Sarah McCarten

Thirty things about marrige. A guest post from Prudence Landis.

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thirty_thingsPrudence is another one of my I-met-her-on-the-internet-friends. I’m so grateful for the internet and for this post. Thank you Prudence.

On May 26th my husband and I celebrated 12 years of marriage.  Marriage is nothing like I expected.  It isn’t the romantic comedy or the Jane Austen fairy tale.  In ways it’s so much more.

To help celebrate my friend Sarah’s 30th birthday this month I am joining her and thirty other writers sharing thirty things.  Since I am about to celebrate my anniversary, I wanted to share thirty things about marriage.  The beautiful and the unexpected.

The Beautiful…

01. Marriage is so much better than I dreamed:  I didn’t go into marriage with expectations of living out the next (at that time) Jennifer Aniston romantic movie.  I’m not sure what I expected, but I can tell you it’s so much better than my childhood/teenage fantasies.  It’s a connection of two souls.  It’s good.  It’s bad.  Sometimes it’s ugly, and a lot of times it’s wonderful.

02. My marriage is the most priceless thing I have:  It is worth more than my car, my jewelry, the most priceless art in the world.  It is my most prized “possession”.

03. My marriage is also the most fragile thing I have:  I can’t tell you just how fragile marriage is.  How with a simple word, or lack there of, it can break.

04. There are times that are more give than receive:  And here’s the beauty, sometimes it’s more receive than give.  As circumstances in your life change, as jobs drain the life out of one of you, you notice a shift.  One will most certainly move into the bearer-up.  The one who listens, the one who supports, the one who sits silently because there are no words to be said.  And in time things even out, only to shift once again.

05.  Some of the best moments are just spent in quiet:  Perhaps it’s because my husband and I are both introverts and enjoy just having a quiet evening or afternoon, but some of my favorite times have been just being on the couch together even when we’re doing our own thing.

06.  You’re loved much more deeply than you could believe:  It blows my mind at how much my husband loves me.  I never dreamed I’d be loved like this.

07.  YOU much more deeply than you could believe:  It is often times overwhelming the amount of love I have for my husband.  I never believed I could be capable of such depth of love.

08.  The lengths your spouse will go for you, and the lengths you’ll go for them:  These lengths are nothing like crossing a desert or catching a grenade.  They’re far more simple while having so much more depth.

09.  The hard seasons:  I think I may hear you gasping there across from me in this virtual space.  But believe me when I tell you that the hard seasons are truly beautiful.  The hard seasons just as much as the good ones help form the foundation on which you build your marriage.  Don’t discount the beauty that these seasons are and will become.

10.  The sheltering:  One of my favorite places to be is my husband’s arms.  I find a haven and a security there.  When the day has been too much all I long for is to find myself there.

11.  The secrets:  There are things I share about our marriage, and there things that are just for me and for him.  It’s the secret things, the special things.  The things that I treasure.

12.  The holding up:  There is a beautiful picture of marriage when each partner holds up the other.  The last year and a half of my life has been one of struggling with God, of learning to hope again and learning to fly.  My husband has been there to hold me up to help me reform these wings.  While at the same time not allowing me to sit in my pity.

13.  Grace:  To know grace in a marriage is one of the most beautiful things you can know.

14.  The laughter:  My husband can make me laugh like no other.

15.  Building a life together:  There is no one I’d want to do this life with other than the man who married me 12 years ago.  I look back at where we’ve come from and the dreams we’re dreaming and the giant steps we’re making together.  When Mark writes that the two become one, it is true.  We live and breathe our own lives while living and breathing as one.

The Unexpected…

16. At times it gets a lot harder than it used to be:  I had this delusion that marriage would get easier as it went on.  {hahaha}  Some days the effort of making your marriage work is a lot harder than those early formidable years when you’re breaking ground and getting used to living with this strange person you just said I do to..

17. Communication styles change:  My husband & I dated four years before we got married.  We knew each other pretty darn well.  We knew how the other thought and worked and communicated for the most part.  We got married.  And we got lazy.  We didn’t talk because we figured we knew what the other needed to communicate.  We were wrong.  Very, very wrong.  Over 12 years you change, heck over two years you change.  The way you communicate changes.  It’s a progressive learning process.

