Monday, October 27, 2014

My Thoughts on Marriage

I've been thinking a lot about marriage lately. Probably because Brent and I just celebrated 10 years of marriage. He read the post I wrote about our anniversary. He asked me after the fact what I meant when I typed 'Marriage is HARD, y'all. Worth it {duh} but hard.' It got me thinking. 

Do I really think marriage is hard?

I definitely think there are days that are hard. There are times when I feel like Brent and I couldn't be on more opposite sides of the spectrum. There are days when I am a grouch or he isn't in the mood to talk or whatever. But when I really think about it, I wouldn't say our marriage has been hard. I have been extremely happy at least 95% of our marriage if I really think about it. I think it is almost that I expect it to be hard therefore I say it's hard?

On Sunday at church, our priest gave an interesting homily that in part touched on marriage. He said 'Don't judge your marriage by how happy you are but by how happy you make your significant other in your marriage.' Whoa. That majorly struck a chord with me. I constantly find myself keeping internal tabs and measuring how Brent compares to me as a spouse. 'Is he going to watch football all day?' 'Why doesn't he help me fold clothes?' etc. etc. etc. But really does that do anybody any good? If I focused on making him happy, would that in turn create more harmony where he would return that sentiment? {Not that he doesn't make me happy, but I think you get my drift.}

Fr. Adrian also said there were 4 things you needed to make your marriage a success. 1) Prayer. 2) Forgiveness. 3) Patience. and 4) Perseverance. Again this was very convicting to me. I definitely lack in patience, my prayer life leaves a lot to be desired, and forgiveness can also be hard for me. So basically, I have persevered. Not really something to brag about when it comes to marriage.

We have lots of friends in all stages of marriage. Newlyweds, pregnant with their first, old veterans like us, even divorced. One friend in particular talks about how she has 'trained' her husband. And it's not quite as archaic as it sounds. When her husband does something nice for her, she rewards him. Which makes him want to continue doing nice things. That's it. That's her strategy for their marriage. Now I counter that with they have been married less than 3 years and don't have kids yet. But really, that sounds a lot like what Fr. Adrian said.

I love my husband. Truly, madly, deeply. But after 10 years of marriage, am I taking our relationship for granted and not making Brent feel loved? Probably. Am I putting his happiness before mine? Not even remotely. Do I practice forgiveness and patience? Nope.

But...CAN I do all these things? For sure! I feel really empowered that, even though we have a really good marriage, I think I can do more to make it great.

So here's to making the next 10 years {times 6 or so) GREAT!


the blogivers said...

Good post for me to read on the heels of a stressful couple of months for my marriage with the big move - thanks for the challenge to do better!

Christine AKA Girl Versus Kitchen said...

Thanks for this - I'm getting married in a few months and it's good to get a perspective on those that have been at it for a decade! Congrats! :)

Karen M. Peterson said...

This is a really great post with some great insights. I think this applies to any relationship, not just marriage. Think of how much better the world would be if we ALL put others first and worried about the happiness of others.