Monday, March 19, 2018

The Good and Bad Sides of Marriage: Being Newlyweds

You are face to face with the man you prayed diligently for the last five years. It is finally your wedding day. Your mind wonders back over all your many checklists:

  • The proposal...beautiful moment created by your fiancĂ©e
  • Wedding planing...almost unbearable, but done with very few bridezilla moments 
  • Premarital Counseling...many serious talks, threats to end the engagement, but made you confident of your love. 

All tasks completed and led you to this moment, to change your life forever. Are you ready? Have you addressed all the potential pitfalls like fidelity, finances, children, retirement, religion/spirituality? A sigh of relief, yes, all things to be checked off on your list. Of course, you both have shared, discussed, agreed or agreed to disagree and you are now ready to commit for better or worse until death separates you. You made it here with prayer through the tears, arguments, break ups and make ups and fun times that assure you are ready for the journey of life ahead in your new life together. You both cry out joyfully at the altar, “We Do”.

Entering my second year of the marriage journey, one early morning I rolled over hearing faint, muffled cries, I yawned, stretched, and dragged myself out of bed to check on my two-month-old daughter. Her piercing eyes stared up at me and her mouth formed the suckling motion and I knew it was time for her midnight feeding. I glared over at my husband in disgust, soundly sleeping unbothered. Self-dialogue flooded my mind… Does he even hear her? Of course not, he has no idea how exhausted I am. He never thinks about me or my needs. I’m last on everyone’s list, even my own. Just as I begin to allow my thoughts to spiral out of control, he stirred and opened his eyes, “I’ll take her, go back to bed.”  I whispered aloud, “Welcome to the Terrific Twos, parenthood, is our second year of marriage.

There is no manual to guide you through the individual changes you both experience during this journey. Household chores is our number one issue. Why is it that I seem to be doing the most? I just gave birth; doesn’t he realize this?  I complain, and it only leads to an argument. He makes minor changes to help, but it only lasts three days! THREE DAYS! What relief do I get for three days of help? Communication. He hates dishes but doesn’t mind laundry. We compromise, crises averted! I was ready to wage war against my husband and my marriage. Exhaustion, coupled with caring for a new infant will cause you to express your thoughts, feelings, and needs negatively; Leading to more arguments, resentment, and mental exhaustion that isn’t healthy for anyone.

After much prayer and a needed trip, alone, to Hobby Lobby (Thank God for grandmothers who babysit!); I was able to find peace and tranquility on the drive home. God showed me a word, perspective, I want to share with all the wives both newlyweds and veterans. Perspective, is all about how you view yourself, your role, and your spouse.

  • ·      Your Spouse- If you view him as your adversary, then that is what your relationship will be. There will be constant conflict and you both will always be on opposing sides. However, allow yourself to see your husband through the eyes of God. Focus on his great qualities and his strengths. He is your teammate and you both are working toward the same goal of living a happy, joy filled life together.

  • ·       Your Role- In most cases, the wife is nerve center of the home. Nothing runs quite right if wife or mom is not functioning at her best. Instead of viewing yourself as last on everyone’s list or that no one care how you are feeling, remember there is always one, God. He ALWAYS cares and is there when you feel alone. He blessed you with the desire of your heart, a family. You have a husband and maybe children and these are things you wouldn’t have if it were going to be too much to bear. View your role as what it is, the MOST important. Your family needs you to operate successfully to help them achieve and grow mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

  • ·      Yourself- All that your role entails as a wife and/or mother, the most important person to care for is yourself. Self-care is number one! Find something you enjoy that nurtures you, replenishes your mind, body, and spirit.  The goal is one self-care activity per day. Make this a priority and peace will begin to fill your life and transition into your home.

Marriage is a beautiful journey, encourage yourself and your spouse to remember how beautifully the journey began in challenging times. Uplift and pray for one another, God is always right in the middle with you. A useful resource is The 5 love languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman. There are three quizzes available, the love language, the apology language, and the anger assessment. Communicate with your spouse and keep the tone of your communication uplifting and watch those sparks fly. Being newlyweds can be a challenge but tackling the hurdles together makes it all worthwhile.  

Alisha Ruffin Brown is an entrepreneur, investor, and creative and by day a social worker. She is married to Joseph Brown, owner of local sneaker boutique, Laced Up Boutique and they have one daughter.  Alisha created the natural hair care product line, Ladiee Locs. She enjoys spending time with her family, singing and directing her church choir, and creating new concepts and businesses. Her goal is to uplift, encourage, and motivate women to be the best version of themselves daily.


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