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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lessons Learned about Marriage

Marriage is one of those great teachers that you will have in life.  At first you meet them and you think "why does this bleep have it out for me?  I never did anything to her."  At first marriage feels a little like that.  But you have to hang in there.  Remember when you finally got your yearbook at the end of the school year, it was that teacher you went to first to sign your book.   You wanted to see what words of wisdom they had and you wanted to see if they thought you lived up to their expectations.  Marriage is like that once you get through that first couple of "classes" and realize it is  only pushing you because it knows that you better as part of this couple than you are alone.  Once you surrender to that and embrace the lessons marriage can turn out to actually be a great way to spend a lifetime.  I know it has been for me so far.
Lessons I Learned about  Marriage
1) Some things are worth fighting for those include: making sure you don't lose yourself to someone's idea of who you should be, your own feelings,  your self-respect, your morals, and your dignity.
2) A lot fewer things are worth fighting for than you think.  Some of those: what he wears, where you vacation, who folds laundry, who feeds the cat, who sweeps the floor, who forgot to call and say they were late.  You get the idea and the painful memories of the times you forgot this wasn't worth the fight.
3) Compromise when the issue is more important to your partner than it is to you. 
4) Have a sense of humor.  If you don't laugh at the same things try to find the humor in what they think is funny.  A lifetime goes by a lot easier with a side of laughter.
5) Sometimes it is not about you.  They get to have bad days, be sick, lose jobs, hate parents, lose loved ones, and you get to play the supportive strong shoulder for them to lean on.  Do it for them they will do it for you.
6) It is not a sporting event, don't keep score.  Do for each other with an open and happy heart and everything balances out in the end.
7) Sometimes it is just about the sponge.  This was the wise advice my best friend gave me right after my husband and I got married.  We were having a heated argument over whether to use a sponge or not, husband believing it was full of germs, me saying it was fine.  I was certainly not going to put him in harms way or doing anything unsafe.  My best friend at the time called in the middle of the argument.  I am fairly dramatic by nature, this was no exception.  I am explaining the argument and as embarrassing as this will be I said something like, "See this is why I never wanted to get married.  This is the beginning of the subjugation that I worried about."  My best friend took less than a second to pass on this wise advice "I think it might just be about the sponge and him being creeped out and not a statement on the subordinate role of women in society."  It is moments like that where you actually have to hear someone say something back to you before you realize how really out of hand not heeding lesson 2 can get.
8) Never use "never, always, every time" when you are discussing something.  Really?  Who has that kind of consistency, even when they are pissing you off?  Avoid hyperbole.  Deal with the issue that is currently pissing you off.
9) Share something you both love.  That way while everything else is growing and changing in your world you have something you can grow and change together.
Marriage is an ultra-marathon, but though there are some tough hills there are some sweet flat stretches and some nice areas to coast downhill.  Also the scenery is beautiful and you always get to run it with someone you love.

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