Thursday, March 20, 2014

6 things that have surprised me about marriage

When I married my husband, I was not at all nervous. Everyone thought I was crazy because I slept a whopping 9 hours the night before and never showed any nerves the day of. Part of the reason might have been because I finished all my wedding preparations a week ahead of time in order to spend time with friends and family who were coming into town for the wedding. Part of the reason might also have been that the manager at the place where we were married was the most OCD (in a good way) man I have ever met and wouldn't DARE let anything go wrong with our wedding.

But I truly believe that the #1 reason why I went into my wedding so calm and cool was because I was 100% sure I was doing the right thing. I was marrying a wonderful man and I knew that he was the one God had for me.
SOOOO excited to be married!!!
Now that doesn't mean that our marriage has never had it's hard points. Marrying the right person in the beginning is so important, since you will face many trials and struggles together. THAT is when marriage should be difficult, not during the everyday routine.

But I digress. The point of this post is to talk about the surprises that I have encountered during 3 years of marriage. I am sure this list will change as time goes on, and I am also sure that what I found surprising with my marriage might not resonate with your marriage. But alas, here is my list.

1) I brought all my weaknesses into marriage that I had before marriage
I don't know why, but I seemed to think that I would snap out of my old habits and all of a sudden develop new ones the second I got married. I would never be lazy or untidy, I would never complain, and I would always look my best for my sweet husband. WRONG. Imagine my surprise when 3 years later I am still struggling with all the same weaknesses I had before marriage. I wish I had really buckled down and addressed some of my less desirable qualities before I got married, instead of assuming marriage would "fix me".

2) Cooking is important
Remember those days of looking at the stove with trepidation? Of whipping together your only special: spaghetti. Of settling for lots of grilled cheese sandwiches, soup, cereal, and salads? I realized that my husband has many strengths and it is just easier for us both if he focuses on those things. That leaves me to focus on cooking. Before I got married, I really didn't know how to cook much. I realized very quickly that learning to cook, especially from scratch, is one of the best skills I can have for my husband and future children. Not only does it save us money, it saves time, allows us to eat healthier and more organically, and is a huge stress reliever for my husband, who works a lot. He has often expressed how amazing it is to come home and not have to worry about food, since I've already taken care of it. I wish I had taken the time before marriage to ask women around me to teach me a few basic meals so I wouldn't have had to figure it all out myself.

3) It is easy to get distracted
My husband goes to work very early in the morning and comes home in the afternoon, so I am lucky enough to get a good amount of time with him every evening. But that doesn't make spending quality time together any easier. In fact, when you see the same person for hours every day, it becomes easy to just co-exist together instead of actually interacting. This is one of the many reasons we do not have tv service in our home (we do own a tv for watching the occasional movie). It becomes so easy to sit down together in the same room and see hours pass you by without actually interacting or connecting in a meaningful way. Over time, it can be easy to take the other person's existence for granted. We are very conscious of this and try to always have "us" time every day. We also try to interact during our evening freetime (something tv doesn't allow): we play board games, chat, go for walks, go to the gym together, cook together, etc.

Last labor day we went on a vacation and did end up watching tv in our room at one point. We kept track of how many correct answers each of us could get in jeopardy. Yes, we are a little nerdy, but I love it!
4) A three-way relationship with God has to be fostered and nurtured, it doesn't just happen
Ecclesiastes 4:12 talks about how a cord of three strands is not easily broken. This is such a true statement in marriage. A three-way relationship with God and your spouse will strengthen your marriage incredibly. But the thing is, many modern Christians keep their relationships with God very close and personal. It can be very vulnerable to begin to have a three-way relationship with God and your spouse. As in all relationships, it is something that has to be fostered and nurtured every day or else it falls away. My husband and I have learned the hard way how complacency in this aspect can really cause issues. We make an effort now to read a few chapters in the Bible together every night and pray together before we go to bed. This is just our minimum effort. As we have done this, we have begun to converse more about Biblical concepts together, have prayed more spontaneously together, and are more in-sync with each other's thoughts and beliefs. We also pray consistently for each other in our private time with God. It can be so easy to forget to pray regularly for your spouse. All this has truly helped our marriage, but it isn't always easy to stay disciplined.

5) The wife's attitude really does set the tone
Have you noticed how many times in the Bible there is mention of the perils surrounding an unhappy, nagging wife? A LOT! Before marriage, I never realized how much power a woman has over the mood in her home, and in the mood of her husband. When I am upbeat, enthusiastic, happy, thankful, kind, and optimistic, my husband becomes more so. When I am in a bad mood, and mopey, complaining, naggy, or pessimistic, my husband's mood also plummets. I have realized the importance of maintaining a positive atmosphere, and being a calming, happy, and positive force in our home. Some might say that their attitude really isn't a choice, but I believe it is, and I believe God believes it is too. I am in the middle of a great Bible study I highly recommend called Lord, Change my Attitude. I think EVERY Christian, man and woman, should go through this Bible study. But keeping in mind how drastically my attitude affects those in my home, I am particularly happy to be going through this study.

6) Marriage is great, no matter what anyone else says
I'm not sure what is wrong with our society that everyone feels the need to throw negativity on everyone else. When I express my love for my husband, there's often the response of "Give it a few years". Or when I express my excitement to have our first child in a few months, I often hear "Get ready not to sleep again!". Come on people! I'm here to say, I LOVE BEING MARRIED! I am thankful every day for the wonderful man God has given me. The design of marriage is such a wonderful gift from God. Sure every marriage has its trials, and every couple will argue, but marriage is, as a whole a wonderful thing. I have been more blessed and more challenged in the years I have been married than in all the years before that. I love the quote that God loves us too much to leave us as we are. I take that seriously when I see the challenges marriage has brought, and the amazing ways it has grown my character. I am very blessed to be able to spend my life with my husband. So I take every effort to counteract those negative comments with positive ones. I even will occasionally wear this shirt around the house to make sure my husband knows I am loving our life together! (I can tell he secretly loves my corniness!)

What are some things that have surprised you about marriage? Leave a comment below


  1. My biggest surprise in marriage so far is how much MORE I love my husband now that we have had children. I never anticipated the feeling of falling in love with him again.

    1. Oooo i love this one! I am looking forward to that when our little ones arrives!

  2. Super sweet and love these points/advice. I am looking at getting married this year to my best friend.

    I like your idea of finishing all the wedding planning 1 week before! I will have family & friends flying in from the US to Germany and I want to spend time with them and show them around while they are here! It's nice to hear it is possible.


  3. I discovered that our love and relationship can grow up, blossom and also be challenged. I never imagined that marriage continues to build itself all life long. So amazing!

  4. Such a good post! I hope that many people learn from your great list, I think it is a pretty common list. God bless you as you get ready for your new little one.


I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!