Tristan and I celebrated our 6 month wedding anniversary a few weeks ago, and it’s been the best adventure yet! I love getting to learn and grow alongside this man of mine 🙂 There’s so many things I’ve learned these past few months, and today I wanted to take some time to share the 6 most unexpected things marriage has taught me so far. That being said, here ya go:
1. You won’t be the “perfect” wife, like, ever
One of the biggest things I struggled with the first few months of marriage was that I wasn’t the “perfect” wife that I had always planned to be. When you’re not married, it’s easy to come up with all these different things that you will do and be for your husband, but it’s totally different when you get married and there is so much more to hold than you ever expected. I don’t really think there’s such a thing as a “perfect” wife and, and if you focus so hard on that you will wear yourself out completely. So instead of focusing on being the perfect wife, you should focus on GROWING as a wife, and being a better wife today than you were yesterday. You may not be able to be perfect, but you can always be MORE. More loving, more gentle, more selfless, etc. That’s what you should be focusing on.
2. Marriage is a marathon; not a sprint
Both Tristan and I had to quickly learn that we needed to stop focusing so much on where we wanted to be as a husband and wife, and instead focus on each step it takes to get there. Ideals you have for your marriage are great and you shouldn’t drop them, but you should give yourself time and patience. Again, it’s about growth, and growth is such a beautiful thing. Instead of getting frustrated about the areas of your marriage that aren’t where you’d like them to be, give yourself and your spouse grace and work as a team to strengthen those areas. Neither of you are perfect and no one is ever truly “ready” for marriage; that’s the whole point. Marriage is about a lifetime of learning and growing in ways that you never could on your own.
3. Your husband won’t complete you
Since getting married, I have heard so many of my unmarried friends talk about the unrealistic expectations they have for their future husbands, and it honestly breaks my heart to hear. I can’t deny the fact that God created soulmates, because Tristan is literally a testimony to that for me every single day. But just because a man may be perfect for you doesn’t mean he’s perfect. All guys are human, and when we set an expectation of perfectionism over them we are only setting ourselves up for massive hurt and disappointment. Tristan is perfect for me in a way too deep for words to even explain, and yet he’s not perfect. Marriage isn’t about having someone who completes you, it’s about having someone who constantly pushes you to be more full and complete in CHRIST than you ever thought possible.
4. It’s actually okay to go to bed upset sometimes
I was always told that in marriage you should NEVER go to bed angry, or with an unresolved conflict between you and your spouse. And the first few months of marriage I held to that SO hard that it was actually harmful; not helpful. You see, a lot of issues would come up late at night, when Tristan and I were both tired from a long day, and I learned that trying to discuss issues when all we want to do is sleep is actually not the best idea out there. So, it’s actually okay to go to bed upset. It’s okay to go to bed knowing there is an issue that needs to be discussed, but waiting for a better time to discuss it, and knowing that the issue WILL get resolved. And knowing that, in the meantime, it is actually possible to have an unresolved issue between you while still genuinely loving, honoring, and serving your spouse. It’s taken time for me to break the whole “don’t go to bed angry” mindset, but I’m slowly learning that it’s okay (and even best) to wait for a good time to resolve an issue, even if that means not resolving the issue immediately.
5. Quality time is more important than ever
Because you are around your spouse so much more, it’s important to emphasize quality time even more once you’re married. When we were dating, it was easy to make the time we spent together intentional, as we only saw each other for a few hours every day. But once we got married, we suddenly had this surplus of time together, which made it hard to distinguish work time and quality time. And because we didn’t have intentional quality times set, we also were unintentional and about our physical touch and words of affirmation as well and starting cuddling each other or speaking words of affirmation over each other all the time, which made it impossible to get anything done and also started to water down the significance of physical touch and affirmation. In marriage, it’s important to create individual spaces for both work time and quality time. Create a work schedule and stick to it, but also set intentional times throughout the day to give your spouse your undivided attention and make date nights a priority, even when you are married.
6. Alone time is a MUST
Just like it’s important to have intentional quality time with your spouse when you are married, it’s also important to have intentional alone time! This is something Tristan and I struggle with at times because we both do a lot of work from home right now, and so we spend like 90% of most days together. When we’re both home, it’s easy for us to just end up migrating to the same room and start talking, which makes it hard for both of us to get our much-needed alone time in, as well as our individual time with the Lord. But I’ve learned that when I don’t make intentional alone time to process my thoughts and be with the Lord and such, I get super overwhelmed and not able to be fully present with my work, or with Tristan. It’s hard to remember sometimes but you have to take care of yourself first and make sure you are filled to truly take care of your spouse (and every other person in your life!) well. So don’t feel guilty about setting up alone times, going on individual retreats, or taking self care days. Do what you need to do so that you can take care of your spouse (and your tribe) well in the long-run.
What are some unexpected things that you have learned from marriage? Let me know in the comments!