As of today, I have been married to my best friend for six months. It has been a roller coaster of emotions and trials as we navigate these new waters. I thought I would jot down the six things that have stuck out to me the most over the last six months and share them will y'all. Thank you for your continual support, encouragement and prayers!
1.) God has to be the love of your life.
Your husband is your earthly companion, the person that God designed exactly for you. That is a fact. But that fact does not mean that your husband is above God in your life. The order is God, husband, kids, ministry, work, and then everything else in life. If you try "do marriage" without God, you will fail. Marriage is two sinners coming together to work for the kingdom of God. If you don't have God in your everyday life, it will be ten times harder than it needs to be. I am not saying that God is a no-problems-card in a marriage, but it is amazing the difference that putting God first makes in my marriage. The days when I am selfish and cut out God, my relationship with B suffers. God has to come first.
2.) Men need respect in the way that women need love.
Dr. Eggerichs tackled this massive subject in his best selling book Love and Respect. I highly suggest if you are dating, engaged, newly married, or a seasoned veteran of the marriage world to check this book out. I will openly admit that I struggle with showing respect to B. I should clarify that it is not because B doesn't deserve respect. He absolutely does! I just struggle with how best to demonstrate the respect that I feel for him. Dr. Eggerichs' book does a good job of explaining the why behind a man's desire for respect and the best ways that a wife can show her husband respect he needs.
3.) You will get tired of each other.
Being all lovey-dovey is great, but in reality you are going to get on each other's nerves. B and I do a lot of things together. We go to church together, we are in marriage development classes together, we are in discipleship classes together, we train physically together, we eat together... the list goes on. It is important that we set aside the time and the energy to do our own things. That may mean we read books, or I scrapbook and B goes to play Ultimate Frisbee with our friends. And you know what? That is totally normal.
Alright since sex is one of those words that makes people giggle, I thought I'd just get that out of the way early. Sex is great. It is an incredible expression of love between two people that God made for one another. Yes it is wonderful, but is it like what you see in the movies? Nope. Those are actors, you are real people. There will be serious, silly, loving, good and bad moments. Take sex for what it is, enjoy it and don't take yourself too seriously. Remember you are expression love, not preforming.
5.) Family of origin plays a huge role.
The family you came from will impact your marriage in good ways and bad ways. I thought B was joking the first time he pulled out different pairs of shoes for working outside versus walking outside. Upon further study it makes sense if you ware working a chainsaw to have different shoes than if you are walking in the park. Turns out he was right! B thought I was crazy when he came home and found me sitting on the kitchen floor eating a can of pinto beans. Where I grew up, that was totally normal. B grew up practicing "fair fighting" methods during a disagreement. My family screams at the top of their lungs. That one is still taking some adjustment.
6.) Communication takes practice.
In his book, Dr. Eggerich uses the example of pink and blue glasses and earphones. Eggerichs writes that women are wearing pink glasses and earphones while men are wear blue glasses and earphones. When we talk to the opposite gender they are hearing and seeing through blue. When they talk to us we are hearing and seeing through pink. We have to learn to interpret and understand the other's language. The way that you accomplish that task is by practicing. When you slow down and say, "Wow, that came across as really hurtful. what did I do to cause that reaction" you are giving your spouse the chance to clarify if there was miscommunication and to tell you if there was a hurt. It takes time, energy, and a lot of patience, but it is totally worth it.