After attending a wedding recently I was reminiscing about being a newlywed. David and I have been married for 9 years so technically we no longer fall under that category. I was thinking back to setting up our first house together, regular date nights, the beginning and dreaming phase of what our life would be like together, and enjoying just being married. Those early years were a lot of fun and are wonderful memories.
Then I skipped ahead a little. 2 or so years down the road. Life had really settled in. We still enjoyed being married, but it wasn’t just because we were married like it was in the beginning, the newness had worn off. I remember going through a time of sort of grieving the loss of our “newlywed phase” not that we were in a bad phase, it was just different. Our life was more scheduled. Things seemed more routine. The newness was gone, and that seemed a little boring at times. David and I had some great talks through this time and I had some good talks with trusted friends and discovered that this was pretty normal and that we needed to be more “intentional” about our relationship. More date nights again, more quality time together, more connecting about things that really mattered instead of just household management type things.
Marriage is like many other things in life, you reap what you sow. We sowed time, effort, affection, respect, etc into our marriage and we reaped the benefits. By being more intentional about our relationship we got through that lull (since we are being real here, it was just the first lull, marriage is full of ups and downs but effort and the right tools can get you through!) and reached a stronger relationship on the other side.
It’s unfortunate that too many marriages in today’s culture don’t make it through those lulls. They fear that their marriage is broken and don’t know what to do. They need support. They need people being real with them and telling them they can make it through to the other side. I remember something the man who married us said during our wedding ceremony. He wasn’t talking to David and me, but to all of our guests. He said that they were all witnesses to the commitment we were making that day and as David and I went through life, if we ever got to a time when we wanted to throw in the towel, it was their job to remind us of that day, to remind us of our commitment and our love for one another.
Our culture needs those kinds of witnesses, those kinds of marriage cheerleaders, those kinds of supporters. Those people who can tell those couples coming out of the newlywed phase into the regular ol’ married phase that IT IS GOOD. That will come alongside a marriage in trouble and help them though.
When I started this and said I was reminiscing about the newlywed phase, it’s not because I longed to get those days back, I would not trade my “settled in” 9 year old marriage for a newlywed marriage. Sure, those days were wonderful, spontaneous, and fun. But my marriage now is secure in a way I didn’t even know I wanted back then. And it still gets to be wonderful, spontaneous, and fun!!
For those of you in the newlywed phase, build your relationship on a strong foundation that can make it through the lulls life brings. Be intentional about your marriage, don’t neglect it. And most importantly, know that with commitment, effort , and grace, your best days are ahead of you.
For those of you in the settled in phase, keep it up! Stay intentional and keep pouring into your marriage! Be those marriage cheerleaders!! Be real with your stories and help encourage those newer marriages around you! Reminisce about the phases you have gone through and see how far you have come! Your best days are still ahead of you too!
Check out some resources on our website for date suggestions, upcoming events or book suggestions to keep your marriage "intentional"! http://www.marriageandfamilyatscc.com/
Author: Cassia Hobbs