Whoever told you that marriage is all sex, chocolate and roses LIED!!!

29 Jun

As I sit and write on this warm summer afternoon, I feel blissful and at peace.   I just witnessed a summer storm – the kind where the sun is shining and the rain falls softly, filling my nose with smells of flowers, fresh earth, and dewy grass.  After I came inside, I marinated the salmon for dinner, fed the baby and put him to sleep, and am now writing as I sip on an iced vanilla latte. 

In about another hour, my husband will come home from work, and I will jump up and greet him, and make him a plate of salmon, fried rice, and his favorite, Texas Toast!!   (….I know these foods don’t neccesarily go together, but I don’t care…he doesn’t mind, so neither do I.)  And so, on this pleasant summer afternoon, I can only thank God that today, life is good! 

But I also remember my Sunday school teacher once saying that “if things are going too well, watch out…you must not be doing a lot for Jesus, or else Satan would be attacking you…”  In other words, when we are really doing God’s will for our lives, things aren’t always easy…people turn on us.  They become jealous of our blessings.  People who once loved us all of a sudden turn on us and become enemies, and may even start gossipping, lying, or spreading rumors about us.  The Bible says that we are “not of this world,” or that we are to live “in this world, but not of this world,” (John 15:19.)  As believers, we are here to serve God and enjoy our lives here on earth, but we know that earth is not our final destination.  Our lives here can be happy from time to time, but we will still experience pain, heartbreak, and sadness.  Only in heaven will things be perfect. 

So, that being said, are we to mope around, just waiting for God to sweep us up and take us to heaven, where the streets are paved with jellybeans and lined with cotton-candy trees?  Heck no!  Enjoy your life now…you are here for a time, (even if it’s short,) so you might as well enjoy yourself, make the most of it, and live it up!!

But getting back to my blissful day, you might be thinking, Wow, married life must be so wonderful….Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a second…things weren’t always this good.  It takes work to get along with your husband or wife.  But when you finally get it to work out, it is wonderful.  But let’s rewind back about three years to when we were first married.  Of course the first three months of marriage are still the “honeymoon stage.”    If you are a guy, your facebook posts talk about how your wife is making you dinner, and how you are married to the most beautiful angel on earth.  If you are a girl, your facebook posts talk about how sweet your husband is, and how God has blessed you with the most wonderful man alive.  Ok…, check in with that same couple about four or five months later when the honeymoon excitement has worn off…how are they doing now?  Hmmmmmm…..

Well, after the honeymoon stage is when you really get to know the other person.  For instance, I found out that water spots, (my husband insists that they were “lakes,”) on the bathroom sink were unacceptable, when previously, I thought that they just meant that I’d brushed my teeth…   I found out that I had been putting the toilet paper on the roll the wrong way all this time, and that there is a right way to put toilet paper on the roll..   Basically, I found out all the differences that my husband and I had, and I didn’t like it!!  

As a single person, you don’t have to compromise day in and day out.  If you think that things should be done a certain way, you just do it…not so in marriage….   And now, all of those things that he did which were sooooo cute while you were dating are now just plain annoying!  Furthermore, in the lovely journey of compromise, (a.k.a. marriage,) it will seem as though every day, a new situation presents itself in which you have differing ideas on something.  For example, you may want to confront the person at the supermarket who just bumped into your cart, but your husband tells you not to do it because it will embarrass him…   And further, you disagree on the mere name of the device that you push through supermarket…you call it a “shopping cart,” but your husband, (who hails from the South,)  calls it a “buggy….”   Or, your wife wants to decorate the living room with rosebuds and pink figurines, and you, on the other hand,  don’t want your house to turn into a delicate, flowery, woman-cave….  

And when it comes to your views and ideas about life, the world, or any other debatable topic,  there will be times in your marriage when you just know that you are right, but you have someone telling you that you’re wrong…  So what do you do?  …Do you argue behind closed doors, and then go out in public acting as if everything is okay, and that you are the perfect couple?  …Yeaaahhhh, that’s what you do, right?? 

