Suffering is Normal? Love and Marriage (and Relationships)

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I cannot even believe I haven’t blogged in over a year, when this has in fact, no doubt, been the craziest, busiest, and most truly chaotic time in my life- both physically, mentally and emotionally.

No wonder I have those days where I wonder if I even have a brain anymore to decipher between what I’m feeling, what I’m doing, etc. I haven’t written down my thoughts and such in well over a year! So- warning: this may be a lot to handle all at once, because it has been on my heart and my mind for awhile now, and I am finally making time to write it out in a somewhat constructive and organized matter, but, I am still a woman ūüėČ

To catch anyone and everyone up, my last blog was about my most amazing proposal story, which I’d totally recommend for anyone to read, it is positively the most precious thing in the world. And I have since then¬†endured a long distance relationship with my fiance for more of our engagement than not,¬†planned my entire wedding (a very large wedding) mostly by myself, ¬†using only my brain power (which was completely worth it in the end, as everything turned out just magically- but, it is safe to say that my brain hasn’t exactly been the same since), GOT MARRIED, gone on my honeymoon, and came back to take on the lovely lifestyle of marriage, which I can say most ecstatically, is AWESOME!

I have already learned a lifetime of knowledge about myself (may be slightly dramatic, but also pretty true), and we haven’t even been married for two months yet. I have a lifetime still ahead of me to learn even more. You will learn quite quickly within a marriage relationship just how selfish you have been all of the years prior (unless you are just wonderful, and have never been selfish… good for you). I mean, I’ve always thought, in the grand scheme of things, I was a pretty good person that had a lot to offer to another. And, I still believe this. But, I am also a pretty messed up woman who is too selfish for her own good. Marriage is amazing already, and I am beyond words thankful (“it is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy”) for it everyday, and the absolute blessing of being married to the man of my dreams, my very closest and best friend, the most gracious and wonderful human being around.¬†It is true, not just some mooshy gooshy nonsense, that I fall more and more in love with him everyday. He’s pretty great, to say the least.¬†

Well, I didn’t know it was possible, but as we spend more time together, pray together, grow together, cry together, have moments of realization as the other speaks, have moments of life and reality checks, have arguments and then make solutions and resolutions, as a team, together- I find myself loving him more and more through those very hard and critical moments. I mean, yes, I am still a woman. And he is still a man. We are NOTHING alike. We process just about EVERYTHING differently, we’re as different as they come from one another. So yes, in critical moments, where we are sharing with each other, each putting in our two cents, he is sharing where he is coming from, and I am sharing where I am coming from (which is obviously entirely different than him), sometimes I find myself very uncomfortable, perhaps even letting my emotions take complete control over my body, allowing me to break down and feel less than (in other words, being a total girl about it)- but as that moment passes (which sometimes it passes very quickly, and we’re all over each other again just as we were prior to that moment- other times, not as quickly, not because I am putting up my guard and pushing myself away, even though it could most definitely appear that way, but because I do in fact, take everything to heart, and DO want to be better at the end of the day than I was a the beginning of the day- this means SO much to me).

Having a reality check, through a critical conversation, yeah it sucks in the moment. But the next day, as everything pieces together and I am able to process everything aside from the purely emotional standpoint I had in the moment, I am beyond thankful and grateful to have had those critical conversations. I am growing and learning how to better communicate through those times. They are not glamorous moments, I may cry a lot in those moments and let myself ask myself “why am I so darn messed up? Why can I not communicate in the right tone? Why am I such a girl?” But, suffering through these moments is what truly helps me learn, grow, and try harder and harder.

I have not been perfect at relationships. I have been far from perfect in the area of communication. Everyone has their strengths, and everyone has their own weaknesses. My weakness has always been communication. This was something that terrified me about entering into marriage. It wasn’t a foreign thing for me, I’ve known for a long time now that I grew up in a home where communication wasn’t always clear, in fact it wasn’t clear very often at all. I carried this trait with me into adulthood, whether I liked it or not (which I obviously did not). I’ve always been comforted by the fact that at least I know this about myself and am not denying it, but have still suffered a lot through this weakness. I have had some absolutely incredible relationships with people in my life, where we have remained friends through thick and thin, we have remained friends through times of being together, and times of being long distance. I have always loved the quote that¬†“true friendship isn’t about being inseparable, it’s being separated and nothing changes.”¬†I have a hand full of friends actually that live very far from me, which for someone that isn’t the best at communicating, this can be a nightmare for the relationship. I have also learned over time, that every single person is made differently. We are all made up of different personalities, of different backgrounds, and as I’ve said, of different strengths and weaknesses. I truly believe that each of our personalities determine our natural tendencies and reactions, but at the end of the day, it is the choices that we make that determine our actions. For me, sometimes I make great choices, and sometimes I make choices that I immediately regret (I’m definitely still learning).¬†Some of my relationships with others have withstood time, even through weaknesses, through a lot of grace, a lot of forgiveness, a benefit of the doubt, through obviously prayer as well (prayer is vital people). And other relationships I’ve also lost along the way, for the lack of these things, both on my end and on others’ ends.

