Today marks my husband and my 2 year anniversary, and I keep thinking of what I’ve learned these last 2 years.
Simply, I’ve learned that love is patient, love is kind.
This is a hard pill for me to swallow because I am not always kind and rarely am I patient. And that’s just with myself. How am I to treat another person with patience and kindness if I cannot do that for myself?
Like any good story, it began with an argument that my husband and I had one day.
Growing up in the South, you see a very black and white picture of what a marriage is from the woman’s point of view. We are to cook, clean, hold down a job (if necessary), and take care of the kids when the time comes. It’s what I saw my grandmother and my mother do.
No one ever tells you about the grey parts of the picture. How to merge the ideals of your youth with your adult reality. So you grow up thinking that this is what is expected of me and I must be these things, with a smile.
The older I get and grow into the woman who I am becoming, I realize that I am not the quintessential southern wife. And my husband would never expect me to be. To try to mold myself into what the “norm” is is doing both of us a huge disservice.
We are meant to be partners. To stand side by side and live this beautiful, imperfect life together.
Perspective on life comes from the most unusual places and often when you least expect it. I was reading a blog about letting things happen vs. making things happen, and it stopped me in my tracks and start thinking about how I approach things in my life.
Where I am a strong type A personality, my husband is not. He is much more laid back than I am. Needless to say, we butt heads from time to time. It just so happens that we were butting heads on this particular day when, after a heated discussion, I read this article. It was a wake up call for me and when I got home from work, Geoff and I had a talk.
For the first time in forever, I finally got it. It clicked! What a revelation! I will NEVER be able to have control especially when it comes to our marriage. So STOP TRYING! You’re ruining your own life by being nit-picky over the tiniest things. I felt so small. How could have I been missing the bigger picture? I don’t love him because of the things he can do for me. I love him for everything that makes him, whether that’s his love of nerdy things or the passion he shows for teaching.
I started writing. I had all these emotions running through me and I knew that I had to get them out. Here is the raw (unedited) emotional words.
Trying to force each other to change. Not allowing things to naturally develop. Let the other person be. If you want something done, do it. Chose your battles. Remember that marriage isn’t just a pretty dress and a party. It is believing in each other and trusting each other to handle not just the big things, but the little everyday things that you feel only you can control. It’s being yourself without worrying how this going to affect the other person. It’s treating each other with kindness even when you want to scream. They are not your punching bag for when you have a bad day. They are precious in every way. Marriage is delicate. Make sure you don’t break it.
So here’s what I’ve learned these two years. Love is patient, love is kind, but you really have to work at it. It isn’t something that comes into being just because you recited your wedding vows. Every time you interact with your spouse, you have a decision to make. Am I going to answer them with snark or sarcasm or am I going to answer them with love and kindness?
You chose this person as the most cherished person in your life and even when life is hard and all you want to do is scream up to the heavens, they are still the most cherished person in your life. Treat them as such.
Be honest with them. I can be very passive aggressive when things are bothering me and it drives my husband crazy. I think I’m being coy, but he knows that I’m upset. Breaking down your walls and opening up to each other is one of the most intimate and life changing things you could ever do. Just remember to do it with patience and kindness.
Marriage can be a crazy adventure. What are some of the things you’ve learned? Let me know in the comments.