Breathe, Count to Ten, and Let it Go

I had the wonderful opportunity to do a Guest Blogging piece for Katie and I loved every minute of it! Here's what got published on her blog

I’ll just start this off by giving a big fatty shout out to Katie and her hunky marine. Woo! Yay for getting married, true love, and all.that.jazz. I happen to adore Katie, consider her a dear friend, and couldn’t be happier for her. Seriously. Now onto the nitty gritty. Katie asked me to write something for her and then pulled a total cop out by saying it could be about anything. Nice. I joke, since whenever I have guest bloggers, I usually cop out too. It just ups the ante a bit and gives me an anxiety attack, but as long as Katie is breathing free, all’s well right? She hinted that it could be marriage advice, marriage stories, anything about marriage… I told her I don’t feel qualified enough to even think about giving marriage advice let alone write it all out for the blogosphere to delve in to. I told Mr. Superman (my much, much better half) this a few weeks back, and the things he said to me helped produce the shnazzy little tid bits below. Enjoy!

I have been married for a little over 3 years now. In those 3 years, I have learned a few things. 

The old advice of, “Never go to bed angry” is definitely at the top of that list. I cannot stress how important this is for Mr. Superman and I. There is nothing worse than having a ruined day/night and lack of sleep due to pride over a little argument. Suck it up, compromise, say you're sorry, go have some sexy time, and get a good nights sleep. 

Another bit of advice has to do with that snarky, sarcastic thing people always say when you're about to get married. “You don’t just marry your partner, you marry their whole family” is something I dislike quite a bit. For me, I don't believe this, I don't live by it, and I sure as heck don't accept it. I go by what my parents always taught me, what my siblings learned from their marriages and passed onto me, and by what the Bible says. ‘God’s Blueprint for Married Couples', a sermon written by Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D, lays everything out in a pretty straightforward way that I absolutely love. The sermon in its entirety can be found HERE. There are several times in the Bible that the importance of the marriage being between the husband and the wife is stated by God. Not the husband, wife, and each others’ families.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Mark 10:7-8 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

It is explained what these verses do and do not mean. I think these two points are especially important.
  • The husband-wife relationship is now the priority relationship: Your relationship with your parents must now take a back seat to your relationship with your spouse. In fact, all other relationships must now be secondary. (Source)
  • It means that you are more concerned about your spouse's ideas, opinions, and directives than you are of your parents: Some times there is a power struggle between the two sets of parents. A husband and wife must be careful that they do not allow the parents to manipulate them. (Source)
 Pastor Brown continues on and gives some very good pointers directly to parents.

Parents, your goal should be to prepare your children to leave, not to stay. As they advance toward maturity you should train them to be independent of you, not dependent on you. Teach them to be decision makers and to manage their money carefully. When your children have married, don't try to run their lives! Don't criticize their spouse. You must allow the husband to be the head of his home, to make decisions for himself, to look to his wife, not you, as his helper and his responsibility. You must encourage your daughter to look to her husband for companionship, encouragement, affection, guidance, etc.”

I could not agree more. I understand every family is different but there is no quicker way to start a fight than throwing in the in-laws. Once you get married, whether you, your spouse, or a parent is having issues, its time to face the music and grow the H up. If issues continue, set boundaries, throw tact out the window, and scream, “Its time to cut the freaking umbilical cord!”

This is a great lead in to another lesson we learned very, very quickly. There are three people in a marriage but it is NOT the mother-in-law. Its you, your spouse, and GOD. I promise though, He won’t be emailing, texting, and calling every day inviting you to dinner or bugging you to come over. He understands the importance of ALONE time and will compromise by blessing you as long as you are doing your part.

Now moving onto to an important lesson, that isn’t just great for marriages and couples, but for individuals as well. It is that  YOU.CAN’T.PLAN.LIFE. Well, you can, but only if you want to see life laugh in your face. Seriously, life, the fate’s, Murphy, the ju-ju fairies, whatever you want to call it, will take it as a personal challenge if they overhear you say, “Oh we have a plan! We are going to do this and this, so then we can do this. We are going to have such and such by this date so then we can accomplish this. Its our plan!” Sshhh, listen. Can you hear that? It’s the roaring laughter of the plan destroying leprechauns thoroughly enjoying the satisfaction of ruining another couple’s plans for the future. 

