We cannot understand certain things until we are practically living out a situation.
That said there are a couple of things I wish I understood better before I got married.
5 things I wish I understood before I got married
1. Submission would be harder before it got easier
I remember asking someone “I’ve heard that marriage gets easier the longer you are married?”
A puzzled look and a long reply later, I finally figured out that marriage doesn’t get easier without intentional effort from the couple.
For me, submission was hard at the beginning. And I assumed it would always feel hard.
Over time I would learn that the more Tommy and I invested in building our friendship, the easier marriage would get; not trying to become a better wife (I was failing at that).
Trying to become a better friend. The wife-part sort-of fell in place when the friend part flourished.
I learned that it is easy to ignore a nagging wife but difficult to ignore your best friend. So instead of working on being the best nag in town, I worked on being his best friend.
Friendship grows when I focus on being the best I can be for my husband, instead of focusing on how my husband can be the best person for me. (Click to Tweet)
When I submit myself and humble myself before God, submitting to my husband is no longer a thing. It flows out my relationship with God.
Check out the following post for more insights on submission in marriage.
2. Marriage was not as difficult as I thought it was
Yes marriage has it’s difficult moments.
But it’s not always difficult.
Because of #1, it gets sweeter and better.
I learned that marriage in itself as an institution has never been the problem.
The problem is always the two people involved – their selfishness, pride and ego.
But as you learn how to be less in your own personal life, so that God can be more, this same brokenness and sweetness begins to flow into marriage.
The more tough-headed and hard-hearted you are before God?
Well, the longer it takes for beauty to be birthed in your marriage.
3. Marriage would require more than I could humanly give
Before I got married, I used to wonder why married people have problems.
“Being a Christian shields you from having certain issues! If you got issues, just pray a little harder and everything will be fine!”
I got married, we had issues…and I could barely pray.
The reason marriage was difficult at times was because it revealed parts of me I didn’t even know existed!
Deep things that I could not overcome by my own power.
Like fear, which made me want to control everything. Pride, that had me inching up the the-least-likely-to-be-pliable list.
Nonetheless marriage grows and matures you.
It makes you need God in ways you didn’t need Him before.
And with Him and through Him, even the dips and valleys eventually work out for good.
4. My husband was not my dad
This part I already knew, in the literal sense.
But I discovered, very quickly, that there was a part of me that expected my husband to behave like my dad.
My father had a bold dominating personality.
I was shocked when Tommy wasn’t brash and into fixing things and people and creating miracles out of madness (my dad had a way of making everything work out the way he wanted!)
Most, if not all women, learn about men from their dads or father figures.
It’s really easy to expect their spouse to be like their fathers – whether they set a good example or bad example.
After marriage it’s important to begin to shed those daddy’s-girl expectations (whether negative and positive) and release your husband to be who he is.
5. Seasons come and go (and it’s possible to go with them, if you are not careful)
I didn’t understand that young marrieds go through problems too.
The first two or so years were anything but problem-free.
Businesses gone burst, job layoffs, lost friendships and positions, challenges in marriage.
My husband and I held on to each other and trusted God.
But to be honest, there were days when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.
I felt like I would always be sad and broke, like he would always be emotionally distant, like our finances would be a mess forever.
Now I know that seasons are just that; they come and go.
But the newlyweds have to decide if they will weather the storms together.
Or make permanent decisions in temporary situations.
The roots might not be deep in those early days.
But they have a God who has been around for a very very long time. He is deep and strong on the behalf.
And is always a very present help in times of trouble.
Your turn – Do you have areas you wish you were deeper before marriage? 🙂
Struggling with new marriage adjustments? My book Blues to Bliss can help! Learn how to take personal responsibility for your emotions and habits so you can create the marriage of your dreams (God’s way!) Click here to learn more, as well as find purchase links.
Linking with We are That family, Messy Marriage, Wifey Wednesday , Titus 2sdays