I‘ve seen so many young women desperate to get married because they believed it would fill that tiny hole in their heart and make them feel complete. If I am totally honest with you, that young woman was me. Subconsciously I assumed when I became a wife, any sense of self-doubt and insecurity would simply flee. Unfortunately, who you are before you get married is who you take with you into matrimony. If you feel insecure and unloved as a single girl, you’ll carry that into your relationship. If you feel indifferent and aimless before the big day you can’t expect vision and inspiration after the ceremony. If you don’t know where you want to go in life, it’ll be hard to navigate when you’ve got two people wrestling over the driver’s seat.
Does that mean you have to have it all together before you wed your dream boy? Heck no, sweet friend! Does that mean you have to be completely confident in every facet of your being? Certainly not. What’s important is not where you find yourself, but the direction you are facing.
We can all be women who choose to look to true north and begin to live from love, not aching for it.
As a newlywed, the mantra, “Happy wife, happy life” became the cornerstone of my thinking. I believed my husband’s primary job was to keep me content, live up to my expectations (which were sky-high) and make me feel loved at all times. You can probably guess that kind of attitude didn’t lead to a very happy life, for him or I. After being married a few short years I began to realise no matter how much he loved me, adored me or swept me off my feet, I was left unsatisfied. Because you see, no matter how much water you pour in, if there’s a hole in the bucket it will always run dry. No matter how perfect your Mr. Right is, he can’t keep you happy all the time, and the truth is, it’s not his job too. It’s yours, and mine. So fall in love with yourself, before “you” becomes “we”.
become a woman marked with grace, confident and compassionate, aware of your shortcomings and mature enough to ACKNOWLEDGE them.
In the early days of my marriage, I often found myself saying, “Seriously, you make me so mad, I’ve never felt like this before!” (And that was the truth.) But it had very little to do with Ben and a lot to do with me. Marriage is a point of pressure and it brings out a whole lot of stuff! Past pain, personality weaknesses and emotional baggage. Often times issues within marriage aren’t caused by the other person, they simply rise to the surface. Ben wasn’t making me mad—I had an issue with control and trust. I found it difficult adjusting my world to include another person. l had always been super independent and self-protective; it was my issue, not his.
marriage problems aren't always marriage problems, they're often single problems that aren't addressed before you say i, "i do".
Real marriage is like a mirror—it reveals your junk, but it also gives you an opportunity to grow as a person. Remember, diamonds are made under pressure! So let the pressure produce beauty. If you’re yet to be wed, maybe take some time cleaning out your closet (the emotional one, ha) and become aware of your stuff. Don’t worry, we’ve all got it. The difference is, are we willing to own it? One key ingredient to feeling loved and complete is making sure you’ve discovered what you were born for. What makes you come alive? What’s your dream? What aspirations do you have for your life?
Unlocking your passion has a way of fuelling your sense of self and fills the love tank to the brim.
So find the answers and look deep within, because if you don’t define your passions, somebody else will. You’ll be forced into a nine-to-five you hate; you’ll settle for the status quo and let mediocre things get in the way of exceptional things. Don’t. You were born to dream big and to live big. You were born to change your space in the world, not get caught in the rat-race.
Thankfully after eight short years of marriage I have grown (ever so slightly) in these few areas. The key to my happiness is no longer in my husband’s pocket; it now rests securely in mine (Although chocolates and flowers certainly help from time to time). I have begun to love myself from the inside out, not in a vain, conceited way, simply comfortable in my own skin, unfazed by comparison. I have learnt to really live from love, not for it. I am aware of my weaknesses and determined to play to my strengths. In 50 years’ time I want my marriage to still be on fire, not just between the sheets but drenched in heartfelt conversations, confessing our wildest dreams and deepest fears. I want to leave a dent in the universe alongside a man who I have loved from overflow and not drought.