a year has passed. we have officially been married for over a year. three hundred and eighty two days to be exact. in this past year we have obviously both learned a lot about ourselves and each other. for me, there have been three major things that marriage has taught me in this past year.
marriage showed me how selfish i really am
i have heard new mothers say the same thing, that parenthood shows them how selfish they are but i do not have any kids yet so i can not say. marriage, however, showed me this very evidently. even in the little things like cleaning up dishes. i pick up my dishes and put them away. hers? no i left them on the table for her to do herself. selfish. the biggest one by far has been how selfish i am with planning my time. we have one car so if one of us wants to go somewhere the other either has to take them and pick them up or stay at home. neither are convenient options. i, however, tend act like only i matter and will often plan a night out and not even think to ask sam if she has somewhere to be or needs the car. there have been countless times that i will plan something and expect that i can use the car not knowing that sam has already made plans or has a prior commitment. we even use a synced calendar (that she updates, even with my life for me) so all i have to do is open it and see if it is appropriate for me to go out that night or not, but no, i just go ahead and book it anyways. this drives sam mental and i end up looking stupid. and selfish. for me it honestly has been a daily task to not think about myself and think about her before myself. and open that friggin’ calendar.
marriage showed me that communication is more than talking
talking is easy. communicating is hard. of course, talking is a form of communication, i get that, but communicating in marriage is its own beast. talking is fine, there is nothing wrong with it, but if you are just talking do not think you can just pass this off as communicating. communicating is talking about the deeper issues and has a lot to do with your intent. just like i told you how selfish i was above, this communicates to sam that i am more important than she is. obviously, this is not the case. body language also communicates a lot. if sam asks me to do something and i begrudgingly abide, what good is that? i just communicated again that i am so selfish that whatever i want to do or not do instead of what she asked me to do is more important. or if she says she wants to talk about something and i roll my eyes at her, what good is that? i just communicated to her that this conversation she wants to have is not important to me, even though it is obviously important to her. again, this both communicates negatively to her and shows my selfishness. even talking at a superficial level is barely communicating. of course sometimes mindless talking is good and enjoyable but in order to communicate deeper with each other the talking must be about more important issues than your day at work or what tv show you wanna watch on netflix tonight. the talking needs to be deeper about individual and marital hopes, dreams, fears, goals. and asking questions like how can i serve better? what would you like me to change? what would you like me to change? how can i do better to improve our marriage? and when you get an answer, communicating to each other with action that you took the answer seriously and are working to change is just as important as asking the question. i once read that the only way to change your spouse is to change yourself and it is so true. if i want sam to respect me more i need to show her through my actions that i am a Godly man worthy of her respect by doing things like praying for her, reading my Bible more and being a better leader. i am thus communicating to her that i am a man worthy of her respect through my actions. actions really do speak louder than words.
marriage showed me who my friends are
before i was married i often wondered how many people are still as close with their wedding party today as they were the day they got married. i know people who are still best friends and i know those who do not keep contact with any. since our wedding i have seen two out of my five groomsmen. three if you count skype because he does not live close by. one is my brother and the other is my cousin and best friend. the other was my childhood best friend. now, is it me? am i the one not putting the effort in to hanging out with them? do they just not want to hang out with me? or were they maybe not as close of friends as I thought they were when i asked them to be a groomsman? I don’t know, maybe i never will and that is okay. i do know that in this past year i have lost contact with some and tremendously increased it with others. if you were to ask me if my groomsmen would be the same today as they were on my wedding day i would say no. i have developed some awesome friendships and renewed others in the past year that i pray and hope will last a lifetime. one of the renewals turned into me being his best man. i love the guy and seriously hope that the relationship lasts a lifetime. others have come from community groups that i have attended and some just naturally happened. in no way am i mad at anyone for what has happened to me in this past year because it is obviously part of God’s plan for my life and i am okay with that. i love my friends and hope they love me just as much.
i am curious to see what happens in the next year but for now it is my job to trust God that he has a plan for it.
what about you? what has marriage shown those of you in your early years of marriage?