7 More Lessons from My 1st Year of Marriage

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A. Healthy sacrifice is always a good idea.
If being a people person was ranked on a scale of 1-100%, I will rank 20%. I am introverted and this plays out in diverse ways but the most common indicator is I can go a really long stretch of time without socializing.

I love my intimate community of family, friends & loved ones. However, constant socializing drains me. Thankfully, BO & I are alike so introversion is familiar territory for him.

In marriage, I realised that to build a sustainable relationship with my new family, I had to sacrifice. Thankfully (again), I married a man who is pro-authentic. Hence, he ensured the sacrifice was healthy and mutual. What sacrifice in this regard meant was presenting myself to my new family the way I am and then setting up systems for interactions that doesn’t leave me drained and doesn’t communicate anything less than love and honour.

I did struggle in the beginning.

I am very aware that there is an acceptable standard & template as it pertains to socializing especially for people who have cultural roots from my ethnic region. I fell short of that standard. Knowing this, my immediate response wasn’t to try to meet the standard (I knew I would not be able to after a few interactions). Instead, I looked for ways to augment that gap in other areas that would allow me to be myself and honour my new family. Honour is very important. However, honouring your way into becoming someone you are not is a dishonour to yourself and God.

Sacrifice isn’t about becoming who you are not, it is about doing things/possibly going the extra mile for others in ways that show you value and honour them while still being you. Sacrifices that require you to be a version of yourself that conflicts with your core is not sustainable.

If you find that you are constantly irritable, angry and harbouring resentment; you are most likely sacrificing in a way that is unhealthy.

B. Getting married to your friend doesn’t erase the need for your close friends or other levels of relationship in your life. I cannot imagine having to let go of my close friends for BO or letting go of BO for my close friends. Both relationships nourish me in very distinct ways and I need both to thrive relationally & emotionally.

C. A great marriage is very possible but it takes intentional teamwork. 

D. Having people who role model marital possibilities you and your partner will like to step into is a great-to-have. 

E. It is possible to have a drama-free relationship with your in-laws. 

F. There are some marital conflicts that are not about what is right or wrong; they are teething issues and issues like these require forbearance. Teething issues are not in any way indicative of an unhealthy union. 

G. Some solutions to marital conflicts are great in theory but not in practice. Do what works for your marriage as God leads you.