My husband and I are celebrating 10 year together, so in honor of that, I want to do a mini-marriage series. When I was engaged, my mom asked the women in my life to write out advice for me. It is advice that I still cherish today.
I am going to take the next few days to share these letters with you. If you missed Day 1- Giving (written by my Aunt), you can start there.
When you are ready, head over to Day 2: Forgiveness (written by my mom)
Today is Day 3 – Understanding.
This letter is written by a family friend.
When I was asked to write something about what understanding meant in a marriage, I wondered “What could I tell you that would explain how important this one element is to a good marriage?”
Then I realized that my husband and I have been married for over 27 years and that without ‘understanding’ we would not have the commitment we have with each other. My husband and I are two very different people.
We came into our marriage knowing how important this union was by living with the example set by our parents. Both sets of parents were strong-willed, intelligent, hard-working and loving couples. They succeeded, as I feel we have, by “understanding’ each others differences. They not only understood those differences, but they embraced them and grew in their love for each other because of them.
We are all unique individuals with different views, beliefs, interests and needs. You need to understand those needs in your spouse and accept them without question or judgement.
Understanding is not about YOUR needs, but the other person’s needs and desires. Understanding is when you care about how someone else needs to be loved- not just how you need to be loved.
I asked my husband what understanding in a marriage means to him, and he said “It is like when you are first married and your wife goes out with her friends one evening, instead of being with you. Instead of being hurt or angry over her time away, you understand that it was what she needed and you say “Its ok” . So, that’s what understanding means to him. Its being willing to accept and say ‘Its Ok.’
To me, understanding in a marriage is shown by all the other things that he has done to show me that he understands. He may not say it, but he has shown that he understands in so many different ways.
~He understood that after a family member died, I needed hugs all the time.
~He understands how much my family means to me.
~He understands a man shouldn’t eat or drink in front of his wife when she is in labor and is not allowed to have anything but an ice chip … well, he understands that now.
~He understands that when I’m sick, I want to be left alone and not waited on like him.
~He understands my emotions and he tolerates them.
~He understands my love of Christmas and all of the baking that goes along with it.
~He understands my belief that folded chips taste better than flat chips.
~He understands that I need a bath everything- and that it will be a long one.
~He understands tat all of those little things and many more make me who I am.
We have so much more to learn, but because we understand each other more, we can accept our differences and grow with them. With every experience you face, you and your husband will learn just a little more about each other and will come to see that a marriage will thrive with love & happiness as long as you continue to understand each other.
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