18. Sex isn’t always easy:  I most recently stated to a friend that I thought that after nearly 12 years of marriage, sex would be a lot easier.  Even without children you find yourself struggling to make the intimacy work.  There are hurdles and distractions that get in the way.  Sometimes, it just needs time, and that’s very difficult some times.

19. Sometimes an argument or discussion can be one of the best things:  Lest you be deluded, every married couple has arguments.  Lest you be even further deluded, arguing isn’t a bad thing.  It’s how you handle it.  Throwing things & yelling = not good.  But there are benefits to having an argument.  For us it’s often brought change in one or both of us.

20. You can’t do it on your own:  My husband and I are realizing that for a more than average marriage we need others to speak into our lives about marriage.  I once heard someone say that we get it wrong with premarital.  Not that premarital counseling is wrong or bad, but we don’t do anything for couples after they say I do.  My husband & I have talked about marriage counseling, not because our marriage is in trouble but because we know we can’t do it on our own.  We need wise couples to speak into our married life just as much

21. The need to date after the wedding bells ring:  Remember what I said above about you changing over the course of your marriage?  Dating each other afterwards helps lessen the blow.  It keeps you on the same page.  It keeps the romance alive.

22.  You change:  I am much more like my husband than I was 12 years ago.  I’m more skeptic, more cynical, more neat & orderly than I was when we got married.  He’s all those things.  He’s worn off on me in good ways.

23.  Fights aren’t always worked out “before the sun goes down”:  I attribute this simply to you each needing space and to sleep it off.  This isn’t to say that you don’t attempt to work it out, you must.  But sometimes you really just need to sleep it off and allow the benefit of time to clear your mind.

24.  Sometimes you just need your own space:  They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Call it self care.  Call it keeping you and your marriage sane.

25.  You don’t necessarily fight over the most common things couples fight about:  My husband and I have never fought about money, yet this is one of the top 5 things couples argue about.  But think about it, you are your own two people with your own baggage, & your own pet peeves.  Don’t expect to argue about the things that are the norm.

26.  Sometimes you arrive at the same place on two different ships:  Even if you & your spouse are very much alike you’re still two different people & personalities.  You won’t always come to the same place in your life at the same time.  Whether it’s children, perspectives on God & church, relocating, etc.  Sometimes the time between your arrival and theirs can even be years.  I’ve learned that while you may have the readiness, there is blessing in the waiting.

27.  Your spouse cares about things you wouldn’t expect them to:  These aren’t major things either.  For example my husband has opinions on my hair.  He cares that I have time to relax rather than having a spotlessly clean house.  As you are married you’ll learn what is important to them, and even over the years those things change.

28.  Even though your spouse is your best friend, you still need a best friend that isn’t your spouse:  My husband is without a doubt my best friend.  But I’ve learned over the years that he can’t be my only source for companionship.  My best friend is the one I can text and ask to pray because he & me are having a big fight.

29.  It isn’t always romance that gets the fire started:  More often than not it’s usually not.  I won’t share here because obviously those things are my secrets.  But while romance and little gifts and hands held are wonderful don’t be surprised when the most unromantic things make your pulse flutter.

30.  With as much as you’re the same, you’re likely that much different:  My husband and I are very similar.  For the most part we like the same kinds of movies, music, foods, etc.  We’re both introverts and the idea of large groups is alienating to the both of us.  But when we dig a little deeper the differences arise.  My love language is Affirmation, while my husbands is Quality Time.  He is an INJT, while I’m a INFP.  We’re so alike and yet so different.  We each operate within this personalities while learning to live, love, and make a life together within the other’s.

Happy Birthday Month Sarah!

{note:  i understand that many don’t have the safety within marriage that I speak of above.  if this is you, know that i have whispered a prayer for you as i write this post.  i understand that even if your marriage is a safe place you’re beautiful things & unexpected things are likely different that mine.  if this is you celebrate those things}

Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes at PrudyChick.com about her life, her experiences, and repairing her wings to fly again. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.

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Author: sarahmccarten

sarahmccarten.com

One thought on “Thirty things about marrige. A guest post from Prudence Landis.

  1. Pingback: 30 Things About Marriage | prudychick.com

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