If I’ve learned anything about my marriage by hanging out with other newly-marridish couples, it’s that A) my husband isn’t so weird after all, and B) having friends we can be honest with about our triumphs and struggles is so incredibly important.
<*And to clarify “A”…I don’t think my friends’ husbands are weird either. It just turns out that some things I find weird are actually just typical dude behaviors. Who knew?!>
“B” has been the biggie for me. Going into marriage I <and I don’t feel like I’m alone in this ladies! *wink*> had so many expectations as to what it would look like and feel like and be like. Chris had his own set of expectations, and I’m sure you aren’t surprised to hear that our expectations didn’t always line up. Not all expectations were bad or unrealistic…a lot were formed from our own respective families, how we were raised, and the examples of marriages we’ve seen.
But some of the expectations we placed on ourselves? Just plain silly. Ridiculous. Wrong, even.
Before I give you the wrong impression, let me assure you that Chris and I received wonderful support and advice from our parents, and went through a pretty intensive pre-marital counseling with a couple we respect and admire greatly. We aren’t having problems, and I think we’ve got pretty rockin’ communication skills overall.
I’m just sharing my observations as a newly-married gal (how long can I claim that anyway?)…
There are so many places blame could be placed…media, movies, advice-columnists…it goes on and on. But the thing that makes me the most sad is when it is Christians who are adding to the confusion.
Rather than get all negative on ya here, I’ll reframe this situation. 😉
What makes me happy is Christians who are willing to be open and honest about what happens in their marriages. Couples who share the day to day struggles, not to degrade their spouse, but to open themselves up to Godly counsel and accountability and as an encouragement to others. Couples who share what got them through their hard times, how they relate to one another, and the joys they find in being married.
Within the context of our homegroup, a place where we feel safe and know we are among Christian friends, we’ve discussed things that some couples never open up to others on. Finances, tithing, family planning, past relationships / the effect of those on our marriages, family dynamics, arguments, relationship growing pains…heck, we’ve even gotten into politics a little. 😉 We don’t always agree, or enter a conversation from the same place…but we’ve made an agreement not to judge and I always leave feeling loved.
I mean honestly, do you know how refreshing it is to hear a couple say “We’ve had a hard week. I’ve taken things out on my spouse that I shouldn’t have, and we have been pretty disconnected.” versus “Oh yeah, we’re great.”?!
When people are willing to get real with one another, true friendship forms and it spurs on growth in one another. That’s all I’m sayin. 😉
In this spirit, I came across a blog written by a Christian-Canadian woman. <Not sure it matters that she’s Canadian; just thought I’d throw it out there I guess.> She fits in with this post because she is incredibly real, I found her posts to be practical and helpful and spot on, and because I just read her latest book and received so much assurance from it. I won’t get into the book too much…but if you see it on the website and want more info before you think about reading it just shoot me a comment & I’ll get back with you.
…To Love, Honor, and Vacuum: Real Marriage, No Pretensions …check it out!
I hope you’ll look for opportunities to be real today…you never know when someone is needing to hear that they aren’t alone!
KEEP CALM & GET REAL!
P.S. – Remember my post on Praise vs. Fear? Well I saw this on pinterest and of course I *loved* it…think I’ll print it out and frame it. 🙂