I will celebrate my third year of marriage in July. “Three years ?!?!” you exclaim. “Why, you are only a toddler in marriage years!” I know.
This may be true, yet I feel as if we have been married forever. Those years when we weren’t together are a bit blurred. Perhaps it is because we dated for so long. (And when I was a rather young age.) Or, maybe, it is because we have two kids babies. Whatever the reason, I feel like a seasoned wife.
There are some aspects in my seasoned marriage that I really appreciate. Things that I hope to continue.
While we were dating, Mr. B pointed out my very hurtful habit of shutting off when I am upset. This habit still haunts me, it is a constant battle. Trial by trial, I am struggling to ignore my first inclination, to turn to stone on the outside (better known as stonewalling), and do as Mr. B has taught–talk it through.
This can be rough. Talking usually involves an uncomfortable subject. Something that needs to be changed, something that I don’t want to change (at least on the inside).
Our talking has evolved with our marriage. Right now, face-to-face discussions are nearly impossible (unless we want to stay up until 2 am) (not likely). To solve this potential stumbling block, we have turned to modern technology: Google Chat. This has not only provided us with instant communication, but has also enabled me to better confront whatever fear is encouraging my stonewalling.
For instance, I am in need of some serious time management coaching. In a recent conversation (via Goggle Chat), I asked for some advice. He, in return, asked me how I spend my time. I instantly became defensive and began building up my walls. Until I remembered that I had asked for his help in the first place! Once that thought pierced my thick skull, I tore those walls down. I became receptive to Mr B’s suggestions.
I am very proud of Mr B. He is proud of me. We enjoy sharing our accomplishments. When I graduated, Mr B threw me an awesome graduation party. I had some cool cake, yummy food, and pleasant company. He was truly happy for me.
When Mr B recently received high honors for his superior grades, I not only smiled but looked for a way to celebrate with him. We went out to his favorite restaurant. I tried to show him how happy I was for the reward he deserved. Really, his wins are my wins.
Because we share this part of our world together, I feel closer to him. I know that when I have a good day, I can expect a nice hug and smile. I also know that when my day goes awry, I have a shoulder/back rub to look forward to.
The best piece of advice I received before we married was to selflessly serve your spouse everyday. Seeing as how I am lazy, being selfless doesn’t exactly come naturally. But, as I have struggled against my natural urgings of selfishness, I have found something wonderful: happiness.
When I make the bed, clean the kitchen, keep up on the laundry, and tidy up the living room, I am greeted with a hearty “Thanks!” when Mr B comes home from a long, tough day. The gratitude is not my only reason for selfless service, it is the love that I am constantly gaining for my husband. See, it is hard to be angry toward someone that you serve. This is true. If you don’t believe me, try it.
Now, don’t you go thinking that I only serve in our relationship, because you would be wrong. Dead wrong. I would have to say that Mr B does most of the serving around here. When I am having a hard day, he will come home and pick up for me. When he knows I am feeling down or sick, he will pick up dinner. He does those tasks that I shy away from, like bath time at night. He gets the house looking shiny on the weekends. Most importantly, he takes care of my emotional and mental needs. He lends a listening ear at 2 am. He provides mental stimulation, through conversations, at night. He heaps charming accolades upon my achievements. Even if they are undeserving.
As we talk, share, and serve, our marriage matures. It becomes less wistful and more stable. It becomes more Eternal.