This year Ramiro and I celebrated 3 wonderful years of marriage. 3 years went by in a flash! If you didn’t know, I was a late bloomer in the marriage stage. Haha. I remember being 22 just wishing I could be married. I thought I was ready. Well at 30, I still had some preparation to do.
They say the first few years of marriage is the hardest. I can’t say that I agree. Have we disagreed? Of course we have. But when you love and respect someone, you learn to disagree respectfully. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way. I hope they can help you too. (Even if you aren’t married or engaged, you can still learn now!)
1. IT’S NOT LIKE THE MOVIES
In my opinion, most movies have given us an unrealistic idea of marriage. They get our hopes up and when our spouse doesn’t buy us weekly flowers, dance in the kitchen while cooking dinner, or declare their love for us in the middle of a huge crowd it can be discouraging.
The truth is…. Morning breath stinks (literally!) Breakfast in bed means you have to wake up even earlier to make the food. Flowers ain’t cheep and budgets are real.
But you know what, to me, it’s better than the movies. When I think about how much my husband loves me, it’s much greater than what happens in a two hour movie or 30 minute tv show. It’s much longer and unconditional. [Ps. I still make Ramiro dance in the kitchen like the movies. It’s just more funny than romantic. ha]
2. PRAYING TOGETHER IS THE ABSOLUTE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO TOGETHER
When I used to think of what married life would be like I never really day dreamed about early morning bible reading and prayer time. It was more like a the mushy stuff. But a couple months into our marriage Ramiro said he wanted to start doing bible study together. I was excited even though I’m not much of a morning person.
There have been early morning, get out of bed, make coffee and read days. And then there are days when I’d beg for “bibles in bed” haha. And then there are days when we just have to get up and go.
One thing that never changes is that we pray out loud together every morning. Either sitting on the couch cozy or on the go in the car. We take turns praying over our day, our friends, family and team, our future children, and specific things we are believing for. There is a bond that happens when you are confident enough to declare things over your lives together. It has been one of the best things we have incorporated into our daily lives.
3. DIFFERENT ISN’T WRONG, IT’S JUST DIFFERENT
This is one of the first things I learned in married life. There are so many things that shape you into who you are as a person. We are all raised in different homes that may have different cultures, rules, traditions, and allowances. For example, in my home ketchup and syrup were stored in the refrigerator [hello, it says refrigerate after opening] but in Ramiro’s home, those items were stored in the pantry! Silly examples, but you get the point.
People do things differently! The way towels are folded, the way clothes are washed, how certain foods are prepared, and much more. It can even be deeper. Life, marriage and parenting might have been displayed a specific way in your home and that can cause you to become frustrated when your spouse doesn’t understand why you do things a certain way. What I’ve had to learn is that my husband isn’t wrong, he just does things different. And guess what, I’ve learned lots of new ways of doing things. And so has he. [Even though he says I hide all the food, when in reality I just put it in the pantry] The fun part is that together, we get to create a home with new ways of doing things! I’m not going to alway try to change him, we will learn from each other.
4. HOW THINGS ARE NOW IS NOT HOW THEY WILL ALWAYS BE
When we first got married, I had this idea of how everything would be. One area specifically was how we would handle our money. Money is such a sensitive thing. But when preparing to get married you constantly hear about how money is the number one cause of divorce. That made be feel anxious about how we would handle it.
I went into marriage seeing things one way and was surprised when Ramiro didn’t see eye to eye. I heard advice from people that had been married for years and felt like that’s what we should be doing. So I immediately felt like we had to be there from the start. What I didn’t realize is that change takes time. I wanted the changes to be instant but he was thinking long haul. I could only see what was happening in the moment.
Once I learned to trust the process and talk openly about my fears and concerns I realized that we would grow into what I had been desiring the whole time.
5. IT’S OK TO BE WRONG
Here’s a big one. Honestly, I don’t like being wrong. I get easily embarrassed when I’m so confident and want to make a point and then it turns out I was completely wrong the whole time. I’m not one to admit when I’m wrong. I’ll just keep explaining why I thought I was right ha.
When you get caught up having to be right, you loose the ability to grow. I saw being wrong as a label being placed on my forehead that reads “big dummy” ha. But getting something wrong now doesn’t discredit everything I say in the future. It just means I didn’t know. And thats ok. I don’t know everything. (Just almost everything)
BOUNUS : YOU’VE GOT TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF
Stop being so serious! We all do silly things. Sometimes we are on guard so much that we won’t admit when we are wrong, when we’ve messed up… or when we tripped and fell and were too embarrassed to laugh at ourselves with our spouse in the room. Lighten up and laugh at yourself! It makes it so much more fun.
I hope this writing has been encouraging and enlightening for some of you. Shout out to our awesome church that host the Spark Conference every year. It’s helped us so much in understanding each other. Whether you are dating, engaged, or married it’s important to invest in your marriage (future marriage) and be open to learning all we can about each other. Consider joining us at Spark 2020.
If you’ve got some advice, share it below!