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Marriage Ain’t Easy

Marriage ain’t easy. You know this when you’re engaged. People warn you. You are made well aware of this. But until you live it, you really have no earthly idea what this looks like in real life.

I’ve always hesitated writing about marriage here because I am not wise when it comes to the subject. My hubby and I may be doing absolutely great one day, and then, some old battle rears its ugly head, and we’re back to being our old stubborn, injured  selves.

Marriage is a constant ebb and flow. Marriage is not about fulfillment, although, hopefully, marriage fulfills as much as it possibly can. No, marriage is about giving up all you want or think you need, in order to be and give all that your marriage wants and needs. Marriage is about entering into the relationship, when really, all you want to do is run and hide under some comfy covers.

We had a family movie night on the couch last night. We went through two whole (gigantic) bowls of stove-popped popcorn between the four of us! Apparently the popcorn-loving genes are genetic. 🙂 It was the first time we’d attempted a musical and I couldn’t believe that even the little one sat through the entirety of The Music Man. I was really struck by the song, “Being in Love” which Marion sings with her Irish mother as they discuss what Marion is looking for in love. She states somewhere in the middle of all those high notes,

And I would like him to be

more interested in me

than he is in himself

And more interested in us

than in me

My husband of nearly 8 years and I have this continuing running argument about time together. Basically, it boils down to him being born an introvert, while I was the woman who, after arriving home from our honeymoon to our “just-the-two-of-us” newlywed cottage , begged him for a goldfish. Yes, the little orange things that blow bubbles in a quiet, little corner. 😉 I came from a family of 8 children, five of us being of the talkative, female persuasion and I need lots of life around me. He just needs quiet.

So, for nearly 8 years, we’ve had this same back-and-forth argument about my needs verses his needs. But I’m coming to realize that it’s not a me verses him – it’s a you need/I need, therefore, we need.

Not that we’ve mastered this by any means. Just today we fought the same 8 year battle and I’m realizing that I’m not sure that either of us is supposed to win.

We have to win.

So, I vow to give him more space without feeling unloved. And I wonder for the first time whether God didn’t give me an introverted husband simply to round me out, like some strict, hard-core teacher, like I’ve always subconsciously thought. Maybe, just maybe, He gave me an introverted husband, because He has something planned for me in the extra, quiet times.

Now that is love.

12 responses »

  1. Good post, Audra. Thanks for being real. And you know, I think we really need each other (girlies, I mean) too. Girlfriends are, interestingly enough, a necessary part of marriage!

  2. I totally agree, Olivia! I couldn’t go through life without my girlfriends! I don’t think Jonathan could make it through life without my having girlfriends either. 😉 Thanks for being one of them!

  3. lol, oh my goodness, its so interesting reading about the same situation from the exact opposite point of view. I’m an introvert in public and I know what you mean about some of the struggles. Just be easy on the, “you need to do more with the family…” statement 🙂
    Our latest battle is the 10yr anniversary coming up 😦

  4. Chris, thanks so much for your thoughts! I really appreciate your taking the time to share them here. 🙂 Yes, yes, learning that I need to not always be asking for more, more, more, but to give space and freedom. I am praying right now for your latest battle and that your 10th anniversary is full of everything you *both* need. And congratulations!

  5. Oh, my! That first photo is just about the sweetest thing I’ve seen! We actually have the opposite thing going here, with me insisting I get some quiet space. But, over the years, the Lord has tweaked and changed me a bit so that this introvert can still recharge right in the middle of a family full of extroverts. So, yeah, I think our opposites are a gift of molding and making us more like Him.

  6. Oh, thank you, Beth! That photo seems like a lifetime ago and just like yesterday all at the same time! 🙂

    That is so beautiful, that the Lord has allowed you to learn to recharge in the most unlikely space. 🙂

  7. but of course, at the same time, her “crowding of my space” has led to bunch of things that saved me from doing really stupid stuff. I’ll never admit it to her, but deep down I am really appreciative that she saved me from myself 🙂
    You seem to have good judgement of things and I hope your can find the happy medium 🙂 Fully uncaged husband is not a good thing, for anybody…lol

  8. Lol, I would totally “eat up” my husband admitting that to me. 🙂 Maybe you should ‘fess up! 🙂

  9. nope, us introverts don’t fess up to things like that…lol

  10. Oh, okay, good to know. 😉

  11. Despite being a pastor and in the spotlight publicly for 47 years, I finally realized after my breakdown in 1998, that I was an introvert. I needed to be away from people in order recharge, renew, etc. That was eye opening to say the least. Everyone assumed (including me) that because I speak publicly (Naval Intelligence, teaching, and pastoring) I love being around people. I love people, but I need quiet time away from everyone, even my wife. Sometimes I just shut the door to the office in the home so I can be alone.

    So glad that you and hubby are discovering that about each other. It helps avoid much misunderstanding. You both need that recharging environment; it just happens to be very different for each of you.

    God’s richest blessings in Christ.

  12. Wow, Rich, that must have been quite the eye-opener! I can definitely see how someone in your field would *need* time to think and process and “re-boot”. 🙂

    I think part of the tension in our own marriage has been from the fact that I’ve always taken my hubby’s need for solitude very personally. I am learning not to do that – finally!!!!! =D

    Thanks, as always for your comments. 🙂

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