To read the rest of this series click here: Newlywed Reflections
I Thought I’d be a Perfect Wife…
I’m using a bit of hyperbole here, but I thought I would be a whole lot better at this wife thing. I’ve read marriage books, listened to countless Focus on the Family Podcasts, read blog after blog on all issues surrounding marriage and heard a multitude of sermons on the topic in addition to my personal study of marriage within the Bible. People encouraged me that I’d be such a great wife one day. I went into marriage with all this confidence and skill…
Then reality happened and at times pride got in the way of my idealist goals. At the core I expected things to be different. I know expectations are a set up for failure and dashed hopes. Alas, they are inevitable. At times I’ve felt jaded that we didn’t get more time together to do normal things like eat dinner together and chill. Other times I’ve appreciated our separation because I treasure our moments together so much more. A couple of weekends ago I was driving with Mike to go get food and I was just so happy. That was our first time alone together for almost a whole week. I just missed being in his presence.
Nonetheless, this plight of mine is only reflective of a short 3.5 month season. I’m sure the next season of work and school this coming fall will bring its own challenges. In addition, I’m sure my exposure to other young married couples on social media isn’t helping my expectations. It seems that some couples spend endless amounts of time together going on spontaneous picture perfect adventures on a regular weekday. Consequently, I fall into the trap of comparison and jealousy very easily. As a result, I get down and feel unappreciative of my incredibly blessed and fortunate circumstances.
Dashed expectations regarding lack of time together are not my sole “challenge”. I thought I would be better as a wife. I know I’m only two months in, but I thought I was ready for this wife thing. Before marrying I worked on my #wifeskills like cooking, cleaning, and hosting to prepare for the domestic side of being a wife.
Although I’m still figuring out how to manage a household. These proficiencies are only superficial yet beneficial skills to possess. I thought I’d be better at the relational aspects. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too hard on myself because I’ve never been married and I’ve only dated Mike. Yet, this whole relationship/partner/spouse thing has been a huge learning curve.
One can learn stuff about marriage and relationships indefinitely but on a real life “living it out level” it is so. much. different. What one can’t prepare for are the dynamics of one’s relationship or the type of person one is going to be with. As it is Mike and me are different in many unexpected and delightful ways. Therefore I could only prepare for a certain level of a marriage relationship but certainly not the unique day to day challenges until I knew who I was marrying.
Thankfully our pre-marriage counselling with our pastor did help tremendously to prepare for the specifics of our marriage relationship. Nonetheless, I had to experience marriage to truly understand the intricacies involved.
Pridefully, I thought I knew how to be a “perfect wife”. For example, I knew that men need respect, so make sure to affirm them. Or don’t be a nagging wife, prepare his favourite foods often, let him unwind after work, fulfill his physical needs willingly and with passion, look good for him when he comes home, communicate your needs and expectations… My brain is filled with these tidbits of advice.
They are beneficial, but not always specific to my relationship. I can be checking off these boxes but neglecting real areas that I need to work on.
Overall, the biggest lesson I’ve learned this month is to take a deeper more realistic look at my life and not compare it to others. Which is soo hard!
As I was spending time with my grandparents this week who have been married for over 50 years I observed that marriage is about serving each other and going through seasons where you’re both working a lot and may not always get the luxury of unlimited quality time together.
That’s okay because Lord willing you have the rest of your lives together. I want to purpose to enjoy every season God has so graciously blessed me with.
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Photography: Camille Marie Photography