In celebration of February and Valentine's Day as love month, i wanted to guest feature bloggers who have been married for more than ten years. I am truly blessed to know so many bloggers who have been living their vows through so many seasons. I am learning so much from these couples and i hope throughout the month, you will be able to learn wonderful lessons from them.
To begin the series, i have Nylse from Life...After Death of a Brother, to share with us some of the lessons she has learned within her twenty-two years of marriage.
Share away Nylse!
I got married young at 22, but I never felt young or as if I wasn’t ready. Practically, I was at the point of my life where marriage was the next step – I had finished college, and was working making decent money. My next step was to leave my parents house either through marriage or a job opportunity.
When I met my husband to be, I wasn’t thinking about marriage initially. After we started talking, and eventually dating or courting, I knew I was in love. We talked about everything. I felt loved, cared for, respected and accepted. When I said I do, I had no doubts and knew it would be for a lifetime. Though I was young physically, I never felt unprepared for marriage – never. I think part of this was due to our faith; we both took our Christian walk seriously and it is foundational to our relationship.
Our wedding theme was – a three cord strand is not easily broken.
This image was printed on our invitations, programs and anything else it could be printed on.
We planned our wedding together, but I have to admit he was the real wedding planner. We bought a book and he followed it to a tee. I was not one of those young ladies growing up who dreamt of my wedding day and what dress I would wear.
During our ceremony, we said the traditional vows; I didn’t want to say obey, so I said love, honor and cherish. He pledged his undying love and I pledged my troth. Per Google - “Troth” means a promise of truthfulness, and is derived from the same word as “truth”.
If you know me, I have not reneged on this promise!
Our first year was wedded bliss – we loved up on each other often, hung out and enjoyed each other’s company. During that first year, I got pregnant, and while that enhanced our happiness both of us experienced uncertainty. I remember going to la Maze classes together, going to the gynecologist together, and delivering our first child and him being there.
I’ve learned many things through 22 years of marriage,
but the ones below are those that stand out the most.
· The good outweighs the bad – we’ve had job loss, relocations, children, challenging work schedules, children doing questionable things, differences of opinions, arguments etc…no major sickness but changes in health and bodies that we’ve both had to adjust to. I saw the toll sickness took on my brother’s marriage and what I’ve come to realize is that we appreciate each other through the imperfections; because if he’s dead and gone, I will surely miss him. I’ve come to realize that wherever I am in the world, as long as we’re together, I’m good.
· Marital tiffs are temporary and necessary – the thing is temporary, may last 2 days, 2 weeks or 2 months. But recognizing it for what it is and working through it you move on, learn and grow.
· We are each other’s friend – the first person I want to call whenever something happens to me, good or bad is my husband. The same is true for him.
· Never make one person feel as if he’s better than the other – My husband came from money, while I did not. On the other hand, my parents never divorced, his did. We would both be right in feeling superior to each other because of our circumstances, but it really wouldn’t help us as a couple. We acknowledge where we came from yet forged ahead
to try and build something beautiful together.
· Baggage becomes heavy if not unpacked with love –knowing the other person has your back and your best interests at heart makes it easier to deal with the difficulty of unloading baggage.
· “Please” and “Thank You” are the magic words
sprinkled in with lots of “I love you” and “I’m sorry”.
· Children enhance your relationship, but never forget to work on your marriage. Our children always got a kick out of seeing Mummy & Daddy going out on date night.
· Teenagers + pre-menopause + mid-life crisis = Turbulence! – Honestly, when these three intersect, what can you do but go with the flow,
remember your foundation and hope that everyone comes out all right!
· Individual dreams don’t die because you’re married, as a matter of fact they can flourish. The caveat is they make take a little longer or look a bit different than you anticipated when they come in to fruition, but it’s such an inspiring feeling knowing that someone besides you dreams great dreams for you and expects you to achieve them.
· Communication is important – this sounds cliché but it’s true. You have to find a rhythm that works for both of you so that you can get things out. Little things become boulders if you never address them and they can impact every area. In the beginning I used to be a yeller, and he would get very quiet. We danced, and shuffled and figured out a way to
communicate where both are heard and feelings are spared.
· Don’t take each other for granted – do the things that put a smile on his/her face. BTW, it’s usually the little things like closing cupboard doors,
cleaning up after yourself, hugs, kisses…you get the idea.
· Pray as often together as you can – sometimes what
you cannot say to each other you can say to God; but
· Don’t neglect your own individual spiritual walk. – To take this one step further, just because you’re couple does not mean you lose your individuality;
nurture yourself also so that you bring your best to each other.
· Love is a choice – when you first start out, you’re starry eyed in love. Over time that feeling may fade but at some point you realize that love is a verb and you make an active choice to live out your love. You may not always like everything your mate does, but you don’t love them any less. For example, I strongly dislike that he now snores, but I’ve learn to adjust and live with it so that it’s not a stumbling block. It’s always the little things that can trip you up.
· Old love is different from young love – old love is like nice warm flannel sheets that envelopes you and always makes you feel toasty when they’re wrapped around you.
That’s where we are and I like it.
· We’re like night and day – but together we’re a perfect match.
He balances out my emotional side, and I’m always giving him something to think about.
You wouldn’t believe our conversations!
· You gain another person’s perspective when you’re married to them.
· Sometimes you have to tune out all the noise and do what’s best for the two of you – they’re so many relationship experts out there; many have good advice and some have questionable advice. Become the expert on your marriage so that you know what works for the two of you.
If I could do it all over again, I would marry my husband, because he’s the man for me.
Something magical has happened within the past few months between us and I can’t actually put my finger on it. I think prior to this we had an argument where feelings were hurt and I know for me, something clicked and I said, “Why am I doing this?” Since then, we’ve had the most insightful and enjoyable conversations which has led to a greater understanding on both our parts.
I can’t change him, nor he me but I’ve seen how working on yourself can benefit the relationship. I used to pray for a gentle quiet spirit – God has a sense of humor, because He took his time answering this request and used things like our marriage, and raising children to bring out these qualities in me. From the beginning, our faith has been our foundation which has strengthened our bond.
I’m glad we’re doing life together!
Thank you so much Nylse for sharing the lessons you have learned in 22-years of marriage.
It's great how you and your husband have grown together as friends, companions and man and wife.
And so many young people are too focused on the wedding and not the marriage!
It's definitely an important lesson to remember this lesson!
Question of the Day:
What lesson have you learned in your marriage/relationship?