Thursday, March 31, 2011

Marty is not the man I married.

I have read many articles, listened to many songs, sat and talked to many women who have all had the same underlying cry: He's not the man I married.

Almost every single time I have heard this phrase it has been in the context of a "good man gone bad" throughout marriage. A woman married a man and at the time of the wedding, he was great, dreamy, everything she thought would make her happy. But as time and marriage went on, she realized that maybe the man she thought she married didn't really exist anymore. Where he used to love spending hours talking to her, now she can barely get a "my day was good, how was yours?" out of him. Where they used to laugh, now they fight. Where he once praised and complimented her, now he criticizes and patronizes her. Where she once had dreams & excitement, now she has fears and questions. The truth is, for so many women, the man she looks at today is not the man she married.

I have been thinking a lot about my own marriage and what I have seen over the last 8 months and I've had to honestly ask myself, "Is Marty still the man I married?" And the truth is, no. Marty is not the man I married.

He's so much more. 

He used to not understand why I always had to be "so responsible." He thought saving money was good, but just not a big deal. Now, he's the one saying, "We need to eat at home tonight." He knows more about what's in our bank account than I do. He never buys anything unless he absolutely needs it.

He was never a slob, but he just didn't do a whole lot of house work. Now, he does all the dishes. All the trash. Helps with laundry if he's home while I'm doing it. Will randomly sweep the whole house, clean the kitchen, make the bed, pick up my water bottle I left sitting out. And the crazy thing is, I never once asked him to start doing those things.

He used to not be a big fan, at all, of chocolate & sweet things. Now he loves them as much as I do. (I think this is my favorite change.)

He used to get SO mad when I would not like something he was wearing. Now he genuinely asks my opinion and wants to know what I think before he wears it.

He used to bottle things up and wait until he couldn't be pushed one more inch, then just explode with all kinds of things he was upset about, but I had no clue about. Needless to say, there were some good fights at first. Now, he's very quick to just say what needs to be said and let it go. I can't even remember our last fight. I never thought I'd say that!

He's always been faithful to read his bible, but now I see him reading it more than ever. Multiple times a day.

He used to get nervous praying out loud. Now he does it all the time, out of the blue sometimes, just when he feels led to. And it's so natural.

Since our wedding day, we talk more. We laugh together more. We enjoy each other more. We fight less. We have miscommunication less. He takes even better care of me when I'm sick than he did back then, which was already great. He grocery shops for me. He randomly tells me, "You're pretty," a lot more, even though I normally respond with, "Shut up." Ha.

There are so many more things I could say, but the point is, he's not the same man. He has grown so much. He is a better husband than he was the day we married.

And I say all of this publicly, not to boast. Not to say I'm better than you if your husband is not so great. Not to say he is a better man than other husbands. I just say all of this to say... it is possible. Great guys exist. You can get married and 8 months later not regret it or wonder, "What on earth was I thinking???"

Marty wasn't always this man. He has come so far and left behind so much. Sometimes I don't even remember that he has a past. But when I met him, I saw something in him. I saw a heart that was so open to love, so open to change, so ready to be transformed by Christ. And I fell in love with that heart.

And the day I met him I started praying for him. I knew he was so much better than what he had been living. I knew he had so much potential. And that's what I chose to see in him. Every single day.

At first some people thought I was crazy. They thought we were way too different. The engagement happened too soon. The marriage was coming too fast. But they didn't see what I saw. Now, I think they do.

He's not only blown my mind, but everyone who knows us. I'm probably the most spoiled wife in the world. I know that. Anyone watching us knows that.
But my momma always said, "You're not spoiled. You're blessed."

If that's true, then yes, I am blessed. Very, very, very blessed.

I pray I don't go a single day without thanking God for Martin Summers and may the Lord slap me in the face if I ever take him for granted.

And I pray that anyone out there who has given up, been hurt, left, abused, will find it in their hearts to have a little bit of hope. To remember it's possible.  To try again. To wait patiently and never settle, then pray their hearts out when they think they've found one.

If you're currently married and discouraged by the way your relationship has been, let me encourage you: Encourage him. And do your part. He may very well be thinking the same thing about you. But most importantly, pray for him. Pray for him every time you think about him. Pray for very specific things. Pray with all your heart and see what God might do in your husband.

It's amazing what you can see happen in a person when you pray for them more than you pray for yourself. When you believe with all your heart they can and will be more than anyone else is expecting. And when you, yourself, become the person you should be and love them as hard as you can.

[With all of this being said, please trust my heart in this post. I know some of these can not apply to every situation. And there are some things that nobody knows about, nobody understands, nobody ever sees. I can't imagine the pain some of you experience daily. I don't mean to sound naive or oblivious to "real life". I just want to offer my perspective. My hope. My own, personal experience.]


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