We just celebrated our 12th anniversary this year. When I think back on our years of marriage, I would do it all over again! But there are definitely some things that I wish I would have known when we were first married. Some things you do have to learn with experience. Here are 6 things that would have been so helpful for me starting off.....
1. My spouse will not meet all my needs.
I used to think they would. I was looking for the man who would give me everything I needed. When I finally let go of this expectation, I was able to love my husband for who he is. Unrealistic expectations only bring disappointment. He can meet some of my needs, but not perfectly. I can't meet all of his either. I have had to learn that all my needs are filled in Jesus first, not through my husband.
2. We are going to disappoint each other, and that's okay.
We are both human. We are going to mess up. Perfection is not a standard we can achieve. Giving each other the room to be imperfect is so important.
3. Love is going to be a choice.
Feelings don't always last. They can be gone in a moment, depending on what you are experiencing. Or they can be the result of a choice. It can be harder some days than others to choose to love your spouse. But choosing not to follow your feelings all the time will make your marriage that much better. Ask the Lord for strength each day to love your spouse better.
4. I need to talk positively about my spouse.
I made a promise to honor my spouse when we got married. Yes, we will get frustrated with each other, but that doesn't mean you should disrespect your spouse just because you are upset. There is a way to deal with it, and not bash them in front of a group of friends. It's one thing to vent, but it's another when you bad-mouth your spouse when they aren't around. Especially in front of your children. Words are powerful. Be careful how you use them!
5. Pride will be destructive to your marriage.
I have had to work on this. Pride can get in the way if we let it. It can make being right more important than your spouse. Admitting that you are wrong is hard when you’re prideful. You may choose to withhold something, just because you don't want to risk being vulnerable. It seems like you are protecting yourself, but you are actually hurting your relationship. I don't ever remember a time when my pride has been beneficial. Don't fool yourself. Let go of pride. It is so much better that way.
6. You both will bring extra baggage.
You both have come from different backgrounds and with that can come baggage that we have brought from past experiences. It's important to be aware of these things that will negatively impact your marriage. It can affect how you see and deal with things in your marriage. Take time to heal from past hurts. Learn from them, don't let them ruin you.
These are some of the things that I have learned. Feel free to share with me some of the things you have learned!