To a friend

A dear friend of mine got married nearly two weeks ago. And it made me think of the things I have learned since my own wedding day (almost!) 2 years ago. In honour of this grand occasion I would like to share some of those things with you.

1. When you wake up there will be someone on the other side of the bed. Do try to remember that. I forgot once. One morning shortly after our wedding I rolled over, hit a body, and screamed. My poor perplexed husband’s response was, ‘Who on earth did you think it was going to be??!’

2. When you get home from the honeymoon, remember that everyday life won’t be like that. You won’t have time to spend hours just being together. You won’t always be as relaxed. You will actually have to deal with life again. Some days there will be so much to do that you will only briefly see your husband at all. And that is ok. But do purposefully take time out of your busy lives to connect and just be a couple again. Go on dates. Have games nights at home. Take holidays together. Watch your favourite movie together – or expand his limited knowledge of the female mind by watching a chick flick. (He may even enjoy it – however, remember that he will never admit this in public, so it is best not to mention it.)

3. Don’t feel that you have to spend every waking moment with each other. If he wants to go and hang out with the guys, let him. If he wants to read a book or watch a movie that you are not interested in, go do something else! Enjoy hobbies and time with friends apart from each other. You’ll find that you have more to talk about if you’re not together 24/7 – and you will appreciate his presence more when he is there.

4. Remember that he is a man. He will not always see things the same way. He will not always think the same way. Sometimes you may wonder if he thinks at all! Just remember that God made him different for a purpose. Sometimes you will just need to try harder to understand him or even get him to explain things a million times. Other times you will just have to accept that you do not ‘get’ him and that that is ok!

5. He will have faults. We all do. And somehow there will always be at least one that you didn’t find out about before marriage. When you do find it, don’t panic. Just because he does one thing that you don’t like doesn’t mean it is the end of the world – or your marriage. Talk to him. If he is able/willing to change it then great. If not, deal with it. Move on. In time you will even come to love all the silly little things he does. (My husband wriggles. It drove me nuts at first. I was so frustrated that he couldn’t just sit/lie still! And then the first time he went away for a week I found myself unable to sleep because I missed the wriggling!)

6. Communicate. I know everyone says it so often it gets worn out, but it is important. Men physically cannot mind read. (It’s a shame really!) He probably has no idea that you are still bothered by some silly little thing he did 3 days ago. So talk to him. Tell him what is on your mind. And don’t keep secrets from each other. My friends all know that even if they tell me something in the strictest confidence, I will not keep it from my husband. (I trust him implicitly and know that he can keep a secret. If that was not the case it would be different.) You have ‘become one’ – act like it. Talk to each other about everything – even if it is hard to do. There have been times when my husband confronted me (gently!) over things that I have said or done that are not Godly. And I appreciated him even more for it.

7. No matter how much you love each other there will be days when he will do extremely stupid things and you will get mad and want to kill him. Don’t. Leave the room. Take a deep breath – several in fact. And then, as the pastor said at your wedding, choose love. If you cannot muster the strength to love in the face of pain, anger, or disappointment then pray and ask God to give you love. Remember your wedding day. Listen to the songs that were played that day. Read again the vows you spoke to the man you loved. By this point, if you are anything like me, you will be crying and going in search of him to make amends. If not, stay on your knees until you love that man again with all your heart.

Take on life’s joys and hardships together – remembering to face it all as a team – and keep on choosing to love. I promise that the love just keeps on growing with every passing day.