Wrong!  After being married for a while, you learn one of the best lessons that will take you soooo far in getting along with each other: Agree to disagree.  It’s not worth the three hours of arguing…just let it go…no two people are the same, and sometimes, you just don’t see eye to eye…and that’s OK…   But when you’re first married, you want them to see where you are coming from, and are just waiting for them to shut up so you can make your point.  …And they are doing the same….so no one is really hearing the other.   Or, you try and talk louder than the other person and interrupt as they make their point so that you can be heard…  And instead of hearing them out and acknowledging their point and really trying to see the situation from their side, you dismiss their ideas as “dumb” and start making your own point again…   This type of back-and-forth will never work. 

Instead of talking over the other person, agree that you will take some time after the initial argument, blow-up, or disagreement.  The worst thing that you can do is to argue in the heat of the moment, (trying to get the other person to see your point.)  Go to opposite sides of the house, (or apartment,)  and cool down.  Then come back together, and explain your feelings.  Each person should be allowed to talk and express what they are feeling in its entirety without being interrupted, while the other listens and truly tries to understand.  If you still cannot come to an agreement, pray about it, and seek counsel from a happily married couple who has some years behind them, or schedule an appointment with a counselor for the both of you.  Again, only one person going to counseling will result in them telling just their side of the story, (whether they are trying to be fair or not.)  You both need to be there so that the whole truth comes out, and not just one side.  Even if you feel that you are not guilty, still go!  You just might learn some things about yourself that you did not know before…

I know that can be hard to admit that you need help, especially if you’re used to being the one who has all the answers…but if things are going from bad to worse to rock bottom in your relationship, then what do you really have to lose by going to counseling?  Things already suck, so why not try and talk things out with an unbiased person who has been trained in conflict resolution? 

Also, keep in mind that after awhile, people are going to get tired of hearing the same ol’ story about how your relationship is at an all time low.  Your friends will care at first, but eventually, they are going to get tired of hearing the same story over and over if you aren’t willing to do anything to change it…  As harsh as it may sound, I like to tell my friends that they have one month to tell me about their problems with a guy or girl…I will give them my undivided attention, listening ear, and sympathy for one month, but if they refuse to do anything about it or get counseling, then they cannot tell me about the same problem after a certain point.  After awhile, it’s time to stop talking about things and actually doing things to make your situation better…  It’s kind of like the person who complains to you all day about being “broke,” yet refuses to get a job…after awhile, you’d probably want to tell them that if they have no intention of getting a job, then they need to stop complaining to you everyday about having no money…

I remember once telling someone that my love languages (the behaviors that I like for my husband to show towards me) were quality time and physical touch.  Then I went on to say that I didn’t know what his were….or in other words, that I knew what I wanted, but that I had no idea what he wanted…  This thinking is partly because these days, we are often raised to be independent, individualistic, and to “find” ourselves…well this is great when you are single, but when you become married, it’s not all about you anymore.  Instead, seek to find out what it is that your partner likes, and try to do those things.  (I don’t just mean sexually, I mean, if they like flowers, buy them a bouquet of tulips every now and then….    Or, if they like to go outside and enjoy nature, don’t just sit inside all the time because you’re “not an outdoorsy-type person,” while they are depressed and bored because they want to go hiking… )  Again, once you become married, it’s not just about you anymore… Figure out what it is that the other person likes to do, and satisfy that need in their lives….  Remember, if you don’t, someone else might… 

In addition, be the fun, spontaneous person that you were before you got married.  And show them love and kindness in speaking to them even after you’ve been married for a while…don’t get so comfortable with each other that you start speaking disrespectfully to each other…keep up the kind words and flirting that you did when you were first dating, and your marriage will sizzle!!! 

Again, before marriage, we’re so used to it being all about US.  We take the quizzes to find out our true personality type.  We are quick to tell others what our purpose is, what we’re going to accomplish, and what our goals are.  But when you become married, it’s not just about “you” anymore…it’s also about the other person.  And if you have kids after you get married, then woooooowwww, it’s never going to be all about you anymore. 

