I have had to learn a lot of things since I got married just over 4 1/2 years ago. A lot of things! Thankfully, I've been willing to learn and not remain stubborn and stuck in my ways. For the first year or so I had a big wake up call, realizing that I didn't know who I was as a person much less who I was as a wife. I was expecting my husband to define me, to tell me who I was, to make me feel happy. And when he didn't (because that's not his place.) I became angry and quite frankly, lost and depressed. How could I be a happy part of a marriage when I was so unhappy with who I was as a person? I honestly thought about giving up a few times. But I knew I truly, truly loved my husband with all my heart. And I didn't want to just give up on something I knew I could work out if I truly put my mind to it.
I've always heard that marriage is about compromising and sacrificing. But of course I applied all of that to my husband, not to myself. I was waiting for him to compromise and waiting for him to sacrifice. Not realizing I wasn't doing the very thing I was demanding of him. I really had to make a mental change and a heart change. At the time we start attending a new church, I was resistant and angry. I didn't want to hear about other people making their marriages work. I didn't want to hear that I was probably doing things wrong! No one ever wants to hear that. But through an miracle of God, I began to allow my heart to soften and started seeing the errors of my ways. I was young and wanted my independence and yet I was so dependent upon my husband too. I was expecting him to "parent" me because I had never been out from under my parents. At least not for long! I hadn't had to make a lot of decisions on my own. I hadn't had to work things out with someone, to compromise and find a happy medium. Living with my parents it was about listening to them and obeying rules ( and rightly so.....). So for awhile I tried to just do whatever my husband wanted - I tried to do things the way I knew he liked and completely forgot myself. I became angry because I never felt like I had a say in things but it was my fault for not speaking up more.
Luckily, we both have changed so much. We have learned how to compromise and we've learned how to make sacrifices for one another. He works really hard every week so that I can stay home with our daughter. It's not easy but he does it because it's the best thing for his daughter at this point. His love is music, he has had to put that aside a lot of times in order to work and keep up with every day life for us. We've learned that fighting, yelling and exchanging words we WILL regret later doesn't help anything. If we have a disagreement, we talk it out. Explain our opinions, sides and reasons. Most of the time we are more on the same page then we think. I've found that if I put him first, think of him first then he does the same for me. Instead of trying to force him to do it! We aren't perfect, we don't have it all together but we are happy and life is so much more simple to understand now. We enjoy doing things together, we like a lot of the same things - going to dinner, seeing movies at the theater, good music, concerts, etc.
It upsets me when I see "happy" couples who have things unbalanced in their marriages. Like I said before, our marriage isn't perfect but we strive daily to think of each other over ourselves. I see couples where one of them is constantly talking about all the other one does for them, and how the one sacrifices for the other all the time, how the one does everything the other one asks of them, etc. The one never does things or goes places the other one likes because "I" don't like it. How selfish. Luckily Beej and I like most of the time foods, movies and music. But if we didn't, and there are still times when that happens, then I would make the sacrifice to still do things with my husband that he loves and enjoys because I want him to be happy, and not just on his birthday! Lol! It irritates me to hear things like "We don't eat there because I don't like it...." or " We don't go do that because I don't want to....." Wow. Selfishness. I feel sorry for the other spouse. The pretend that those kind of things don't bother them but I don't care how selfless you are at some point always giving and not receiving in return will wear you down.
Here is my advice to both married couple and serious dating couples - even when you want to put yourself first, or when you want so badly to "prove" your point let it go and simply remember that by giving to your significant other while in turn reap rewards for you in the end! If you give, they will return it and in the end you both will be happy with each other!
I love my husband more then anything - is my best friend, my advice giver, my musical genius, my big dreamer, my hard worker, my inspiration.....I'm so glad that I'm married to him and can call him mine forever! I'm so glad that we were able to look past ourselves and see each other. We have a beautiful marriage and a beautiful family. I am still learning daily who I am - I am more then just a wife and a mother. My husband constantly encourages me to find myself and I can't thank him enough for that! In return, I give him (hopefully!) the space and time he needs to find himself and define who he is even more.