Lately I’ve been realizing how often things change within marriage. It’s funny because when JRB and I were engaged and newly married, people gave us all sorts of advice and asked all sorts of questions.
It’s going to be so hard to have someone else in bed with you.
You’re going to love having someone else in bed with you.
Go on dates every week.
Go on dates every other week.
Take trips together.
Have simple, stay-at-home weekends.
Don’t stress about money yet. Just have fun.
Use this time wisely and set yourself up financially.
Wait as long as possible to have kids.
Have kids when you’re young.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Now after two years (and being the wise, mature wife that I am-cough, cough; wink, wink), I’ve discovered that the greatest lesson I’ve learned was never discussed. It is- expect change.
When JRB and I first got married, I frequently cried and had panic attacks at all of the change taking place. I know I sound like such a winner. Why he didn’t run the other way, I’ll never know. However, for this only child who was brought home from the hospital and left for college from the exact same house, change was not something I was good at. Perceiving all of the change- different last name, different holiday traditions, different city, different state, different friends, different stage of life- sent me into a total unhinged state. The only thing that got me through is that eventually this “change” would become a norm. Except….
JRB and I are still constantly changing! Nobody told me this! While certainly our core values and beliefs are the same, even those have been molded, changed and tested over the last two years. Things we thought we’d “NEVER” experience or be tempted with, we have experienced and been tempted with. On a smaller scale, we still can’t figure out who is the Covers Hog in our house. There are month spans where I wake up angry at Josh because I was cold and being kicked all night. Then with the blink of an eye, I’m the one who takes all the covers and won’t stay on my side. Just last weekend, JRB chose to wear tennis shoes because I always “freeze him out in the car” only to be surprised with me being the one “frozen out in the car.” In our two years, we still haven’t decided what number is our number on the thermostat.
Fortunately, change has become a fact of life. I thought that after leaving college and getting married that everything would settle. We’d have our daily routines, know each others likes and dislikes (which also change regularly), and go about our merry way. Praise the Lord that we aren’t that boring! Embracing the change of myself and of my husband is one of the things I was least prepared for, but has kept our marriage fresh and fun. As soon as we think we know the way everything will go, a curveball is thrown causing us to work through (sometimes scramble through) various situations. Asking each other questions, learning together, and continuing to learn about one another has made change warp from scary to interesting.
I am, without a doubt, not the same person I was only two years ago, and neither is JRB. This change, however, wasn’t scary or anxiety-inducing. It was growth and experience, and for that I am grateful. Bring on more change.