What No One Told Me About Marriage – By Christan
Editor’s Note: For the rest of the year, we are going to be tackling certain topics, and having different women share their experience & advice with us. For the rest of May, we are going to be digging into things that no one ever told us about marriage; insights graciously shared by women in healthy marriages. For June, we will be digging through, “Things I Wish We’d Done Before We Got Married.” Do you want to write on either of these two topics, or suggest a topic for July? Shoot me an email at goodwomenproject [at] gmail.com! – Lauren
This submission was written by Christan Resz. Wife and mother to three sweet little girls, she tweets at @mamabearping and blogs here. She’s a little messy, a little crazy, and a lot of awesome. Thanks, Christan!
Engagements and weddings are such happy times. Couples tend to spend a lot of time planning the perfect wedding and sometimes forget there’s a marriage to cultivate after the big day. When my guy slipped an engagement ring on my finger, a lot of people had a lot of advice for me. I took much of it to heart.
What I found, however, was that there were certain things that people either failed to mention or purposefully omitted.
These are the things I wish they would have told me.
If I had my own time machine and the current me could go back and tell the engaged me what to expect, this is what I’d say:
“The way you feel about him now, the way you think your heart’s going to burst because you love him so much, pales in comparison to how much you’ll love him as your marriage grows and matures.”
“Marrying someone means you mesh your life history with his life history. It doesn’t always match up, especially when your backgrounds are so different (I come from a very close-knit family, my husband from a divorced and divided family). It’s going to take a year or two before you’ll feel like you’re speaking the same language, or at least understanding the other’s language.”
“Sometimes it’s better to go to bed angry, shelve the argument, and revisit it later rather than attempting to resolve it at 4 a.m. when neither of you has had any sleep.”
“You’re not just marrying him and he’s not just marrying you. You’re both marrying into each others’ families. It’s not an a la carte deal either; the complete package includes family drama/ issues, different personality traits, foibles, and strange/foreign customs and traditions. The good and bad relationships you have with your family members will extend into your marriage. If you don’t like something about your in-laws, you can’t just dismiss them. You’re going to have to figure out a way to live with them in your life.”
“You both have flaws. They will be amplified in marriage. His desire to be successful at all costs, which you admire, will frustrate you when he works late hours. Your need to spend excessive amounts of time with him will cause him to want to shut you out.”
“You both need to have your own friends to spend time with outside of your marriage. He needs to have guys’ night. You need girls’ night. There are things he can share with his guy friends that he can’t discuss with you. There are things about you that only your girlfriends can understand that, try as he might, he will never get.”
“Before engaging in a conflict (after determining if it’s a conflict worth engaging, of course), PRAY a lot. It’s amazing how often the conflict can be avoided by praying for him instead of throwing arrows of insult, anger, frustration, bitterness, discontent, and pride. It’s important to remember that it is God’s business to change the heart and the mind. He did not give that job to spouses. It is also important to remember that your mind and heart may be the one that needs changing. A vicious battle, without prayer, results in you both being the walking wounded.”
“You’re both going to grow and change. You will both change in different ways and at different times. Sometimes, the changes won’t always be positive. There’s a reason ‘for better or for worse’ is in the wedding vows. Because sometimes ‘worse’ wins. Thankfully, the ‘better’ makes the ‘worse’ more bearable.”
“Your marriage has the potential to be a very safe, wonderful, loving place. It can be a place of companionship and burden sharing, the place where your best friend lives. But this incredible place does not appear instantly. In fact, the road to get there requires a lot of work, a lot of grace, a lot of compassion, and a lot of second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. chances. It also requires self-sacrifice for both parties and an equal desire for unity.”
“Nothing that happens in your marriage, nothing you do, nothing he does, no circumstances that befall you, NOTHING is a surprise to God. Remember that he works all things together for the good of those that love him. Everything has a purpose. After it’s all said and done, after your time on earth has been spent, it all ends in one thing: Your life, your marriage, it ALL brings glory to God.”
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