Before I got married, I had this dream of what my marriage would be like. A few weeks before the wedding, I started making schedules, calendars, and spreadsheets, because I had planned to have this extremely organized life with my new husband.
After walking down the aisle, I was more than confident that everything was going to go exactly according to plan. Two date nights a week, which days are cleaning days, which days are laundry days, I thought I had the whole thing figured out. I then quickly realized that sometimes life has its own path and schedule.
My husband’s work schedule quickly become crazy, the laundry started piling up, and date nights slowly dwindled away because sometimes there just wasn’t enough time in one day, let alone a week.
All of this affected our marriage in a negative way, and the “honeymoon phase” quickly ended, as the reality of our lives sunk in.
Irritation and tension were high between us. My husband and I like to call these feelings, “growing pains”.
Growing pains is what we refer to as the “knots” in our marriage – when things are a bit difficult, a little uncomfortable, and irritating.
However, the good thing about growing pains is that you eventually grow and the pain stops!
There’s a simple solution for dealing with your marriage when expectations aren’t meeting the reality you had dreamed of and imagined.
Step 1: Analyze the issue
What’s the root of the issue? Why is this an issue? When did this start? The first step to solving a problem is acknowledging that there is a problem in the first place.
Changes can not take place without knowing what has to be changed.
My husband and I had several sit down talks about our feelings. What made us happy, what made us unhappy, what was working for us, and what wasn’t. Take note of how I said we had several sit down talks.
This means that the issue was not solved overnight or in one day. It took some time for us to see eye to eye on the issue, and tweak our schedules to make things fit better for both of us. What’s important is that we never stopped communication about.
Step 2: Tame and fix the issue
I think one of the most difficult challenges of marriage, is learning how to function as an effective unit, while still being able to function as a personal single unit. I believe that putting your marriage and spouse first is extremely important.
However, I also believe that putting yourself first is drastically important in a marriage.
If you are unhappy with yourself, your personal life, your goals, or your career – all of that will eventually affect your marriage in an unhealthy way, just how it affects you in an unhealthy way.
For my husband and I, taming the issue in our marriage had a lot to do with dealing with our own personal issues. We both had to take a step back and gain an understanding of what was wrong in our personal lives, and deal with our personal issues.
As a unit, we decided to tame the issue by taking weekly turns planning date nights and having specific days for deep cleaning our apartment. It took some time to get this into play, and we are honestly still working on it, and that’s okay. The most important part of taming the issue is taking the first steps towards the solution.
The first steps, no matter how small, shows that both parties are willing to make it work. It’s extremely easy to be hard on your spouse when things in the marriage aren’t working how you want them to. But, always try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Be open to what’s going on with them, as a single unit.
Step 3: Make your expectations and reality meet
Making your expectations and reality meet is very much possible, it just takes some work! Sometimes we have to get into the groove of things to get a feel for how things will work with our lives and our schedules. It’s very easy to plan things out and have all of these expectations.
However, actually getting things done can be extremely different. It’s also important to understand that it’s okay to start over. If one thing doesn’t work for you and your spouse, have another conversation and try something else!
If both parties are working towards a solution, and putting in an effort, expectations meeting reality is not a hard goal to achieve.
Always remain open-minded, always be kind, always take into consideration what your spouse is dealing with as a single unit, and always communicate. Marriage is a beautiful union and relationship. Yes, there are hard times. Yes, there are growing pains, knots, tension, and irritation. And yes, there usually is a solution. Always respect not only each other but yourself. Always love one another, and always put your best foot forward.