I will be the first to admit that I could, (and still can,)  be a little bit selfish.  I always used to think, “I work hard, so I deserve what I want, right??”  Weeeeellllll, consider this quote that someone once told me which simply infuriated me: “What if marriage isn’t all about what you want, but instead, it’s all about teaching you to serve someone else??”  …When I heard this particular person say this, my blood boiled!  Wait a second, wasn’t marriage about being happy, having a man to love and take care of you, and never feeling lonely?  Wait a second, this wasn’t what I signed up for…having to “serve” someone for the rest of my of my life….

But when I stopped to consider that “serving” didn’t mean being a “slave to”, but rather humbling myself and putting the other person’s needs before my own, (and hopefully both people are doing this,) then it started to make a little more sense.  Marriage will teach you to compromise.  It will teach you that you’re not always right, and that there are at least two sides to every story.  It will force you to really hear the other person out and see things from their perspective if you ever want to have a peaceful household.  It will show you that life isn’t just about you and your needs and feelings.  There is another person right alongside you that you have a duty to honor, respect, and love, even when you feel like punching them in the lip!  Marriage really just teaches you to Grow Up!!

That being said, again, consider why God designed for us to be paired up…what is the point of marriage, exactly?  Ever consider that God gave you that person to teach you what unconditional love really is?  …Think about how many times you’ve screwed up…you may have held bitterness against someone, or talked about how ugly their outfit was, then smiled in their face when they approached?  Or maybe you conveniently forgot to tell them that they left their leftovers in your fridge so that you could eat their General Tso’s chicken once they drove home??  I thought about doing this once…but didn’t!! 

…Likewise, just as you’ve probably screwed up countless times, God has still forgiven you each and every time.  So if God forgives us, (and we want to be like Him, riiiiiight???,) then that pretty much means that you should also forgive your spouse, even when they piss you off.

Seek to serve them and to do little things that surprise them, even if it’s just leaving their favorite candy under their pillow.  (My husband often leaves jellybeans under my pillow, and once, I went two days without realizing they were there before he basically had to tell me to look under my pillow…some might say that this is because I am “hard-headed,” which I am still working on!  We are all work’s in progress, and will be until the day that we go to be with Jesus in heaven!) 

So, my husband leaving those jellybeans under my pillows is not only a great way to ensure cavities, but also a wonderful way to meet my needs!  In marriage, figure out what it is that your partner likes to do, and do it.  For me, this means going to amusement parks because my husband loooooves to ride roller coasters.  Although I don’t ride them, I make sure that we go with people who like to ride them so that he can have someone to get on them with.   Sometimes marriage means doing things that you may not have done previously, or never had any earthly desire to do before you were married…but now that you’re married, you’ve got to reconsider all of those “never’s” in order to please the other person… 

I encourage you to make a list of the things that the other person likes to do, and set out to do them.  There is nothing better than the goofy smile that creeps up on your spouse’s face when you surprise them with their favorite meal, gift, or movie!  Give it a try!  Also, married or not, I also reccomend the classic book “The Five Love Languages,” if you haven’t already read it…it will teach you soooooo much about relationships- you have no idea!

So, aaaaalllll that being said, is marriage all sex, chocolate and roses?  It can be!  (But keep in mind that there is no such thing as the “perfect marriage.”)   Even so, you can still come pretty darn close!   Take the steps today to get your marriage to the place where it’s a honeymoon every day.  Lift your spouse up with your words, serve them, love them, and get excited about surprising them.  Kiss each other daily, spank each other on the butt when you pass each other in the kitchen, and chase each other around the house like little kids.  Who care if the neighbors think you’re crazy??  …You just might be, but hey, at least you’re happy! 

Be blessed, and remember to be a blessing to your spouse!!!!

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3 Responses to “Whoever told you that marriage is all sex, chocolate and roses LIED!!!”

  1. Brandon July 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    Water “spots” is a very light, nice term for the water “lakes” that you use to leave on the sink!……hahahahaha
    This is a wonderful blog that you wrote and very true. Keep up the great work. You are a very intelligent women and I love you.

  2. Lauren July 3, 2010 at 3:19 am #

    I love you too babe! 😉

  3. randy July 3, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    Loving the blog posts girlie..keep up the great work!

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