20 Lessons Marriage Has Taught Me About Myself

My husband and I recently celebrated our 13th Wedding Anniversary. Thus, I decided to compile a list of lessons that marriage has taught me about myself. Enjoy:)

  1. I’m not selfish, but I have selfish tendencies.– Here me out. I bust my apple bottom derriere for my husband, kids, immediate family and friends. But there are times when I don’t want to give nobody nothing! I don’t want to hear my son tell another story about Super Mario or watch another 5 minute hack video with my daughter. I don’t want to give my man that Butta Love….I don’t want to do NOTHIN FOR NOBODY. I just wanna lay across my bed and watch the senseless dramedy of reality TV or a documentary about the Secrets Behind West Point  in peace and quiet. Don’t ask me for nothing, don’t call my name, don’t even breathe in my direction. Just leave alone!  There are times when this is ok. Then there are times when the Holy Spirit taps me on my shoulder and yells really loud for me to attend to my husband’s needs and desires.  Sometimes I listen:). Sometimes I don’t 🙁 
  2. I am a lot like my momma and sometimes I have to lock my Lady Elouise tendencies inside my closet. – Y’all already know that I loooooveeeeee and respect my mother! Next to Jesus, she is the reason I am. Lady Elouise is strong, make it happen, cut throat, get it together or get left, I can do it by myself, take it or leave it, and you betta call Tyrone all rolled up in one…LOL. Sometimes those same characteristics are released from my inward parts and I become No Limit Margaret!  (What ya’ll no about No Limit Records. “….Make em say uhhh uhhhh nanannna nnanna….LOL –I’m a 90s baby all day long!!!)  That No Limit Soldier appears in a way that is not conducive to what my husband needs or how he communicates.  And my husband, the Holy Spirit, or my therapist will say…calm down. Be quiet. Relax. Take  a different approach. Listen with your ears and not your emotions. Extend grace not growl. Speak softly, not superiorly.  Relate not retreat. Bag back gimme 50 feet.
  3. Simply loving my man is not enough to maintain and foster a healthy marriage. – Yes, I lovveeee my husband and he lovvessssss me. But love is not enough. We need love, a whole lotta JESUS, an overabundance of PRAYER, some therapy, trust, excessively clear, consistent, productive, verbal and nonverbal COMMUNICATION, emotional intimacy, frequent and GOOD, orgasmic, “Put Me to Bed” sex, friendship, love, laughter, accountability, MONEY, understanding, patience, grace, JESUS, forgiveness, trust, vulnerability, COMMUNICATION, discipline, therapy, commitment, loyalty, fun, attraction, individual and collective goals, JESUS, quality time, physical affection, Holy Spirit led movement, SEX, validation, PRAYER, growth, peace, vacations, productivity, MONEY, reevaluation, acknowledgement, humility, vision, fasting, common core values, and a joint and consistent effort from both parties to MAKE MARRIAGE WORK. 
  4. In my opinion, weddings are overrated.– If I could undo my wedding, (not my dress or my husband), I would in a heartbeat. No offense to anyone out there who is looking forward to their special day. You do YOU. Have the time of your life. But honey, know this…once that wedding is over….the real thang begins and it doesn’t matter if you had a courthouse wedding, Vegas elopement, or a destination love story….none of those things even matter. At the end of the day, it’s just you, your husband, and the commitment you made to God and to each other. You can have a $150 per plate reception, trunk full of wedding gifts, the best dance party of the century, the dress of your dreams, or a honeymoon to Bora Bora with an on-water suite like in that Kardashian episode.  None of that can guarantee a long lasting and productive marriage. Only you, your spouse, a joint level of commitment and the work you both put in can do that. 
  5. The individual me MUST be preserved. -I wonder how many other wives feel this way?? My husband and I are joined together as one. But the need for me to remain “Margaret” is just as important. ‘Cause if I don’t have my individuality….and my husband doesn’t have his…..we won’t flourish . We will begin to resent each other. We need to know, strengthen and live out our individual God given purposes.  We both also need to have our own personal bank accounts. (wink..wink..) When we are both individually following God’s plans for our lives, collectively we will flourish.
  6. I DO NOT have the right to  judge, comment, or deliberate on anyone’s marriage except my own.- It’s soooooooo easy for us married folks to comment on someone else’s marriage. I’ve been guilty of this. Lord, forgive me. But the reality is, I really don’t know anything. I am not living in anyone’s home, walking in anyone else’ shoes, or experiencing anyone else’s life. I don’t know how people run their households,their needs, their wants,  their feelings, their capacities, or their desires.  I must focus on my own marriage and pray for everyone else’s. PERIOD.
  7. I am not a marriage expert.Please call a licensed, tried and true, Holy Spirit-filled, marriage and family therapist. Or someone that has been in the game for over 30 years and both parties are genuinely happy.
