4.11.2012

What I Have Learned

Marriage is nothing and everything I thought it would be...I promise that made sense.  When you're engaged, or even dating, you imagine what your life would be like after saying "I do."  You imagine the walls that will form your home, the vacations that will build memories and the holidays spent making traditions.

You typically don't think of the struggles, trials and fights that you'll have, but you know they will happen.  You don't imagine getting so frustrated that you can't even stand being in the same room with the love of your life, but those moments will come.

When you think of marrying your best friend, you think of the good and just accept that the bad will be in the mix.  

The funny thing with marriage is that even though there are years of experience within the world, there is no one that can tell you how to do it well or give you a "how-to" guide.  Sure, lots (and lots) of people will give you their opinions, but ultimately marriage is a lot of trial and error.  I realize that sounds harsh and negative, and please trust me when I say, I don't mean it that way.  I simply mean that there is no "right way" to be married; you'll both do it the "wrong way" before figuring it out.  When you're a wife, forgiveness and trust become your closest allies.  Husbands will inevitably do something in a way that we're not fond of or didn't want done in the first place.  And as wives, we will inevitably do something in a way that they're not fond of or didn't want done in the first place.

I think something that gets forgotten after the sweet, magical words of "I do" is that they were said to another human being.  By nature, we mess up and make mistakes and by all accounts, are far from perfect.  Life is messy and I have come to learn that marriage is about being with someone you enjoy cleaning with.

When we were engaged, one bit of advice that I got a lot was "pick your battles" and I can say with confidence, it's good advice.  If you nitpick every, tiny thing, your days and weeks will be filled with arguments or, worse, silence.  And there are some battles that I've learned I may never win.  And honestly, that's okay.

I have learned to stop looking for perfection and to start giving the same patience and grace God has given me time and time again.  I have learned that laughter is not optional, but essential.  Having a sense of humor can prevent a lot of headaches and possible harsh words.  I have learned moments of just sitting quietly can speak volumes.  I have learned to embrace the times that stretch us because that's when we lean more on one another and on God.  And lastly, I have learned that I will never stop learning.

Now, we will be celebrating 4 years of marriage in June, so I most certainly do not consider myself a cornucopia of knowledge when it comes to marriage.  What I do know is this is a journey and an ever-changing, unpredictable process.  To accept that, I feel, is half the battle. 



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8 comments:

short stack said...

we haven't been married for 4 years but we've been living together for 2+. i'm sure this baby will make it all the more complicated. but i couldn't have said it better myself. every time i read what you write it makes me want to be a better person. i wish i could shed my stubbornness and mood swings, and while i know that's not 10)% possible, knowing i have you and brett in my life makes me strive for it even more. love you!!!

Jennifer said...

Ah Maggie. This was great. We're getting ready to celebrate our one year anniversary next week and I will say the same, "Marriage is nothing and everything I thought it would be..." Such a great post. Thanks for putting all of this into words to share.

Daisy said...

I love this post Maggie! How funny, I just wrote a post about what I didn't expect in marriage yesterday. I love how God works. We have some similar thought but I am a newlywed. I wonder how I will feel in 4yrs :)

Liesl said...

I just happened to stumble upon your blog, and I'm not really quite sure how, but I loved reading your honest, open and heartfelt words! I think so much of what you said is so true, though I'm not married, and what inspiring and helpful words they could be for so many...thank you! Hope you are having a Wonderful Week so far, and Happy Early 4 Year Anniversary in June! :)

Courtney said...

I absolutely loved this post, it rings with truth! And I agree, "pick your battles" is some great advice for narriage

a boy a girl and a pug said...

awesome post!! loved it and so absolutely true i couldn't agree more. the best advice i give newlyweds is don't spend too much time on the premarriage counseling and opt for a post i do sessions ha!

thanks for your sweet comment on my blog...so appreciate it.

Andrea D said...

I love this post. My hubs and I have been married for a little over a year and a half and I feel like I learn a little bit more each and every day.
You're right-marriage is both everything I expected and a total surprise. And it's the most amazing contradiction ever! :)

Andrea
Left brain, right brain, pug brain.

Katie said...

I love this post! I'm getting married in November. While I know in my head that there will be times I can't stand being around him, it seems so difficult to even imagine. I imagine this perfect existence, but I know it's not going to be that. This is so encouraging. Thanks for sharing!!

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