To Have and Hold, and Grow Old...
Okay, why the incredibly adorable pictures of me and my family??? Today's blog is going to discuss the idea of what happens after those newlywed years...
When Josh and I got married, I was divorced and my son was four. He had never been married and was now a step-father and owner of a brand new house we purchased together, not to mention, trying to be the husband I expected him to be.
When we were first together, there was kissing, touching, physical passion. It was new and exciting. Did you know that research suggests these feelings last roughly 15 months, which is why you are considered a newlywed for the whole first year of marriage. What happens after that? Why do those intense feelings go away? Research has also found that the ever-changing pressures of marriage and family tend to weaken those feelings and as time passes, those feelings change. Now, this is NOT negative! No, in fact, as our feelings change from an intense physical need to a deeper emotional need, we are actually becoming more united. Our love was actually becoming more MEANINGFUL. When I was younger, I failed to see that.
I think back now, when I am sometimes reminiscing on those early days, how silly I was to think that Josh's physical desire for me was his only way of loving me! It is the moments of thoughtfulness, of grace, of service- those moments of true love- that remind me of how our love is the kind that lasts a lifetime. No, it's not always sunshine and roses, but without the storms sometimes, there'd be no rain for those roses to grow. You see, we have learned through these years how to better communicate. THAT is the key. We have also learned how to put it to God, praying for one another and placing our faith in the fact that He placed us together for a greater purpose. And, as I KNOW it was harder for me to do this than for Josh, learned to appreciate the strengths AND weaknesses in one another and show gratitude, even in times of frustration. (okay, truth be told, I STILL have to work on that!)
Our wedding day was perfect because it was exactly how we wanted to start our life together. The ceremony was in our own front yard, we wrote our own vows, and our most important friends and family were present. (I do have ONE regret, but that is for a later blog post, so hang tight!) What I WISH I would have know on that day though is that there will always be ups and downs. That is why I vowed to love Josh for better or for worse, and he vowed to love me through good times and bad. I love going to weddings together because every time I hear a couple make those vows to each other, I am silently saying those vows again to Josh.
As we enter what is typically "wedding season" (late-May to early-September), I urge you to attend a wedding if you are invited and silently repeat those vows to your spouse. If you are a couple getting married soon, I urge you live for every moment together, praising God in all your good times, and in your bad times too! And remember Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." (ESV)
So what happens after being a newlywed? The most precious and beautiful years of your life!!
Marriage coaching will give you the tools you need "to have and to hold" and to grow old together! Consider becoming a stronger couple that is ready to face what life may throw at you by scheduling a session today!