I woke up today to find that our daughter had posted a blog here on her photography website entitled, "3 Lessons I Learned from Marriage." Inspired after finding myself quoted there, I started thinking about what else I have learned about marriage in these thirty-six years that has made us feel like a success. Here are a few for you to consider:
- It is better to focus on what is rather than on what isn't. Unfortunately I learned this after doing just the opposite. Having grown up in a home with a marriage that didn't work out, I wasn't sure how to navigate what I hoped would be the "perfect" marriage. I felt there was plenty of change that needed to take place and that attitude led to some unhappy years for me. Time and maturity helped me wake up to find that I was married to a pretty amazing guy. I have much to be thankful for as I keep my eyes and heart focused on what I love about him rather than what I wish was different.
- It's OK to be different from each other. My husband and I are incredibly unalike. He often makes note of that fact when I hyper focus on something and he fears that my "brain might explode" with such passion to learn! He's basically content with who he is. I'm incredibly eager to grow and change. He can sit in front of the TV for hours watching golf, basketball, football, and even a bit of wrestling! I listen to the radio, search for podcasts and write every day. Reading the newspaper from cover to cover is his never-to-be-forgotten daily routine. My never-to-be-overlooked practice is an early morning quiet hour and meeting the walking girls for a super hike up and down the hills of Bever Park. He, a lover of numbers; I, a lover of words. His perfect day is to work in the yard, making beautiful flower gardens and a well groomed property. My dream day is to sit at my computer and create blogs or lessons plans for teaching. He knows more trivia than can ever be expected in a person's brain. I forget names, numbers and how to get back to places we've driven to many times. For our church, he manages money; I facilitate a class for women.What I love about this is that we don't expect each other to be the same. We actually enjoy the differences, well... most of the time.
- It is important to talk together and listen well. One of the things we learned early on, was the importance of listening to each other. I need Brian's input. I have a hard time making decisions so I need his practical view and I depend on him more than I care to admit! He needs my "heart vision," my intuition and my relationship focus. We could never tap into those strengths if we didn't offer respect and curiosity for the other's point of view, as different as they can be. Listening is crucial.
- Faith creates a common ground. We are both believers in and followers of Christ. Our passions lie in different aspects of our faith, but this sharing binds us. I love to stand next to him in church; my shoulder fits perfectly as I press into his. Together we journey with a faith in something bigger than ourselves and this gives us hope for the future as well as a grounding for today.
- Marriage is better with friends. I was told, when we were newly married, that one of the best things I could do for my marriage would be for me to have girlfriends. Fellow females fill my need to deeply connect. I often find myself in coffeeshops participating in such conversation. He also needs guy friends who like to exercise, who need help with house renovations, who want to meet for lunch or go fishing. Together we need couple friends who will come to dinner or go to a movie.
After all these years together, there are many other lessons. These will have to wait until another inspirational day when I find myself choosing to sit back and count my blessings.
What have you realized in your marriage that has made it better?
Thanks to Hannah for inspiring me with her unique words of wisdom over at hannahwhite.biz and for the photo above.