Monday will mark 2 years since I married Nick. Things haven’t been perfect, but they have been great. I still can’t believe this is real life. And while I’m not an expert on marriage by any means, I have learned a few things over these last 2 years.
Sometime I need to go to bed angry.
Read any list of tips for a happy, healthy marriage and they almost always say don’t go to bed angry. But the truth is, that doesn’t always work for me. I’m not a night person at all. So if Nick and I find ourselves in an argument at the end of the day, I just can’t resolve it right then. At that point, I’m tired, overwhelmed, and irrational. When Nick tries to engage a conversation, I find myself even more angry, defensive, and just plain hurtful. But given the opportunity to sleep on it, I’m much more able to put into words what I’m feeling, I can hear Nick better, and can actually come to a resolution. Of course Nick would prefer we didn’t go to bed angry and it’s not that I enjoy it either, but in the long run it usually works out for the best.
God doesn’t have a plan for me.
He has a plan for us. After moving to Bartonville, I felt like a tag along. Nick’s doing amazing work in the church and has developed a lot of relationships. It was very obvious that God had called him here, but it felt like God had forgotten a calling for me. I was lonely and felt like I had no purpose. But God has called us together as a couple, which means our purpose is intertwined as well. Not that God has the same plan for both of us, but we are both part of one larger plan. I believe that God has placed us here because it the best place for both of us; I just haven’t discovered my part of plan yet.
The work isn’t split 50-50.
There are days I feel like I do everything here. I do the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. I mow the yard, rake the leaves, and shovel the snow. At times, I convince myself Nick has it made. He doesn’t have to do anything. Except, you know, his 40+ hour job each week. Without the work he does, we wouldn’t have the money for the things I do. His job at the church is just as much a part of the housework as what I do. Besides, I get to spend all day in sweatpants and I love mowing the yard. Some would say that I have it made, and they’d be right.
Some things just take time.
My experience with Nick has been like we’re living in fast forward. We were dating for 2 months and then got engaged, 4 months later we were married, and 2 months later I was pregnant. In such a short time, I already can’t remember what life was like before Nick. But we’ve only been married for 2 years, and that’s really not long. Our marriage is still in the infancy stage and will take time to mature. There’s no shortcut or 10 best practices, just plain ole time will bring us closer and make things better.
So this is what I’ve learned and am learning about marriage. Like I said, I’m definitely not an expert. These aren’t tried and true tips for everyone, but just a reflection on my 2 years of marriage. I hope it encourages others to reflect on their marriages and the things that make them strong.