Monday, October 21, 2013

Strengths & Weaknesses in Marriage


We all have them. Right? Strengths and weaknesses in our marriage. We can't all possibly be perfect in our marriage. Right? Surely, we can all agree that marriage has its ups, and it also its downs.

Right?

If you nodded your head to any of those, then you understand. You have probably been there where you thought to yourself that no one prepared you for this. That sometimes the person that you love the most is the one you don't even want to be around. Briefly. That surely you are the only one dealing with this. And damn it... WHERE DID THOSE BUTTERFLIES GO!

It's natural. It's a normal thing when you spend x amount of hours together. When you combine finances. When children come into the picture. When you have to keep another person in mind with every decision that you make. When they see you at your worst. And when they see you at your best. Which may not be the best that it once was.

It's all a part of marriage.

I don't know anyone that has the perfect marriage. To this day. And I've encountered many amazing married couples. Sure, there will be people that will try to make themselves look perfect, make themselves sound like "Oh that's never happened to us" and make you believe that you are doing something wrong. Those people? Those people are the ones that are in more trouble than you are.

Trust me.

I won't sit here and give you marriage advice, because hell, I don't think I'll ever master marriage over here. There are qualities about myself that I know are difficult to deal with, and I know that unless those change, my marriage {and every other relationship in my life} will be affected. Those that know me and love me? They understand it. One of those people being my husband.

So marriage.... marriage {for us} will never have that P word. Perfect. And you know what, I'm okay with that. Because I know that what we have is special, that there is no one else I would rather grow old with, and that the only person that I want to fight with on life would be my husband, Andrew.

That is something I know with 100% certainty. Everything else? I'm just learning as I go....

One of the reasons that I believe marriage fails {insert one of many reasons out there}, is that people have this fairytale view of what marriage will look like. It's kind of like parenthood. People will shout at the top of their lungs to anyone that will listen..."That will never be us, and I will never do that" and they say it with such conviction that the only person they are really trying to convince here is themselves. People look at dating and love as a glimpse of what marriage will be like. So when things don't go exactly as planned? When those giddy feelings in your stomach go away? When bigger life changes require you to deal with hardships and challenges? They freak out. They didn't sign up for this. This isn't who they married. And gosh darn it, they want that prince charming {and perfect wife} that they always dreamed of.

The reason that I say this, and no this doesn't apply to every marriage that has ever ended, is because I have spoken to people who are engaged. Who drop their mouths when they hear others talk about marriage. Who make these judgmental statements that lead me to just nod my head, giggle a little, and say..."talk to me in a few years."  Who I hope will be able to get past the idea of perfect before they sign on that dotted line. Who unfortunately, ended things before they even started.

Marriage is work.

You have to take the time to show that person you care. You have to take the time to not think about yourself and put their needs first. You have to take the time to treat them like a spouse and not just someone that is living with you. Because at the end of the day, life gets busy. Add children into the equation, and life gets crazy. Days, weeks, and months fly by. Stress is added into the picture, and next thing you know, your partner has seen the uglier side of you. And perhaps you have seen the uglier side of them. And so you have to work at it. Work at what you can do differently. Work at what you can change in your life. Work at what stress you can get rid of. And work at how you can give him or her more of your time, and your heart.

They need that from you.

Look, if you can get past the idea of a perfect marriage, you are already steps {miles} ahead of the others. It takes two people here to make a marriage work, and it takes two people to acknowledge that what you signed up for was forever, regardless of how tough things got, regardless of the lowest of lows, and regardless of what other marriages look like. Looks can be deceiving.

Marriage can be {and is} a beautiful thing. I wake up next to my husband and thank God that he gave me this man in my life. Being able to share my everyday with someone, to share a home with them, and then raise children together, is by far the most rewarding gift out there. This man loves me for who I am, and understands me more than anyone out there. We both have struggles that we deal with because of life, and a part of marriage is dealing with those struggles together. The thing that excites me about marriage is that I know the best years have yet to come. And that? That's what I look forward to in the future.

Being married brings a new set of butterflies in the pit of your stomach. They may not be the same as when you were dating, but believe me, they can be that much more special. As you get older, you do become wiser. Funny... that statement you hear so often, is in fact, true. You have this growing appreciation of life, and you learn to value those in your life that much more. Including your spouse. I get excited about every holiday that I get to spend with my husband. I get excited to share every milestone that our children go through with him. I get excited about all our travels, experiences, and changes that lie ahead.

I just get excited about the fact that we get to do life together. Good or bad, easy or not, we get to do it together.

So my strengths and weaknesses? Regardless of what they are, just know that we have them. We aren't a couple to aspire to be, and we don't have the marriage that they write about in books {you know, those expert books written by the experts that give you the expert definition of successful marriage. Experts}. But we have one another, we have our home, and we have our children.

And we have 60+ years of life ahead of us. Hip replacements, walkers, dentures and all.

My fairytale marriage? Is right here. Imperfections and all.


Complete list of topics here 
Next week: A letter to the newlyweds

11 comments:

  1. preach it, girl! i love this!!! reminds me of the ruth graham quote, "a happy marriage is a union of two forgivers."

    xx
    elise

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  2. I can't even express how perfect this post is!

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  3. This post is beyond perfect! So many great points. And simply put, the honest truth.

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  4. This is an amazing post.Loved it.

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  5. I don't comment often, but I wanted to tell you just how refreshing your blog is. I don't blog, but I sometimes feel like all I read about from other bloggers is so superficial - wine, Tory Burch shoes, coffee, etc etc. You only write from your heart. When you and your family look back at your blog over the years - they will have so many memories written down to cherish. This is a blog worth passing down to your children. I enjoy reading, but I definitely know that you write for you - not for the attention out in blogland that it seems that others seek.

    God bless!

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    Replies
    1. I can't tell you just how much I appreciate your comment. I know I don't comment back, I rarely visit blogs or interact, and I understand why people may not leave feedback... But I am so grateful that you took the time to do so, and lifted up my spirits when I needed it most.

      Thank you Lauren

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  6. Beautifully written, and I agree 100%! the best things in life are usually the hardest but the most worth fighting for <3

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  7. As an engaged bride-to-be who has been dating my fiance for almost 6 years... I could not agree more with this post. This is absolutely beautifully written. My parents got divorced when I was younger and I have had *plenty* of examples of marriages that simply did not work out... (and honestly, I am grateful they didn't!) but it painted a picture at a young age that marriage is hard work. There is no fairytale. However, if you can find a partner that loves you for you, and is willing to fight for forever (and you are too)....you found yourself a relationship worthy of a marriage. THANK YOU for being honest and for always laying your heart on the line. We need more blogs like yours out there. It's hard to be vulnerable to what others might think or say- but I think you have found the key to a succesful, long and happy marriage. Thank you for being so real. <3

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