Breakups: The ultimate need of a Snickers and a Diet Coke. Okay maybe for some, a Surge and a Cigarette. But whatever poison you pick, just remember they happen for a reason. Also remember that they don't have to happen if you check yourself at the door a few times every now and then.
I've been in lots of relationships in my lifetime- some really long term, some not so long-term. And I am thankful all of them ended because now I finally met the sexy hubbs and have mini hubbs running around. (I just couldn't put sexy in there...too weird.) But in all seriousness I've learned so much along the way.
Tonight I'm going to talk about expectations in a relationship...and also in a marriage. Now Michael and I have only been married almost 2 years- so I'm not a pro, but I love to talk to older married couples about married life...and we have a kid to throw in the mix...so that gives me some extra room to talk I guess.
And by the way...all of what I'm about to say is a great reminder to myself as well! I am by NO MEANS a perfect wife or Christian woman! Just wanted THAT to be clear.
First off- don't expect your husband to your end all- be all, prince charming/saving grace/ Channing Tatum/ Bradly Cooper/ Perfect Jesus Worshiper/ "The other husband on Facebook..."
Your husband is human. He's not God. He's not Jesus. He's not Channing Tatum. Therefore he's not perfect. My point is- don't expect him to save you from yourself, know how to do everything to make you have a better day all the time, or know how to listen the "right way" when you need him. I bet he'll be decent at it most of the time. But to be honest- some days he'll down right suck at it. Some days he may make you feel like shit. But don't you let yourself think that your husband (or boyfriend) can determine YOUR happiness, stability, or walk with the Lord. Jesus is the only one that can do this for you. He's the only one that be the "perfect guy" for you.
And something I've learned this year in marriage.....your faith is separate from one another. Just because you're united as one when you get married doesn't mean you'll walk through the holy gates holding hands. God judges individually. Help each other grow, but don't think that for a second you must do it "together or not at all." (This leads me to my next point)...
But before I go onto that point...please don't compare him to other guys...especially the ones on Facebook.
Second off- Be each other's spiritual leaders. You can take turns being stronger than each other. You're a team...partners...spouses. That's the point.
Everyone tells a girl to find a man that is a great spiritual leader and marry him! Great advice! But beware of taking that advice without considering every factor that life brings to the table. Many hear the word "leader" and associate the word "stronger" with it. Beware of getting too wrapped up in finding someone "stronger than you." Three questions...
1. So what happens if the guy you marry is stronger spiritually than you and then he leads you SO WELL that you become stronger than him? Uh-oh... spaghetti-oh! Whatcha-gonna do now? Divorce him? Start lagging behind in your bible studies so you can be weaker again? See my point?
2. So what happens if the guy you marry is stronger spiritually than you and oh say... around year 3 in your marriage you guys get a call on your mission trip while he's preaching, to find out that his parents have been killed in a tragic car accident? He gets depressed, turns to drinking, starts going to church less and less, and then eventually stops trusting in God. You, fortunately, have remained strong in your faith but now you're stronger than him. So now you have to pick him up off his face and LEAD him back to God. It takes the stronger one, doesn't it? What... is there anything wrong with that?
3. So how in the world do you measure "stronger than me spiritually" anyways? Just asking.
So here's my point.....why does it matter if he's STRONGER? Why not just strong? Why not just a believer? Why can't a wife be stronger in the beginning, on the day you say "I DO?" It's funny how life takes a toll on your body and on your faith over time as the years pass. It's nice to have a partner that is strong to go through it with. One to pick up the other when the other is down. But don't for a second assume that the one who started out STRONGER...the husband....(the almighty prince charming husband who can never do wrong)....can never go weak, never lose faith, never have a moment where he may need his WIFE to be STRONGER THAN HIM!
Last off- Don't sugar coat your life, relationships, or marriage.
Fine..you want to continue to post about all the awesome, amazing things your husband/boyfriend/ Channing-Tatum look-alike spousal partner did for you or bought you? Great. But you better also be ready to admit or post when you fight or are broke or had a crappy day. Fine you don't want to go public- then at least admit it to your friends.
Here's the problem with sugar coating our lives- especially to our children. You give us false hope of what marriage is REALLY like. You've been married for 30 years and still kiss and hold hands every day? Heck yes- high five! 50 years? Slap your butt, Grandma! But don't you even think for a second that you're going to lie to me and tell me, "Oh we didn't have any problems along the way....it all came so natural." Cue the rolling of the eyes.....
Bull. I LOVE when my mom tells me about how I was a difficult baby! Did I listen to her about having my own? No. Can I complain when I have a terrible day with Bennett? No. She warned me. :o)
I LOVE how she tells me when I call her after a fight with Michael about "a time when YOUR FATHER did ________and this is how we solved it." I appreciate the openness, the genuine moments of "Yeah- life can be really crappy, but life is really worth it, Stace. Don't give up. Work through it. It's hard." So be open with your kids. Talk to them about your feelings. Let them know you had an argument. Fight in front of them...probably not. But they need to know life isn't a FRAPPIN' DISNEY MOVIE!
Just know that life isn't easy. Dating isn't easy. Marriage is WORK. And kids are the hardest, yet most rewarding job in the world. I mean..even Channing Tatum had to re-convince Rachel McAdams to love him! That's work (although I'm still not sure why).
So to wrap up this soap box rampage.....
* Look to God to be your prince charming- not your hubbs/boyfriend. He IS NOT capable of fulfilling all your needs. Sorry.
* Know that you will take turns being stronger than each other in your spiritual walk with God- and that's okay! And hey- how can you really measure that anyways?! Life is too unpredictable to know how your faith will be tested along the way. Be strong for each other!
* Don't sugar coat life. Know that everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. Nothing's easy. Anything worth having will take work.
Love to all, especially my baby brother.
Thanks for reading. Comments welcomed. :o)