This is the next post in Secrets of a Newlywed, a series where I and a handful of other bloggers open up and share some of the lessons, insights and understandings—the little secrets—that have strengthened our marriages. (To read through all the posts in this series, click here.)
Today, I am happy to share this guest post from Emma: The Beauty of Sacrifice.
At the start of our marriage, things weren't ideal. We fought quite a bit. There was love, and there was most definitely commitment, but it wasn't the newlywed bliss we had expected. Something was missing. We would be in the middle of a fight and I would feel completely lost and hopeless. I would know that there was love, and I could feel it, but I was just so unsure of where we were headed.
He had his ways, and I had mine. He wanted this, and I wanted that. He thought we should go this way, and I thought we should go that way. I'm not going to do this because he did that. I felt this way, he felt that way. You get the idea.
I wish I could equate my selfishness to my age (I was 20 at the time), but I have a feeling this terrible thing brings many marriages to divorce. Selfishness is a pretty natural tendency, and one that can easily destroy a marriage.
Then, I finally realized that the state of our marriage wasn't up to anyone but us. I was so busy concerning myself with myself, my needs, and my feelings that I forgot about concerning myself with my husband.
So about a year ago, I tried something new:
Rather than sleep through his morning routine (he works at 7, I was working at 9), I got up with him at 5 AM. I made his breakfast. I made sure he had a good lunch for his long work day. I put his laundry away. I did the dishes. I took care of him and lost an hour of sleep.
At first, I felt a bit uncomfortable as I went about the morning. A bit too Stepford Wife-ish. But the feeling I got from seeing (and hearing) how thankful he was for an hour of my time was worth more than an hour of lost sleep. (Or three!)
Big deal, right? Some pancakes and we're back on track! No. But it was in that span of an hour that it all became so very clear.
It didn't take long to see the beauty of selflessness. I'm not perfect, and I still catch myself acting out of selfishness at times. But consciously choosing to serve him before myself has truly made all of the difference in our marriage.
I needed to put his needs ahead of my own. I needed to ask how his day was, I needed to see if I could do anything for him. I needed to look past minor flaws and annoyances and remember what was really important.
I needed to make him pancakes.
This was a guest post by Emma, who says, "Hi all! I'm Emma and I blog over at www.shegotmarried.blogspot.com about marriage, healthy food, dogs, and saving money. Carmen is one of the reasons I started blogging and I love sitting down to her posts with a cup of coffee. I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity to do a guest post for this wonderful series, and I cannot wait to read more stories from other wives! I'm always learning new things in my marriage, and this realization that I have shared here was definitely a big one for me. As for my blog, I'm excited to start adding more budget friendly DIY posts into the mix as we just bought our first (and quite tiny) home in New Hampshire. I love being with my husband, running, cooking, yoga, taking pictures for fun, baking bread, and trying to tackle DIY projects that I would rather hand off to my mother-in-law. I love meeting new bloggers, so please stop by the blog and say hi!"
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