The month of October has been tough.
Like, really, really, really tough for my weak body.
And really, really, really tough for my husband who has had to helplessly watch & care for me in more ways than normal.
We love the fall & we love scary movies. We have been watching alot of those lately & we have spent quite a bit of extra time together between being in the hospital, constant doctor appointments, & days he has taken off work to care for me at home. I’m thankful for that quality time even in the midst of my suffering. And I’m overjoyed that October 23 marked 6 months of matrimony for the Jenkins.
Truly, my love for Tyler has grown exponentially since we said “I DO” on April 23. Marriage has been EASY…so effortless, so smooth, so lovely, and so simple. And our life together, our circumstances are typically anything but easy or simple. Praise God that our solid relationship remains a constant rock & comfort in the midst of crazy.
Here are 6 lessons I’ve learned through the first 6 months of marriage:
Sharing a bathroom is fun.
Okay, this will probably be interpreted the wrong way so stay with me here. Sharing a bathroom has allowed us to maximize our time together & our communication. We do some of our best talking when one spouse is in the shower while the other is brushing their teeth/washing up for bed. Of course privacy is still allowed, but when you are married you can shower with the door open & talk to your best friend if you want! I love watching Tyler in the mirror each night as he brushes his teeth, smiling back at me. Sharing this space is fun for us!
Pressure to be perfect does not come from my partner.
I’ve previously written about my self-critical nature. Marriage has amplified that. I want to be perfect in all the things that I can do for him since there are many normal things that I cannot. I want everything I cook to be the greatest thing he’s ever tasted. I want to look pretty at all times of day. I want to have the perfect words of kindness, comfort, and love. I want to surprise him and do nice things for him. And while Tyler loves all of these gestures of love… he doesn’t expect perfection. When it comes down to it, husbands really just want attention, affection, and to be well-fed. Tyler never puts unrealistic pressure on me to be a trophy wife. When I do my best to serve, love, & honor him he is a happy hubby 🙂
My husband is my advocate.
As husband and wife we need to work together; I always want Ty to know that I am FOR him, not against Him. Just as the Lord tells us that He is always working for us, I am working for my husband and my husband is working for me. The last few weeks have definitely pushed Ty into the role of advocate for my health. And he has done an amazing job talking with doctors and nurses, perfectly describing my issues. He has been an incredible listener & observer of not only me, but our surroundings. He talks through questions with me that we need to ask the doctor. He plans ahead so I can be taken care of in the best possible way. He works hard to let me know I am his priority & he will drop all else when I need him. He is my cheerleader!! What would I do without him?!
It’s not that hard.
Okay, I know we have only been married 6 months & we are certainly in the newlywed phase. But I feel totally justified in saying that marriage isn’t that hard because Tyler & I have endured/continually endure challenges that cause marriages to fail. We are young yet we know serious, life-altering hardships… and even in the midst of the storm, being married is the easiest part of life. I believe we have the choice to either make marriage super challenging by focusing on every imperfection, continually talking about all of our differences, and blowing things out of proportion…. OR we have the choice to make marriage simple through open communication, putting our spouses needs above our own, choosing to be graceful, slow to anger, and joyful no matter what life brings. We choose #2. Why over complicate things? We got married because we love each other unconditionally & want to build a God-glorifying life together… so that’s what we’re doing.
Our marriage is a direct reflection of our love for the Lord.
The way we love each other says everything about our relationship with Christ. If we are loving the Lord with all our hearts & trying to honor Him, our marriage will reflect that. We will strive harder to show each other forgiveness, grace, patience, & love. When I am focused on Christ, my love for Ty grows more. My desire to submit to Him is at the forefront of my mind. And my willingness to serve is ever present because I WANT to put Him first. Keeping our eyes fixed on the Lord changes our hearts, minds, & actions. It makes us better. It refines our marriage. It makes life better.
Marriage is my favorite adventure.
Some days I still giggle when I say my new name. Other days I have to pinch myself when I remember I have a HUSBAND. Many days being married feels totally normal & not over the top exciting. That’s life. In marriage you settle into mundane routines, you face circumstances that suck, you don’t always feel like sharing life with another person. Sometimes you want to be alone. But the sleepovers every night, waking up each morning to your love, sharing a bathroom, living together, late night talks when insomnia hits, grocery shopping as a team, hours spent on the couch binge-watching your favorite shows… now that, that is the sweetness of marriage that makes it my absolute favorite thing.
Thank you to my handsome husband for teaching me the true meaning of self-less love. The best is yet to come!