I’ve been thinking a lot lately about marriage. Our one year anniversary is swiftly approaching. Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of people say that the first year is the hardest. I never thought that would apply to us. I mean, really… we had been together almost seven years by the time we got married. We had two kids together, a house, merged friends– how much could being “married” really change things? I must admit that for the first 6 months or so, I didn’t feel like it did. I did get that little butterfly flutter in my belly the first few months that Jr. referred to me as his wife. (Even during all our years together, he had never really called me that). I stared at my ring for probably the first three months, thinking how bright and shiny it looked, and how much I needed my nails done. I liked looking at the wedding photos and seeing the joy on the kids’ faces as they participated in the ceremony.
And then reality hit. I’ve always known marriage would be hard. I’ve never gone into it with preconceived notions that things would always be rainbows and sunshine. I’ve always giggled when people say that their man is going to change once they get married (do they really believe that??). I’ve known from the get-go that that is not a realistic expectation. But I’ve been surprised by how much I feel like I need to change.
Maybe “need” is too harsh of a word. I’ve always believed that no one controls my emotions but myself. No one has the power to control how I feel unless I let them. How I react and respond to someone is fully my choice. In this instance, I think the use of “want” would probably be more accurate. I want to change. I want to be a supportive wife. I want to be my husband’s best friend. I want to be able to look at him and giggle over an inside joke. And I often feel like I’m failing miserably in this role. My parents raised me to be very independent, and I’m having trouble relinquishing some of that. My husband thinks I am a very selfish person. The first few times he said this to me, I was so so hurt. But after a few times of hearing it, I began to get defensive. I have always refused to lose myself in the role of motherhood & wife-hood (is that a word??). That is not to say in the least that I don’t love my children and my husband more than life itself. It simply means that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I am a better mother (and ultimately wife) if I take some time for myself.