Recently, I celebrated my sixth wedding anniversary.
To say I’m surprised at myself for making it this long is not an understatement. If anything, the fact my wife still is my wife “ain’t nothin’ but God”. During this time, I’ve learned that marriage is like the tides; it ebbs and flows. I’ve also learned that marriage is what we makes it. There might be similarities, but each marital union is different. The one constant is that, hopefully, the marriage bond is always there. This is what sustained my marriage.
When I first met my wife, we were working together. She was on the night shift, and I worked during the day, so it was always a passing hello; mostly me just being cordial. She was attractive to me, but up until that time I was a firm believer in never s@!+ting where I ate, so I kept it professional. Eventually, we had times where we would talk about a plethora of things. The silliest stuff, to church, spirituality, and Jesus. I did tell her early one moring that she would make a good wife, or I was going to marry her one day. It was something to that effect, but little did I know that those words would prove prohetic. This was also the first time I can vividly pinpoint in my life where I “spoke something into being”, even if it was 2 years early. Yeah, we really got to know each other pretty good. It wasn’t as if we were trying to hookup or anything either; I think we just enjoyed the conversations.
I was in a relationship at the time, and I believe she was as well. Over the next year and a half, we got closer, but still kept it at a friend level. Anyway, I’m not sure about her relationship, but mine maintained. During that time, I found out I had a child on the way. Usually, this kind of event would “cease and desist” any future happenings. Well, it normally would if this info was shared, but I wasn’t exactly forthcoming with it. Why I don’t know, but I wasn’t, and that was a problem.
Someone else informed the future misses about the impending birth, and to say she was hurt is apropo. For a good while we had minimal contact, and truthfully I felt it was for the best. I had to get ready for fatherhood, so most of my attention was geared that way. Well fast forward about 4 months, and it’s the holiday season. My child’s mother and I were not seeing eye to eye about many things when it came to the baby’s arrival, or our souring relationship. Plus, I still thought about the lady who’d end up being my wife. A breaking point hit between my child’s mother and I and we just ended the relationship. I told her I would be around for her and the baby, but as a couple, we were done.
This is the swirling whirlwind that the relationship between my wife and I began in.
One of the first questions that many married couples are asked is what brought you all together, or what attracted you to one another? There are the politically correct answers such as, “oh, their spirit, or their smile.” Well, these factors were bit players in my interest in future wife. I consider myself to be a man of God. I’m also a man. As such, I’ll just be honest and say it was her butt. She was attractive to me and yes her conversation was nice, but if the butt wasn’t right?! Maaaannnn…
It was a couple months later that we officially hooked up. I TOLD her we were getting married. That’s right, I told her. Now some might say me doing so was chauvinistic and archaic, but so what. She was with it, so that’s all that matters. We (she) made the decision that probably will forever make some scratch there heads, and others clap. In no uncertain terms, I was told there would be f**king (my word, not hers) going on until we got married. Period. It showed me one thing about my wife that was way different than any other woman; she took her walk with Jesus seriously and wouldn’t compromise on it. Even if that meant losing such a prize as me.
During this time, there was my little girl born, whom we wouldn’t meet for another 16 months. So not only was I not getting any cutup, but there was a child that would be present as we walked down the aisle. We were a ready made blended family. Suffice it to say that there was a lot that we would encounter from day one of our marriage. But, I didn’t blink (too much) at any of it, and she was still there, so I guess she didn’t (too much) either. I wasn’t an angel during the engagement months, but I did the best I could (insert lame I’m human excuse here). We attended two sets of marital counseling sessions (it is a must); one at my church, and one at hers.
Even with everything that we learned, marriage was just…different, once we got into it. Prior to the “I dos”, most of our decisions were mostly based on how WE (the individual) felt about a certain situation or issue. Now, being married, we had to consider another person’s thoughts and feelings as well. That’s an adjustment the likes of which catch many people off guard. It still is a mental check that have to do more than once a day. There was still much more that we both had to learn though.
Things like expectations. Most expectations are built from assumptions, and what individuals have seen in their lives. Well our expectations of each other had to be adjusted, to a point that made them almost nonexistent. As stated before, the game changes when marriage is entered into, so when folks say “check your expectations at the door”, they mean it. What worked 24 hours before “I do”, no longer applies, at least not in the husband/wife relationship. For instance, I half expected my wife to always “do it up” whenever we weren’t at work or out on the town. Well, sometimes she may not feel like it. Plus, I wasn’t willing to always “clean up”, so how could I want it and not be willing to do it for her? It was an unrealistic expectation to have.
Another thing that changed was having to be responsible for more than just me. I was responsible for protecting, and providing for a woman, and possibly additional children in the future. That is a heavy emotional and mental weight on a man. This woman whom I married entrusted me to not only be able to do this, but also to lead a home, put her needs before my wants, as well as be the backstop whenever some BS came down the pipe. Who signs up for that job? *raises hand* I did. It was early on, I learned though that I couldn’t do it on my own. So I guess it could be said that getting married actually got me back to working on my relationship with Jesus as well.
Some don’t think a relationship with Jesus is neccessary in life; I am not one of those people. During our marital counseling sessions, there was a diagram of a triangle where God was at the top point, and a man and woman were at the bottom like such
This picture has admittedly been hazy in my mind at times, but it has generally been the foundation of my marriage. And I’ll pretty sure it has been like that for my wife as well. Without God, we probably would’ve been splitsville a while ago. Some will say “not even God can keep some marriages together”, and to that I say, BULL.
I’ll explain why in Part 2.