I’ve tried to write this post numerous times but the overload of information I have to share is hard to put into words. Social media/the internet is a place where you share your highs, the good times, the sappy posts and the fun pictures. Nobody ever talks about what goes into a marriage. Nobody talks about the lessons they have learned.
As I’ve tried to navigate my feelings about marriage I’ve realized a lot of things but for the sake of click bait (haha), I’ll just share 5.
5 Things I’ve Learned In 5 Years Of Marriage
#1: It is not about me, It’s not about whether I’m right or wrong, it’s not about my pride. Marriage isn’t easy and we were never told that it would be. The divorce rate in the United States is 50%. Let me say that again, the divorce rate in the United States is 50%. I have no judgement and you should have no shame, but that is a scary number. It’s almost like they (as in the culture) have set us up for failure, right? Wrong. When pride steps in and takes a front seat in your marriage, there will be problems. There will be struggles. Once you (and your partner) can get to the root of marriage and what it means, it’ll set you free.
#2: Love & Respect. This book/workshop has by far been one of the greatest tools we have used in our marriage. Here is a link to the book and workbook. I can assure you that your eyes will be opened to the fact that we are different people, our brains work differently and that’s the key to understanding your spouse. I cannot say enough good things about this tool.
#3: Change and growth is necessary. I can honestly say that we are hardly the same people as when we got married. Your 20s are a huge time for change and learning about yourself, your passions, and even having kids. I can look back and almost laugh. We had no idea, but that was half of the fun. We, as individuals, grew. We, as a couple, grew. Change is inevitable in marriage, although it can be hard to navigate, it is a huge factor in the bond we have.
#4: Oh the kids. I think the biggest kink in our plan of what marriage was “supposed” to look like involved having children. You cannot as a non-parent plan or prepare of this change. It is earth shattering in so many ways, each one of them more beautiful than the next. Honestly. I have watch Tyler grow and embrace fatherhood in a way that is truly amazing. Same for myself, it is a g a m e c h a n g e r. They are a game changer. This season, these living, breathing walking proof of our love has changed everything… for the better.
#5: Decisions over emotions, always. This was something that Tyler and I agreed upon at the beginning of our relationship. There is a quote by C.S. Lewis that sums these thoughts up perfectly:
“Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. it is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.”
We are just at a little drop in the ocean when it comes to marriage. It’s hard and work, its absolutely work. I’m thankful for Tyler, how he has helped grow, pushed me when I’m slacking, and always keeps me on my toes. It’s been a fun ride thus far! I can’t wait for many more years….
What have you learned throughout your marriage?