Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Early Days



A good friend of mine attended a premarital counseling course this weekend with her future husband. It was the same one Curt and I attended before our wedding five years ago. My favorite session was the one about the four personality types. I couldn't wait to ask whether that was still taught, and indeed it was. We had fun talking about what we are. Her: sanguine-choleric, her fiance: melancholy all the way. Me: melancholy-phlegmatic, my hubby: the unnatural "masking" personality of choleric-phlegmatic. Curt's personality blend is two opposite personality types. Neat, right? I married an irregular person. Actually, the choleric part is when he's operating in his spiritual gifts and the phlegmatic part is when he's just chillin at home with his woman. It's not because something awful happened to him as a child. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go here. It's really interesting. If you have housemates or roommates, it will definitely help you get along better.

Another friend, who happens to be my favorite Benihana's lunch date, has recently started a blog. Ashley is a newlywed as of July 20. She is in the throes of two becoming one and everything that entails. Reading her first blog entry took me back to those early days of marriage. If I'd had a blog then, I might have described our newlywed bliss like this...

Princess Amanda began her first full time job two weeks after her wedding. She now woke up at 5:45 a.m. but still went to bed at midnight like she did every night in college. (Which was a whole month ago.) Each night she took her birth control pill and woke up in a hormonal craze, intensified by exhaustion and disappointment in self for not having become June Cleaver overnight. She scarred her new husband for life with her early morning explosions and made him wonder who he married. Thank God, six months later she got up the nerve to get off the pill and become a normal person again.

On the first morning home from their honeymoon, Curtis and Amanda awoke unto wedded strife. Princess Amanda was accustomed to putting her alarm clock clear across the room so that she had to get up to turn it off. Doing so kept her from utilizing the snooze button and losing track of time. One and done. It became apparent that Husband Jones was accustomed to setting his alarm clock two hours early (no lie) so that he could hit snooze over and over and over and over until the last minute. Adjustment number one.

Several days later, when Princess Amanda decided it might be time to make the bed, she was prevented by Husband Jones from tucking in his side of the sheet. "But Husband," she said, "the sheet is supposed to be tucked in." "But Prin, I don't like the sheet tucked in," he said. Princess Amanda proceeded to teach Husband Jones how much better his sleep would be if he could start out the night with tucked-in sheets. Night after night, Husband Jones taught Princess Amanda how much better her sleep would be if she would remain on her side of the marriage bed. Adjustments two and three.

I won't even get into adjustment four. It may or may not have anything to do with the marriage bed.

Five years later, I'm a little less spoiled princess and a little more June Cleaver. A little, mind you. My alarm clock is Jackson crying or saying "A ball! A ball!", depending on what mood he's in. Curt's alarm clock goes off once... unless I'm out of town. In that case he snoozes to his heart's content. Sometimes I put a pillow in between us so I don't migrate onto his side of the bed. Other times I stay put because it's pretty much ingrained in my subconscious not to roll over that way.

I still don't get why he doesn't want his side of the sheet tucked in, but I leave it out now. I'll never forget when I turned the corner. "But self," I said, "who cares if it's not supposed to be untucked? He likes it that way." I even started smiling when I left it untucked. To me, that one little change hinted at something major. Could the miracle have happened? Could two completely stubborn, selfish people with different expectations of marriage, who really enjoyed wearing a black tux and a white gown, but who really resisted the sandpaper effect of marriage that is designed to make us holy, have become one? If so, it was an even greater miracle than teaching a man to leave the toilet seat down or teaching a woman to cook. And that is saying something.


"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." (Ephesians 5:21-33)

51 comments:

Dori said...

Princess Amanda...

This is such a sweet, fun and yet very important post! Even for us old married folks (15 1/2 years), "becoming one" is a an everyday laying down of self and this was a gracious reminder.

Thanks for sharing!

Blessings,
Dori

BooMama said...

This is one of my favorite posts you've written. LOVE IT, sweet princess. :-)

Lauren said...

I love this post!

Nathan hates to have his sheets tucked in, too! I finally let it go, but whenever I wash the sheets, I do tuck them in again, just so the bed looks nice. That's okay with him. He just kicks it loose again. :)

One adjustment Nathan had to make: when you take a load of clean clothes out of the dryer, you do not lay them out neatly in a large pile on the bedroom floor and draw from them as you need them. You fold them or hang them up. Period.