  8. The paternal relationships that I have or have not developed often affect my interaction with my husband. – I never fully understood the impact of paternal relationships until some time into marriage. At times, I can see how these relationships have affected my ability to be completely vulnerable, as physically affectionate, and receive the assistance or validation from my husband. I’m so grateful for my husband’s patience and the progress I’ve made. One day I will expound upon these things. Today is not the day. There is still work to be done. YEP…Jesus and therapy, again. 
  9. I must make an effort to preserve, protect, and maintain my friendship with my husband. -My husband and I spent the first year or so of our dating relationship thousands of miles apart. It is through this experience that we forged a memorable and foundational friendship.  A marriage without friendship is a business deal.I don’t want a business deal. I want an enjoyable, timeless, melodic, seamless, transparent, gratifying and irreplaceable relationship with my husband. I want to know that even after our kids have left our home, we remain intact and can still enjoy and long for each other’s company. I must safeguard our friendship…value it above busyness, ambition, children, family members, social media, church, complacency, friends, the desire to be right, laziness, and even my own selfishness. 
  10. I only have control over my thoughts, actions, heart utterances and the words I speak. – I cannot control anything my husband does. That is between him and Jesus. I am ONLY responsible for everything that I do. Whether good or bad, I will receive the consequences of those things and will have to give an account for them. This is why the Bible tells me to “work out my own salvation.” 
  11. I need to continually monitor the timing of my responses, tone of voice, and facial expressions. – Hmm. Help me, Jesus. That thing called soft answers, self-control and putting my flesh under subjection…progress has been made….but there is still work for me to do, Beloved. 
  12. I cannot expect, what I do not speak. – I’ve often made the mistake of expecting my husband to meet needs, requests, or even desires that I’ve never vocally expressed. In my female mind, somethings should be common sense. However, my female mind can often lead me down the rabbit trail of needless disappointment. MARGARET…GIRL…., open your mouth, kindly, calmly, and articulately tell the man who adores you what you need, want and expect from him – AT ALL TIMES. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  13. I must NEVER compare my marriage or my husband to anyone else. – My marriage and my husband are mine.  Their marriage and their husband is theirs.  End of story.
  14. I still haven’t mastered the art of balancing. – Hence, why  I need the Holy Spirit and my therapist. I never want to give my husband (or my kids) the leftovers of me. Sometimes it happens and I’m doing my best to do better. 
  15. It is imperative thatI view my husband the way God desires me to see Him. Before my husband became my husband, He was/ is God’s child. He was created and born with a God-given purpose.  God doesn’t love me more than him. Or vice versa. Jesus Christ died for him just as He died for me. He is the apple of God’s eye. He is the “Bride” of Christ. He is a Royal Priesthood. He is a man of valour.  I am no better than him. Just as I deserve grace, forgiveness, patience, so does He. He is not only my husband, but my brother in Christ. God requires for me to uphold him with the highest esteem –even in the times when he gets on my nerves or he lets me down.  I must pray for him, encourage him, support him and remind him that God has an unexplainable, incomparable plan for His life and that He will meet every date with destiny!!
  16. My relationship or lack of relationship with the Holy Spirit spills over into my marriage. –If Jesus and I aren’t on one accord …EVERYTHING ELSE, including I, will be out of whack.
  17. I will never arrive. – No matter how many years of marriage, or how much I think I know my husband or myself – there is always room for growth. I can never get too comfortable and stop striving to be the best, God centered, version of me. Doing my individual work and continually allowing the Holy Spirit to transform me, will allow me to be a better wife to my husband, a better mother to my children, and a BETTER ME!
  18. I need my husband. – Now that, coming from an independent, strong willed, go getting Black woman is often hard to say. I’ve watched enough of Waiting to Exhale, sang enough of Destiny’s Child’s “Independent Women,” put together enough furniture, or pumped enough gas to THINK that I don’t need my husband. I’ve seen enough Holy Spirit led, beautiful and strong women take care of themselves, their children, and conquer their worlds without a husband. They have done what was necessary and required of them. But my husband is an active and present part of my life. And, because God has ordained Him to be my husband, he is my necessity. I need his presence- his balance, love, calm, peace, sincerity, grace, perspective, patience, embrace, leadership, support,  approval, God given direction, sense of humor, discipline, and humility. Saying that I need my husband does not make me a man-dependent or weak woman. It makes me human. It makes me brave!
  19. I must surround myself with other wives with the same heart, mind, and focus. – A reliable, sound, God-sent accountability and support system in marriage is important. Not to serve as an outlet to destroy my husband’s reputation or to tell every facet of our marrige, but to keep my hand to the plow. (I sound so old…lol..hand to the plow.SMH) My God-sent sister-friends remind me that I’m not alone.  They help me keep my head in the game, my emotions in check, my heart steady, and my mind stayed on Jesus. Their quick to correct, slow to judge and constantly encouraging me to do what’s right in God’s sight. They always admonish me to treat my husband with the utmost care and respect and to do the same for myself.
  20.  I make a pretty good wife…lol – I’m definitely not perfect. But I try my best. And the fact that we’ve made it through 13 years of marriage and all of our faculties are in tact (heart, mind, body and soul included), I’d say I’m doing alright:)