Today the hubby and I celebrate 13 years of marriage.
It hasn’t always been easy….but it’s our story.
Everything that the last 13 years have brought us, we have weathered together.
We have laughed, cried, struggled, and celebrated our love.
And every morning, we woke up and made the decision to love each other.
When I was in high school, I was told by my religion teacher that I should pray for my future husband. I prayed nightly for his decision making; that the Lord would prepare him for me; and that we would continue to follow Christ. We truly believe that those prayers have helped anchor us.
So in the spirit of celebrating, I thought it would be fun to generate a list of “lessons” for the newlywed “Tammi”. You know…the things I wish I could have told myself when I was first married that would have saved me a lot of hurt, anger, and frustration.
(Feel free to share this with any of your newlywed friends or family)
I’m sorry. Ok….Tam, you need to practice these two words. I know you “think” you are great at apologizing but…you really suck at it. In fact, even when you are apologizing, you don’t really mean it. In fact, almost all your apologies end with some sort of justification of “why” you did what you did. Any justification of what you did….negates any apology. Listen…….you will hurt people in life. Say “I’m sorry” and leave it like that. If you can take a few minutes to understand how the person feels, it would even be better if you could follow it with your understanding of the situation. “I’m so sorry. I’m sure what I did really hurt you”.
To love is to risk hurt. He has the ability to love you deeply and immensely. He also has the ability to crush you like no one else. To love is to risk hurt, but the reward is worth it. You will experience love like you have never known. Prepare for heart ache. There will be times that you will cry for him, with him, and because of him. Love like you aren’t afraid of being hurt.
Be direct. Communication is key to being best friends. Talk to him. Tell him what you don’t like. Tell him what you love. Tell him what worries you and what brings you peace. Explain yourself. Don’t expect him to “figure it out”. You will only help yourself by being open and honest.
Be true to yourself. To be the best wife, you have to be the best you. You need to spend time on your talents, your hobbies, and your interests. You have to cultivate your life outside of your family unit. Sign up for zumba classes; join a reading club; take that cake decorating class. Enjoy the time you make for yourself.
Be selfless. Throw out the paper and tally system. Love him everyday in your actions. The more freedom you give him to be himself, the more he will love you. The more you support his desire to be himself and have “his friends”, “his activities”, the more he will want to spend time with you. The more he will look for “us” time.
Laugh. There is too much in life to be serious about. Find time during the day to play jokes on him and laugh. Send him funny text messages and leave funny notes in his car. You will fall in love with his laughter….
Listen. When he talks, look at him. Don’t multi-task when it comes to him talking to you. He will question whether you really care. Show him that he is worth ALL your attention. Even if its hard. Even if the timing is not right. If he can’t come to you with the small stuff, he won’t come to you with the “big” stuff.
Enjoy where you are, God has you there for a reason. I know you want to have a baby right away, but treasure this time that its just the two of you. Take last minute dates, and hit the movies at midnight. Drive to the beach for the day…just because you can. Don’t worry about what others have or what they are doing, be content. I know you might want a home right away, but treasure the joys of a cleaning a small place. The grass will ALWAYS be greener.
Do stuff together. Make sure that you have “us” stuff. Start traditions that you will always have. Eat brunch after Mass every Sunday or hold the annual Superbowl bash for your friends. Go shopping and buy bikes to ride together. Take time to learn what each other likes and then “suck it up” and do that. It won’t kill you to watch a little football….maybe you will even become a Notre Dame fan. =)
Pray with him and for him. God has brought you together. You will need his help to tackle the outside influences that will try to come between you. When times get tough, get on your knees. Pray for prudence in all your decisions and pray to be able to love each other. When you are afraid, pray for faith. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.
Lord God, I thank you for the gift of my marriage. I thank you for being the pillar that my husband and I have anchored ourselves to. When times have been tough, we have been able to “do all things through Christ who strengthens us”. Phillipians 4:13. I thank you for my husband’s unwavering faith in our marriage and his daily “yes” to a life with me.
Thank you for taking the time to reflect with me.
May God bless you,