6 Lessons in Marriage After 6 Months

9.08.2014 |

It seems like just yesterday that I was driving through the Chick-fil-a drive-thru on my way to my own wedding.  It literally seems like I said yes to my best friend last week.  How did the time escape me this easily?  Could it be that I have been enjoying my life as a compliment to my husband so much that i have forgotten to smell the roses?

I am currently sitting at 929 coffee bar and I am thoroughly enjoying a jasmine iced tea.  We had our wedding reception here at the coffee shop and I am sitting in the location approximately where my beautiful wedding cake made it's home. 


It is September 8, which means it is not only my mom's birthday, but it is our 6-month anniversary.  Now I am not one to make a huge deal about monthly anniversaries, but when we get into years, that will be noteworthy.  I think that a ½  year of marriage is pretty exciting.  (not that there was ever a reason to doubt we wouldn't make it that long)

Marriage is a beautiful arrangement that God has created.  I have never known a man like I know Mark, and that is an intimidating yet comforting fact.  Marriage is work and compromise and giggles and nerf-gun wars and bike rides and pillow talk and intimate prayers and burnt food and budgeting and so much fun.  

I have learned so much in these past few months.  I want to share 6 of them with you representing 6-months of marriage.



1. It's not about comparing you marriage to other couples
My relationship with Mark should never be compared to anyone else's relationship, and neither should yours.  That will set you up for hurt feelings, disappointments, pride, and jealousy. End of story. 

2. Let him know how much you respect him
Before marriage counseling, I knew that men and women ticked to a different clock but I couldn't exactly put my finger on it.  Mark and i both read the biblical-based book Love and Respect during our engagement. It opened my eyes to how similarly to how I desire to be loved by Mark, he desires that amount of respect-not in a misogynistic or totalitarian way-but in the way the God so perfectly crafted the male personality.  This has been such a difficult concept for me to grasp because I think this idea of "respect" gets pushed aside in our culture when dealing with relationships.  You respect your teachers, coaches, friend's parents, servers and hostesses, but.....in a romantic relationship that's rarely preached.  I have frequently left Mark notes letting him know that I respect the way he leads the high school youth group or the way he doesn't complain when he has so much to do.  I have told Mark that I respect the way he had led us financially and spiritually.  I have learned that it's not just saying that you really 'appreciate' your husband or that you really 'like' when he does X or Y, but it is when you tell your man that you respect what he is doing that allows something inside of him to be strengthened.  Let your husband know all the things you respect about him. 

3. When your feelings get hurt, lovingly communicate that
Though Mark and I have never gotten into a fight or heated argument, we have hurt each other's feelings more than one time.  Usually it is me being an overly sensitive female who interpreted something he said incorrectly and then I close off all interaction, I retreat to mean-and-spiteful-Renee which in turn hurts his feelings to the n-th degree.  There have been times were we have stayed up talking in bed about how my feelings got hurt and how his feelings got hurt. I let some tension build for a few days because I had really gotten my feelings hurt after we had not spent much time together.  Mark and I decided on a rare occasion to go out to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings after church one Sunday.  Over spicy garlic buffalo wings, my conversation ended with tears (the kind that feel good coming out because 30-pounds are released) in my eyes and Mark's hand in mine.  I communicated how my feelings had gotten hurt not realizing that his were too.  After we talked and reconciled and moved past it like nothing had happened.  Make sure you don't hold anything inside even if you feel like it is silly because it will cause a divide.  Talk about it.

4. Keeping his bottle filled is not an option, it's essential

I knew that going into marriage I would have to make sacrifices and do things when I didn't want to.  You and your husband are both separate bottles.  Your job is to make sure your husband's bottle stays full and his job is to make sure yours stays full.  You are to pour yourself out in completeness to ensure that your husband is full of your (AND ONLY YOUR) love and respect, because if you don't fill it, someone or something else will.  After a long day of not seeing each other, Mark's bottle is nearly drained.  I greet him with a kiss and a hug and it starts to fill.  As we talk about how our day went and what bugged us and what went well, the bottle fills more.  
So what happens when you skip the greeting hug because your tired and ticked-off that you got a speeding ticket on the way home?  What happens when instead of asking him how his day went, you start complaining about how he didn't do what he said he would and how you wished he would be more considerate when it came to moving things in the kitchen?  
The bottle drains....faster and faster.  
Well, speaking for most men, a bottle gets filled the fastest with sexual intimacy.  Though that won't be all men's primary love language, it's a huge part of the way God designed the man.  When you fail to engage in sexual intimacy, he is quickly tempted to look for that satisfaction in other places: a co-worker's hand shake or compliment quickly fills his parched bottle, the nearly-pornographic ad on the internet seems incredibly tempting to click and then you now have become objectified while his bottle gets filled by another, or he "all the sudden" becomes to busy for home because he is finding more bottle-filling activities mowing the grass or working or at the ball field.  Sexual intimacy is not an option, it is a necessary, spiritual, and gifted aspect of your marriage designed by God.  Keep your man's bottle filled, and it won't be a problem keeping yours filled.

5. Do what you used to do before marriage
It's not like marriage should be all that significant of a change.  I realize that after marriage you live together, can have sex, might move to a new city, and get new jobs, but the relational and emotional aspect of your relationship should be very little affected.  Mark and I frequented coffee shops, sat in the hammock, went on road trips, took random drives, got surprise sonic route 44s, sit and read our bibles or books together, and write notes to each other (Mark more than me, I can't keep up with that dude).  I felt that at the beginning of our marriage we got away from doing some of the things we absolutely loved because we were trying to be a "perfect" couple.  I have learned that marriage is just doing life together, doing what you love with the one you love forever.  It doesn't have to look a certain way or fit a perfect mold or be highlighted in Cosmo or Pintrest in order to be good.  Do what you used to do before marriage, because that is what keeps it fun.  

6. Keep a budget sooner than later
I could write a mountain of crap about this topic, but I won't.  We no longer stress out about the money God has blessed us with because it's his already; however, we want to be faithful stewards and not just look in our bank account to see a number knowing we can make it.  We started using YNAB and have been very excited to allocate our money to certain places.  Keep a budget, sooner than later, because being careless with God's money will bite you in the rear.  Don't say I didn't tell you so.  (if you do want to use YNAB, i have a code that can help you get a discount)


All in all, I am by no means a professional wife and I don't want you to get the vibe that I somehow have perfected the art of wifery.  I don't have all the answers and I am learning how to handle situations in a more effective and Christ-like manner each day.  I can't wait to see what the Lord blesses Mark and I with in the next few months.   


What are some lesson you have learned in marriage?

  

4 comments

  1. Ugh. Where were you like a week ago lady?! I can learn so much from you. I am totally guilty of so many of these things!!! It's so easy to get discouraged in marriage

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm so proud of you both!

    ReplyDelete

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