Four weeks ago today, I married my bride, and it has been better and harder than I imagined. We’re still settling in–our apartment, our routines, our preferences, and our love. Quite apropos, it seems, that I am writing this entry from Sue’s MacBook.
Where do I even start with explaining even the ripples from the splash called “wedlock”? First, I might say that no matter how much time you spend with someone prior to marriage, you’ll never be fully prepared to share every moment of life. It’s humbling, really. I have a system for everything, and unless I married a clone of myself (which would be terrifying), she would have a different system or none at all. I think it might be the “none at all” that is harder than another routine.
With divergent systems, at least you both care about it being a certain way and you (or she) can change/merge/replace one with the other. When only one of you has a way it “should be”, though, it becomes a burden to her as she has to try to remember all these little (and big) things that previously didn’t matter. To me, it’s order. To her, it’s labor (not the child-bearing kind). Let the self-sacrifice begin.
But it’s worth it. On my own, even dating/engaged, I was able to withdraw into my safe haven, put all my ducks in a row, and have it “my way”. When Sue and I sleep and wake in one bed, share one sink, one toilet, one shower, one kitchen and coffeemaker, and one home, “my way” has to change. Sure, I could create a little bubble somewhere in the apartment and make it my little safe place where all is in systematic harmony, but I think I’d just be avoiding the painful gain. As my friend, Will, put it, “Imagine saying, ‘I’m so happy!’, while balling, and you get the idea.” It’s true. Many a day one or both of us feel like crying as our lives collide and we learn our new normal, but we are so happy :).
Probably our biggest strength (by God’s grace) through these four weeks and the months before has been communication. Granted, I sometimes err on the side of expressing too much and not holding my tongue when I should probably sacrifice a violated preference, but I’m working on it (baby steps). Sue’s the other way, sacrificing first and speaking second (I try to encourage her to let me know, so I can compromise/change, too). Even here, we’re learning and growing as we practice it in every area.
When all is said and done, four weeks in, I am a blessed man. As it says on our dining room mirror (with these really neat stick-on letters):
Life is not about waiting
for the Storm to pass
but about learning
to Dance in the Rain