Quick side note: Shalynne and I have been great online friends for a long time! She is such a sweet girl and I’m happy to call her such a good friend. We met online in about 2004 through LiveJournal, and have even met once! Please find the time to visit her blog and add her. You’d love her!

Hello everybody! I’m guest blogging for Stephanie today while she is enjoying her honeymoon! I want to wish the new Mr. & Mrs. Wolfe all the best! 🙂 I’m Shay and I blog over at Wonderfully Chaotic about parenting, my life, homeschooling, marriage and a little of everything else. I have been married for six years and I have two kiddos, ages 6 and 2. My husband and I had a whirlwind courtship, engagement and wedding – we met in October and were married by March. We also had a child just a few short months after we got married. Things were pretty tumultuous for the first couple years of our marriage. The definition of tumultuous is excited, confused or disorderly; noisy. Yep…that sums it up pretty well!

I am so glad to be in a place now where we understand each other and our roles within our marriage so well. We are not without our faults, though. We still bicker about things and argue from time to time but it’s nothing like when we first got married. We know what each of us want out of life and we’re pretty much on the same page about most issues. This nice stage of our marriage has taken a lot of time, thought and effort though. We have been through most things that it takes most people years to go through – having babies, moving, managing a blended family, unemployment, illness/health problems, and other stressful situations – but I wouldn’t change a thing. Through it all, we’ve learned a lot about each other and have grown a lot as a couple and as a family.

No marriage is perfect. I’ve seen acquaintance after acquaintance get married either grandly with lots of pomp and circumstance or down at the courthouse with as little thought as possible, never thinking about the commitment and effort marriage takes. These couples often end up separating, divorcing or ending up otherwise unhappy because they weren’t thinking about the long-term. They could only think about how much in love they were or how that other person makes them “feel.” Love is a major thing but it’s also just a feeling – and feelings can be fleeting or deceiving. If you don’t have a solid foundation of something other than feelings, how will your marriage survive? I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel like you’re in love. It’s one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. But there needs to be more than just that! Marriage can be hard work. It requires a lot of sacrifice, communication and patience, but I saw a quote recently on Pinterest about life that sums it up pretty well. It said, “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

A pastor spoke during a wedding service I recently attended on the “clothes” of marriage. She talked about how for our wedding day we put on our finest and best – generally a tuxedo or suit for the groom and a beautiful white wedding gown for the bride. My wedding gown was a big poofy princess-type ballgown and I wore long gloves and a veil with it.

The pastor said you don’t normally see many married people in their everyday lives – cleaning, taking care of kids, working in the yard, going to their job – in their wedding clothes! Can you imagine feeding your kids or changing the oil in your car in your formal wear?! We have to put on clothes that are more comfortable and adaptable to our everyday, normal lives – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’ve got to be able to adapt and change through the years of your marriage. In fashion and in life, comfortable isn’t always bad. Being comfortable is:

– Being okay with who we are, warts and all.
– Having someone to share your joys, challenges, happiness and struggles equally.
– Being able to finish each other’s sentences and being able to communicate without speaking.
– Knowing exactly what the other person likes or wants and what their goals for life are.

But it’s also good to remember that in fashion as in life, comfortable isn’t always good either! (My ratty pajama pants and High School band t-shirts are not always the best choice to wear to every function.) If we get too comfortable (or shall I say, lazy?) we can take our spouse for granted, ignore them or treat them badly. We can also become so comfortable that we stop caring about how we look to them or how we act around them. What I’m saying is that it’s not a bad idea to keep those “wedding clothes” around, figuratively. We should be comfortable but instead of abandoning the wedding clothes completely and getting immersed in the everyday, we should remember the emotions and feelings of that wedding day – the love, the tenderness, the excitement, the joy and yes, even the happy tears! We need to keep in mind that our spouse deserves just as much attention today as we gave them on that special day. 🙂

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about marriage and relationships?

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