I watched you get married today.
I cried behind my iPhone as I scrolled through the pictures that other attendees posted on Facebook, and I realized I’d never be a part of your life again. I should’ve been there brushing your veil off your shoulder and beaming through tears as I told you how beautiful you are. I’d inhale your bouquet and gush over and over again how perfect every tiny detail is and how I couldn’t be happier for you. I’d dance hard and fast with you to high school favorites, and I’d be breathless with joy at the end of the night as you went on your way as his wife.
I’d be so many things. But I can’t be. I couldn’t be. I was never invited to be a part of it.
I want to cry and yell and sigh and grieve over what could’ve been; but since I won’t be able to, I thought I’d share some newlywed advice here…from one wife to another:
/ Its okay to not feel yourself after getting married. Some people I’ve talked to even feel downright sad. You’ll experience a complete identity change, and its normal to react in different ways. I think we’re both strong, independent women, and defining this new role (apart from cultural and historical standpoints) for yourself is a process.
/ We were both raised in communities that assumed males think about sex 24/7, and so it might come as a surprise to you if you find yourself with a higher sex drive. Put to rest thoughts like Does he think I’m sexy enough? or Am I not good enough at sex? or a nice insane wildcard OMG, is he gay?!?! and throw stereotypes out the window. Mis-matched sex drives is something you’ll experience through different phases of your marriage.
/ You can be 27 and still feel 18.
/ I recently read that you won’t love your husband unconditionally. And I agree. He isn’t your child. And you aren’t his Savior. You chose to love him and will have to choose to love him for the rest of your life.
/ Your single friends won’t understand your married life. And that’s okay! But make sure you invest time into people who are in similar phases of life. They’ll be irreplaceable.
/ Never talk badly about your husband. Asking for advice is different than gossip (obviously), but advice sharing can easily turn into blathering about so-and-so not doing this-and-that.
/ I romanticize things. Too much, probably. I always believed we shared this idealism, and you can know that its okay if your past crosses your mind. You might think of ex-boyfriends or periods of your life before marriage, and that’s okay. Just don’t stay there. Living in the past isn’t good for single people, and its awful in relationships. But don’t sweat it if you daydream about college and no responsibilities.
/ Communicate. The issue at hand is rarely ever the real issue. And husbands sometimes don’t listen or they do forget and picking up hints? YIKES. Vagueness and ambiguity have no place here. Husband and I have had multiple
arguments conversations communicating about communication. But one thing is true: make-up sex is the best!
/ Hold his hand. Ask his advice. Encourage him. And say “Thank You.”
/ Choose your battles. In our first year of marriage, I razzed on Husband about the way he cleaned the bathroom (?!). He was being helpful, selfless, and loving; but I let my stubborn way of accomplishing tasks overcome grace and thankfulness. Now, if Husband does something little I don’t like, I sigh and smile and choose to love all that is good in him…even if he leaves sock lint on the bathroom rug.
/ I love being lazy with husband. But I LOVE new adventures with him even more. Be active, learn new things, and be daring WITH HIM. You’ll never feel more alive.
/ He may be bigger than you, but be his Protector, his Safe Haven, his Supporter. You have the power to make him or break him.
/ Look for the good, and YOU WILL FIND IT.