January 21, 2013
Zach and I have been married for five and a half years now. For the first four years, we felt like newlyweds, as the youngest childless couple in our extended family. I am grateful for that time to be just a couple, figuring out our way through marriage. By the time we did get pregnant, we had found a really comfortable place with each other.
I know some of you are in the newlywed phase, and I wanted to write the biggest, hardest, best lessons I learned as a new bride. But first I must honestly share my misconceptions about marriage. Deep down, I believed Zach would fulfill me. He was this prince on a white horse, and I placed him on a pretty tall pedestal. Marriage would fix our needs and struggles. And he certainly would start putting his clothes away when I moved in after the wedding.
Here is what I know now about newlywed life and marriage in general: I love Zach more today than I did during our wedding, but that is not because he has fulfilled and fixed my needs. Rather we have become more honest about our brokenness and still chosen to love. In the first year of marriage, I had to take him down from that pedestal and realize that we are both fallen humans that sin and mess up. I wasn’t enough to keep him from struggles or to make him put his clothes away. Instead of an entitled prince + princess, we became a team.
Living in a city with family faraway, we were best friends who worked hard to resolve conflict, instead of letting it fester. For a long time, I nagged about things that frustrated me, but slowly realized that if I wanted things to change, I needed to change. So, I put his clothes away myself, because that is my strength and began working on my struggles.
The most important thing I learned was that marriage is about exposing my sin and selfishness, and not about my happiness. And also - that it is worth the growing pains.