What I’ve Learned in 1000 Days of Marriage

by Merritt on August 3, 2012

Yes, today we are celebrating 1000 days of marriage. And no, I didn’t do the math. I actually ran across our wedding website at The Knot.com a few weeks ago and was reminded by the counter they still have running. Sad to say we never “finished” the website what with all the wedding PLANNING going on. But it’s still fun to look at.

2012 07 29 20.55 249x300 What I’ve Learned in 1000 Days of MarriageSo, in honor of hitting quadruple digits, here’s what I’ve learned in these 1000 days:

My husband is more of what I needed and less what I expected.
I had a lot of fantasies about what marriage would be like. And a long list of preferences about the spouse I desired—most were superficial things about his looks, clothing, job, etc. But God gave me a gentle, kind, warm, sensitive, forgiving man of character who isn’t perfect, but he brings out the best in me and he consistently points me to Christ. Almost daily I am reminded of God’s love for me because of the way my husband loves me.

Staying connected is a daily choice.
Life is busy. We both have jobs, friends, interests and even personal struggles that can easily pull us away from the oneness intended for marriage. We have to make a point, every day, of pausing to talk, connect and touch one another. Otherwise we may be traveling the same path together but ultimately we won’t end up in the same place.

What goes on in my head can’t always be trusted.
I don’t know if this is just a female thing, but my mind can create all kinds of assumptions, lies and issues that do not exist in real life. Instead of thinking and dwelling on things I need to talk about them. The way he’s responding to me may have more to do with his bad day or long commute than something I did wrong, but tossing those thoughts around in my head for hours {or even minutes} isn’t going to help me know how he’s feeling. And along those lines….

Trust my instincts. But don’t just sit there, say something!
If something feels “off” it probably is. I am learning to ask instead of wait for him to tell me. Once we went two whole days thinking the other person was mad. If one of us had just said something we could have figured out what was really going on and reconnected faster.

Sometimes I have to be the one to change.
I’m a night owl, and he turns into a pumpkin by 10pm. One of the biggest adjustments in the first month of marriage was deciding when I should go to bed. Should I hold on to this habit of staying up late at the risk of missing out on sweet time at the end and beginning of each day? I finally decided I had to change. Today, it’s not so unusual for us to be wrapping up our evening by 8:30 and heading for bed. Though it seemed like a sacrifice early in marriage, I don’t regret it one bit.

Conflict, handled well, really does draw us closer.
We’ve had our fair share of conflicts. They aren’t as frequent now. And, for the most part, we’ve moved beyond the petty struggles that often occurred in the kitchen. But when the big stuff comes up, our diligence to work through it together as WE instead of YOU and ME has made all the difference. And on that topic…

Forgiveness is HUGE!
If you’ve been around here very long you’ve heard it before: forgiveness is the number one tool that has impacted our relationship. Choosing to forgive when I don’t want to and saying the words “Will you forgive me?” when I’m the one who’s wrong have made all the difference.

Marriage is not about me.
Whenever I try to make it about me, I get upside down and sideways in my relationship with the Lord…and often with my husband. Marriage is {still} teaching me to put the other person first, to trust all the unknowns to the Lord and accept the difficulties as opportunities for God to grow my character in increased kindness, forgiveness and gentleness.

I’m grateful for 1000 days! How about you?

How long have you been married, and what have you learned?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Debi - The Romantic Vineyard August 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

We’ve been married around 12,202 days, long before the Knot.com was around. :) And we’ve learned our marriage is more about our holiness than our happiness. (btw, we celebrated 33 yrs. in Feb. in case you didn’t want to do the math.) great post!

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Melissa Shipman August 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm

We’ve been married a little over a year…somewhere around 390 days I think. And I’ve learned SO MUCH, including that I have to go to bed earlier, too! I never expected that, because Hubs is the one that used to be a night owl, not me! Oh, and I’ve also learned how to actually ask for forgiveness. Before, it was something we both just assumed at the end of the argument, and I’ve learned that’s just not enough!

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Merritt August 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Going to bed earlier is better than it sounds. It’s taken some time to get used to it, but I no longer feel like I’m ‘missing out’ on whatever is happening in the world late at night. :)

Love that you’ve learned to ask forgiveness instead of just assuming it. It takes great humility to do that…and will pay dividends in your marriage. Words are SO powerful!

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Laura August 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Ah, the power of suggestion! I just checked our “Knot Website” 755 days!!!

Happy 1000! Here’s to 1,000,000+! :)

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Merritt August 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Isn’t it funny to see this many days later?! :) Happy day 755 to you!

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