Monday, September 13, 2010

Love and Marriage

I'd have to say that the past two years of marriage have been quite breezy for Jon and I. While we did have the occasional ups and downs, they mostly related to adjusting in a new country and the many difficulties that come with it.

But this week I'd have to say marriage and having very little social interaction outside each other has gotten the best of us. This week, we are thoroughly unimpressed with each other.

And the sad part is, it's not over a big issue. It's not about children or money or anything life threatening. It's about piddly crap. It's an accumulation of little things building up that if we'd taken care of right away, there would be no issue. The kind of thing that if we were in our right minds we'd be laughing and saying what in the heck are we so upset about?

But the fact of the matter is, we are upset. And we are walking on tippy toes. We are realizing that while we obviously love each other, the whole liking each other is a bit on the strained side. Marriage is tough.

Now, I realize most of you who have been married longer than us are slapping your forheads thinking "Um you haven't figured that out already?? What did you crazy kids think marriage was?"

And to be honest we know marriage is work and that it takes effort, but up until now it's all been quite effortless. And maybe that's the problem. I've been sitting here wondering if maybe we haven't been putting ENOUGH work into it. When you see that other person almost 24/7 for the past two years there isn't a whole lot of time to miss them. You don't have to make the effort to have dinner together between busy schedules, you don't have to plan in time for dates or time together. Because you are always together. Now I'm sure some of you are thinking, " you'll miss that when it's gone. you'll realize how much you wish you had that time once you're back in the States." And yes, I'm sure we will. But at the same time I look forward to being able to plan QUALITY time together, instead of mass amounts of  quantity time that we just sit. I look forward to actually being able to miss my husband and appreciating all of his truly amazing qualities. I appreciate them now, but not as much as if I didn't have them all the time. They just become part of everyday life. Which is partly my fault, I should be appreciating them everyday and I truly try but I think  that you don't really appreciate something fully until you don't have it at your disposal all the time.

And I really think that healthy marriages are healthy because couples have time apart. Their lives have seperation in some aspects. There are different friends, different groups, different people.I truly believe that in our lives we need many different relationships and that they serve different purposes. Right now Jon and I are filling EVERY purpose for each other. And I don't think we are meant too. We are meant to have social interactions with others, we are meant to get some fufillment from other areas of life. But living in Korea has not been very conducive to that, at all.  We know all the same people (all 10 of them), have the same jobs, get home at the same time and spend every night together. There's no going out with friends by yourself, no small group, no volunteering anywhere (at least not on the islands). And while it's been great to have established ourselves without outside influences I'm also seeing the negative side affects it's had as well.

I realize that I rarely share this type of personal look into our lives, but I feel that by being secret about the not so pleasant things in life you are denying them or that they happen. We most certainly do not have perfect lives nor are we perfect people, and that's a good thing. And it's ok to share struggles with those around you. In a community you share the great, grand, and the not so great and grand. You share because you know that other care about you and your well being. And you share because you know others have years of marital advice to give :)

So here is where we ask... share your advice! What have you learned in your years of marriage and relationship? Whether you've been married 3 months or 30 years, what can you give to a young couple that is very much in love, but struggling to figure some things out?  I know more people read this blog than I think, and many of you don't comment, but here is where I'm asking you to comment. Just this once :)


Laura said...

Hi Sara! I'm no expert and honestly, Matt and I have many squabbles, always over petty dumb things. We're obviously still adjusting too. I do think, though, that what you said is true. When you're not around each other 24/7, when you get time away, like even going to the store alone, makes you appreciate the time more. Good things are ahead for you guys, but you already know that. :)

Elisa said...

Oh my dear, you have touched a topic near and dear to my heart. After four and a half years of being married, we are NOT perfect, but God has brought us a long way and the friends around me also strive for godliness in their marriages. It's so awesome!

But, I am going to recommend a book to you and I do it with a qualifier. I do not agree with all she says, or some of her theology of women in ministry, but I do agree that more women need to be told some black and whites about being wives and boy does she do it. This book has been controversial b/c it challenges the feminist that grew up in us, and also revolutionizes. SO, that said, I heartily recommend "Created to Be His Help Meet" by Debi Pearl - you can get it on amazon or their website They have some good articles on the site to on marriage.

Also LOVE Above Rubies it's a free publication sent quarterly that you can subscribe too. I am going to link you a few articles I liked. (You'll have to copy/paste these to your browser I think)

Obviously, all of this is about being wives, not about the husbands side. But, to be honest, we need lots of work and God can help them out in His way too.

One other book is Radical Womanhood by Caroyln McCulley - that is more about how Feminism has influenced us counter-Bible and was SOOO informative. Highly recommend.

This is super long, but let me know if you like this stuff. And the Lord is on your side, if you take your 'stuff' with Jon into the secret place and do business, God can do more than any book. Books are nice too sometimes though. Less talking and more praying, for real, does more than we can know. It's just hard to shut up sometimes :)

If you want to chit chat more, let me know, I love this stuff. Bless you!

Kayla said...

We're no experts, but I can just tell you what sometimes works for us.

I find the thing that works for us sometimes when we get like that is usually in my case it to just take a break. I'm home all day long with the kids and I usually need a few minutes, or hours, to myself to think or just relax and I find that I'm really not that mad and remind myself that it's not a big deal. It's like a pressure cooker, eventually with enough pressure you just kind of "explode" or whistle if your an actual cooker... anyway... sometimes you need a break before you whistle to relieve some of the pressure so you don't have to whistle... make sense? I'm weird, I know:)

I know you don't have kids yet but I would still suggest to take a little break. Go to the beach by yourself for an hour or two or go take a bath (granted if you have a tub!). Also, bring your bible! I find that just digging into God's word for a little while gives me patients and helps me understand where my husband is coming from.

Talk about it too. Realizing that you are fighting about stupid things is sometimes the first step. If you both know it's something just dumb that you are getting mad about just stop and say 'honey, I'm sorry, this is dumb, I'm just irritated, can you please....'.

I'm sure you are both under a lot of stress moving back in a few weeks, just remember to give each other a few breaks!

underwooddays said...

The Underwoods are having one of those weeks as well... where you know (or remind yourself)that you still love each other, but struggle with the liking and appreciating the differences in each other. Stress always puts the pressure on around here and requires us to adjust ourselves to makes things work. Life is so much about seasons. In every new season or when we feel ourselves starting to walk on eggshells we try to have an open/honest conversation about what we need from each other. How to make things work and work well! It sounds like you're on the right path. Have you read the book "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas?

Anonymous said...

Hi dear ones...ah the book that we are using to mentor 6 couples with is "Waht Did You Expect" by one of our favorites...Paul David Tripp. It is so "Sacred Marriage". i am just so glad that at this young stage of your marriage you are willing to discuss the realities of a sinner being married to a sinner and how that plays out in our relationships day to day. You are right Sar...we need to be willing to talk about these realities. Love you so much and will pray for God to continue to grow and bless mom

Angie said...

I love the "What Did You Expect" book! I have only read about half of it, but it is amazing, I think you'll like it! When Jared first saw me reading the book he was nervous because he thought it sounded scary, like he was a bad husband or something : ) but it's not that at all. For my personality, I just love reading books and learning new things, and working towards being the best person I can be and having the marriage God wants us to have. Anyways, I have the book if you want to borrow it when you are in MN : )

Yeah, we all have good and bad days when we're married... maybe it's all a part of God's plan to show us what love really is, a reflection of how He loves us, even when we as individuals struggle to show God that we love Him?