So many of my friends are getting married. I've written a letter full of just the little bit of wisdom I've learned since I've been married. Though, I've only been married for a year, I think some of this advice will help. At least, I hope it does.
This is an exciting adventure that you are embarking on. I say adventure because, much like an Indiana Jones movie, there is a treasure to seek, some perils to go through, some laughs to enjoy, some friends to help, some companions that will let you down, some romance, and if you're lucky a perfect ending.
The treasure you seek together is Heaven. Pray for each other. Don't pray to change the other person. Pray to better understand the other person. Sometimes you are the one in need of change. Pray together. It builds a good foundation for when times are rough.
I pray for my husband every time I pray before a meal. That is roughly 3 times a day. I also pray for him before I go to sleep at night. We sometimes pray the Divine Office together. On car rides we often pray a rosary together. Almost every Sunday we go to mass together. (There are few exceptions.)
There are perils to go through. Indiana Jones would had to almost die 6 times, be covered in some kind of creepy crawly thing (or snakes....ugh snakes) to get to what he wanted. They may be financial instability, a loss of a job, infertility, a loss of a child, illness or infidelity. It could be anything that puts a lot of stress on your relationship. You will have to learn to work together. This sounds easy now when everything is wonderful and perfect but, when things are frustrating, annoying, and hard it is much much harder than you think.Money is always an issue in marriage. Be honest, be honest, be honest! It is hard sharing money and financial matters with another person. Remember to be honest about how you feel. Sometimes one of you will need more space than the other to think things through, to deal with it, to figure it out, to pray it out and that's ok. Don't fight that need in the other. (This could lead to larger conflict.) Compromise is sometimes harder said than done. Pick your battles. Know when you should just let it go.
My husband is in charge of all of our financial matters. He is the head of the household, he has final say in all matters. That is what works for us, what will work for you will depend on you two. I lost my job 24 days before my son was due. My insurance was due to run out a week before his due date. By God's grace we had him early but what a stress in the meantime. I'm now a stay at home mom, which has meant my husband had to work even harder than he was already working to make ends meet.
There are so many joys in the vocation of marriage. You will to learn things you never knew about the other. There will be times that are so great you wish that they would never end. There will be lots of laughs. You may be blessed with children. They just add to the joy. They are the cherry on top of the sundae of marriage. For Indy he found joy in adventure of finding his treasure.
Oh the joys of marriage! The first meal I cooked for my husband, (who at the time, did not eat meat) I made a rice casserole, steamed broccoli, and rolls. I was shocked to learn that my husband did not like broccoli. Since then, I have learned something new almost every day. It's amazing what I didn't know before I married my husband. We were blessed with a honeymoon baby. Watching him grow has been scary and wonderful. The fear for your child's well being is so strong and automatic. He is our miracle and I hope for many more. My husband often says I bring so much joy to his life. Usually he is saying this because I have said or done something super silly (like stupid) and he finds it hilarious. My husband is by himself just a super witty guy.
There will be friends who build up your relationship with both each other and God. Embrace them! Indiana Jones seems to always have friends that help him along the way. They guide him, give him advice, read the map for him, and fight off the bad guys.
We have been so blessed with friends. These friends have helped us in our times of financial difficulties. They have been a safe haven when we just needed to get away. They have offered us advice, congratulated us, prayed for us and with us, they have been the truest of friends to us. I hope that you find friends just as wonderful!
There will be people that come into your life that make things harder. In Indiana Jones movies these tend to be the bad guys who want the treasure for themselves, they are jealous, conniving, thieves.
There will be family members that one of you don't get along with, friends that want to go out drinking till 3 am, old flames that try to creep back into one of your lives, friends that don't like your spouse as much as you do. Don't let those people come between you two.
I had to say goodbye to more than one of my friends. This was usually because they weren't big fans of my husband for one reason or another. They couldn't understand that to be apart of my life I needed people building my marriage up not trying to break it down. If someone can't respect your spouse they can't respect you.
Indy was always quiet the ladies man! OOO LA LA! There will be romance. Duh, it's marriage. Just remember that romance is not always about the physical interactions between you two. Show appreciation for what the other one does. Ask how their day went. Listen! Go on dates, stay in, do things together leave love notes, the little things matter!
My husband likes to leave little notes or comic strips around the house for me to find. It's cute and fun and I LOVE IT. He will buy me a bottle of wine when he goes to the store just to be nice. I try to find fun and interesting meal ideas to cook for him. I try to have the sink always empty of dirty dishes (he really likes the dishes clean). I often fail at this, but I do try. I try to make the house a home so he wants to come home at the end of the day to relax.
For Indy, this is getting the ancient, precious, valuable item and returning it to some place safe, getting the girl, and going back to normal life. Our perfect ending is Heaven. As spouses we're suppose to help each other get to Heaven. If we have lived our lives the way we should and attempted to become saints, hopefully at our final judgment God will have mercy on our souls and let us enter his kingdom.
Well, obviously we haven't died yet so, I don't have anything to say on this except this is what we are striving for, sainthood & Heaven.
Linked to Living Proverbs 31.