My Marriage Looks Different
Ever since my husband and I were married in May, I have struggled with comparing our relationship to others. Although this started long before we got married, it has slowly gotten worse in recent months. We are not exactly a lovey dovey couple that holds hands wherever we go, sneaking kisses here and there. We do not always sit next to each other in group settings or constantly have our arms around each other. I am not someone that loves showing affection in public and my husband respects that.
It was not until we got married that I started to question whether or not we were a completely abnormal couple. People would often assume we were mad at each other if we were not sitting or standing near one another. If my husband did not hold the door open for me, someone would comment on it. When we were sarcastic with one another, I (being someone who loves to listen and observe) could always notice those slightly judgmental looks we would get from the people around us.
On top of this, due to a medication I am on, I have short periods of unexplained depression and anger that it seems I have no control over. I had battled with depression earlier in life and having to relive thoughts and feelings I had during that time is not easy. It causes a strain on my marriage. Since I am obviously around my husband the most, he is the one who has to deal with the worst side of me.
A month into our marriage I had decided that we must have been doing marriage completely wrong. It seemed to me that we were terrible at it! I became extremely self-conscious of the image we portrayed in public. After all, every other married couple in our lives seemed like they had it all together, so why couldn’t we be like that? I tried to change myself and my husband to make us seem a little bit more perfect on the outside. I would get mad at him for being overly humorous or sarcastic in public. I would remind him to hold the door open for me if he happened to forget. I would put my arm around him or hold his hand more often despite it being somewhat uncomfortable. (There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of these things! This is totally what some couples naturally do. However, it is a little bit more uncomfortable and unnatural for my husband and I.) Trying to be a couple that we were not led to more arguments and exhaustion.
It did not take long to realize that this is not the way we should be living our lives. God clearly wanted me to see that my husband and I are two imperfect, broken people living life together as one. It will not be easy and it will not be perfect. When two imperfect people come together, no doubt there are going to be battles and valleys, tears, midnight arguments, and a little bit (okay, maybe a lot) of stress. This reminded me that God has uniquely designed each marriage. The struggles that my husband and I go through may be more visible than others, but each couple has a battle of its own that they are fighting through.
Since getting married, my husband and I have both had to completely rely on the Lord to bring us out of deep valleys. I have never listened to the Lord more and followed His will for me more than I have in recent months. I am thankful to God for providing me with a husband who is incredibly patient with me through the moments where I am experiencing a wave of depression and anger, a husband that prays for me and my ministry constantly, a husband that encourages me to be vulnerable, and a husband that brings me ice cream in bed when I just don’t feel like getting up. I have become okay with the comments or looks that my husband and I get when we seem to be proving how imperfect we really are. I am grateful for the design of my marriage and for a God that loves us despite our mistakes and arguments.
Marriage is hard and has to be worked on every day. Trust me, my husband and I mess up constantly and all too often have to look toward the Lord for forgiveness. As the years progress, maybe things will be easier, but I know how necessary it is to always keep Christ the center of our relationship and strive to glorify Him in all things.
Katie Simmons is a believer in encouraging, impactful words. She is married to her high school sweetheart, is a big fan of coffee, loves listening without interruption, and if there is a dance floor nearby, she is most likely on it. Katie is completely in love with Jesus and strives to know Him and glorify Him more everyday. She is a younglife leader with a passion for ministry and discipleship.