I was an honor over the last year to host the personal stories of the 14 women who wrote for the Marriage Diaries. Today I wanted to share some of the little pearls of wisdom that stood out and stayed with me, even months later. (Except we’re calling these pearls “diamonds,” because—marriage!)
Thank you so much to everyone who contributed and commented and shared. I loved every entry. I hope you enjoy browsing these honest reflections.
How many chores would he do? What would he do to make me feel good? What would he say to help me feel special? These were the questions I pondered—and carried with me into my marriage.
I held those questions—and expectations for their answers—tightly as I walked down the aisle. I packed them carefully into the suitcase I took on our honeymoon, and I made sure they made it into one of the boxes we hauled into our first apartment…With so much energy poured into my good husband checklist, of course I didn’t waste time thinking about what kind of wife I was.
It was only after counseling and a lot of soul-searching that I realized my expectations, combined with my insistence on being right and having rights, were ruining my chance at a happy marriage.
When we got married, we didn’t know that most conflicts in marriage aren’t even solvable. There’s not a “fix” for every problem, and realizing this took a lot of the pressure off: we weren’t aiming for a perfect solution to every disagreement, just one we both could live with.
All these years later, we still fight poorly. I thought it would get easier over the years; it hasn’t. But in a strange way recognizing that it’s hard for us—and that we’re not striving for a perfect solution to every problem—has made it easier all the same.
Hard times can be even harder when you experience them in marriage.
It seems as though the inverse should be true. Going through something hard with someone by your side can be so empowering, feeling as though someone else has your back. Still, going through something hard while trying to communicate well, continue to be selfless, deal with someone else’s feelings that may be different from your own…. well that can also be a recipe for disaster.
I don’t see us as having two separate lives that occasionally line up. We are knit together, our days are dependent on one another, our family is a living and breathing organism that functions best when we’re both fully aware and attentive.
We became parents just 9 months after we were married—and we were babies ourselves. We’ve grown up together and have become husband and wife, as we were becoming mom and dad. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that it’s been stressful. My selfish heart shines through daily, and it’s a constant battle to not feed it. Lots of days, I don’t succeed. But then I have a few days where Jesus wins my heart, and I don’t quite feel like it’s all about me. Those are days that I consider a win.
If you’d like to catch up on any other posts, you can access the full series here. Much love!
Congratulations to Colleen at Meet the Sullivans for winning $50 to Polaroid Fotobar! And thank you to everyone who subscribed to the newsletter last week. I really appreciate it!
Photo by Rebekah Westover Photography