My husband and I have been married almost six years now. That's not really a long time, so I don't always feel qualified to give marriage advice. After all, we're just starting out. What do I know? But there are a few things I do know, most of which I've learned the hard way. Here are five things I wish I had known before I got married. Maybe you'll relate?
Before we got married, I knew that marriage was hard, but I figured it was hard like a calculus test or like trying to not eat chocolate for a day. Sure, it would take work, but as long as you were both committed to the relationship and to each other, everything would pretty much figure itself out.
Yeah, so not the case. Marriage is hard! Even when I have the very best of intentions, I inevitably mess up and do the wrong thing. And by the time I get one thing right, I feel like I've dropped the ball on five others in the meantime. My husband says I'm a good wife. I try really hard! But some days I'm not so sure. E for effort, right?
2. Two Heads are Better Than One
Back in my pre-kidlet days, I read a lot of books, and I had very definite ideas on how things should be. (OK, I still do!) I cringe now to think of some of the ridiculous things I insisted upon. What I didn't realize then was that my husband had some pretty good ideas too; he just didn't have a chance to share them because I was so busy insisting on my own way. While I definitely still have some (OK, a lot!) of work to do in this area, I am now much more interested in what my husband has to say and his opinion on things. Sometimes he comes up with some pretty great ideas!
3. Your Wedding Day Really is Just One Day
I am totally one of those girls who dreamed about her wedding day since the day she knew what a wedding day was. I had it ALL planned out before I even met my husband. Sure, it was only one day, but it was THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF MY LIFE. So, naturally, everything had to be perfect. And then we'd continue on with our perfect marriage from there!
Now, looking back almost six years later, I wouldn't pick my wedding day as the most important day of my life. Yes, it was an important day, and a very, very good day that I would do over again in a heartbeat. But it really was just one day. It was just a fleeting moment in what I hope will become a lifetime of moments. And if I had to pick a day to live again and again, my wedding day wouldn't be it. I'm not sure which one I would pick, but probably just a normal day in the life of our family. That's where the real joy is at.
Before we got married, we went through all the marriage questions to make sure that we agreed on all of our answers. How many kids do you want? Who is responsible for which chores? Will I stay home or work? We had it all figured out. Or so I thought.
What I didn't realize is how much plans would change. For example, I thought I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom … until I was one and I was bored to tears! He didn't want me working, and I felt horrible because I knew that's not what he had signed up for. Thankfully, we settled into me being a work-at-home mom, and it's been fantastic - just not what either of us planned!
I remember being in college and thinking how much I didn't want the typical "go to college … get married … have kids …." route that everyone else seemed to take on auto-pilot. I don't know what I was hoping for instead, but it just seemed so boring and routine.
Until I did go to college, get married, and have kids. Now I completely understand why everyone does this! This is awesome! Yes, it's a lot of routine. It's a lot of dirty diaper changing, picking up the same messes again and again, and waking up every morning without enough sleep … but it's anything but boring. Of all of the places I could be in the entire world, there's nowhere else I would choose to be.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Equipping Godly Women. It has been republished here with permission.
A devoted Christian, wife and mother, Brittany loves helping other women grow in these roles as well. When she isn’t busy taking care of her growing family, you can find her at Equipping Godly Women, where she regularly shares tips, tricks and encouragement to help you be the amazing woman God created you to be. Brittany also has a thriving online community on Facebook as well.