Four Weeks In

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

3 Comments

  1. Carl Douthit said:

    Wow, Chris, this brings back memories from (for me) a lot of years back!
    As you are discovering, marriage is a journey and not an event. As God merges the two of you into one you will discover that you change in some areas and not in others – and so will she. I discovered that I had a set way to do some things that I didn’t even know about. In fact, I am still discovering that, lol. I am still learning about myself through my wife’s eyes.

    I encourage you to enjoy watching God in your lives as you travel this new road together. May God continue to bless both you and Sue.

    April 16, 2012
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  2. Shanen said:

    Chris, I love reading your posts and I’m so happy for you and Sue. She sounds amazing and I have no doubts that she is! This post made me laugh because it sounds so much like me and Sean. I have certain “ducks” I like all lined up and so does he. And of course, they are never the same ducks!! haha. I can’t really say that it gets easier (because after 9 years of marriage he STILL uses MY towel no matter how many times I’ve yelled at him for it!), but I can say that I’m learning to pick and choose my battles wisely. I have to ask myself, how does this affect eternity? And if I nit-pick over every little thing, I find myself constantly uptight and ready to get upset so easily and I see that my husband will tune me out after so long. I’ve definitely had to learn to let go, and while it’s hard to do, God will help you see the things that don’t really matter for eternity, and it will come with time. :)

    And communication is key, although, after 9 years we are still learning that (and always will be.) Sean is like you, maybe errs on the side of saying too much, while I tend to hold it all in and bite my tongue (although this isn’t because I’m extra sweet like Sue, it’s because I’m afraid of the fury that will entail if I open my mouth.) Sean tries to get me to talk and I tell him that the Bible says to avoid foolish arguments. haha! That doesn’t go over well… Don’t try that one!

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’m very happy for you both and while it’s hard at times, the rewards are great. And I know you already know that. But, you will always be learning something and changing and humbling yourself…. it’s a tough and awesome journey. :)

    April 18, 2012
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  3. Chris said:

    Shanen, thanks for the feedback and encouragement. “Learning” is definitely the opportune word. It feels like cramming for exams and then doing it again and again–which is hard when you’re the type who likes to study up from a safe distance and then show up to take the test with ease. Pressure…that’s the word, which reminds me of a poster: http://www.despair.com/pressure.html :) Let’s hope for diamonds!

    April 18, 2012
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