Lessons Learned by a Newlywed
So this whole marriage thing is tough, am I right? Well, I mean, I know I’m right, because I’m living it. Don’t get me wrong though: Marriage is THE BEST. It also just happens to be the toughest thing I've done. #whoknew Click To Tweet
Okay, kidding again a little. Everyone who is already married knew, and they warned us more than once. Now that I’ve been in the marriage boat for just a little while I know for myself: every single person who told me marriage would be hard wasn’t kidding.
To be perfectly honest, I also think our little marriage has gone through more than most, and several of our trusted friends and mentors would agree.
God has a funny sense of humor when it comes to trials I’ve found. Sometimes it doesn’t feel very fair. But He must think we can handle it, or He wouldn’t have allowed it.
First, we began with one whole family and one broken one. My husband, Caleb, has never met my dad because he passed away when I was 18. There’s a weird feeling about that that’s never really going to go away. My dad didn’t walk me down the aisle. Caleb asked my mom’s permission to marry me. My dad will never meet my husband or my kids, and they will only know pictures and stories of him.
On top of my mom dealing with being a single parent, the entire family has also been affected by my brother’s battle with cancer. Caleb has been an incredible support for us all, but this battle also affects our marriage: last minute flights to California when we first found out, nights of him being a strong shoulder for me to cry on, and the struggle of wanting to help but being so far away.
In our own little world in Spokane, we’ve also added being college seniors and student teaching into the mix of marriage. Balancing friends, school, part-time jobs, and a new marriage has been stressful and draining to say the least.
Alright, enough of that stuff. I’m starting to get teary. Let’s get to some of the light-hearted goodness. And let’s all enjoy this sweet picture from my wonderful friend at Lindsey Gillis Photography.
GOD IS INCREDIBLE. He is so, so, so much bigger than the trials He allows. Here’s what we’ve learned in the middle of this mess of marriage:
It takes way longer for two people to get ready and get out the door
Even though it really seems like it shouldn’t. We’ve laughed at ourselves many a time because we each have our way of doing things to get ready to go, and we expect the other person to do the same. We’re slowly getting better at sharing the duties before we leave the house (turning off the lights, locking the door, etc.). We’ve also found that when one of us needs more time (usually me, sorry for adding the feminine stereotype) the other can practice patience and pick up any slack.
There are SO MANY opportunities to practice patience in marriage
Especially considering you are joining two completely different patterns of thinking, ways of living, two sets of habits, and two unique hearts and emotions. It turns out I’ve needed to practice patience a lot more than my dear, sweet, kind husband though… But we are both human, and we both get frustrated, so we’ve learned what to do. Part of patience in our marriage means taking the time to listen well, to say what you’re thinking, and come to a place of understanding so issues are resolved with little tension left.
It is super, duper fun to have your best friend around all the time
Recently, Caleb told me part of what he loved about being married to me was that he was so happy to hang out with his best friend all the time. What a sweetheart. ❤ It is seriously so fun! Grocery shopping, doing dishes, even watching TV is more fun because we get to do it together. When our schedule gets packed and we can’t hang out as much, it is so noticeable in both our moods (especially me, since one of my love languages is quality time). But usually those lulls in quality time make us treasure the time we do have even more.
Talking is HUGE
We’ve learned to talk as much as we can, and to use specifics whenever possible. With everything we’ve been through, we couldn’t stay strong unless we were honest about our feelings and emotionally supportive of each other. We even have a list of “feeling words” posted in our kitchen so that we can pinpoint our emotions and work through them together in a healthy way. Talking was especially important when dealing with our intimacy issues. Without a consistent dialogue between us, we would have become closed off from each other and nothing would ever be solved.
Giving ourselves and each other grace matters most.
And we’re committed. I’m thankful that God has given us plenty of opportunities to recognize how strong our marriage is already. He’s shown us that we chose right (or really, that HE chose right 😉). And He’s also given us a lot of support in our decision to get married when we did, even though it was a little younger than the average these days. God has been kind to us. He’s been so, so good, as He always is.
It’s been more ups than downs these last few months, but the most important takeaway is this: God has given us grace in our failures, and the beauty of marriage is that we’ve committed to do the same forever.God has given us grace in our failures, and the beauty of marriage is that we've committed to do the same forever. Click To Tweet
Any advice for these newlyweds as we move forward? Comment below or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Susannah Judd
Hello, my lovelies! I am the author and owner of wearethelovelyones.com. I am so excited to share in this journey through life and faith with you! One of my favorite things we are called to as believers is sharing life together. I also love cookies of any kind, my darling husband Caleb, and of course, Jesus himself. Check out my “About Me” page for more. 😉