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A few weeks ago at church Andy and I heard a sermon that both really spoke to us. It was so interesting, and I honestly feel like its changed my vision of our marriage!
When Andy and I first got married it was definitely a challenge adapting to being married, and living with someone. I was 19 years old, and had never lived anywhere but at home. So all of a sudden I was thrown (which I welcomed) into this job of being a wife. The small things and huge differences that at first intrigued me when we were dating, now at times drive me nuts because we're so different. Like night and day.
The first year of marriage was tough; I had to get used to living with someone else, how the other person does dishes, what type of milk to buy, what type of laundry detergent to buy, etc. The reason it was a hard adjustment is because we both came from different families, had different people raising us, and had different things modeled for us.
My aunt gave me a piece of advice before we got married. She said, "Karla, if you ask Andy to do the dishes after supper, and he doesn't do them as soon as you stand up from the dinner table, make sure you remember that he does things differently. You asked him to do the supper dishes. As long as they are done when you wake up in the morning that is whats important." My skin actually crawls when I think about having a messy, kitchen after supper for the whole night, but my aunt is right.
How Andy does things is way different than how I may do them. As long as he does eventually do what I ask him to do, and those dishes (or laundry, or vacuuming, or phone calls, or yard work, etc) are done within a timely manner, it doesn't mean he has to do them RIGHT NOW.
There was a statement in the sermon that I mentioned about that got my attention, and I think Andy's too: The person who I fell in love with was different than some of the expectations that I had formed about marriage while I was growing up. Its not until we got into real life that those expectations were exposed.
That honestly couldn't be more bang on. I have this idea in my head of how my marriage needs to be, and look. I had my parents model (and still modeling) their marriage for me all through growing up, and in my mind the roles that each of them played are the expectations that I have for my marriage.
The person who I fell in love with was different than some of the expectations that I had formed about marriage while I was growing up. Its not until we got into real life that those expectations were exposed.
I am not my mom (although we're very much alike) and Andy is not my dad (although they're very much alike), and we do not have the same marriage as our parents.
We've been married going on 5 years now, and I think that I've learned (but not quite mastered) that if I drop all expectations (and I admit, I do have some pretty high expectations for my dear husband at times) that our marriage and friendship will flow a lot better. As soon as I stop expecting that Andy does everything the way I would do it -- whether that is changing a diaper, cleaning the bathroom, yard work, or cooking supper -- and just let him be himself, we'll learn to get along a little better and fall even deeper in love.
Like I said, its something I'm still working on.
If you'd like to listen to the sermon, visit this link.
Karla is a young stay at home mom to her very 2 year old son Eli, and wife to her dear husband Andy. She grew up in a Christian home, and has a passion for worship and people. She also enjoys dance and painting abstract art in her spare time...when she's not doing dishes or folding laundry. Karla blogs at The Hope Family.