I got married at the tender age of 19-not-quite-20. I don't regret it one bit--my husband and I are growing up together, get to spend tons of time together, get to learn and experience life together, and will have several married years before we start having children. Marrying my man when I did is the best decision I ever made.
But I'll be the first to admit that I really had no idea what I was getting myself into when I got married! Marriage has brought a lot of surprises--some pleasant, some not as much.
I didn't expect that marriage would force me to mature so quickly. In the last almost-two years, I've had to learn to really be an adult. I've had to learn how to be selfless (that's a work in progress). I've had to learn how to handle finances, jobs, taxes, car repairs, medical issues, and more. I have learned to release myself from childhood and from the mindset of being dependent on my parents. Now, my husband and I take care of each other. I knew, cognitively, that all those things would come with marriage, but I didn't realize how quickly I (and my husband) would grow up.
I didn't expect how hard marriage would be. It's so worth it, but it's not always easy.
It's harder than I expected to come up with new date night ideas so we don't fall into the rut of "same ol', same ol'." To keep the house clean, orderly, and comfortable, day in and day out. To keep up with the never-ending jobs of laundry and dishes and scrubbing the toilet. To plan healthy, yummy meals...three times a day, every day (although this job comes more easily to me than others). I didn't expect it to take so much work to die to myself every day and intentionally love my husband the way he needs to be loved, not the way I want to be loved. To bite my tongue instead of letting an angry word slip past my lips when my temper flares. It's a lot more work than I expected.
But there are other things about marriage that are more than I expected. Amazing, wonderful things!
This love that comes out of my heart, directed at this person with whom I share, literally everything, is beyond anything I have ever experienced or could ever imagine. I never knew it was possible to love someone so much... or, just as wondrous, to be loved by them so much. Now I know why God uses the example of marriage to explain to us how much he loves us. It's a love that surpasses description, and cannot be expressed in words.
Marriage is more full of joy than I expected. You know the old adage about how two people can halve each other's sorrows and double each other's joys? Well, in marriage, that is SO true. Happy things are twice as happy. Hard things are twice as easy to bear. I mean, I get to spend the majority of my time with my best friend, who happens to be a really fun person to spend time with, who makes me laugh, who puts a lot of effort into making me happy, who directs me to my Jesus, and who loves me more than I will ever understand (as explained above). How much better can life get?
In marriage, there is more laughter than I expected. There is more encouragement. I didn't realize how much of a team we would be. We're each other's "buddies"--we always have the other's back, and we might sometimes get on each other's nerves, but just let someone else say something mean about us and watch out! We're there for each other. And let's just say... there are other aspects of marriage that have far surpassed my expectations, and I couldn't be more thrilled!
Marriage is so much more work than I expected...and sometimes, it brings pain, because we can hurt the most the ones we love the most.
But those hard things are so worth it, because in marriage, the love, joy, and happiness are so much more than I expected. I am in awe of this gift with which God has blessed us.
And I can't wait to see what other unexpected things life brings our marriage. The future isn't scary, because God is already there, leading us on, and I know that my husband and I will be hand-in-hand every step of the way.
What in your life has been more than you expected? Share in the comments!
Linking with: Exceptionalistic, A Proverbs 31 Wife, What Joy is Mine, The Alabaster Jar, The Modest Mom, Yes They're All Ours, The Better Mom, To Love, Honor and Vacuum, Messy Marriage, Graced Simplicity