difference for us.
Another game changer for us was going with the ebbs and flows of our marriage, just like you would any other relationship in life. You know there are those moments when you are just NOT VIBING with someone. Everything they do annoys you and you just end up nitpicking everything they do. I feel that happens in friendships, in families and in your marriage. And what we have done is just stopped fighting the currents.
When we seem to be at each others nerves, we usually address it out loud to eachother. "We are just in an ebb right now. Let's ride it out and get back to our flow." Instead of stressing, thinking our marriage has come to an end, that we are a lost cause and blowing it out of proportion, which ends up furthering the disarray and causing more irritation, we just go with it. We acknowledge that are not in sync at the moment and we will be back to our flow in no time at all. Obviously, we continue to seek the Lord through it, love each other through and seek the peace but the stress of making it all perfect RIGHT NOW has not become the most pertinent object at hand.
Ride it out knowing that the flow will come back into place. (If it takes more than a few days, PRAY IT INTO PLACE. Don't stay in that ebb too long.)
Now just to show you I really don't have it all together, because we are all beautiful works in progress, let me share something I am REALLY bad at.
Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry."
I'll tell you what, I think I am pretty quick at forgiving.
Everyone else EXCEPT my husband.
I can hold onto a grudge with my husband for DAYS. It's so unfair to him. But if I'm upset with him, I can stay in that place for such a long time. I can go to bed angry. I can go to bed without making peace with him. I can wake up and go about my day just clinging onto that frusteration. And I'm ashamedand sad to say that but it's something I've been praying about. It's a habit I have formed over the years and I want to come to a place where it would feel CRAZY to go to bed without lovingly kissing and cuddling my husband as we work out an issue. That's the kind of wife I desire to be.
I want to go against the worldly grain in my marriage. When I get together with girlfriends, I don't want to slander our husbands and talk about all the ways they annoy us. I want to lift our husbands up, pray for our husbands and talk about our triumphs in making our marriage holy and sanctified.
Let me leave you with this.
Last week, I wasn't particularly in the mood to have sex one night.
Let's be real. I rarely am. I'm tired. I've been physically, emotionally and mentally pouring into the kids and other people all day long and I simply did not leave much left over for my husband (another thing I am working on.)
But I put my thoughts and tiredness to the side to have an intimate moment with my husband because I knew it was what he needed and desired.
After we had our time together,I told my husband that I've been trying to change my mentality about our intimate moments together.
I said that when I'm not in the mood, I try to think about how some other woman could have a chance at my life and just CRUSH IT. Some other woman could get opportunity to be in my place and just be a frickin awesome wife and mom. Totally WINNING at MY LIFE. Some other woman could be in my shoes (and being the awesome woman she is), would totally be willing and excited to make love with her husband and pour her heart and soul into him just the way he needs, even after a long day. Someone else could make waves in every aspect of my life and completely rock it.
So, I'm going to take that, and WIN at my own life. I'm going to be that woman. And when I think like that, it's just the motivation I need to get my butt into gear to be the wife and mom I want to be and that my husband and kids deserve to have.
Be the MAVERICK. (noun: an unorthodox or independent-minded person.)
Don't follow the crap of the world. Listen to the Lord and follow HIS voice and HIS guidance. He will lead you to His heart and where all the abundant blessings reside.
Go against the grain in your marriage. Be the best and strive for more. There is always hope. Be an original and step up to the plate.