Example: In the past three years, Mr. Superman and I have experienced the loss of three babies, countless hospital stints, 4 surgeries, a blood disease diagnosis, and a massive amount of medical bill debt most people don't see in a lifetime. We have lost family members as they passed away and friends whom we thought would stick around, but didn't because our lives were too fraught with hardships. We have gone through at least fifty job interviews combined, 12 jobs, 4 states, 5 houses, enlistment into the United States Air Force, months of separation accompanied by varying degrees of communication scaled from none to a little, a deployment that is still underway, and we have been on the brink of losing absolutely everything several times over. Do you want to know a secret? None of this was planned. In fact, almost all of this, minus the enlisting into the USAF, is the complete opposite of what we had planned or what we could have even imagined we'd go through in our lives.

Finally, the point of this post, and the final lesson I'll share. Breathe, count to ten, and let it go. It is something that is undeniably difficult but it is irrefutably helpful and essentially beneficial. When Mr. Superman and I were in pre-marriage 'lessons' with our Bishop, he reiterated something every week that is always at the back of my mind. 'Don't sweat the small stuff and its ALL small stuff.' Seriously. No matter what obstacle is placed in your way, you will get through it and no matter how bad you think it is, it could always be (and most definitely is for someone else) much, much worse. 

Let's re-cap shall we?
  • Never go to bed angry= Suck it up and apologize/bite your tongue= Don't sweat the small stuff and its ALL small stuff= Breathe, Count to Ten, and Let it Go
  • You don’t just marry your partner, you marry their whole family Leave your parents= Grow up= Its time to cut the freaking umbilical cord= When difficulty with the parents/families arise... Breathe, Count to Ten, and Let it Go
  • 3 people in a marriage= Husband+Wife+Parents GOD= Happy marriage. Happy, NOT easy. Ready for it? Breathe, Count to Ten, and Let it Go
  • You can't plan life= Be prepared for anything= Come what may and love it= Breathe, Count to Ten, and Let it Go


AngieDMac said...

I did read this at Katie's blog, but I wanted to personally tell you I believe every word you say. Especially not sweating the small stuff and not going to bed mad. Beautiful truth!

Erin said...

I love this post! Especially the part about parents. It is so hard not to scream sometimes at some of the things my inlaws have said to my husband. I feel like there is a constant power struggle. So thank you for posting this :)

Jennie Pie said...

Wonderful essay!! In my almost late 20's it is hard for me to make decisions without thinking, "What will my parents say/do/think?" That has been the biggest struggle for me in growing up is to learn to trust my own judgments and have confidence in my decision making. In the end, what I do influences my happiness, not that of my parents.


Sasha said...

you should send this anonymously to my mother in law. For reals. I'm just too chicken shi to do it myself. ahhhhaahaah

Adam+Tatum said...

You popped into my head randomly the other day.....I hope all is well and wanted to send you my love......oh and you are SO correct about the parent thing! lol!

Whit said...

Thanks Rachelle! That actually helped me a lot right now... I am headed back to work in 2 weeks and have just been dreading it more than anything. I can't bare the thought of leaving my little sweetie at home... But your advice is right; don't sweat the small stuff. It could be much worse. It's going to be hard and an enormous trial, but we CAN get through it. Thanks :)

Random Musings said...

I LOVE this post! You go girl!

I love that NOTHING IS PLANNED so true. So true.

Wife on the Roller Coaster said...

What an amazing post! Such wonderful advice for married couples. I have to admit I'm horrible at the going to bed mad thing. I've been married for almost 11 years now, and I still haven't mastered that one. And so so so true that you can't plan anything in life. I learned that one a LONG time ago even before the military entered the picture.

Such great advice girl! xoxo

McDancer said...

I agree wholeheartedly~ especially with the never going to bed angry and nothing is planned. Awesome post :)

Anna said...

Wonderful post & great advice. Thank you!

addicted2shius said...

Oh love I couldn't have read this at a better time. If you're not busy, let's chat.

Come what may and love it is my favorite quote. So hard to do in times of despair. I keep reminding myself that He knows us and will never give us more than we can handle. But it's not me I cry for, it's always for others.

But you're right, our marriages come before our parents. It just breaks my heart sometimes not to be able to take care of them all.