Before Hannah and I were married, we sat down more than a few times to talk through the issues we thought we were bringing into marriage. Yet, as we talked through what we thought might be problems, we realized that we didn’t have all that many assumptions about marriage. We’d heard many couples talk about the assumptions that they brought to marriage, and it scared us a little:
One friend’s husband assumed that she would pick the chicken out of the chicken noodle soup, just like his mom did. No such luck.
Another friend assumed that her husband would listen, so much better than her father did. He didn’t.
So we decided to talk through, or ditch as many assumptions as we could before we got married. However, we’re learning that marriage is just like the overused onion metaphor- you’re constantly peeling back layers (and crying a lot).
1). We Thought We Would Feel Married
Both of us assumed that we would somehow feel instantly married when the rings went on our fingers and we had our first kiss- as if suddenly there would be a flash of light and we would be man and wife. We got married, walked back down the aisle and felt exactly like we had before. Two different people, totally married, and totally individual. I felt like a single man with a ring on my finger and a hot woman by my side- good, but slightly confused! To be totally honest, growing in marriage and becoming one is just another process, something that takes time.
2). We Thought Sex Would be Easy
Movies, books and TV Shows portray sex as something that is always 100% instantaneous and fun, and even the church aids this picture by encouraging couples to be servants to each other in every area of life. While the church is correct, nobody really says that this is a process or something that you have to work at. Let’s put it simply: you don’t drive 10 MPH your entire life, and then suddenly decide to go 80 MPH. Something has to change, and your view of sex has to be healthy, in order for you maintain a healthy sexual relationship with your spouse.
3). We Thought Things Wouldn’t be a Big Deal
Hannah and I aren’t big fighters. I’m really easy going, and she likes to resolve things quickly, so when we were dating, we didn’t fight very often. We went into business together after we got engaged, and found just how well we worked together, as well as how we handled stress (both poorly and well). What we didn’t know was exactly how we would act being together 24/7. Everything tends to be a little bit more of a big deal, and we try to engage each other, because living with another person means learning to live with them.
Marriage is in the process of shattering the picture of marriage that I always had in my head, because I thought marriage would be easy. It isn’t, but it’s always good.
The bottom line is something that we’ve known throughout our relationship: We’re constantly morphing, changing and as Christians, conforming to the image of God. This new thing called, “being married” is hard, but it’s also filled with the humbling experience of learning to serve each other in everything that we do. It’s filled with opportunities to represent Christ to each other in every action, and show a much bigger picture of who He is, through who we are.