Far From a Fairy Tale
My husband and I are not your romantic, Hollywood-movie type of couple. First, we don’t have the look. Second, we are not very classy and elegant. The kind of “passionate romance” we see in popular media does not come close to describing our relationship. If we were ever being filmed in our home, you’ll see us in our T-shirt and jeans (or pajamas), sitting at our dining table drinking coffee, and laughing hysterically together.
Simple Love. That’s how I would describe “us.” So comfortable. So natural. So simple.
I love doing life with this man.
I was a hopeless romantic my whole life. I thought I knew the kind of ideal relationship I was looking for. Instead, the relationship God brought to my life was completely different from what I had imagined. It’s so much better!
I do not go weak at my knees every time he looks at me. We do not passionately make out as soon as he comes home from work. He does not shower me with flowers, gifts, and poems.
Instead, on occasions I still encounter the toilet seat left up. It drives me crazy how he loses his keys or phone or wallet and roams around the house expressing his frustration. He is not shy about passing gas (no joke). He demonstrates these ridiculous “strip shows” before we make love that leaves me crying from laughter (not your typical “pillow talk”).
These six years I’ve been married to him have been so completely different from the “happily ever after” I dreamed of for twenty-six years before I married him. But I would not trade one second of it.
It’s not always easy. Actually, in the beginning, it was excruciatingly difficult! I wasn’t sure if we were really going to make it to the altar. To this date, our dating and engagement seasons were the toughest times we faced as a couple (something else that did not go according to my ideals!).
We went through a crash course at the very beginning. We were faced with many differences. Differences in our genders. Differences in our backgrounds. Differences in our personalities. Differences in our communication styles. We were frequently hit with so many conflicts that we not only sought help from God through prayer, but also from trusted teachers/counselors. I had a hard time letting go of my deep-rooted fears and unrealistic expectations. I was looking to him too much to meet my needs and to be my security. Of course, he failed. I was disappointed. He didn’t understand me like I thought he should. He didn’t sympathize or say the right things. He wasn’t sensitive like all my girlfriends were. God quickly showed me through our dating stage (and our first year of marriage) that I had to let go of the unfair expectations I was placing on him. He’s someone I was to do life with – not someone who was there to make me happy all the time. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this was a growing opportunity. Marriage gave me a chance to put aside my desires and try to meet someone else’s needs instead. We both grew so much within those first few years. Now, looking back, I see that God was allowing us to build a solid foundation, not only for our marriage but also for our home. Just a year and a half after we were married, we welcomed our first daughter. By then, our relationship was so solid that there really was no issue of this baby getting in the way of our marriage. Next to our relationship with God, we both knew that our marriage took the top priority.
We also went through some hard seasons together within the first few years. These trials taught me that our life together can’t always be peachy and full of laughter. Since I’m married to such an outwardly expressive guy, when things are good, he makes everything so much fun! But the opposite is also true. When things are not so great, his frustration, chaos and negativity permeate through the home. In those times, I learned that I can’t be soaking myself in “self-pity.” I need to be a prayer warrior. I need to protect and preserve the positive attitude in our home. I also can’t be the “Holy Spirit” in my husband’s life. I need to trust God to carry him through the tough times – and He always does. The tough times bring us closer together, and my faith in God is greatly increased after every trial. They also make the good times even that much sweeter.
I know that we still have much more to learn and grow. We still have many days when our “selfishness” gets in the way of trying to be there for the other person. But we know we are not alone. The security of our marriage relies not on how capable or knowledgeable we are, but on how capable and wise our God is.
- God is at the center of our marriage – we seek Him first, and we do not have to rely on our human capabilities.
- We are REAL and humble with each other; we both have a teachable spirit.
- We are full of laughter.
These are the three key ingredients to our marriage…with this mix, I know that we will make it. We also long for other couples to share in this confidence.
This category of my blog is dedicated to the ongoing journey of our marriage. I will post some current adventures as well as my past adventures that I have written in my journals along the way. I hope our experiences will give some insight and encouragement to other married couples in their own journey.