In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share the story of how Hubby and I met and some really important lessons I’ve learned about being married.
It was a cold, dark winter’s night.
Yeah, seriously! I was walking home from a friend’s house and he stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride. Since he was so much shorter than me, I figured I might be able to take him on if he tried anything (and I had a pocket knife, so he would get it right in the socks if he did try anything), so I accepted. So he drove me home, I thanked him, and I never expected to see him again.
Flash forward two nights later.
I walked up to the party store to get cigarettes or whatever (I quit not long after Hubby and I got together), and just happened to run into him. I invited him to go out with myself and my best friend to play pool (haven’t done that in years). We started hanging out and dating and he ended up moving in with me (he was living with a bunch of other guys when we met).
This might sound cheesy, but I just KNEW I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He claims that I roped him in by making his lunch so he would spend the night with me and I guess that he expected that life would be peaches and roses forever after. HA!
A few months later…
We found out I was pregnant. Surprise! We weren’t doing anything to prevent it, so it really shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise, but it was. Hubby stuck around, so when Big Brother was a few months old, we went and got married in the court and then we went and picked out our wedding rings. Hubby never officially proposed, but that’s fine with me. I’ll admit, I was surprised that he stuck it out, because hormones and stress made me a hot mess. We fought a LOT, but somehow we hung on.
Fast forward a couple of years.
I suffered from two miscarriages. The first one wasn’t so bad, because I lost it before I knew I was pregnant, and it wasn’t so hard to deal with. But my second one tore me to pieces. It was probably because I had more time to bond with the little life in my belly. I was so excited! Even though I wasn’t far along, I was certain we were having a girl. I went out and bought a little Winnie the Pooh hat with matching booties. But then I lost the baby. It was really really hard. If you’ve lost a baby, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you can imagine, and I pray that you never experience it.
Hubby and I almost divorced. Let’s say that I felt like Hubby didn’t give a rat’s behind about me, because he went to church or did something church related five nights a week. I needed him and he wasn’t there for me. So I was done.
It was honestly only through God’s grace that our marriage survived. Our miscarriage was only the beginning of a rough yet awesome time in our life together. How can I put this? I’m not glad that we had a miscarriage or that we almost divorced, but I am forever thankful of what happened because of it.
When we got married, I had no idea what marriage really was about. Not that I didn’t have a good model in my parents (they’re still together), but I guess I never really payed attention. When Hubby and I started to work together to fix our broken marriage, it was really one of the hardest things I have ever done. I had to completely change the way I thought.
Marriage is all about communication.
Marriage is not my way or the highway, or we’ll get along perfectly just because we’re married and made for each other. Marriage is two imperfect people communicating and working with each other. Men and women think differently. Even if they’ve grown up in the same culture. Throw a man and woman together who are from two different cultures and that’s a whole other can of worms!
My husband is from Mexico, and where he’s from, family and religion are king. I was raised somewhat similarly, but you know, cultural and peer influences warped that and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. So I started going to church, and really digging into God’s Word (the Bible). And I actually started listening to Hubby. And he started actually listening to me. We started letting each other know what we needed, instead of expecting the other to read our mind. There was a lot of that going on.
And you know what?
We started getting along better. We were able to love each other better and show that love better.
Hubby and I are two almost completely different people. He wants the house clean and spotless and I’m more laid back about it. He’s very disciplined. I’m
rather lazy more laid back. He saves money. I spend it. So we still have our days where we want to pull each other’s hair out, but instead of yelling at each other, we talk it out. Do we do that every single time? No. We still throw adult hissy fits. But we do our best and we keep working at it.
My biggest pieces of advice?
I have two really big, important pieces of advice. The first one is communication is key! This is the most important. Not yelling at each other though. Respectful communication. Talking, and actually listening. Give and take. And respect is absolutely essential in that.
My second piece of advice ties right into give and take. Compromise. You two are not going to want the same things every time. There are going to be big, important decisions that you’re not going to agree on. This is where the fun comes in. Compromise. Look for another option that you can both agree on. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that one of you is more important than the other. Seriously. Respect one another. You have two separate roles to play. They support each other.
A marriage is an equal opportunity partnership.
You work together in different ways to accomplish your goals. It’s a lesson that I learned the hard way. Communication and compromise are key. Yes, it is hard. Respecting each other and sometimes putting your partner’s needs first doesn’t come naturally to most of us. Is my marriage perfect? Heck no! Would I trade my husband for any other man in the world? Maybe Johnny Depp? No, just kidding. Not even for Johnny Depp or whoever the sexiest man alive is. As I tell Hubby, “Te amo mas que todas las cosas del mundo.” (Roughly, I love you more than anything in the world.) It’s worth it to work together.