My husband and I have only been married a little over four years and we still have a lot to learn about what it takes to make a marriage work. We have a rather unique love story; we dated, got married and moved to a new state all within 4 months. And then 3 months after that, we found out we were pregnant with our little boy. With so many big life changes happening all at once we were stretched to our limits in every way possible.
A lot of people thought we were crazy to get married so quickly and then on top of that to have a baby within the first year of marriage. Looking back I have to say that they were right; we were CRAZY, but crazy works for us! All of those events were in God’s perfect timing and you can’t argue with that. Since our lives have been on the fast track for several years, it has forced us to stretch and grow as individuals and as a couple. It hasn’t been easy but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. People say that the first three years of marriage are the hardest and praise the Lord we are past that hurdle!
Before I begin with some lessons I am learning in my marriage, let’s take a second and be real with each other. My husband and I fight. You can blame it on the sleep depravity, the constant motion of being stretched thin or any other catalyst that eventually brings it out, but it happens.
The biggest lessons that I am learning in our marriage is…
BE THE FIRST TO MAKE A CHANGE!
Let that sink in for just a minute…Be the first to make a change….
I know that you’re thinking, “Why should I be the one to change when my husband is the one who makes me mad?” I get it because that’s what I used to think too. You can just go ahead and add this to the running list you have in your head of why you are frustrated with your husband (be honest we all do it at some point). But if you want to see a change in your marriage, then YOU need to be the one who makes a change first.
As wives we wish that we could change our husbands, but the truth is we can’t and no amount of nagging is going to fix the problem. The one person we can change though is ourselves. I feel the best thing we can do for our marriages is to reflect on ourselves and see where we can improve. Although I like to believe at times that I am perfect and that the only reason my husband and I fight is because I am right and he is wrong (wives can I get an amen?!), but that really isn’t the case because there is always room for improvement in our lives. In addition, if we run around with this attitude we can fall prey to the crazy cycle. A book that I highly recommend if you haven’t read it already is, “Love and Respect.” I wont go into too much detail about the crazy cycle, but it is referring to the constant offense that we keep heaping on each other, unless someone decides to break it. One thing that has made a real impact into my marriage is the commitment of my husband and I to break the crazy cycle together. Sometimes, okay okay a lot of the times it is him breaking it, but there are times where I break the cycle. This allows us to move on and not view our relationship through the goggles of offense. Adjust your attitude and then pray for your husband because the only one that can change his heart is God.
When I stopped focusing on the changes my husband needed to make and started focusing on the changes I needed to make, our marriage flourished. And you know what the crazy thing is…my husband noticed and he WANTED to change because he saw the effort I was putting into our marriage.
It’s easy to get into the vicious cycle of nitpicking. Remember that you and your husband are on the same team! Instead of keeping score to see who is ahead or who has done more, try to help each other out because when you work together, your family gets the benefits!