Today is my six month anniversary with my husband. Six months ago on March 23rd we committed our lives to one another, and had an insane party with all of our friends and family. From the moment after we left our reception until now I have not only learned an enormous amount, but grown an enormous amount as a person. It has been full of ups and downs… More ups then downs. And I have discovered that my heart can love far more then I ever thought possible.
The first week Jake and I got married, is what most people would call a honeymoon week. Due to our financial state we chose to save up for a honeymoon and go at later date. So I expected that we would have a grand time going to movies, ice skating, going out to eat, and overall enjoying each others company. My number one objective for that week was to have fun. To my dismay our honeymoon week was full of errands, cleaning, organizing, and overall a bunch of work. Because of that, I got little enjoyment out of our first week of marriage, in fact I actually got a lot of hurt feelings throughout that week. After a week of crying and trying to explain to Jake why I was disappointed we finally had our “lightbulb moment” of what happened.
WE HAD DIFFERENT EXPECTATIONS
Jake and I went through premarital counseling and were warned about the danger of expectations in marriage. Little did we know that our honeymoon week would be our first encounter with them. Jake, being the go getter that he is, wanted to get everything taken care of the week after our wedding. In his mind the more we could get done the less stress we would have going back to our full-time jobs the following week, and therefore the happier I would be. Me, being the girl who just wants to have fun, wanted to enjoy one another the entire week and think of nothing other than each other and wedded bliss. Since we didn’t see the need to talk about what we would do the week after the wedding, we both went into it with vastly different pictures of what we wanted.
Once realizing that was the problem and there was nothing horribly wrong with our relationship I felt much better, and my heart was able to listen and receive what Jake was saying. We learned that week that expectations if unrealistic and not communicated can have some BRUTAL fall out.
I’m sure I’ll be talking about the things I’ve learned in marriage for the rest of my life, but I wanted to touch on one other area that was quite surprising for me when Jake and I first got married.
I like to think of myself as a pretty secure and independent person. I went through two years of a program at my church that allowed me to discover who I really am, realize I have a call and purpose in life, and be okay with all of that. That being said , after getting married Jake and I would get into arguments that would go on for hours purely because we didn’t know how to end them. I was used to having confrontation with people and resolving it in about fifteen-twenty minutes. I would then feel so much better, and we would move on. Well Jake and I found that after we would talk about a disagreement it would still feel unresolved. It was again about two weeks into marriage when I really noticed something that made me feel better, and something that I think is a key in our marriage.
Reassurance is such a powerful tool in marriage! In conflict 9 times out of 10, all I want to hear is something along the lines of, I didn’t mean to come across that way, or I don’t want to make you feel that way, or it’s never my intention to hurt you. Hearing the truth of how Jake feels puts to rest the anxiety in my heart. You see I know everyone makes mistakes, and I am really good at making mistakes. So when I am reassured that they see the mistake and reassured that it wasn’t their intention, it makes me feel more secure.
Reassurance does wonders in conflict, but also in everyday life. I can’t count the number of times Jake has said to me, “but you know I love you, or you know I miss you, or you know I think your beautiful.” Every time I respond with, “yes, but I need to hear it,” and that’s how I feel. Jake may have told me that he thinks I’m beautiful yesterday, but I want and sometimes need to hear it today. There is something about him telling me how he feels and and what he thinks about me that makes me light up. I also can’t tell you how many times Jake will ask me to encourage him, especially after conflict. He wants to know that even after a disagreement I still think he is an amazing man of God. To me it seems so obvious that of course I still think he is an incredible husband, but he also needs my reassurance to be able to move on.
I could write pages and pages about what I’ve learned in marriage the last six month because I feel like I learn something new every day, but I shall leave off with two today. Happy Sixth Month Anniversary Jacob, I love you and am so thankful that God gave me you as my partner for the rest of our lives.