5 Things My Marriage Has Taught Me

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When I got married I thought that was going to make any problems my partner and I had just magically vanish. He decided to put a ring on it so I guess I did something right and could just keep doing it! Boy, was I wrong. I have learned so much about myself since saying ‘I do’ nearly 365 days ago.

  1. My love style is not necessarily my husbands.

The way I feel appreciated and loved don’t match his, so when I do things I like expecting him to feel special and seen he doesn’t feel it and vice versa. I may want him to set up a bubble bath with wine and a good book or plan a night out just the two of us, those are ways I feel valued and admired, but he wouldn’t care if I did that for him. He would love to stay home and play video-games together or cuddle on the couch with an action movie. He feels seen when I pack his lunch or leave his favorite snack out at 1 am after a long shift at work. He likes feeling loved with physical affection like hugs and kisses randomly when I am normally touched out by lunch. Our love styles are very different, and once we got married it seemed to only magnify what we needed and what we were not receiving from one another. I had to learn to give love in ways he needed and accept my ways of receiving love were not the only ways.

2. I am a lot to handle.

I have big goals and dreams, sometimes more than I can even keep up with. I have lists, about 20 of them are scattered throughout the house, in the car, and my purse because I have so much in my head and get so busy with the kids I can’t remember. I don’t finish half of my sentences and I don’t always talk out loud the conversations I have in my head, but I expect you to know what they are and have an input. My husband has found patience with me in this even though I know it drives him wild. I never realized how overwhelming and hectic my mind and my style can be, and I have had to put a lot of work into slowing down and doing smaller tasks and ideas as well as writing or talking conversations out so he knows where I am at. I also had to accept that my dreams and goals don’t necessarily have to be his, but he is always going to be a part of them just maybe in a different way than I had pictured.

3. My idea of right, perfect, or winning isn’t the only way.

I had to learn that I am not always right, I don’t always know best, and there is a thing called compromise. I went from very independent to sharing every single part of me with someone else and even though we dated for years it still was a big change. I had to learn to talk things out and explain my point of view, but more importantly I had to learn to listen to his reasoning and beliefs before collectively making decisions when moving forward. It was easier to choose just myself and do my own thing and harder to say in the moment ‘what would he think or choose’ or ‘let me wait and discuss this before I make a decision that affects both of us’. I also needed to be able to trust his decisions he made for us when we couldn’t discuss them, that he had our best interest in mind even when I wasn’t present. What I have found is that discussing it and opening myself up to other ideas and options has allowed us to have different outcomes and often times better ones than what it would be if I was always closed minded. It has also allowed us to be stronger as a team by working through things this way.

4. I am selfish.

I was concerned about my wants and needs, and for a loving relationship I needed to shift that mindset to include his. This means I couldn’t fully focus on what I was or wasn’t receiving but to look inward at what I wasn’t giving to him. I learned a hard lesson that I wasn’t all that and a bag of chips. If he had time to spend doing things he enjoyed but I didn’t feel I had enough time of my own, I got upset. I wasn’t appreciating the ways he supported me and our life and allowing him the time he deserved to be himself. I had to learn to tell myself he wasn’t replacing me or trying to run away from what we had and that he had interests and a need to feel a sense of identity as much as I do. Accepting we have parts of our lives we need to do separately, as a married couple, has actually allowed us to be happier and stronger in the areas we do share together. I did fall in love with him for him, not to stifle and suffocate both of us by only being us in all things. Its a healthy balance to find for both sides.

5. I suck at trust and forgiveness.

I believed I was great at both trust and forgiving but reality was completely different. I allow myself to take my feelings getting hurt (usually unintentionally) and let it linger. I then shut down and can turn cold, and on top of that I don’t get over it. In other relationships or acquaintances I would just cut ties or hold that person at an arms length from then on, but in marriage I couldn’t do that an expect to have a healthy life together. I had to learn to communicate especially when it is hard, and to learn to truly forgive and trust that what hurt me was not always intentional or bad enough to give up on our life together. Have I done things hurtful where I was shown grace, and if so doesn’t he deserve the same? We are not perfect and I personally can mess up big time. If I deserve or want a second, third, or even millionth chance then I need to learn to give those things too. Also, forgiveness and truth to myself. To be able to be honest about my actions and choices and how they effect others, especially my husband. Forgiveness of my own downfalls and allowing myself to accept the love that our marriage is and the fulfillment I get with a life with my husband by my side.

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Amelia is a newlywed mom of 3. Typically she goes by mom or mom-mom. Her 9 year old son has battled health issues his whole life and has a Facebook account to bring awareness to his story and to Narcolepsy. As a young and single mom navigating life after the military, she found a love of the community and resources available. Now married and a stay at home mom with 2 daughters, 2 and 10 months, she tries to stay as involved as possible. With a love of health and wellness, Amelia can be found doing yoga or participating in some activity with the kids. You can find her cheering on her son in basketball, soccer, and taekwando during most weekends. Coffee, wine, and a good book take up any alone time, and she recently became an ambassador for the Bettendorf Public Library. She is a big supporter of breastfeeding and mental health, and always open about the good, the bad, and the ugly of motherhood.

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