Everyone asks the same question:
How’s the married life?!
I always smile and say it’s amazing and fun – because it is. But it’s also hard. Bring that up in conversation, though, and people all of a sudden get really awkward. Being a newlywed, there is a lot of pressure for your life to be some sort of fantasy land despite the struggles of daily life. Where does that come from? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my husband. I couldn’t be happier than I am with him, everyday. God has blessed us with a unique union where we challenge each other, encourage each other, and work really well as a team. But that doesn’t automatically make life a breeze. Why do I feel like it’s supposed to, though?
I wish someone had told me how hard it would be to merge your life, passions, commitments, and hobbies with another person’s. No one said how easy it would be to let other relationships suffer as you work your hardest on your relationship with your new spouse. That one day you look up and realize you’ve accidentally abandoned your girlfriends, and feel like the biggest hypocrite because you swore that would never happen. Making those calls, making those apologies, reaching out, and trying to make relationships work in a completely new context is tough. Why don’t we teach classes on this?!
This blog is not to complain. I’m not pointing fingers or placing blame. No one did anything wrong. The mentors in our lives are beautiful people, and we would be struggling without them. But in my opinion there is this expectation to have a happy little life, and an adventure every weekend – even though really you just want to flop on the couch and veg out together. I’m sure some of this is made up, or self imposed from too much Instagram. Either way, it’s not good.
So I guess if you’re a newlywed or about to be, take this as permission to not be super “happy” all the time. You will be exhausted. You will feel overwhelmed. But the joy is there. Having a spouse and being with your best friend all the time is amazing. But, being married is hard work in all the unexpected ways, and here’s a heads up – you will need space from other relationships. So instead of doing what I did, and being in denial about that fact and ending up feeling sad about it, be prepared. Give your besties a heads up, and ask them to graciously support you and understand when you’re not as available as you used to be – even for a short season. It is possible to balance it all and I’m assuming (hoping) you get better at it with time ….;)