On September 14, 2016, I said “I Do.” After 6 years of dating, we decided to make it official in our premarital counseling pastor’s office. The wedding dream had come and went in our household. We originally wanted a wedding, and I even had put down a deposit for a venue, but as time progressed in the engagement, factors showed that the wedding was becoming something to please others and not to please us. And if you have not had a wedding yet PLEASE understand that them prices per person for people to eat will truly blow your mind! HONEY! I started questioning if I really loved some people enough to pay some of the prices we heard lol!
Anywho, we traded in the wedding for a 12 night Mediterranean cruise. It was beautiful! We got to see parts of Greece, Montenegro, France, Spain, Croatia, and Italy. Little did we know the honeymoon phase would end as soon as we got back to the States. People say the first 5 years of marriage are the hardest, but for us, between different views and expectations of one another and marriage, year one almost was the end.
The husband is supposed to lead the household and provide for the family while loving his wife as God loves the church. The wife is to take care of the children and household and submit to her husband while loving him as God loves the church. Seems pretty straightforward doesn’t it? WRONG! Let me give you the top 5 things I grew to know from Year 1:
1.We had two perspectives, what church teaches you and what life teaches you. Your upbringing impacts your values, morals, and expectations. We both came from divorced households and very different upbringings. We would let those differences come out the most in arguments. You talking bout some petty bettyness and low blowing! I just shake my head now thinking about how we used to be both while dating and in that 1st year. It would get bad…
2. Finances! We learned in church that 4 F’s cause divorce: finances, family, friends, and fidelity (lack thereof). Finances bout broke us. I came in the marriage with more credit card debt than my husband. He reminded me of it every chance he got when I would disagree with his budget or spending decisions. It was the most sensitive subject in our home, and I felt so helpless sometimes knowing that he could hang that over my head. I felt that I could pay off things and still treat myself from time to time while my husband said you done treated yourself enough that’s why you in the mess you in!
3. The feeling of embarrassment would cause me to endure things I never thought I would. Sometimes, I felt that my husband would threaten me with divorce to get me to go his way because deep down he knew that I cared what people thought of me. I did not want to be that couple that got married and less than 6 months later, I’m divorced. Threatening divorce was a control mechanism to make me cave and for a while I must admit it worked. The day it didn’t was when I moved out and made up my mind I was divorcing him. Yep, we lived separately within our first year of marriage. I had hit a breaking point, and it was either leave or stay and lose my mind trying to please this man!
4. God and counseling need to be a constant. Looking back now, I know God needed me to leave and let him have his turn with my husband because what he needed to grow I couldn’t give him. I thank God that he gave me the strength to walk away, because I strongly feel had I not and I continued to let my husband lead the way he was, it would have been a world of chaos and sadness. (Disclaimer: I was not being beaten yall! lol But verbal and emotional abuse is real. Whoever said words don’t hurt you…yeah they lied, and my husband had a way with words that you felt like you had been cut.) Individual and couple counseling helped us to understand more about ourselves and one another while giving us a third party non biased to help us sort out our differences. HIGHLY recommend married couples to keep going even after premarital counseling.
5. Love can only get you so far. Sure we loved one another and we had for years, but marriage is SO much more than love. When we had our darkest moments, I would try to remember why I said “I do” and the good times of the relationship. But for us, we needed to see what we saw for our marriage as far as goals and what we needed to work on within ourselves. Focusing on self improvement and controlling your actions will slowly but surely impact others around you and how they treat you.
We didn’t even celebrate our 1 year anniversary of marriage because I was putting my foot down and needed to be taken serious (I did accept my gift though lol.) But by my birthday in October, we had started to try to figure out year 2 and make up for time lost in year 1 *cough conceived Mason* LOL! Is our marriage perfect now HELL NO! Is our marriage better than it was HELL YEAH! lol This ish aint skittles and rainbows! It’s hard work and choosing one another EVERY DAY regardless of what yesterday brought ya or taught ya!