The Marathon of Marriage

Change is good .. Change brings with it so many new experiences, new feelings and emotions .. It brings with it learning and growth.

After getting married, as mentioned in my anniversary post, myself and my husband noticed changes in ourselves as individuals and as a unit. While we have changed again since then, and we continue to change, I pondered as to whether I could control the way in which I have changed and will continue to.

After being married, it’s easy to get lost in the buzz of it all. Being newly married you’re constantly trying to avoid arguments so you compromise and change things; you’re trying to keep the peace and keep your other half happy, all the while little pieces of you pre-marriage, slowly disappear.

I know for me, I’m definitely not the woman my husband started dating; nor is he the man I started dating. Life’s experiences have changed us in a way that now, at present date, we are more in tune with each other than before.

When you’re dating, I like to think that that’s when you get the real and honest best of someone. I mean hey, when you’re dating it’s the real honeymoon phase; the rose tinted glasses are in full blast. You want them to only see the best and to fall in love with the best. In some ways you are a better version of yourself; always on your A game and never allowing the little voice in your head to create a moment of contention or unhappiness. I know that’s how it was for me and my hubby. We both wanted to keep each other happy; we went along with any idea or plan, we never complained to each other and we gave each other the best.

After we got engaged, things changed again. We slowly let out our real opinions on certain things rather than being so compromising. We voiced our differences in views, we let little arguments slip out and we even got mad at each other! While they never lasted long, it was the start of our changes.

Then came marriage. The REAL version of ourselves. It comes with everything; complaints, sickness, anger, sadness, happiness, love, frustration, laziness, adventures and more. While you dream of being married, the fairytale that exists in movies and stories is quickly replaced with your own fairytale which involves arguing over silly things, farting, morning breath, vomiting, toilet smells, dirty laundry, laughing at your own inside jokes, missing each other when you only left their side an hour ago, morning cuddles and so much more. While the marriage change is for the better and worse, it is my favourite kind of change.

Now when I got married, I didn’t anticipate the kind of changes that would happen personally with myself. I had grown to be this person who I really liked; I’d worked hard to get to where I was. I knew who I was. But after meeting my husband, the person who I knew I was, or at least thought I was, changed; and I continue to change.

At first I resented my husband for changing me from this person I had worked so hard to be; the single me; but that’s not right. How can I be mad at the one person who chose to love me regardless of what I throw at him? Who chose to do life with me? I was mad at the fact that I wasn’t a single personality anymore. But why? I have something so much better now. The wifey life; a life which has come with far richer blessings than any single life of mine could ever give me. I had been holding onto this single personality when I had been living a wifey life. I resented my hubby for giving me everything I had ever wanted; a husband. An eternal companion. A forever best friend.

It took me a while to realise and own up to the fact that I was mad at him for this reason. An invalid reason really. And to be honest, it took me way too long to realise it too.

After coming to terms with the fact, I decided it was time to change my perspective on what I supposed my life to be. I love being a wife, and one day I know I’ll love being a mum. But I have to make changes on my own without being influenced by anyone else. I have to own it and know that I changed to better myself for my marriage.

Yes I will admit, while our marriage struggled in the beginning, while we both struggled, my husband did play a part in changing me for the worse; but I have to take responsibility for changing him too. I could have chosen to stand up for myself and for us better, but I didn’t; instead choosing to let Satan come in and do what he does best .. Destroy.

Change is never an easy thing to accept. We get so used to what we know and I guess, it’s the uncertainty of the unknown; will this change affect me for the better or worse? Is it necessary? What if it doesn’t work out? Personally I’m someone who is particular in the change I can freely accept; plans changing at the last minute I can deal with, my opinions change frequently, my perspectives and knowledge constantly change. But I am not too easy going with changing the way I am or my ways. I’m pretty stubborn in that sense and it takes a lot of chastising personally and by those who love me to open my eyes to the need for change.

For someone who is so used to being single and all that comes with it; independence, your own schedule and your opinion and wants being all you need to make decisions, what’s best for you, life decisions and even the small things such as what you want to eat for dinner or who you want to hang out with; they’re all decisions made by you FOR you. While you appreciate the input of those closest to you when you need advice or guidance, your life and it’s choices at that time aren’t dependent on someone else’s needs or wants. But in marriage, that all changes. It’s about compromise and open communication and about options other than your own. While you still have a level of independence, you now have a level of dependence on your spouse; what you want to eat for dinner may not be your spouse’s first choice; even going out together or with friends is something that needs to be talked about. Girls night? Guys night? Or double dates? It’s a lot to freely want to change when you’re so used to being on your own. It’s something I’ve definitely had to learn and it’s something I’m continually growing in.

So how have I gone about in changing? First of all, I believe that when you set out to change yourself for the better, it’s important not to lose yourself too. We all have our standard or base foundation of who we are and who we know we are. We have our personalities and flaws. We each have parts of us that people who have known us for however long, can automatically look and say, “yep that’s her!” That’s the first mistake I made; letting myself change because I was told I had to, and then forgetting who I really was. I forgot that even though I was a wife and part of a partnership, I could still be an individual with my own opinions and likes and dislikes. That might sound silly to you but it’s truly how I thought and felt. I lost my outgoing personality, the one that my family knew. I didn’t laugh as much or as loud. I didn’t speak up as much. I was someone who I had never been before because I thought that’s how a wife was supposed to be. We don’t exactly get handbooks that say welcome to married life; this is how you have to be. It’s a learn by experience kind of thing. So when my mum pointed out that I was different, when my husband pointed out I was different, I started to notice. I didn’t play with my husband or joke as much as I used to. I wasn’t as open and spontaneous as I was. I was moody and irritable. I took things too seriously. I forgot who I was.

On the road to changing, it’s been a long and tough one. I still have trouble with some things but I slowly am getting back to the real me. I laugh more, I smile more, I play more. It’s all about making a conscious effort to remember. It’s about taking small steps towards the greater goal. Any goal we strive to achieve isn’t done all at once; we don’t wake up one morning and say today I’ll run a marathon, having never run one before and never exercised, get up and complete it; (and if you have, you are bionic!) No, you think how can I work up my fitness and endurance to get to that marathon level? I’m currently working towards my marathon run. My small steps I need to take? Laughing more, knowing when to be serious and when to play, talking to my husband more about my opinions, likes and dislikes, making conscious efforts to be more spontaneous and fun, allowing myself to have more energy for my husband.. We all have our own level of small steps we need to take and we are our own judges. I know what I am doing and you know what you’re doing. One step back doesn’t mean it’s over; it means get up and try again.

If you’re newly married, it’s an exciting road finding out who you are together as a unit; but it’s important you hold fast to who you are as well. Don’t get lost in the journey of two and forget about you. Not only do you suffer, but so does your spouse. You both cannot be happy if one isn’t. You will be surprised at how in tune your moods and feelings become.

Work to uplift each other. Lay the stepping stones for your spouse to stand on as they make their small steps to their marathon of marriage. It’s a long road ahead, and it’s eternally long. Don’t make time for short roads or detours; keep on that road. I’m telling you, it gets better. I’ve seen and experienced it. I’ve been there and I still go there sometimes. You can do it. If you don’t believe you can, I’ll believe for you.

 

Mrs Yolo xoxo

 

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