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The Seasons of Marriage

***As seen on I Do Part Two

๐—›๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€? We moms often talk about the seasons of motherhood. This isnโ€™t just to be cute, there really are defined seasons, or stages, that we flow through and grow through. I truly feel that there is a similar rhythm to marriage. ๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™œ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™จ ๐™œ๐™ž๐™›๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™—๐™š ๐™›๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™š๐™–๐™˜๐™ ๐™จ๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™ค๐™ฃ. 

๐—ช๐—ฒ ๐—ท๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿต๐˜๐—ต ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜†! Thatโ€™s a number of years that I always thought of when thinking of my parentsโ€™ marriage. And the experiences and emotions these years have brought are far more diverse, challenging and fulfilling than I could have imagined at the start of this journey together. 

๐—œ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด, ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜†๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ต. And exciting and intense. Much like with Spring and the first season of motherhood, there is so much we have yet to learn, but weโ€™re not really thinking about that because we are so caught up in what we are experiencing and feeling right NOW. Sometimes it might feel like a lot, or we may argue, but because there is not yet much in the way of โ€œbaggage,โ€ these bumps are more easily smoothed over. 

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ, ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ณ๐˜ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐˜†, ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ผ๐—น๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€. There is powerful new love born from this sacred gift of creating life together. It brings a beautiful new dimension to the love that had just been filled with the two of us. But also, new demands (especially on us moms) and feelings we may not have expected make their way into our lives. 

We have to work a little harder to truly see and support each otherโ€™s needs. And like many moms I know, I found myself very wrapped up in my new baby and young children. Between the lack of sleep and the feeling needed all the time, we often have little left to give to our husbands. So love may be stronger, or have more depth to it in this season, but love is also challenged in this season. 

๐—”๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜‚๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜„, ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜†๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ. This shift seems less dramatic than the previous two. We may find ourselves drawn into our kidsโ€™ various activities and sports, discover our love of volunteering in the schools, or even return to or get more involved in our work outside the home. Unintentionally, life can get busier and time for just the two of us can take a back seat. Our marriage has to expand and grow with us, and we need to intentionally carve out time for us, the couple, while still nurturing our family. Some achieve this balance more easily than others. ๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ๐™ฃ’๐™ฉ ๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™ฎ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ข๐™š โ€“ ๐™„ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™˜๐™–๐™ช๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™– ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ช๐™–๐™ก ๐™—๐™–๐™˜๐™  ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™—๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ฌ๐™ค. 

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ’๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—น๐˜† ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ “๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐˜๐˜† ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜” ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป, one that applies to marriage as well as to the family. This season comes in with a bang, even if we have been thinking about and preparing for a while. We aren’t really back to being just a couple, because while our kids are in college, and during the years just after, they are still often living at home at least part of the time. But what an opportunity to take stock of our marriage, of our husband! I see potential for a fresh infusion of love and open communication about how we can help each other thrive both as individuals and in our marriage. 

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ, ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜’๐˜€ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜†’๐—น๐—น ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—น ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ. I’d imagine there’s a distinct season that starts when our kids fully leave home and start their own lives, and families. And perhaps another season much later in life. 

๐—™๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„, ๐—œ’๐—บ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐—ง๐—›๐—œ๐—ฆ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ. Treasuring the precious family we’ve been blessed with, rediscovering some of the things we most love about each other AND discovering NEW things to love about each other and ways to grow and embrace this life together.

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