Being married is tough.
Few people tell you that when you’re madly in love and planning a white silk-tulle-organza-lace-satin extravaganza straight off of a Pinterest board.
I failed miserably at marriage the first time which is why I feel like I’m qualified to write about this. What I wish I had known about marriage a long time ago, and what I feel needs to be talked about more than seating arrangements and china patterns, is that being and staying married is a lot of work.
Being in love is not enough.
What makes going the distance tougher than we think it will, is that there is a part of the marriage equation we typically ignore.
You are the reason that being married is tough. You think your spouse is an a**hole? More than likely you’re the a**hole. You think he or she is inconsiderate, thoughtless and selfish? Again, you’re probably an a**hole.
It’s the hardest but most important lesson to learn. But until we do, marriage will always be a struggle. I hate how it feels to have to turn the light on myself and realize – wait a minute, I’m a huge jacka**! However, it’s liberating and healing once we do.
We see the world as we see ourselves. What we are viewing, watching and experiencing is a mirror of what is going on inside of us. If your spouse seems to be failing you in some area, it’s more than likely where you’re failing them and yourself.
The good news is that the qualities we love about our spouses are the same we admire in ourselves. And, once we’re able to identify what it is our spouses are showing us that we aren’t particularly proud of, we can acknowledge, accept and being to change those things.
For example, something that I have realized about myself is that I tend to be inconsiderate when it comes to the tone with which I’m speaking to my husband. I have this belief that he’s a man, he’s tough and he can take it, so I need to be harsh when trying to make my point in order for him to know that I really mean it.
He’s tough, but he has his limits. Words are hurtful, no matter whom they’re spoken to. Why do I have this belief that I need to be so harsh when I’m trying to get him to really hear me? To get him to believe and understand that I’m being serious? That I need him to value what I’m saying?
Because I don’t believe in and value myself enough.
That’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a step in the right direction. Once we can see ourselves in those situations, we can more easily forgive, compromise and stop blaming the other person.
As we start to make sense of this, it becomes the catalyst for change that our marriage needs, and can spill into improving all of our relationships.
If you’re in a place where your marriage feels like it’s hit a rough patch, that might be great news. Before you decide that your problems are “their” problems, be sure to take a look at what you’re really seeing, and check in with yourself.