This October marks five wonderful years that I have had the honor of being my husband’s wife.
In recognition, I thought I would write a little something on a few of the lessons I have learned along the way.
1) Don’t put off being married for anything you wouldn’t get a divorce over.
Remember those stories of our grandparents? How did they get married?
Usually it was under an apple tree with God, a simple ring, someone to officiate, and a marriage license.
They didn’t wait until Grandpa had his dream job, or Grandma lost 10 pounds, or they paid off their student loans, or when they could afford chocolate diamonds, “because that’s what she deserved.”
Did Grandma deserve chocolate diamonds?
You bet your Grandpa-was-in-three-wars-while-she-had-ten-children hiney she did.
But it wasn’t about all that.
It was about a marriage. Commitment. Respect. Family.
It was not about a wedding.
I have received SO MUCH growth and blessing and indescribable joy from being Chase’s wife.
Why should we put off something so amazing when we are with the person we wish to spend it with?
Think of it this way:
If you were married and your husband lost his office job and had to work the graveyard shift at Wendy’s to make ends meet…is that grounds for divorce? Of course not.
Then why is it grounds to not get married?
If you base your marital bliss on what's in the bank account, you have other issues you need to deal with.
Let those be the reason to not jump into a marriage, not the actual dollar sign.
2) It takes a village
That phrase doesn't just apply to raising kids. It applies to everything. We are designed to enjoy and grow and interact with others. This also involves our marriages.
This does not mean you air your dirty laundry out for the FaceBook world to see (just.please.stop).
What this means is that you have someone, anyone, who is matured in their marriage and can step in and counsel and guide you all when things get rough (cuz they do). It can be an older sibling and his/her spouse, a counselor of sorts, your parents, whoever. Just someone to walk with you.
I remember sitting outside our marriage mentors house as an engaged couple for our first meeting.
I was terrified. I wanted to just drive away. But my fiance shoved me through the door basically saying, “If it’s horrible, we never have to come back.”
Not only did we WAY over stay our welcome with our marriage mentors that evening, we've shoved ourselves in their lives to this day.
Just last week, we had one of them over to sit beside us around our dinner table and hash out our finances.
We did this not because we suck at finances (which we kind of do right now), or we couldn't learn on our own, but because we wanted it to be a productive conversation and plan, not a “he said, she said” marriage spat.
Which leads me to #3…
3) The "Compatibility Myth"
Through our marriage mentor process, and in other situations since, we have found that Chase and I are extremely compatible people when looking at characteristics that would attract me to cohabitate with him.
But marriage is much, much more then cohabitation. What I've learned is that when Chase shoved me into and through that marriage mentor meeting, he was saying everything I needed to know about him to be prepared to commit the rest of my life to him: He was all in.
He was willing to learn, and to grow, and to do “whatever it takes.” And that’s all you can ask.
You can’t ask him to read your mind.
You can’t ask him to never change.
You can’t ask him to meet all of your needs simultaneously.
You can ask him to try. Every day. Just try.
Because really, that’s all you can give. A solid effort. A strategic approach. Your best game.
See if you base your marriage on your compatibility, when friction arrives it’s all too easy to say “it’s not working.”
What’s “not working?”
The fact that you’re two separate humans with two separate opinions and two separate wills? Umm…
If you base your marriage on your ability to work together and try, when friction arrives you get your head in the game and you. make. it. work.
No magic potions.
No star struck wonder.
If you’re married to someone who tries, congrats, you’ve got yourself your very own bona fide prince charming. Chosen by God just for YOU.
And so, when choosing a mate, if you have someone who tries and who makes you want to try: congrats.
When’s the wedding?
P.s. SO excited to write what I've learned in 10 years, 20 years, etc!
Special thanks to our village, which includes anyone who has encouraged us over the years.
Call to action: Take part in someone's village: whose marriage can you encourage today by a simple "You guys are awesome!" "You guys inspire me!" ??