Marriage is like a battery. You need the positive and negative to make it work. It’s not possible to have the one without the other, otherwise, it’s no longer a battery and thus becomes useless. In other words; you will set yourself up for disappointment when you have unrealistic goals in a relationship. Which I quickly learned in my first year of being married to my husband.
As newlyweds, you are convinced that the first year will be one long honeymoon phase. Did we get a big surprise? I believe it can be one of the most difficult times in your marriage because you can no longer do things the way you want to, you have to meet your partner halfway. But it makes sense that it can be so difficult because my husband and I came out of two very different households. We had to figure out and create our own new way of living and running of our household.
The phase of disagreeing on how the dishes must be done, or how the bed must be made, was extremely difficult for the both of us. We couldn’t understand why we fought so much during the alleged honeymoon phase. I later convinced myself that it was my fault because before I met my husband, I was convinced that I wasn’t marriage material and that getting married was never going to be a part of my future. This all due to friends and family telling me that I’m too independent and that men find it intimidating. I wasn’t about to change for anyone.
I will never forget the day when one of my guy friends felt offended because I could get the heavy bag out of the car – after he struggled to do so – and carried it on my own. In some way, I had insulted his “manhood”, even though it wasn’t my intention to do so. My parents just raised me in a home where we were taught to be strong and independent. No one in my family is afraid of getting their hands dirty if it means getting the job done. My stubbornness is just an added bonus. And then a strange guy – who on our first date said: “You know that cool, suave guy that always says the right thing? That’s not me.” – stole my heart and loved me exactly for who I am. My independence, stubbornness and all.
During our “not-so-honeymoon-phase” phase, we learned to adapt and realised that positive motivation is key. During those difficult times, we would start to doubt ourselves about whether the marriage could work or not. But, with time, we learned that when the one struggles, the other one needs to be strong and carry the slack. There will later come a time where the roles will be reversed, giving us the opportunity to lean on each other.
We shouldn’t be afraid of helping, or being helped. And I am truly thankful I could learn this with my husband by my side, as it gave me the opportunity to be free in who I am. My husband supports my weird ideas and believes in me. Because of him, I’m becoming more of myself, and who I want to be every day.
This is me; thankful and always free.