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Letter to My Younger Married Self – The Best Things are Sometimes Surprises.

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Dear 28 year old Lani,

You didn’t marry the man of your dreams. He is the one you’ve prayed for and he’ll surprise at some times. The vows you make today will be tested every day and you will learn the meaning of integrity through your commitment to each other. You had 5 years to learn about him but it’ll be like anew as your husband, so be fair and forgiving. Don’t overthink nor be self-conscious. He will love you selflessly and always be the first to apologize because he can’t stand seeing you disappointed. He cherishes you that much.

You will be reminded to appreciate every moment together and not to take each other for granted. So don’t. Even at moments of disagreements and when you think you’re right. Every year will go by quick, even faster with a child. You will raise the most precious boy together who will fill your life with joy and drama. Yet, you will always find time to keep that fire burning because after all that you do, you’re still alive. He will worry about you, cry with you, get frustrated, grieve, want you, be challenged in his habits and pray for you more than ever. And you will do the same with all of your soul. You will love each other through it because it is all worth it. It will not be easy but nothing neither of you can’t handle without God and community of friends who truly love you.

Enjoy this day. Though it might seem as part of your bigger life “plans”, you are making the right choice with this man. You will love each other more with each passing day. Trust and believe that you will need it. Hold him up. Hold it down. Don’t know what the years to come will bring but he will be all the man you need. Love it all.

Still very much in love,

34 year old Lani

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Letter to My Younger Married Self – Faith Prevails.

Dear 28 year-old Aileen,
Today you stand before a judge and commit to love, honor, cherish, and support Lazarus Dempsey, as his wife until death do you part. Right now, you do not understand what this all means. You have seen movie after movie of fairy tale romances and amazing weddings and I would love to tell you that your marriage will be just as romantic and storybook, but honestly it will not.

Your determination not to fail will keep you in this marriage at times when you feel like you want to leave. Coming from a broken home, and listening to your mother tell you that you will never have a good relationship with a man because her marriage fell apart changes you. You vow to never allow this to happen to your marriage and future family. You remember saying to your mother “Just because your marriage didn’t work, doesn’t mean mine won’t, just because your marriage ended after 13 years doesn’t mean mine will”. However, what happens is that you now put a microscope on the men you date. You look for extraordinary signs of love and devotion from your relationships, you constantly look for proof that this man will be the one that will remain with you for life and if these signs did not show up within a specific frame in time, you ended the relationship. In trying to control this process you added countless years of heartache to your relationship life. You turned cold to relationships all together and focused on work. But you learned, you could not have found him on your own, your tests were not the determining factor it had to be God. Well young sis, You Made It, here we are at 16 years of marriage and you are having fun!

House Keeping

Lazarus is from another country and therefore there will be some cultural differences that will creep up from time to time to challenge your view on his commitment level and his love for you. When this happens, I urge you to remember the phone calls that he made to you every morning at 9am to wish you a wonderful day and to pray for you. Remember all the hours he waited for you on a Friday just to walk you to the train station because that was the only time you would allow him before you were married. Then pause and remember that those things did not stop once he said “I Do”.

You are used to doing everything on your own because that is how you lived your entire life before your husband came into the picture. You will have a tough time letting this go but over time you will learn that you have to let go of some of it in order for the relationship to mature and for him to grow as a husband and a father and you as a wife and mother.

Lazarus has never said a disparaging remark towards you and your character, although you will have said many towards him that you will later regret. Remember that this is frustration and that you really can’t live without him.

Here are a few things you can look forward to over the next 16 years.

His unshakeable Faith

Your husband has a strong faith in God and is diligent in prayer and forgiveness. You will question his faith constantly. You will do this to mask your lack of faith and your loose relationship with God. Things have happened in your life that turned you from the word of God and at times seeing his faith in action will make you feel guilty and lost. Just remember that the Bible tells us we are to lead by example and that the husband is the leader of his home in Faith and Family.

Your Anger is Hurtful

When you get angry you hold it in until you can no longer do so and you lash out. Your husband is the brunt of all of this and it is not fair. Remember that you are not the only one that gets angry, you are not the only one with fears and disappointments. Lazarus will help you see this, as his approach to these scenarios is calm, cool, and collected. You secretly admire this about him but your silly pride will not let you acknowledge it. Remember to breathe during the storm and then speak, your words cut like double-edged blades and the wounds you inflict are deep. Don’t make him bleed for the things that were done to you and the people who made you bleed.

His humor is your balance

Aileen, you have so much love, laughter, and compassion for others and you rarely give yourself credit. You feel like you have to keep up this strong wall all the time because you don’t want to let anyone in. Your husband will make you laugh at yourself during times when you want to cry. He has a way of making you tear down the wall, if only for a moment. Laugh during these times and cherish them. These times will shape your marriage for years to come. You will come to look forward to these goofy moments with him because they really are saving your life.

The greatest gifts HE gave you through your husband

Four years into your marriage you will sit y our husband down and tell him the following:

“Laz, I may never be able to give you children. Things that were done to me in my past may have made this impossible. I know how important having children is to you and I do not want to stand in your way. I will understand if you want to leave me, in fact, I encourage you to go and find a woman who is able to bear children. I will hurt, I will miss you and I may be alone for a long time, but I will be able to live with all of that because you will have the children that I cannot provide.

His amazing response to you is as follows:

“Aileen, these doctors are not God and by the way they have spoken to you, I question if they even know God. We will have children in God’s time because God’s time is the best time. Do you agree?

You say:

Yes, but secretly you have a little doubt. However, true to our God and his amazing timing your daughter was conceived that night in January 2005. Your second child, yes, a second child will come in March of 2007.

Look at these wonderful gifts and their character and you will see the face of your husband, the strength of your marriage and the love your husband has for you. Your selflessness, as shown in this tough conversation, is one of the things he loves most about you.

Embrace Love

Throughout the years to come you will convince yourself that you do not deserve to be loved as deeply and unconditionally as others. You will tell yourself that because of your past you deserve less. I need you to open your eyes and realize that with Lazarus, you have gotten and will receive more than some people will ever feel in their lives. You are blessed, you are loved and you are amazing.

Your husband will call you “Dumb Dumb” from time to time to put out your fuse. This is a long running inside joke and it makes you laugh every time. Remember that communication, something you thought you were great at but have learned through marriage, is the key to your marriage. Remember your father told you “You met your match with this one”. Overall, you cannot see living this life without him and the family you share. He makes you possible!

Although your marriage had an unconventional start, your marriage is storybook, it is romantic and it is the most important relationship you will ever have. Looking forward to the next 16 years and the years to come. Continue to laugh, and allow yourself to be loved and give love every day.

44-year old Aileen

mrandmrs44-year-old Aileen

 

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Relationship Gratitude – Day 17 (Be a Relationship Role Model!)

Inspire others!  In today’s society, we tend to keep things that are important to us private, especially in regards to our relationship. One challenge is there are couples out there, especially young couples that come from single-parent households that may not have any role models when it comes to relationships. They would benefit from hearing your story. They would benefit to know you can have obstacles in a relationship and be grateful for those challenges because your relationship has improved.

Today, move out of your comfort zone of privacy and describe one unexpected blessing you’ve received in a status update on Facebook or Twitter. Visit the Facebook page “Strive 2 Succeed in Marriage/Relationships“, or S2SinMarrriage Twitter Page and share your blessing.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in 30 days of Gratitude

 

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