Hey lovelies, so I originally dreamed of doing this post once Ben and I reached 6 months of marriage, but I had a lot I wanted to share and just couldn’t wait any longer. Right before we got married I shared a little Q and A, answering common questions that had been fired at me after our engagement. I was 19 when Ben proposed and turned 20 the same week we got married, so yes I was young and yes many people had strong opinions about it.
What’s marriage really like?
Marriage is hard. Let’s be honest, everyone thinks that when people preach about “marriage being difficult”, that it won’t apply to them once they’re married because well your fiance is perfect and you are just so in love you could die. Don’t lie, because I had these same thoughts. Now.. I don’t mean to start out on a harsh note, but I do want to be honest. Marriage is hard, but that’s what makes it so beautiful. We are 5 months in and have had several silly arguments, but each has taught us so much. Learning how your spouse handles different emotions is so helpful. For example, I seem to shut down and become a vault when I’m upset. I repress my feelings and say that everything is fine, although my attitude clearly says otherwise(can anyone say passive aggressive?). Gaining this knowledge has helped me to take a deep breath and muster up the courage to open up about what I’m feeling. Marriage has immensely deepened my knowledge on my own personality type and Ben’s as well.
My sister, Lindsey, introduced us to the Enneagram and it has been so fun and valuable to take the test and figure out our “numbers” on the Enneagram scale. What I love about this test is that it gives you the healthy and unhealthy version of your number. I highly suggest reading Lindsey’s post that I linked above, because she explains it so much better than what I could. Also, Ben and I have been reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman and trying to narrow down our personal love languages has been super helpful. The book dives into different lives of couples and their conflicts in their marriage. In a quick summary; the reasons for the conflicts all root back to the fact that each couple are simply not speaking the love language of their spouse. Wrap up: Ben and I are still figuring things out about each other and ourselves daily and will forever be working on being the “healthy” version of our personality types. These tools have been very helpful for us, but at the end of the day we have to hold onto the peace of humility. You will never be the perfect spouse (sorry to break it to you) and neither will your husband. Acknowledge that early on and be quick to be handing out forgiveness on the daily.
Wait, you’re 20 and you’re married!? But now you’re like trapped..
Yes, I got this response numerous times in my college classes last semester and I have to pause and giggle for a few seconds every time I think about it. My response to that is YES I am married and NO I am not “trapped”. I am currently living my happiest life thus far. It makes me so sad that marriage has a “your trapped” stigma attached to it. Marriage is like a sleepover every night with your best friend (how does that sound so bad!?). Honestly cannot imagine my life any other way and I would never want to. Having Ben by my side during so many life changes and big decisions has been such a blessing. He encourages my doubts, grows with me spiritually, listens to my late night babbling (according to Gary Chapman I am considered a “babbling Brooke”), cooks dinner with me, pushes me out of my introvert shell and I could go on and on. I love doing life with him. When we got married our problems were not erased, if anything they were magnified, but on August 12, 2017 I gained a husband and another wonderful family. I gained advice givers and life supporters. I am not trapped, I am encompassed by a loving husband and two families that make life so much sweeter.
How are you adjusting to living in Indy and all the changes?
As I look back on this past summer I’m a little shocked at all the changes that really did occur. To be honest, in the middle of that crazy season of life I didn’t realize most of the changes that were about to take place. I was focused on one thing and that was marrying Ben. Everything else was just a blur and I owe so much credit to the Lord for sweeping the anxiety and worry away. I would say that Indy really does feel like home, which I guess sounds a little odd as I sit here and type it. I am really loving this city. We have loved getting to explore fun little parts of downtown and new restaurants or the ones that have become our “regulars”. Although this isn’t our forever home, we are trying to soak up all sweet memories we make while here. To answer the question more directly I would say that I am adjusting well. The biggest change has definitely been spending more time by myself (making friends is wayyy harder than you think). I do have to say that I struggled in the beginning with all the alone time, but now I’m finding peace as I fill it with conversations and time spent with the Lord.
Now I am definitely no expert, but I would love to share with you tid bits straight from personal experience.
- 95% of the things you get upset about are probably not worth starting a fight over. Forgive, forget and move on sister.
- Place yourself under the Lord. Allow him to fill you up constantly and live off the overflow of Him. Pour that overflow into your relationship and daily life.
- If something is upsetting you talk it out. Don’t bottle it up because that doesn’t help anyone. Gently share your feelings.
- Share prayer requests with each other. If you are struggling with something, share it with your spouse so they can pray for you and with you.
- Pray together. We take turns praying in the morning before we start our days and before each meal. It’s one of my favorites to hear each others thoughts with the Lord and there’s nothing better than praying over my husband before he heads to work.
- Laugh often. Some of my favorite memories with Ben are simply times he gave me uncontrollable laughter. Whether it be because he cracks a joke that I actually get or he wipes out in our apartment running to get the door for the maintenance guy (just pictured the whole thing and it still makes me laugh). There’s nothing better than those deep belly giggles. Fun fact: I get these random moods where I literally have uncontrollable laughter and EVERYTHING is hilarious, but I have to say it always lightens the mood and I end up making Ben laugh in return so I’m pretty much a comedian by laughter.
I hope to keep doing these posts as we face new challenges and adventures in our married life together (maybe I’ll even have Ben write one from his perspective). Once again I am no master of marriage haha! But I love sharing experiences because I feel that’s when we learn most. So feel free to email me or comment below, I’d love to hear from you!