Needless to say, marriage is forever (at least that was the way it was designed to be- forever, now that’s a long time. But, I believe life definitely begins at the end of your comfort zone, right?!). What terrified me the most about marriage was the fear of letting my partner down, in one way or another. During my engagement, I found myself asking myself “What if I’m not a good wife? What if I cannot please my husband (not just in that way ūüėČ but in everything)? Is there only so much grace for one another? What if I mess up A LOT in marriage?” If there is one thing I have learned through the last couple of months, even more so through jotting this down, it is that you only get good, or better, by making mistakes. In my book, mistakes are proof that one is trying. And the only expectation we should have for one another is that expectation to keep trying. That is all we can ultimately do. Because, mistakes are going to keep happening. We have to be okay with that within our relationships with others.¬†Suffering for one another, in relationships, is normal. We can see that and also attest to it through the Bible, Jesus suffered A LOT, to be in relationship with those around him, to continue to be in relationship with us today. Relationships are hard, they require a lot of sacrifice, a lot of pain. It is not always pretty, not always daisies and rose petals, but we are better together. I love the quote, by I don’t know who… that says “Truth is, everybody’s going to hurt you, you just have to find the ones worth¬†suffering for.”

The things you say about others say a lot about you. If I do nothing else right, I ALWAYS try to be mindful about what I am saying to others, about others. I may not have the exact right words to say to you in the moment, but I will never talk poorly about you behind your back. I have never been into gossip, into drama. In fact, if I am faced with such a thing, I tend to turn around and run as fast as I possibly can in the other direction. Even if I don’t agree with what someone in my life has said to me, or what they have done to me, I bite my tongue to prevent myself from blurting my feelings I may have against the person, because my desire is only to be uplifting others. This is a good practice, but can also hurt me if I keep it all just bottled up. I do not ever want to be known as the girl who was talking bad about another girl, or who was talking negatively about her husband. Even if I don’t feel it, my goal would be to only exemplify joy in my life (to my coworkers, to my patients, to my friends, ect.)- even if I am suffering. “Joy is not a matter of what’s happening around you, but inside you.” – Steve Miller. Sometimes it requires a lot of prayer and thinking positively, even if you do not want to. I have learned that once I have a heart change about a situation, or about a person, I find peace and am able to move on from the situation, even if it is still chaotic around me. There is a quote that I stumbled upon as I was checking my social media for updates (yes, I like quotes), and it definitely hit home for me and the things I have been going through in my heart lately as I have been dissecting relationships. It said,

“The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they’re out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness’ sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind, love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, it’s seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.”

I especially love the line that says “Love is CHOOSING to SERVE someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart.” Let’s be honest, we can all have filthy heart’s at one time or another. So then, when others in our lives are having those same hearts, we should be loving and embracing them all the more, just as we all wish they would do for us. Love IS hard. Love IS pain and sacrifice. Love IS suffering. One of the most dear to my heart truth’s I have learned so far through my marriage, is that true love is putting one another before yourself. Yes, that is hard. But, we were designed with the desire to be empowered by one another. We were also designed to work together to meet one another’s needs- AND to ADJUST as needed- it doesn’t “just happen.” Love HAS to be intentional, bottom line. I’ve learned this through successes, and also through a lot of failures. And that’s okay. I have hope that I am getting better and that I will continue to grow and be better, as I continue to try each day.

Lance Armstrong says, “What other choice is there but to have hope.” Sure, if I had it all together, if I was the person that maybe other’s “expected” me to be for them, then maybe I’d be this inspirational person that everyone looked up to (I mean, isn’t that what we all want to be?) Of course I want to inspire people by my lifestyle, by being a Proverbs 31 wife for my husband. Of course I want other’s to look me in the face and say, “because of you I’m a better person… because of you I didn’t give up…” etc. Sadly, I have wasted a lot of time focusing on who I “wish I was,” which really is, in fact, time wasted. We are who we are, and that’s just that. We’re going to be who we’re going to be. It’s time for me to embrace me, and for you to embrace you. We can grow and be better at things that we may not be great at now, but wasting time is never something we’ll look back on and be glad that we did.¬†I CANNOT (and you cannot) let my life be dictated by all of the expectations. It would become far too stressful and I would continually just let everyone down, and then in turn let myself down tremendously. I can try to be better, and try to be good, but that is all I can do. You only need a heart full of grace to serve others, and a soul that operates by love. Grace is hard. I have been hurt by others’ actions. But, I want to give grace, because I would not in a million years want those that I love dearly to run out of grace, and then love, for me. Suffering for the sake of others, for the sake of relationships, for the sake of our relationship with Christ, I have learned, it is normal.

About whitneyrosekuhn

I love The Lord and serve Him. I am a sinner saved by grace. I love people. I love my life and am a very blessed individual, though sometimes I seem to take it for granted. I am a newlywed, am married to an amazing and gracious man, and am loving every moment. Learning every single day to stop and "smell the roses." Hoping to share some of the wisdom and advice I've accumulated through my journey. I am learning all of the time how to be a better person, and how to be the wife God has created me to be.

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