Some of my earliest marriage memories are of conflicts that have since become funny stories. ~smile~ Even though I was the first to preach that marriage was no bed of roses, I am not sure I truly believed it until I was actually married. We did not even make it through our honeymoon without a few arguments (which is probably common). Then, when we started our life together we soon realized that those honeymoon fights were fun in comparison to real marriage brawls. ~smile~
During your first few newlywed fights you may wonder if the world is coming to an end. It’s not. ~smile~ If you and your honey never argue, never get testy with each other, or never feel the need to bite your tongue and walk away to keep from saying something just plain mean, you aren’t normal. The rest of us might occasionally envy you, but you are still not normal. ~smile~
So, we have established that marriage comes with its share of aggravations. In my opinion, the small aggravations are worth putting up with to have a happy honey; but, when you are tired and stressed, little aggravations become enormous, ghastly invaders. The first time you trip over his shoes, you may decide to apply much grace to the situation. The seventeenth time you trip over his shoes, you may be tempted to yell, throw them at his head, or (my personal mental favorite) toss them into the driveway. None of these methods are recommended, but a girl can dream!
Likewise, the first time your new bride makes you late, you may just look at her and say, “She’s so beautiful. It is okay that she takes a little extra time to look nice for me.” Give it about two years and then you will be tempted to angrily wail on the car horn, handcuff her and drag her out of the bathroom, or maliciously set her alarm clock two hours early. Men and women aggravate each other. Sometimes unintentionally and sometimes just for fun. ~smile~
Though I was expecting some “grrrr” moments in marriage, I was not prepared for some of the frustrations. Consider the following three irritations that caught me off guard after marriage:
How Deeply Our Fights Affect Me…
Trust me. I knew Eric and I would have our less than happy moments after getting hitched. We had been friends for a while before becoming a couple, so we knew a bit about the other’s “dark side.” What I did not know before falling head over heels for my husband was that my ability to focus would be affected by our fights.
For example, one morning, before work, Eric and I got into a little tiff. At the time, it probably seemed far more dramatic, but it always does when you are going through the middle of it. When I got to work, I was completely worthless. I could not concentrate on anything but the fact that Eric and I were not in a good place. Finally, I sent him an electronic message and asked him if we were going to be alright. When he responded and told me we would get through it (chances are, he had already moved on ~smile~), I was able to breathe a sigh of relief and move on with my day. Not all women are the same, but I would wager that the majority of married ladies feel heavily burdened in all areas of life (e.g., work, raising children, ministry, etc.) if they are not – as some say – “in fellowship” with their husbands.
How Difficult it is to Find Time to Spend Together…
“It will be so wonderful when we do not have to kiss goodnight at the door anymore!” “I cannot wait until we can put all of our groceries into one shopping cart.”
Most couples think once they get married, they will have more time to spend together. After all, we will be living in the same house! It is a nice thought, but I have learned firsthand that if a married couple wants to spend a lot of quality time together, it has to be planned. Couples cannot just expect bonding to just happen.
Married life brings a number of stressors into play, but we also start settling. During the dating and courtship phases, guys and girls go out of their way to spend time with the one they love. It is their constant goal. After marriage, those goals change (unless the couple makes spending time together an unshakable priority). Eric and I have found that if we do not firmly set aside extended time in our week for each other, something will always (and I mean always) come up. Living in the same house does not equal a constant emotional connection.
How Impossible it is to Control My Spouse. ~smile~
This one may sound funny, but when you want something done that only your spouse can do, you may become wildly agitated if he or she does not get off his or her rear end and do it. Perhaps your sweetie is at your beck and call now. Hopefully, he or she will continue to lovingly serve you throughout your marriage, and vice versa, but you may as well hang up any expectations you may have of making your spouse do anything (or changing him, ladies ~smile~).
There have been occasions when Eric and I needed to make the kind of decisions couples should only make together (e.g., which car to buy, whether or not to move, where to go on vacation, etc.) and Eric would drag his feet incessantly (in my mind, anyway). With all my might, I wanted to walk into the room and make him decide. And better yet, make him decide in my favor! Yet, never once have I been able to force Eric into anything. And as nice as I think it would be to have such power at times, it is a blessing that I cannot control him. He is a competent, intelligent man and we are both better off when we work through decisions together… calmly… even if he does take longer than I would like to decide at times.
Learn and Pass it On
A marriage free of stumbling blocks and disagreements may be pleasant for a while, but it does not inspire growth. It is easier said than done, but when you encounter annoyances in your marriage, thank God for them. Trials, even little ones, can strengthen your faith (James 1:2-4). When you can, learn from others’ experiences, and after you have been married a while, let the newlyweds in your life benefit from what you have learned along the way! ~smile~
What aggravations are you expecting in your future marriage?