So you may think, "There is no way you have learned that much in only 3 months of marriage." Let me tell you something... YOU'RE WRONG. I love you, but you're so wrong. I have learned so much about myself, Shea, and how relationships work. This post is mostly for people who are recently married or going to be married soon. These are a few things I wish I had known before becoming a wife.
1. Guys Cannot Give You Your Every Need
Duh...right? Wrong. When you get married you think you have this all provider and protector. Truth is, he is human. Not only is he a human, he is a guy. So girls, when you think you are going to come home after a long day and discuss life with your husband... nope. He will probably be interested for about five seconds and his brain will switch to some football player or thing he saw on Twitter (speaking from experience). This is not a beat up on guys post, I promise. The truth is, guys just don't work that way.
We as women want our guys to be manly, but we expect them to want to sit and talk like girls. And to some level, they do. My husband has truly been there for me through some of the hardest moments and given me great advice. However, when it comes to my day to day life struggles, he does not usually hear it the first or second time I say it. They are just not wired like us. That's okay! This is why you need girl friends. Hard one to learn...
Also on this topic, if you really need to talk to your dude, tell him. Sit him down and say, "I have something that I really need to discuss and talk with you about. Please listen to me for the next ___ minutes." The ball is in his court on whether he does the right thing and takes you serious. Chances are that he will. Just be straight with your dude. If you're just complaining about something that doesn't matter, just know he probably will only hear about a fourth of what you said. And expect him to say something completely off topic once you finish. It's just how guys roll.
2. Do Your Own Growing
Here's the thing... you really can only fix yourself. No one else. Not even your hubby who you may think you have "whipped." Just can't. So it is up to you to do work and dig deep within to fix the hurts and pains in your life. I'll be honest, Shea and I went through a few weeks of struggle. We were not on the same page. Duh.. we lived 20+ years of our life doing different things, and then we moved in and had to combine our lives. Of course there is tension. It's okay. As long as you work on yourself and get through it together.
For me, I had to really sit and tell myself that I cannot change him, I can only change me. When I got this mindset, the things that bothered me about him ended up being myself. I don't really care if he brushes his teeth with two hands.. that was all me. I was feeling anxious and needed to take it out on something/someone. It just so happened that Shea is the safest place for me to take out my insecurities. Which is TOTALLY wrong, I'm just being honest.
One day, I picked up my Bible and started reading... from the very beginning. I do this daily to bring life and God's Word into my life. Dang... my life was changed! Or so it seemed until I saw Shea eating his fifth granola bar that day. Then ugly, mean Chandler came out to play... Gahhhh. It was an endless cycle. I was mad at him and myself and I just couldn't stop...
It took me a good month of daily reading, prayer, and Ben Stuart's "Single, Dating, Engaged, Married" book to bring me out of the slump I was in. I started to learn that every time I shut down Shea, I was really shutting down his ability to lead me. It is my job to encourage his decisions and ideas. I married him for a reason! He is super smart, kind, and loving and makes decision with me in mind. I have nothing to fear. This does not mean I sit silently and never help bring good ideas, it just means I don't emasculate him every time he says something I don't agree with.
Basically, what I am saying is that in order for our relationship to grow, I had to do growing by myself. Now, I am not saying I was the only issue. Shea has his issues and those are for him to deal with. And he is! However, as soon as I started growing, I began to see Shea's amazing qualities again. It didn't even matter if he was doing everything right, I was able to give him grace as he does with me.
3. Spend Some Time A Part
Another thing that helped us get over the curb was me starting my job. As soon as I was away from Shea, I really began to appreciate everything he is. I truly miss him in the 8-10 hours I am away at work. It makes me realize that even with how mad he can make me, I always want him in my life. There will never be a time where I don't want us to be Chan and Shea. We are a team.
Also, spending time with other people than your husband helps a lot too. Plus, some people can make you extremely grateful to see your hubs regardless of how annoying he can be. Girlfriends can also be great because they can truly understand how you feel. They are wired the same as you and can respond with what you want to hear. You can also get together and just vent. Sometimes you need to yell, cry, and laugh together about your marriage. It's normal.
4. Have a Date Night
This is important! Shea and I started doing date nights early enough in our relationship where I think it'll become a forever tradition. However, I think the shock of going from dating to engaged to married can be real. Sometimes being married, you feel as if you husband thinks he has completed the quest and can quit. That you are conquered and he doesn't need to fight for your heart anymore. It's not true. Hubbys do need to be reminded that you need to be pursued but most likely it is just a feeling. Your guy is probably just as excited as you! Don't over think things!
Date nights bring connection during crazy weeks where you really need each other. They allow you to tune out the world and focus on each other. Dates don't have to be extravagant or crazy, in fact I wrote a blog post on 20 Cheap Dates last week. Go check it out if you cannot think of any date ideas. Please trust me on the date thing, this is something that Shea and I have gotten right.
There is no excuse to not have a date night. Not one. No one ever "has time." You make the time to do what is important to you. Obviously you have no time because you filled it with other things. I highly doubt that almost anything on your weekly calendar is more important than your husband. Make time for him.
5. Do not Assume Things Your Husband has Not Said
I know I know... sometimes he does not have to say it for you to feel it. I totally get that and have said the same thing to Shea many times in our three months of marriage. However, most of the time, the things we think our husbands are thinking... they really aren't. I know as girls we think things down to the core and then do it again. Guys.. they don't even typically think past the surface because they don't work that way. Not because they are stupid, but if you tell them something, they typically take it for exactly what it means.
So next time you are feeling something negative that you believe your husband feels, just ask him. Say honey, "I feel as if you believe ______, is that true?" You have then given him the chance to discuss how he feels. I totally know this is easier said than done. But it is great to know this from the beginning so you can work on it. Shea and I haven't quite got this down yet. But I'd say we are making some leeway.
Assumptions can bring so much unnecessary hurt and pain into your marriage. You are literally allowing the devil to plant a lie in your heart which then hardens your heart to your spouse. And let's be honest, it is easier to create walls than to take them down. So just don't assume and talk it out. Obviously you and your hubs are madly in love and want the best for each other. Remember this. You are the dream team! Don't let the stupid devil get in your relationship and mess it all up. Bring God and truth into the middle so you cannot be broken apart.
Honestly, I feel as if I just went on a rant. And I did.. but it truly came from a heart of love. I want to help couples avoid some of the mistakes Shea and I made. We love each other dearly, but we are human and do make mistakes. Recently, we have been closer than ever because we both decided to work on ourselves and work on loving each other better. My major goal is to let the little things go, because they don't matter. I know Shea loves me and puts me first, that's what matters.
Remember why you married your husband. I know you girl, you thought it through. He is your soulmate and forever spouse. Don't let a few lies or stupid irritations get in the way of what God has created. I would love to speak with you further if you have any questions. I am very open and honest as you can see. I do not post blogs like this to splatter our business on the internet, but to encourage you and bring you back to reality that no one's life is perfect.
I really love my people. You guys are the best and I am forever grateful that you continue to read my posts day after day. It means the world to me. If you feel led, please share my post and share any feedback. I would love to hear what you have learned in your marriage. Help a girl out, what bumps will we hit next?
Thank you for all your love and encouragement!