This weekend I went to a girlfriend's bridal shower. Her mother was asking around the room for advice to give to her for her marriage. Some of the advice the women said were, “Do what makes you happy” and “Do what feels right”. All the women nodded except me. I didn’t agree. So I told the bride I would e-mail her my “advice” since what I wanted to say didn’t seem like it would be very popular.
To preface, I have only been married for 10 years this year. But my husband and I are more in love and feel so much closer each year. So here is the letter I sent to her:
This is for both you and R, so feel free to share with him. My advice is actually the opposite of what 2 of the people at your shower said (doing what makes you happy). I also want you to know that Ugur and I are celebrating 10 years of marriage this year and we are more in love and closer than we can imagine plus a 5th baby on the way. Our marriage also centers around our faith. I can't see how marriage can be fulfilling and successful without Christ at the center.
Marriage is NOT about doing what "feels" right or what makes you happy. No where does life promise you that. Marriage is about being un-selfish! Serving each other expecting nothing in return. There will be times, seasons or even years where one of you might be pulling more weight, doing more, feeling run down. You cannot be thinking about "what makes YOU happy" in times like this. You must serve out of love.
Find your husband's "love language", read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This can help A LOT in what makes your spouse feel loved. For example, my top 2 love languages are Quality Time and Acts of Service. Ugur's are Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch. Highly recommend the book!
Most men need more sex than women:) Sometimes it's an act of service to "just do it" when you are tired, etc. This might apply more as you guys get older and have kids, etc. But sometimes it's like going to the gym, you don't feel like going, you know it's good for you and you always feel better afterwards:) I know this might not make sense in your 20's and as a newlywed. Sex is important for men, I try to be "available" when I know he's been making little lovemaking comments to me or noticing my body. I think to myself, " I need to make sure I am rested and make a time to have a make out session in the next 24 hours". So yes, scheduling it in works too.
Marriage is growing, changing and learning about each other. How you communicate is very important and it might change through the years. Try not to bring up the past, families of origin (although they affect our communication style) when arguing.
Be humble and make positive assumptions.
Phew, that's all for now. You 2 should read this together and digest it:) Enjoy that Atlas. i got one for my wedding and it was one of my favorite gifts.
I was first going to blog about the book The 5 Love Languages but then decided to also share this letter too. I also want women reading this to know my advice is simply mine and comes from a loving marriage. My advice does not apply in unhealthy or abusive relationships. The bride is also someone I am very close with and can share intimate details and advice. Of course now I’m sharing it all with you!
Remember, your marriage is the BEST gift you can give your children.