Six Values I’ve Learned in my 1st Two Years of Marriage…. for Better or Worse
Marriage is not for the faint of heart. It takes true maturity in both the individuals’ relationship as well as their relationship with God in order for the marriage to flourish. Marriage should not be taken lightly, done because it’s cute or even forced because of a baby. Marriage is investing in your forever, in life more abundantly. I should know, my wife and I jumped the broom on this day 2 years ago!
There’s a lot to be said for a 23-year-old black boy that believed he’d found his soulmate just over a year after finishing college. Sure, Faith and I had been together since I was 17, but was I really ready to commit the rest of my life to this person? To be the spiritual Head of Household? To be someone’s rock? To lead a household financially? To Judo chop questions of pregnancy like I’m Austin Powers and she’s a Fembot!? Absolutely not! No one warned about these things, so to anyone reading this, you should take partial blame for why I’m still in this mess! Pretty much everything I know about marriage comes from watching other men be idiots and learning what not to do. It’s worked so far…..I think!
Fellas, here are the top six values I’ve learned these 1st two years of marriage…. for better or worse.
1. Turn her family against her. Do you know the best part about being awesome? When other people think it too. Especially when those other people are also awesome. Combined awesomeness is a form of chemistry that leads to unbreakable bonds and ground-shaking laughter, especially at the expense of your spouse. Fitting in with my wife’s family was super important to me, because no one likes side-eyes and scoffs when they hear you walk through the door. In the beginning, I was true to myself – respectful, adaptable, observant, chivalrous, and protective – with hopes everyone would welcome me. Once I was welcomed, I built relationships with individuals that had the best stories (and sense of humor) about Faith, and then exchanged experiences with them. That way I got to know them, actually got to know Faith a little better, and laughed my tail off the entire time! Now, I’m fairly certain they like me more than her, which is a definite advantage at family gatherings!
2. Trick her into saying that woman is fine so you don’t feel guilty. I’m a sucker for beautiful women. No sane man isn’t. But I’m also a sucker for big butts. Whatever, shoot me. Every man has had an experience in which they are out in public with their woman, whether it be on a date or a casual trip to the mall or grocery store, when something jiggles past your periphery. There’s that internal struggle with wanting to look but also not wanting to face the wrath of a ninja kick per the Missus. From what I’ve learned, you apparently aren’t supposed to look. BUT (pun intended), you CAN look if she mentions it. She knows you saw it, and knows you want to look, so by saying “Dang Girl!” aloud, you have permission to glance, not stare. You’re welcome.
3. You will never go to bed when you want. Never. Unless you have insomnia, like me. Even then you’ll probably still lose. If she’s sleepy and you aren’t, I suggest you get sleepy. She’s not going to leave you alone to watch TV or play video games, and she’s certainly not going in that dark, spooky bedroom with the clean sheets and bed skirt by herself. There could be a monster in there! Or worse, a burglar! Sad thing is, she doesn’t even actually want YOU in there. The bed is cold, and you’re warm, so do the math. If you don’t stand for that, you have two choices here:
a. Go get in the bed with her, let her talk herself to sleep, then quietly return to video games.
b. Ignore her pleas to go to bed with her, keep gaming while she falls asleep on the couch, then get up and go to bed and leave her on the couch.
4. Apparently cooking and having a beard are worth something. Whenever we go back and forth and she loses, which is often, the conversation usually ends with “Yo mama” or “You ugly” which equals “I can’t compete anymore but I don’t want you to know that.” A bowl of my spaghetti usually clears that up, no problem. Bonus points if you clean as you cook. On the other hand, I threatened to cut my beard recently. She responded with a threat of divorce. Clearly this thing means something to her if she suddenly learns new vocabulary.
5. Her stories will suck. And she’ll know when you aren’t listening. Some people have the gift of storytelling. They can paint a picture and make you feel like you were right there in the moment with them. Others can penetrate your emotional psyche, drawing you in to their every word, making you crave more. My wife was not blessed with this gift. And she knows this. Because I told her. But it’s cool. Because I listen anyway. And pray there’s no exit ticket or pop quiz later.
6. Prank wars are the best wars. Faith sleeps like she’s Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat. Lots of kicking, talking, yelling, even laughing and crying! What better ammo to get documentation of for use during bribes, debates, or just pure entertainment! The goal is to catch her slipping before (and more often than) she catches me! The family that laughs together, stays together. Unless the joke is on me, then I have to clap back.
In case you missed the metaphors and allegory, or my sarcasm was too much for you, the top 6 important values I learned in my first two years of marriage are: Family, Trust, Affection, Intimacy, Communication, Laughter. Understanding and valuing each of these things has made for a relatively easy first two years. Stress has been our biggest adversary, due to work, school, and even finances at times, but keeping these values at the forefront has helped us overcome even that.
All jokes aside, I fully understand that these are the values that work for US. What works for us may not work for other couples. And vice versa. We must recognize what’s most important and keep that paramount to anything else. Take care of home first, and everything else will work itself out. I love you, Faith. Happy Anniversary Sweetie!
If I missed anything, or if you have words of wisdom and advice for young couples that have jumped or are planning to jump the broom, respond and let’s #STUDI together!