The first few months of marriage were chaotic, uncomfortable, frustrating, anxiety…
On my wedding day, I knew that’s how I would feel for the first year. I was so anxious that I almost backed out multiple times. My world was about to go from 0 to 100 mph in 1 second flat. I would have much preferred eloping because I felt so much pressure and noise. I just wanted it all won and done so that Jake and I could move on and just live our normal best friends lives like we had been before all the hooplah of engagement.
I was never one to plan my wedding and look forward to every last detail of the honeymoon. Some people get depressed when the wedding bliss is all fizzled. Lemme tell ya, there was little to no wedding bliss for me.
That’s not to say I wasn’t happy. I was ecstatic! I just wanted “normal”. I’ve always wanted “normal”….the every day life that passes so many by, the routine that makes some people want to gouge their eyes out. I like that part (not the eye gouging part…I like the routine…without the eye gouging).
Marriage is awkward. I found a mentor within the first month of marriage…a woman from my church that asked me out for coffee. Within the first coffee dates, we were already talking sex, and struggles, and fears and failures. If I would have had to bottle up all my struggles and just keep them between me and my husband- it would have killed me. God calls older women to teach the younger women. So, why aren’t we capitalizing on that? Women, married or not, find yourself a mentor who you can be honest with.
It takes time to adjust to married life. It does not happen overnight, and I can tell you, just because you don’t enjoy that transition doesn’t mean that you are weird. It doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you. It doesn’t mean that you married the wrong person, and it doesn’t mean that you love him any less.
I read a ton of books on marriage…tons of blogs too. I got so fed up with all the trash and nonsense, that my sister finally told me, “STOP reading those blogs.” So, I stopped, and it was the best decision. Marriage is not discouraging…unless you’re with a horrible person. So, if you’re reading things that leave you frustrated, confused, or in total disagreement then, as long as it’s not the Bible, stop reading it because it’s a bunch of hooey.
One time, I was so mad, I stormed off and basically had a pout fest on the couch. I was ignoring Jake- just totally mad literally for no reason. I heard him crying in the other room. He’s not a crier so that was obviously unusual. The Holy Spirit just kinda said something like, “Hannah, you hurt him. That was you…not him.”
I walked into the room to him, and since I am so stubborn, I don’t usually say sorry first (it’s like…a sinful flesh thing, ya know?). Long story short, I said I was sorry for hurting him, and I realized in that moment (like many, many other moments before) that Jake was only sad because he felt like he hurt me, and he didn’t know how he hurt me. I realized that I hurt him because I am just selfish. So, while he loves me unconditionally, I love him on conditions- high expectations.
Expectations are not evil…I think that they help us make awesome choices for who we want to marry. We should set extremely high expectations when we are making a choice for a mate. My expectations are not usually bad. I expect Jacob to be honest with me, and I will call him out on it if he is not. I expect Jake to take off his boots at the door so that there will not be a muddy mess everywhere. blah blah blah…but often, I just find that I have selfish expectations that take precedence over unconditional love.
Unconditional love comes first. Unconditional love should be my filter. I still get upset because I’m not perfect. One of my goals is to take growth one step at a time instead of beating myself down internally for the things I don’t like about myself. So, first step, I’ve been working on saying, “I love you,” even when I’m unbelievably, totally and completely mad at Jake. Because just getting those words out when I’m emotionally closing down is the first step in filtering my expectations through unconditional love.
When I was 16, I remember this boyfriend/girlfriend talking. She was talking about some meaningless, insignificant part of her day. He was listening intently. I even remember parts of that pointless conversation because it burned a lil’ imprint inside of me. I wanted that someday. I wanted to find somebody who I could just talk to…somebody who loved me and liked me so much that they actually actively listened to every bit of my boring, same-ole-same-ole day.
Ninety percent of Jake and my marriage is just best friendship and time spent together and meaningless, run of the mill conversation that nobody else would care to hear. Some women will say that marriage isn’t all fairy tales and movie-endings. Well, my marriage isn’t movie-worthy, but we are the best of friends, and most of my life I’ve felt excruciatingly lonely until the days I gradually fell in love with Jake.
We had no qualms about talking about all the nitty gritty before we got married. So, he already knew that the first three months would be like a hurricane and a tornado and a dust bowl all mixed into one super storm. I didn’t do much of the ground work at all. He was laying the foundation by being patient and waiting for me. Meltdown after meltdown, he never quit on me. He gave me time to heal. He never tried to fix me, and I never tried to cover up how bad a condition I was in. no secrets- no bottling up- and no leaving….just love.
Marriage isn’t the magic potion, and if you aren’t careful…marriage to a mean person can make you lonelier than you were before. But, in my case, marriage made me a better person, and I’m rarely ever lonely anymore. I’m only loved.