I've never been married before. I have no idea what I'm doing. Each day, month and year brings a new experience that allows me to either succeed or
fail grow as a wife. Following are some experiences I've had that have enlightened me and perhaps might help others, too. (Thank goodness for the sacrament of reconciliation!)
1. Comparing our marital journey to others' marital journeys. I know, it seems kind of ironic to say that this is a mistake in marriage when I'm writing a blog on the topic of marriage for others to read and potentially take some advice from, ha! We've already established I'm clueless when it comes to what it takes to have a long, healthy, holy and successful marriage. Regardless, it is not healthy to compare yourself to others in any way other than growing in holiness, really, and that might even be a stretch. One couple's journey is not your own, so putting yourself on any kind of timeline or checklist of perceived accomplishments sets you and your spouse up for a rocky road full of unnecessary rushing of things and potential envy or jealousy. No bueno.
2. Forgetting to let Mark relax and veg in his free time. So my husband works up to 10 hours a day, five days a week and sometimes on weekends, especially when he's traveling. There is no "comp time" in his company; they all work their tooshies off. To describe Mark as hardworking is probably an understatement. More often than I care to admit, I get annoyed or don't understand when all my husband wants to do after coming home from a long day at work or finding a few days' rest during the weekend is relax and rejuvenate himself. I have to remember that it is in my general nature to be a busybody; I have an extremely difficult time sitting down in front of the television and not doing anything but watching whatever's on. I have a hard time sitting still while I'm at home because my eyes eventually start wondering around and my mind is triggered by seeing things I need to work on. That's fine for me (though I need to learn to slow down, too!), but not everyone needs to be just like me. While my husband certainly enjoys being a handyman and working on projects around the house, every night or every weekend does not need to be project time, and he more than deserves time to just do nothing. Doesn't everyone from time to time? This is my opportunity to bless him by loving him, serving him and giving him the time he wants to not think. Thank you for all you do to support our family, honey!
3. Wanting to be recognized for every sacrifice or extra effort I put into blessing our marriage and home life. "I have never wished for human glory, contempt it was that had attraction for my heart; but having recognized that this again was too glorious for me, I ardently desire to be forgotten." ~ St. Thérèse de Lisieux. Oh, to be that holy! It is a mighty thing to swallow your pride (if that's what this is?) and do what needs to be done, or even giving that extra umph to make things special, without wanting Mark to notice. It's not that I even do this as much as I should, it's just those times when I long to receive praise for behaving or serving in a way that is really already expected as a woman trying to grow as a Godly wife.
What kind of mistakes do you keep making in your marriage? Are there any you have stopped making? How do you do that?
Oct. 25, 2008, Jessica and Jamon Copeland's wedding