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Growing into Marriage

When I married my husband at the tender age of twenty-seven, I had specific ways of doing things. I suppose I was still under the impression that there was only one way to perform any given task. The way my parents raised me to do them, of course. With that mindset, I struggled to compromise because my husband's ways were quite foreign to me.

For example: I only used Windex on windows and mirrors. My husband flabbergasted me when I saw him use it to clean his wooden kitchen table, cabinets, and more. He used that stuff on everything. I used to get so upset, that I could feel my blood pressure rising every time I saw him take out the Windex bottle. Everyone knew better than to use glass cleaner on wood, right?

Then, one day I was visiting with Aunt Shirley and mentioned it to her. She sat me down and had a lengthy chat with me. She explained how Windex killed germs and left everything clean, unlike my method of using the dishcloth after washing the dishes. She also explained how difficult it can be to compromise while learning to live with another person, especially when every little thing can drive you crazy. She enlightened me on the adjustment period.

When I spoke with Mom about it, her advice was to be grateful that he cleaned at all. There was something to that, but my husband and I both worked forty hours every week, so it never crossed my mind that I should do all of the housework. How is that fair? Thankfully, my husband has always been of the same mindset. He actually cleans more than I do because I spend most of my nonwork hours writing.

Something with which we both struggled was our tendency to make plans for each other without consultation. I remember one Sunday morning when I had agreed to attend church with my in-laws and ended up spending the entire day with them. While I love my in-laws, I had agreed to church, not spending the entire day at their house. I had other things to do, and I would have happily explained that if I'd been asked.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my sweet father-in-law passed away in 2017, and I miss him every day. My mother-in-law suffers from dementia and doesn't even know who I am, anymore. Therefore, looking back, I'm glad we spent the day with them. I should have been consulted in advance. It's simply a matter of communication.

My husband and I have been married for nearly twenty-five years, and we've grown into our marriage. I haven't even sent in my RSVP for my high school class reunion yet because I'm waiting for him to check his schedule. We still have our share of strife, but we are much better and make an effort to be good to each other.

Love and marriage can be wonderful, but they aren't easy. Marriage is not all hearts and roses. Good relationships take work, communication, and dedication. Most importantly, they require compromise and respect.

While it's a lot of work, I think it's worth it.

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