Secrets of a Newlywed: The Beauty of Sacrifice

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 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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  1. What a beautiful post and I think that every wife could take a bit of this and marry it into her life. A selfless wife is one that is cherished, adored, and blessed. I truly believe this...and sadly I'm not there yet. Thanks for the reminder to care for our husbands! I let our busy conflicting schedules eat away at my once normal wifely duties...which shouldn't be the case.

  2. I'm not there yet, either, Tamara. And I would bet most other women would say the same thing! But that's one of the things I've LOVED so much over the past couple of months hosting this series, is learning to see how so many women have learned to live this out in their own marriages, how we've all had to fight and wrestle with our selfishness in order to bring Beauty and Light to our marriages. It's been so inspirational for me!

  3. Thanks for giving me this opportunity, Carmen. I really enjoyed writing it. I love this series!

  4. This is something I really need to work on. It's a place I want to be in but I'm not there yet. Hopefully I'll get there sooner than later.
    Thank you for sharing this. Great post! :)

  5. As an engaged woman on her way to being a newly wed, I am soaking up all the information and wisdom I can ahead of time!

    Love this post. In order to marry my future husband I will have to give up my cherished life as a city girl in Philly and trek down to Virignia to live in what I call subrgatory. This is such a huge change for me, I often have little panic attacks about it. But I am trusting that this big sacrifice will prove hugely valuable to us and to our future family- God has been leading us here so it will be more than well- it will be blessed.

    But beyond these huge things I find the small things even more difficult- moving to Virginia is obvious. Taking an extra day off so I can be with both our families for the holidays, making sure he has coffee and something to eat when he leaves for the 5 hour drive home at 5 am, and staying up later after a long train ride to VA to have a drink with his friends he wants me to meet- less obvious, but equally as valuable.

    Thanks for this post!

    Nanny Sandie :)

  6. Thank you for this post! It's something I'm trying to work on as a newlywed...sometimes it comes easily, and sometimes it takes a huge effort.


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