In the world of lies people tell newlyweds, “Marriage isn’t supposed to change you” is the biggest one.
And yet, all along my timeline during engagement and wedding season this lie prevails.
Yes. Marriage is fun. It’s all the great scenes in movies, it’s the hot sex, and late night pillow talks but it’s also hard.
In fact, we just sat with one of our favorite married couples who will celebrate 10 years soon to tell them: it’s harder than the “hard” they told us to prepare for.
As a result, when I tell other people that it’s hard (who aren’t married), the following questions I get are:
What makes it so hard?
If you’re already living together isn’t it the same thing?
Since you’re friends, isn’t it supposed to be easier?
Y’all were already having sex, right? Isn’t that half the battle?
Then I’m always like:
The truth is: we would be divorced now if we didn’t take divorce off of the table years before we got married.
And I don’t think admitting this makes us weak, I don’t believe it means we don’t have what it takes. However, I do believe it is a testament to how transformative marriage is, and how hard transformation is.
I am thankful to God that there is a vast difference between the person and wife I was last year and the person and wife I am and will be on our 1 year anniversary. But, please believe that it was a struggle.
It was a struggle because marriage is supposed to trigger you and change you.
Marriage is supposed to drive you insane and then you are supposed to understand and unpack why marriage is having this impact on you.
And to be honest
I don’t know what it is about being married that causes all these locked things within ourselves to surface. Is it the ceremony? Title? Commitment? Covenant?
I only know that the metamorphosis is real and we have to stop lying to newlyweds.
Speaking for myself, marriage has shown me how insecure I am. It’s shown me how much my relationship (or lack thereof) with my father still impacts so much of my… everything.
Marriage has taught me how selfish I am and how prideful. I’ve learned how temperamental I can be when I’m frustrated and don’t have the language or words to explain myself. Marriage has shown me that I have deep rooted issues with body positivity and that I may not be such a survivor of assault after all.
Didn’t I know all of this before I got married?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is:
There is something supernatural about marriage that has unearthed the worst version of myself and still convinced me that I can be good, better, and my best. In fact, I actually want to be. When I think about the type of marriage I want I always know I want a marriage where both people are fulfilled.
I want to be in a marriage where we aren’t settling or lying by omission. Marriage to me means constantly asking myself–how can I be a better person? What can I do to make sure this man is not miserable and stuck with someone that’s miserable too?
Consequently, the answer is always to actively and proactively address the many secrets and heartaches I’ve kept buried or only kinda-sorta nurtured closed.
As you can expect, the process is excruciating and it’s not fun but, there are gifts at the end of the rainbow.
Those gifts include: Words with Randie, therapy, better sex, matured communication skills, closeness, a book, a village, and a sincere effort to be self-confident. It’s safe to say in our first year of marriage we haven’t mastered all of these things but, these are the gifts that came out of our commitment this year.
These are the gifts and these gifts have been given to us because we let our marriage change us, and thank God.