“Marriage advice” from the newly-wed.

There are so many things that make up a good marriage. So many things that I have yet to learn. Some are foundational and some are just small aspects that end up contributing to a more happy and healthy marriage. Just one of those small aspects that I have seen and learned so far in my short time of being married is simply embracing and appreciating your differences.

Kyle told me a few weeks ago that he saw something I was doing in the kitchen (that was apparently totally foreign and nonsensical to him). He said he was tempted to “correct me” but instead just shook his head and smiled to himself thinking, “that is Nat.” Him telling me that reminded me in a silly yet real way “aw, he really does love me.” It is obviously not natural for two completely different people to combine their lives together. But that is exactly it. It is supposed to be a combining of differences not a colliding of them. I have had to remind myself how good of a thing it is that I am not married to myself. That might sound strange, but it seems like in relationships we often secretly and subtly think that if only the other person was more like us it would be a whole lot easier; and we seek to slowly conform them into our own image. But in reality how boring and stifling to growth that would be! I have become increasingly thankful when Kyle chooses to love and cherish me for who I am. And I desire to do the same in return.

Marriage SHOULD change us. It should challenge, inspire, mold, and edify us. But I think part of marriage is knowing when to confront and help the other person to change for their own good, and when to be quiet and simply enjoy them for who they are- baffling quirks and all.

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