“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh-Genesis 2:24”.
The Fairytale Honeymoon
We hear it all the time, “they are in their honeymoon phase.” A Couple just newly married enjoying the way “my wife” “my husband” rolls off the tongue. Embracing each other giving off the scent of love as they walk by us. Escaping from the outside world every chance they get to enjoy each other in the folds of their bed sheets. After all, that’s what God intended, when he created them from one flesh and what they expected when they said I DO. To be with each other till death do them part!
But what if the reality is not a Honeymoon? Instead, it’s a battlefield between two individuals trying to keep their identity. All the while attempting to merge as one under the title husband and wife.
Unfortunately, marriage is no fairytale, no really! I don’t mean it in a bad bitter way. I want to be honest about the struggles of combining two lives. Yes, it can be beautiful, passionate, loving, and very rewarding. But that does not happen the minute you say I do, it becomes all those things with time.
Once Upon a Marriage
Recently I was reminded of the first two years of my marriage (to that good-looking man on the picture). It was projected in a mirror in the form of my sister-and-law and her husband. The confusion, despair, tears, resentfulness, anger, and disappointment of expectations not met covered me like a dense fog clinging to the surface. I was right back to that young twenty-six-year-old woman yelling at the top of her lungs at the man she vowed to love for the rest of her life.
When my husband and I first got married not only were we newlyweds, but we were new parents. Both young, dumb, and way over our head with responsibility. Caring for yourself and now another little person is a lot for a couple. BUT we loved each other very much we wanted to be together as we vowed. At this point in our relationship; we had already been through so many ups and downs that we knew we could surpass the bad. We were sure that being married would be like the happily ever after we always dreamed.
Till it wasn’t!
So what happened? We fought ALLLLLLLLLLL the time. Not just disagreements, but deep down I will eat your soul for breakfast fights. We said hurtful, hateful, dirty; ugly no one should ever hear words to each other. Treating our home as the battlefield and each other as enemies in the pursuit of claiming the ultimate prize. The prize you ask… Who is the head of the house? Refusing to let our individual wants to evolve to an “our” wants and needs. Slowly we tore away at each other’s hearts, souls, everything. Refusing the notion to be the type of couple that was submissive to each other’s needs (not in the 50 Shades Gray way).
The expectations set by the world of a newly married couple seemed so very far from our reality. The struggle to be yourself and a spouse at the same time were a heavy burden. Making it that much harder to climb out of the hole we dug. The past that made who we were was now clashing with the promise of our future together.
That was our “honeymoon phase” a war of the spouses. Until death was no longer the death of a spouse but the death of marriage. Specifically our marriage.
Things had to change. I never wanted to turn my love to hate and wanted to be with this man for the rest of my life. So I knew I had to change. I had to stop thinking of me as an individual and more like a double. Don’t misunderstand I still wanted to keep my traits (you can even let your YOU fly free) I just wanted to keep the ones that strengthen us not just ME. In a marriage, you just can’t make one plus one equal one. Get it! We must be willing to redefine what being an individual is, making your marriage individual from others, not from each other.
“Love is patient; love is kind. It does not envy; it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope always perseveres -1Corinthians 13:4-7”.
Things changed for my marriage when I gave it to GOD; I gave up my control, my ideas, my expectations, and my anger. I submitted first to my God and then to my husband. It was not easy to do either nor was the change overnight. I can say I still sometimes have to recommit to God and my husband (not in the cheating type of commit). I am human after all and committing is an everyday thing for me.
One handy thing I did to turn my marriage around was purchased the book The Love Dare; you may have heard of it or watched the movie Fireproof. In addition to the book, I bought Living the Love Dare: A year of Daily Reminders to Lead Your Heart, it is a tabletop calendar that flips each day. I have to say that flip calendar has been the most useful weapon in my spiritual arsenal. Why? Because my husband was not the ‘let’s do this bible study together’ type of guy, and that was a way for me to make him part of the process. With the calendar on our bathroom counter, he was bound to read the lessons.
How about you?
- Married? Tell me about your “honeymoon phase” was?
- Single? What do you think of the “honeymoon phase”?