Thursday, April 21, 2016

What I've Learned in Marriage-1

I am starting a new series about what I've learned in marriage. I will post every Friday.

Make the most of every opportunity—After the newness of marriage fades, couples often let dates and romance fade as well. They become less frequent, and even less exciting, than they were before the wedding. It’s almost inevitable. But with that bit of saddening news comes a challenge: instead of lamenting the loss of romance, redefine it. So maybe you don’t get all dressed up every Friday night, maybe you don’t even go out every Saturday and instead watch a movie at home.
It’s not as exciting, but it is time together. Count it as a date, MAKE it a date, even if it’s just in your mind. You can even dress up, who cares if no one else sees your fancy do. When we were first married, every date for the first year included my husband’s (single) best friend (who was also my cousin). At first it really bugged me that we never went out alone, but then I decided to make the most of it and enjoy it for what it was. We were still going out to dinner and a movie, it was still time spent together. Once I started to enjoy every moment we had together for what it was, rather than grumbling about what it wasn’t, my need for time together was more quickly fulfilled. As individuals, we grow and change with time through out life. We need to allow our spouse and our marriage relationship to do that as well. Just because I different music than I used to does not meant that I am a different person. In the same way, just because your dates are not conducted in the same manner does not mean that they are not dates, they are just different. We have to actively accept our circumstances in order to be content. We choose whether we are happy with this life and part of that includes being content with what we have and do. That does not mean that we should never expect flowers after marriage. Remember that things change after the wedding, your husband who may have once been spontaneously romantic before is probably not like that naturally and he may need some help and guidance to accomplish that now. Mushy stuff is hard for them. Gently, kindly suggest things that you would like from him. Say, “Since you are at the store already, maybe you could grab me some flowers too ;)” or “hey, since we have to go to town for dentist appointments, why don’t we catch a movie and go to dinner too!” Just because you have to ask/tell him doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be genuine. Trust me, if a man doesn’t want to do it he won’t. Be happy for what it is and make the most of it. And make sure he knows that you appreciate it. Just don’t let your expectations from dating define reality. There has to be a balance. If you make up your mind to enjoy every moment, you will be happier than if you were married to the most spontaneous man in the world.

This applies to more than just romance though. It applies to marriage and life in general. Life will rarely, if ever, be how you want it. No marriage is perfect, no matter what Disney says. There is no happily ever after in that fairy tale sense. When you realize this, you can either feel sorry for yourself for having been lied to, or you can accept life as it is and make the most of what you have.  Forget the bad days and determine to only remember the good. That attitude alone will make life in general better because it makes your perspective and outlook better. Make the most of your life!

Colossians 4:5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward others, making the most of the opportunity.

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