Monday, May 14, 2012

Some Good Advice

So there I was, letting Pinterest suck the day away, when I came across this fantastic article full of marital advice.  I swoon for this type of thing, so of course I immediately devoured the entire thing.  It's full of some atypical advice, most of which I heartily agree with even after being married for less than a year.  

There were several that were very poignant (ok fine I teared up at a couple STOP JUDGING ME AND MY FRAIL EMOTIONS!), but one really hit home for me:

10. Stop thinking temporarily.

Marriage is not conditional. It is permanent. Your husband will be with you until you die. That is a given. It sounds obvious, but really making it a given is hard. You tend to think in “ifs” and “thens” even when you’ve publicly committed to forever. If he does this, I won’t tolerate it. If I do this, he’ll leave me. If I get fat. If I change jobs. If he says mean things. If he doesn’t pay more attention. It’s natural, especially in the beginning of your marriage, to keep those doubts in your head. But the sooner you can get go of the idea that marriage is temporary, and will end if certain awful conditions are met, the sooner you will let go of all kinds of conflict and stress.

In the devotional that my hooboo and I are currently reading, they talk about how Satan will most definitely try to attack your marriage because it's something that is so precious to God, and can be such a powerful witness of your faith.  I can identify without a doubt where I have felt attacked in our marriage, from even before we tied the knot.

I read a lot, you see.  Blogs, books, newspapers, magazines, pretty much anything I can get my hands on.  And you know as well as I do that marriages are no longer the commitment that they used to be, what with that 50% thing hovering over them.  So even though I am 1,000% against divorce (especially after being in the middle of one as a child), it still gets in my head.  It seems like everywhere I look, people are cheating on each other with the tiniest provocation, and a seed gets planted in my brain.

Sometimes when I'm having an especially bad day or Monsieur Winn and I are having a particularly distasteful argument, I can literally almost hear Satan's voice whispering in my ear.  

"You better let him buy that ice cream/electronic/video game, or he'll start building resentment toward you, and you won't even be able to look at each other 5 years down the road."

"Nagging again?  He might get awfully tired of only hearing criticisms and seek out someone who is a better listener."

"He didn't kiss you goodnight?  Maybe you should have changed out of your pajamas today...""

It's super hard to put these in writing, and I shudder just to think about them.  I'm not saying all of these don't have a nugget of truth in them.  I do need to let him splurge every once in a while, but he's also benefiting in so many ways by my good money management.  I do need to cut down on the nagging, but occasionally he really does need a reminder.  And I probably shouldn't stay in my pjams all day, but I'm allowed the occasional day of doing nothing.

The lie behind all of these is that my adoring husband would leave me at the slightest sign of a bump in the road.  And if you know him at all, you understand how ridiculous that is.  He is fiercely loyal, and if I allow myself to admit it, he's as crazy about me as he was when we first met.  

I love being married.  Of course it's not always super fun and perfect, but I love having my best friend around all the time and having someone to lean on when I'm not doing well.  Reading that advice today reminded me that it's ok to trust that God put us together for a reason, and to have faith in my H's capacity for love.  

So the next time I hear him at the door while I'm still in my sweats, I'm not going to give in and feel guilty about it.  I'm going to giggle at how comfy I am and invite him to put his sweats on too!

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