When I was a teen, I could not read many romance books. Emily Loring and Grace Livingston Hill were the only romance authors my mom would allow. I never could get into the rigid story telling of Grace Livingston Hill, but oh, I read all the Emily Loring books I could get my hands on. There was just enough romance along with adventure to keep my heart from believing in a perfect romance and marriage. I’ll never forget asking my mom why we could not read other romance books, her response is still truthful today. She said, “real life romance doesn’t happen the way books make it seem. You’ll be expecting your boyfriend or husband to be like a character in a book when in reality he will be nothing like it. You don’t want to compare your relationship to a fictitious love affair.”
Accepting the Realities of Marriage
While many authors write a beautiful and perfect romance with a happy ending in marriage. Marriage is not perfect. In fact, it can be ugly. There are days when you’ll not want to look at or be in the same room with the gorgeous hunk of a man you said you’d love until death parts you. Hopefully, those days will be few, but they happen.
Being Married Doesn’t Complete You:
You are an individual made by God, the only One that can truly complete you is God himself. Yes, a new husband can and will bring about good things in your life, he does not complete you. As long as you live, you’ll never be complete; not until you see the face of Jesus.
When You Marry Your Husband- You Marry His Family:
I’ve heard many women say “I married him, not his family”. Yikes, how far from the truth is that statement! Like it or not, when you married each other, you married the families. While some are blessed with a goldmine of a mother and father in law, many are not. Some newlyweds are made to feel as if they are not accepted or not good enough for the one they married. Those curt remarks from the skinnier sister in law we’ve all heard them. As the one who marries into the family, we have to accept the fact of both good and bad behavior without retaliating and making things worse.
Real Life Happens:
While life seems to be perfect right now, hold on because it won’t last for long. Those cute little habits become annoying. The minor things that once wasn’t a problem become a heavy weight. The loss of a job or an illness that requires months, years, or even a lifetime of maintenance happens.
During the dating years, you both had an escape route from each other. There should be no escape route in your marriage. Together you accepted the realities of marriage by making a promise to each other on that special day. Whether you used the words “for better or for worse” in your vows, you still promised to stick it out together even when real life happens.
There will be times when you have to compromise on some things. Those spur of the moment Saturday trips to the antique stores will be compromised when your husband just wants to spend a quite day at home. The quiet moments you had planned to spend reading or catching up on laundry will be compromised for a trip to the local home improvement store.
While there are things in our lives we compromise on, our faith should never be a subject of compromise. If there were times of compromise during the dating and engagement stages, your faith will be compromised in the marriage. If you don’t want to compromise on your faith in your marriage don’t allow it before you say, “I do”.
The Change That Doesn’t Happen:
“I can change him” are some of the most stupid words any woman has said about a man. If you’re a man reading this and said the same thing; this goes for you too. You can’t change anyone! You can help them change, by helping them see themselves from their viewpoint. Before you can do that, you need a self-check. There may be changes you need before pointing out a needed change in another.
Talking about change – I’m not talking about an abusive person. If you know the person you want to marry is abusive, quickly get away from them. An abusive marriage is not what you want to live in. That person needs help and you are not the one to give it.
After twenty years of marriage, I’ve learned a lot about accepting realities of marriage. We’ve hit many bumps in the road but we’ve never considered running away from the promise we made each other in 1998. While our marriage is not perfect, we are perfect for each other. We work to build each other up, accepting each other’s quirks, so we can become better people. That is what accepting realities of marriage is all about.
**I would like to thank my beautiful friend Kheri (who made a beautiful bride) and her photographer Micaela Maynard at Micaela Grace Photography (who does a beautiful job)for allowing me to use the picture.