To you, Young Bride.
I was you a decade ago, and wow it’s flown! Congratulations on your love, I am so happy for you and your sweetheart! I know you have a big and bright future ahead of you full of many adventures, hurdles, and unexpected surprises. The path before you is yours and it has some amazing potential! It really does. I have such hope for you!
I hope you’ll remember that just because you’re pronounced ‘husband’ and ‘wife’, there is no angel chorus and beam of heavenly light that transfers all the knowledge of how to be/have a spouse to your newly-married self. The best you can do is your best. The best he can do is his best. And sometimes ‘best’ isn’t near enough. When those times come, keep in mind your spouse has your best interests at heart- even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time. Keep in mind he’s human and you’re human and when tempers run hot and feelings are tender it isn’t the best time to hash it out. Take a moment. Create some temporary breathing room, then come back. It’ll be worth it.
Marriage is like the sea. It comes in waves, the tide rolling in and going out; sometimes it leaves behind treasures that weren’t there before. Prepare your marriage for assault BEFORE it happens. Discuss “what would happen if…”, “how would we handle…,” “when one of us is feeling _______, how will we fix it?” Having strategies, laying out a procedure for how to handle hazardous situations, contingency plans in place for when plan A, B, and C aren’t working…it matters. It could be the Saving Grace your marriage needs, your triage on the battlefield of life.
Your marriage is going to be attacked. By people, by life, by monotony, by the Enemy. You will go through something hard. Something that will make or break your marriage. You will make it. You will. And the miraculous thing that happens when you emerge out of the darkness of that season is that the next time something difficult happens you’ll think “We’ve been through worse. I don’t know how we’ll make it out this time, but we did last time, so I know we can.” And you will.
Be friends. Communicate. Let words flow between you crazy. Communication is like dressing your marriage in flame retardant garments. Often you will solve a problem before it becomes one. Talk about the guardrails you will put up in your marriage, so you won’t run off course. Guardrails are there so when you run into them, your alarm bells start going off like an obnoxious minion, “Beedo, beedo, beedo!”. Talk about all the good you’re seeing your spouse do, encourage and build each other up, tease each other and flirt. Have so much FUN together! Being silly is the best kind of marriage strengthener. Talk about your dreams, your goals, your hopes, and your insecurities.
Speaking of insecurities, address them. If you don’t talk to your husband about these things, you’re more apt to find reassurance else-where and what starts as innocent can quickly become anything but. Being vulnerable can be so hard, so revealing and scary- especially if maybe the reason you’re feeling insecure or tender is because of your spouse. Not talking about it lets the problem fester and can lead to bitterness and resentment. Just pull that Band-Aid off in one swipe and let him have the opportunity to learn to love you better.
Have goals. Be a team. Work together. Travel. Experience new things. Be all in. Baby-proof (not your house, your marriage). Seriously. Babies are so fun and precious and cute. BUT they’re also demanding, exhausting, and can leave two hard-working, contributing partners feeling unloved, unappreciated, and unseen.
Lastly, remember the person you married isn’t the person you’ll end up with. Love who he is, but also learn to love who he’ll become. If this goes the way I hope it will, then you’ll change too and you’ll both be the better for it.
Happy beginnings to you, and all my hope for the gorgeous picture you’ll build out of your life together.
Books you may find helpful: (Qualifier: As with anything, pick out the tidbits that are applicable for your life! Leave the rest.)
Love and Respect
5 Love Languages
Baby Proofing Your Marriage
For The Love
Flame retardant garments link:
Amanda is an Austin Texas girl living in a Colorado world with her high school sweetheart, Michael, and their four littles, Jace (9), Aubrie (7), Kherington(6), and Levi(2). She is a homeschooling, stay-at-home-mama who loves impromptu dance parties in pjs, family photography, belly laughs, and a gabbing over a glass of wine. With her creative, gypsy spirit matched ironically to Mike’s steady, logical one, their home is an off-beat chorus of logical parenting and spontaneous adventures. Amanda is a believer in real community, in soul-deep investment in others, and building up the family unit. You can find her family focused blog here or take a look at her fun family photography shoots here.