I love my husband!
In June, we will have been married for 11 years! What? It doesn't seem possible when I think about it. I was a baby when I got married. I was only 20 years old and full of preconceived notions and fairytale dreams about marriage and what it was like. It didn't matter how many marriage books my parent's made me read or how many times my dad told me that "love is blind but marriage is an eye opener," I still went in to marriage with the wrong idea, that somehow it was easy. The, "and they lived happily ever after," is a big pile of cow manure if you ask me. I'm sure there is not one married couple out there that will say they've been happy every day that they've been married. If they do, I say they are lying and you can't change my mind. Ha!
Our marriage has had it's fair share of dark days. Days where I wondered if it was really worth it at all. I'm sure he would tell you the same thing. I am not an easy person to live with. I'll admit it. I can be negative and moody. I speak without thinking. I'm selfish and think only of my own needs and wants. I'm not proud of it. I'm ashamed really. In the last couple of years, I have really begun to see and try and change the negative things in my life. I'm not saying I've figured it out completely but half the battle is recognizing it, right?
Marriage is hard and if you really want it to work, you have to WORK! It's not in our nature to put other people's needs above our own. We are born with an innate ability to look out for number one. Some people are better at it than others, I guess, but I'm not one of those people. It's sinful and shameful but it's the truth. One sure fire way to turn things around in a marriage that is lacking is to start putting your spouse above yourself. Sometimes that means doing things that you do not want to do. At first, it will be hard and you may find yourself bitter about the situation but I promise, if you keep WORKING at it, one day you'll find yourself doing something that you used to hate and realize that you are enjoying it. Not because it's your thing but because you are doing it with your spouse and making them happy makes you happy. Funny how that works. Once you have the hang of that, you'll find yourself looking for ways to make your spouse happy and can I just say, happy spouse, happy marriage. And my friends, they will reciprocate. Maybe not at first. They may wonder what you're up to in the beginning! If things have been difficult, you've been difficult, they may be gun-shy but you keep it up, they'll come around. Trust me, I know.
In the beginning, when my husband joined the Army, people asked me all the time how I felt about it or why now? He was 30 after all. If you graduated from a Christian college designed to prepare you for ministry and you join the military and not as a chaplain, you get weird looks and awkward silences. At first, it was hard to answer. It caught most people by surprise but the truth is, we'd fought about him joining the military for years. It was just a mostly private war that few people knew about. I was completely against it. You can read all about my thoughts on him joining the Army and me becoming and Army wife here. But in the end, it was the right thing for him and the right thing for us. I know I've posted a lot lately about my anxiety and depression over the last month waiting for him to come home from deployment. Yes, this past month has been particularly tough but I will still tell you that this was the right decision for our family. I have had more peace, more stability, more love for my husband in this season of life than any previously before. I came across this quote on Pinterest a while back and it sums up how I feel about him being in the Army, "you know you've made the right decision when there is peace in your heart."
Peace? Really? Isn't your husband in a war zone where people want to kill him? Yes, yes he is but that still hasn't erased the peace in my heart. I may be a mess right now but it's not so much worry about him but just the all consuming need for him to be home and for our family to be whole again. Because you see, right now, this is not a dark day of marriage. The sun is shining, I'm a better person, my husband is loving what he does, and we are truly best friends. It's taken a lot of work to get us to this place and it will continue to take work, really hard work. But it's worth it. It is SO WORTH IT! I want to enjoy this season of our marriage together, not apart.
I love my husband! My hero. My friend.