Forgive me, dear friend, if I give a disappointed side smirk when you mention how wonderful it is to pray with your husband.
I probably will hesitate before liking 200 photos of your new home on Facebook.
It’s not that I’m not happy for you. It just smarts a bit when you covet.
I’ve been reading an advance copy of “Happy Wives Club,” where author Fawn Weaver globe-skips and interviews wives about what makes their marriage work. The book is a must read, and I am not just saying this because she was kind enough to ask me to join her book’s blog tour.
It is extremely well written and provides a lot of insight into cultivating a happy marriage. She probably wasn’t expecting a blog post like this. But stick with me.
There are a couple of more obvious reasons why our marriage shouldn’t work. We had a short courtship and we have very different backgrounds and cultures.
If you are an overachiever and fancy a major challenge like myself, I present to you my married life, and all of the reasons why it’s doomed for failure.
1) Our religious differences: He always moans a bit when I bring this up, but he doesn’t quite understand the hugeness of this decision.
By marrying a non-Christian, I disobeyed God. On top of this, his eternal life lingers in the back of my mind, all while I must let go of the shame I am bound to feel when I (finally) step into church alone.
I have only found one blog that talks about how this marriage can work. The rest of the internet is filled with horror stories and warnings of how this should never, ever, ever happen.
I am not just saying this because the Bible talks about it or it has been ingrained in me ever since I became a Christian. Heck, I have buddies who are atheists who have told me not to date someone with different beliefs.
People seem hung up on the idea of how you can raise children in a spiritually divided home. But they don’t mention the seemingly insignificant differences – not saying grace before a meal…debating whether or not there’s a purpose for everything or the concept of unconditional love for people who don’t deserve it.
Of course, before and during our budding relationship, we had extensive conversations about what we believe and don’t believe. We still have a ways to go in some areas. Since I haven’t had the courage to attend church in person, I can’t say how that will change the dynamic of our relationship.
2) Troubled finances: Failing at a couple of jobs and living with his family is something I have been unable to share publicly, even on social media where I tend to be an oversharer.
But the truth of the matter is we have to keep our costs down and save up if we ever want to have a place of our own.
Not having full-time work in over a year is an intensely depressing experience, particularly when your car is on the fritz and you spend days at a time cooped up at your in-laws in a town where the nearest anything is 20 miles away.
Private time at home can be virtually non-existent, and I find myself prone to envy when I have to share my husband with his family. I try not to beat myself up too much about that. After all, we are newlyweds, so it’s natural to feel this way.
3) Troubled past: My parents have been remarried to each other for quite a while now, but it doesn’t come as a surprise to me that children who come from divorced families are 50 percent more likely to get divorced themselves.
Also, my family back home means the world to me, but it is mind boggling how many issues crop up that I somehow find myself in the middle of several hundred miles away.
Layer that with the woes of leaving home for the first time, and you have a recipe for drama. There have been far too many times my husband has been the intermediary. It most certainly puts a strain on our marriage.
There are a couple of other major issues that I won’t go into. So how in the world do we make it work? Why did I marry him?
Here are some tips for those in or entering a marriage that seems impossible:
1) Commitment to resolve: Whenever we encounter an issue, small or major, he tackles it with me.
When a man tells you with all sincerity, “I will do whatever it takes to make this work,” you take him up on his offer.
But besides that, he loves me at my worst. When I’m super anxious or depressed, when I’m hairy and stinky, when I’m having a bad hair year. He is devoted and tells me so every day.
2) Commitment to play: And no, I don’t just mean our dedication to pimping out our WoW characters. My husband likens himself to a stand-up comedian. He is always “on,” and he’s far more quick-witted than I. He is also gloriously affectionate.
As for me? Well, I’m easily amused. We laugh and joke together every single day, either in person or via text or phone. I also welcome his affection and mushy chatter, even if it means being interrupted while I’m in the middle of something. We are so persistent and consistent, I know it probably irritates people to no end.
3) Commitment to honesty: I can be a nag. I’ll admit it. Getting him to do housework is like attempting to move a three-story house with your bare hands.
But here’s the thing: I read a lot about how you shouldn’t constantly bring up negative things. But opening up about anything, at any time I want, the freedom to express disappointment, (mostly) prevents festering resentment.
We don’t always like to hear the things we say to each other. Naturally, we are prone to keeping our criticisms to ourselves. But how exactly are you supposed to know how to be a better spouse if we don’t know where to improve?
Not gonna lie. That was a bear to write. It’s not normal to openly express negative circumstances. But I know by doing so, I’ve hopefully given another couple hope.
Every marriage has its own set of obstacles to hurdle. Sure, our issues are probably a little tougher than the average couple, but that doesn’t mean our marriage wasn’t destined to happen or that it will fail.
What obstacles are you overcoming? Talk to me in the comments.