It’s Been 6 Months, and I Still Kind of Like Him

View More: http://renascentphotography.pass.us/james--sharaya-engaged-2This is something that has been on my heart and mind really since before James and I were married and when I read this article that Natalie Brenner wrote on her blog it really encouraged me because I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt this way and thought this was really possible.

People like to give you a lot of advice when you start dating someone, and it only gets worse once you are engaged. You realize it’s just because they care for you and want you to have the most successful marriage as possible, but not all the advice you receive should be tucked away for remembering. The thing I wish I had never let settle into my mind was, “Your first year is going to be REALLY hard” or “You are going to have a lot of issues your first year of marriage.” I’ve even heard people say, “Your first year is going to suck.”  

Anytime I would hear those words come out of someones mouth there was something in me that wanted to respond like a rebellious teenager; “You don’t know anything about my life! Leave me alone!” but of course I didn’t, because I wanted to believe that what they said was valid and would help me down the road. Big mistake.

The first couple of months were amazing (as everyone said they would be). We were still in shock that we were actually married, that our wedding was really over, that we indeed lived in the same home, together, and shared a bed! There were so many moments (and still are) where we would just look at each other and say, “Hey, we’re married.” just so it might sink in a little bit more.

View More: http://renascentphotography.pass.us/james--sharaya-engaged-2

At three months, James almost died. He was in a car accident and was hospitalized for three days. He spent the next two months out of work, laying on a recliner, in a neck brace and crutches. Everyone said, “If you can make it through this, you can make it through anything.” I would think to myself, “bring it on”  because those two months were the best thing that could ever have happened to our marriage. It pushed us closer than I thought was possible and made me love him more than I thought I was capable. It brought us to a whole new level in our marriage that might have taken a few years to get to had it not happened. Am I thankful that he had to endure extreme pain and fear and wear an unflattering neck brace for three months? No. But am I grateful that God makes all things work together for our good? Yes.

Near the end of his recovery when life was starting to get back to normal we would ask ourselves, “Ok, when does this get hard?”. There were a few times we would be in an argument and one of us would say, “Well this was bound to happen at some point.” Those words began to make me feel sick because I knew I was only trying to justify my selfishness and the whole idea had been planted in my head by other people! The “advice” they had given me only became my excuse to be stubborn. It didn’t show me how to make the situation better.

Don’t let anyone tell you what your marriage will or won’t be like, instead let them tell you how to be more selfless. Let them teach you ways to serve and love your spouse. The seed that should be planted in your head the moment you begin a relationship with someone is that it’s not about you anymore. People seem to wait to give that advice until you have kids but it is just, if not more, important to begin practicing and living out that mindset as soon as you begin a relationship with someone.

View More: http://renascentphotography.pass.us/james--sharaya-engaged-2

It’s definitely not easy learning to adjust to married life. I went straight from living with my parents (having my mom cook dinner every night, schedule my dentist appointments for me, and buy my shampoo) to having to do all those things myself and more on top of taking care of my broken husband. But I will never say to someone their first year is going to suck. Instead, I will tell them to let their husband have a night to himself or hang out with the guys, to have “no-electronics-allowed” dates and build a fort in the living room and talk about your future together, that when there is tension between you, don’t walk away and let it become a bigger fight than it needs to be, or to clean up his mess for him even though it drives you nuts. If you think of something that would bless your husband, do it, and do it without hesitation. That is what we should be telling young couples and newlyweds.

Like I mentioned before, I didn’t know I wasn’t alone in this thinking. I figured I had to be wrong since I was just a naive newlywed. I would love to hear from others who loved their first year of marriage! What kinds of ways would you tell someone they could bless their spouse?

Leave a comment here or on facebook! 🙂

Photos by Renascent Photography

12 thoughts on “It’s Been 6 Months, and I Still Kind of Like Him

  1. Andrea says:

    This is really, truly wonderful advice! I think life is all about attitude and we all have bad days, but we all choose in so many ways whether things will be easy or hard. Congrats on your outlook and your marriage!

  2. anonymous says:

    I think we forget that even though we are liberated, powerful, unstoppable women, there is nothing wrong with catering to our husbands. We’re supposed to love them and compromise for them. I often find myself being much more flexible for other people than I would for my husband and I know it’s because there is this little feminist in my brain saying, don’t give in to him! And I love that little feminist, but the relationship you have with your husband is different than any other. He’s not your boss, or your brother or you dad, or the electrician who won’t call you back. Your husband is your partner, your teammate in the game of life. You know, I didn’t realize I had such strong thoughts on this topic until I started writing! Great post. It really got me thinking!

    • sharayadanna says:

      Thank you so much! I feel so honored that this touched you and got you thinking 😛 You’re right, sometimes it is easy to put our husbands in any other category but “partner” but that’s exactly what he is!

  3. Natalie Brenner says:

    Loooove this. So beautiful, Sharaya! I agree with you: if you know of a way to bless your spouse, do it and without hesitation. “I know the good I should do..”
    I love to pack Loren’s lunch & stick lunch notes in it! He always thanks me and says it reminds him during the day that being beat up by kids (Trillium) is worth it! He says my smile is his paycheck.

    And love what you said about not making an argument a bigger deal than it is. Seriously, if we can take the selfishness out of our hearts, we won’t even be arguing!

    A great marriage happens when two people submit to being great followers of Jesus. When both are looking to Him, our marriage will never fail!

  4. Cathy says:

    Ok, making me cry over here again. Just love your blogs Sharaya and James too(cause you inspire some of her writing). Love you two and we are blessed to have you in our fam. Your writing talent is amazing! I think there should be a race to see who can write a book first.

  5. Aunt Loree says:

    Sharaya, you have blessed James and our family by joining our family the day you two got married. I am so in awe of the beautiful woman you are inside and out and how mature you are beyond your years. You two make a great team! I love the way you journal and express yourself. The two books we recently discovered “The Five Languages of Love” and “Communication Miracles for Couples” are very enlightening and fun to read together. Love, Aunt Loree

    • sharayadanna says:

      Thanks Aunt Loree 🙂 I am sometimes overwhelmed at the fact that I married into the most amazing family ever. I hear a lot of stories of people who aren’t as blessed in that area but I am so thankful that is not the case for me 🙂
      We will definitely have to check out those books!

  6. Stefanie Calhoun says:

    This was great Sharaya! I always hate it when people say the first year of marriage is the hardest, it’s not always the case and never was for us. I felt like we were still on our honeymoon that first year. I loved it, every minute. After being married for 9 years there have been rough points dealing with kids, and health issues but I have always felt like they made us stronger rather than putting strain on our relationship. They have never been easy, but when you face it as a three stranded chord it’s not easily broken. I often tell friends the first year after having the baby is a hard year. Not because it is bad, it can be wonderful. I say it simply because there are A LOT of changes. Your adjusting to becoming parents, to having a child and taking care of their tremendous needs on top of trying to still take care of your spouses needs and make time for them. It can be hard, but nothing a strong united front can’t handle. Very good job on this post, and I am so glad you are enjoying your first year, it goes by so fast.

    • sharayadanna says:

      Stefanie, that is so encouraging! I love what you said about when you face it as a three stranded chord it’s not easily broken. That is a very good reminder. I really appreciate you sharing your first year experience on here 🙂

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