While I am in Georgia with the family the wonderful Danielle was gracious enough to guest post for me. I met Danielle during VEDA last August and she is the most full of love, passionate, real person I know. Love love love her. I am so happy she agreed to write a little something for me. I really respect her views on love and marriage; I think we’re both very similar in how we approach it all.
Hi! My name is Danielle and I am thrilled to be guest posting for Bri, as she takes a well-deserved break. I write over at Wonju Wife, sometimes, and I read Bri’s blog, all the time!
I am bursting with joy for Bri and Mr. A as they start their life together as husband and wife! What an exciting time for both of you and I couldn’t be happier for you. Because I’m sure no one will give you any advice about anything marriage related ever, I’m going to fill the gap with a bit of my own.
Make your own marriage.
Your marriage is just as unique as you are! It’s not going to look like anyone else’s. And as a blogger, sometimes I find myself getting nervous or upset that we aren’t doing the things other married couples are doing, or reaching the milestones they’re reaching, or taking the adorable photos they’re taking. But when I stop comparing my marriage to anyone else’s, I realize that it is perfect for us. Because Kenny and I have come from different cultures and countries, we’ve had to custom design our own culture, taking bits and pieces from here and there and sewing them into our own marriage. As newlyweds, it’s easy to get caught up in what you should be doing or what you’re expected to do. Forget all that crap. Your marriage is about YOU TWO. And it gets so much better when you stop doing things because it’s “what married people do” and start doing things that naturally flow from your relationship with each other.
Wash the dishes.
My friend and writer, Dr. Carmen Acevedo Butcher, once wrote, “Love is a muscle, not an emotion. It is something you make strong through the hard work of exercise, not something you hope stays around.” And I’ve found that to be true. In the glow of a new marriage, you don’t notice that love is work. But it is. It’s a discipline. It’s washing the dishes; it’s cleaning the litter box; it’s washing your partner’s feet.
When Kenny and I finally figured out that it didn’t say anything about our marriage or how much we loved each other, we finally just started doing things separately when we felt like it. Sometimes I want a burger and Kenny wants Chinese food. So, instead of compromising and one of us being slightly disappointed and not getting what we want, we separate! I go eat a burger, while Kenny eats Chinese food, and we meet back up both satisfied and happy and excited to be together again. I know that sounds silly at first, but in a marriage you will constantly be making decisions based on what works for both of you. So sometimes, just do what works for you individually. You don’t have to spend an hour before every outing deciding how to make both agendas work. Just decide which parts of the day you’ll do together, and in which parts you’ll take your own path. Your own path always leads back to your partner anyway. 😉
I’ll leave you with a beautiful essay on marriage by Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet, because he says all this better than I ever could:
You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from the same cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.