When I first got married I had this vision of married life and how wonderful it would be. My expectation was married life would be similar to my upbringing in many ways. I would keep the same exact thinking, values, traditions, etc. Boy was I wrong! To continue with the marriage series I am going to share with you why it is important to be “out with the old & in with the new”.
OUT WITH THE OLD
When two people get married they bring their own experiences, values, standards, baggage, etc. Depending on how it is handled some great things can come of it. When the old is not handled properly it can cause a lot of problems. There are cases where the old way of doing things no longer has relevance in one’s life. “Out with the old” can be good to make way for the new.
One expectation I had when I first entered married life was that my past would have no effect. I could basically go on living my life as if nothing had changed. That could not be further from the truth. The past will always affect the future. In my marriage, I have found both good and bad past experiences will affect my present and future.
I projected my past on to my marriage. I unconsciously set standards that were unrealistic. Standards that my mother and father worked tirelessly for decades to get right. Having a beautiful, wonderful, fantasy marriage does not happen the moment I say “I do.”
One thing that I have tried to be intentional about is not assuming things will be the same. I love traditions and during the holidays my family has a lot of them. The first Christmas I spent with my husband was tough. I was very excited about watching all the Christmas movies, putting together a puzzle, and eating overnight French toast for breakfast on Christmas morning. However, when my husband did not share my enthusiasm I was very disappointed.
I never thought to ask him what traditions he wanted to add and because of that (and a few other similar circumstances), I had to learn the hard way how to merge two pasts into one. Please learn from my mistake. I encourage you to recognize that you and your spouse come from two separate pasts and your life together will look different.
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With the passing of every day, I am realizing that each day counts. Being consistent and working together is key. The longer I have been married the more I have found that people want to project their own way of doing things onto my marriage. Sharing opinions and judgments. Each day has the possibility of bringing a new attack on marriage and working together is vital.
When my husband and I work together we are strong. When we work together we can tackle anything. There have been times in my marriage when my husband and I have been on different pages and it was non-stop fighting, never seeing eye-to-eye, and major frustration.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to work together. Working together day in and day out is essential. I have experienced great pain when doing things my way became the most important thing. Each day counts. The present needs to be protected and cherished. Sure, “the best is yet to come” but what if we looked at is “the best is right in front of us”? How different would we look at each day?
IN WITH THE NEW
When compromises have been made and a common ground has been established, that is when the magic happens. Making way for the new is a wonderful opportunity to create a brighter future. A future where two people can truly thrive.
My future is shaped by what I do and say in the present. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I think each stage of life or circumstance prepares me for something that is to come. So that means I have to be intentional about my present. It is safe to say I desire a happy and fulfilling future but am I willing to put in the time, effort and hard work to get there?
I believe making intentional choices to nurture the relationship and love my husband are just a couple of ways to ensure a good future. My husband and I have two children and it would be so easy to put all my attention and love towards them. The risk and likely possibility that can come of that is when the children one day move out of the house, I would have no idea who my husband is. Our identity as a couple could easily fade away.
Since I am not currently in that stage my opinion is simply based on observation and wise guidance from older, married couples I look up to. I am working each day, in conjunction with my husband, to ensure a wonderful and beautiful future. Each day brings a new lesson and new opportunity thrive.
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Working together each day is vital to your future. The second lesson is letting go of the old and bringing in the new is a great way to have a fresh start as a newlywed or a not-so-newlywed.
Side Note: Don’t feel like you need to let go of beliefs and values to have a good foundation. When I say letting go of the old, I mean expectations and predictions. Don’t make up your mind of how things will go before you have even said: “I do.” Take it one day at a time, share the values that are important to you and come to a common ground.
I want you to know that I don’t have the answers and I don’t pretend to. What I want is to share my mistakes with the intention to help someone else. I have made some doozies and if sharing them can help someone else in their marriage than that is a win. The moment we view marriage as a lazy river where we can just coast is the moment we set ourselves up for failure. We are never too old to learn something new. We just need to make sure our hearts are willing.
SAVE FOR LATER!