As a little girl I always dreamed of meeting my prince charming and having the most magical happily ever after. The shoe would fit, I would be swept off my feet and ride away in a beautiful horse and carriage into the sunset, the perfect fairytale. A cute story right? Well that is only in the movies people. I'm just going to be honest for a second about what reality is in this world. Marriage is no perfect fairytale. There is not a single marriage out there that is perfect, and if you think yours is well, as nice as I can say it, you are lying. I married my husband almost a year ago and the things I have learned in that short amount of time far exceed what I thought I would learn in ten years of marriage! So, I am here to share with you all our story rather than fairytale, and what I have gained in knowledge as a wife thus far.
As some of you know, mine and Nate's relationship was long distance until we got married. I remember so many days saying, "Oh I cannot wait to just be married. Everything else will be so much better once we are both in the same city doing everyday life together. It will be so perfect!" I quickly learned in our premarital counseling that life would not be perfect just because we would finally be in the same place together. I realized it was going to take work, lots of work! Whew, okay Neely, are you ready for this? I mean this is going to be giving up a lot of yourself, and I don't just mean being selfless, but I am talking not always having everything your way. You good? Okay, let's do this!!
Marriage is portrayed today as this Cinderella Story. You wait for months or years to get that perfect ring and then you spend hours upon hours of your time on Pinterest looking for all the right details, colors, cakes, decor and more. Then you get the most adorable pictures taken and send out your save the dates, have multiple showers, go on a bachelorette trip to remember for a lifetime, and then BAM! It's wedding bells! Next is the honeymoon you will never forget and wish you could relive over and over again. For some, when it's back to reality you think to yourself wow, it's really all over. Or if you are like me, you cry the night of your wedding and the first three days of the honeymoon because you can't believe how fast it all went by, how the photographer missed out on so many photos, how you wish you had this bouquet instead of that one, or you just simply cannot believe that you really are a wife and life is about to change forever. Ok, I am acting like this is all terrible. I promise I really do adore my husband!!
Some things I have learned in my marriage:
1. Never compare your marriage to someone else's. It is very hard in today's world with all the movies, or even simply with what you may see your friends have. Just remember that you do not know everything that goes on behind the scenes. Our marriage was meant for and created just for us. There is not a single marriage out there that is a perfect fairytale, so don't bother comparing.
2. It takes work. Hard-work. It's a full time job and everyday it gets better, and everyday you learn new things. There are several obstacles to get through sometimes before you work out the tough stuff. So, it is just fine to feel like you're the only one getting upset about your husband leaving socks and underwear on the floor because more than likely every other woman in this world feels the same way!
3. As wives, we should always encourage and speak uplifting words to our husbands. They need respect and we need love. If they don't feel we respect them, it's hard for them to show us love and vice versa. I try and always tell Nate how proud I am of him for being such an amazing leader and being a man of great integrity. I often thank him for always working so hard to provide for us. I need to be better at it. It comes with time.
4. Never go to bed angry. Wow, I am so guilty of this!! We have made a rule that even if we stay up until 3 in the morning, we work it out. Life is too short to stay angry. We are on each other's team, why would we ever want to be in competition? Nate and I are so different in many ways, but that is what I love the most because we help each other in areas where the other one isn't so great!
5. This marriage is not all about me, in fact it isn't about me at all. I know, I was surprised too. It is about serving my husband and having another person to do life with. All of life's decisions, choices, adventures, memories are now ours, not mine. I have to think about HIM more, and about ME less.
Marriage to me is the perfect example of God's unconditional love for us. It has been the hardest thing I've experienced thus far in my life, yet it is the most rewarding. My husband is, has been, and will always be my greatest blessing. He is the strength where I am weak, and everyday I am learning so much. Marriage is true sacrificial love, meaning you have to be willing to lay down your life for the other person, literally. I gained some incredible wisdom in the last year and I want to share it with all of you wives out there, even engaged or single women. I learned that whatever you speak over your men, that he will become. Remember this ladies. I am choosing to speak all the positive qualities I know my husband has over him instead of what makes me crazy, or that I don't like. I pray for him everyday, and I am continuing to learn my role as a wife. I will forever be adjusting. I don't think it stops when I finally called this place home, or when I feel like I am getting the hang of things. I believe it's an on going journey and I will always be gaining knowledge! We are all together in this, so please share what you have learned in your marriage or relationship down below!
Until next time...