My big adjustment: Nathan is not my dad, who is naturally great with doing housework. It is simply not in Nathan's nature to notice when the kitchen trash can is full/overflowing and to empty it without being asked. Lauren, you can learn to do this task, too.

Erin said...

It must run in the family. I too set the alarm clock waaay ahead so I can snooze like crazy. It's true.
By the way, look at that rockin' picture I took. :)

Ginger@From The Cocoon said...

This brings back such memories! I've been married for 15 years and the first memory that comes to mind is of me learning to cook, as I had NEVER cooked anything until I was married. Our first meal, which his best friend joined us for, consisted of 3 hamburgers, a can of pork&beans, and some mac-n-cheesse...they still laugh at me that I cooked only 3 burgers for those 2 full grown men and the macaroni..well, I still haven't mastered that skill, BUT, we have learned to become ONE thanks to God above. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

Kelly said...

This post made me smile. And laugh. And smile again.

Marriage is a wonderful, amazing, mysterious thing, said the sanguine(55%)-melancholic(45%) married to the choleric(80%)-melancholic(20%).

I think my husband has finally taught me to be on time. And I think I've taught him how to relax every once in a while.

Stephanie said...

Your first years sound vaguely familiar... = ) Right there with ya on the Pill. UGH! Evil. Evil stuff!

Kathleen in TX said...

Reminds me of my first months of marriage...adjusting to living with each other. I could relate to the part about one day leaving the sheet untucked because he liked it that way and smiling while you did it. I've had to do things like that myself. To be fair though, my husband had to adjust quite a bit to me too...I'm the one who loved to hit snooze (though not for 2 hours!) and my husband did not see the point of that at all.

Jackie said...

Oh how I can relate...we have been married almost 4 years and we have BOTH learned to compromise and let alot go! We too got married a week out of college and that alone was a shock...from living with a college roommate to living with a husband, QUITE DIFFERENT!! and then to find out 2 months into marriage that I was preggo...SHOCK #2- WHOA!!! Talk about living with a hormonal crazy woman, poor guy, I think he thought he married a complete PSCYHO!
Thanks for this trip down memory lane! Oh the things that have changed...

jen said...

OH I love that picture! And I love this post. You are so sweet.

{Karla} said...

perfect perfect post, Princess! ;-)

Blessings,
Karla

CrownLaidDown said...

And it ends well...yes this fairy tale does! Keep the check-up going...never play it 50-50 (no one keeps score fairly) and throw the baggage (the stuff we're holding against one another) out.

Although, sometimes, don't you just want to say, "Obviously, you are forgetting, I am the princess." Foot stomping twice :)
You make a wonderful blend, you two!
Love,
Holly

Marc and Charity said...

This was funny! In our 10th year of marriage already...where does the time go?!?

Fran said...

I absolutely loved this post Amanda! I did not ever take this test which gives you results with those names I can't pronounce. So, I'm going back to the post and clicking "here" so I can see how wonderful me and my hubs are!! :)

You are still a Princess, Amanda.
Blessings~
Fran

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...

Thanks for that link. We are going to give this test to our Sunday School class....I think we would all benefit from this one!

Blessings...

willblogforshoes said...

GREAT POST!

We, too, had issues with the sheet. The compromise between a neatly tucked in sheet that does not hang out below the comforter and one that is, how can I put it, all willy-nilly: no sheet at all.

Yep, it's only fitted sheet and comforter for us. Can't even agree on blanket placement! Ain't marriage grand?!

gigetgirl said...

Dear Sweet Princess Amanda,

I adore this post!
My one and only hubs is sooo painfully opposite of me and happily so. He used to wake me when we were first married, i hated that. He was so organized and disciplined with his work schedule. I was just new to motherhood and rising when the little guys wanted up from the crib. We are here on the verge of 20 yrs this Dec 12th. again. he is my soul mate... I adore this man and would lay my life down for him. He is brilliant with our sons, they all love Sunday afternoons with football on 3 differrnet stations. I can't take one more minute of TV.
Princess AJ that treasure of man of yours is a mystery,enjoy meeting him anew every morning. He is your greatest resource and deepest earthly well.
Don't stop revealing/participating in your feelings and love for your family,your hubs and your Christ. This love is so fresh and beautiful~
Bless you all with many years of joy,pill free days,untucked sheets and tons of LOVE.

Blessings!
Giget

The Preacher's Wife said...

perfectly communicated. :)

Nancy Mon said...

I remember your getting married, but wasn't able to attend the ceremony because I was in Jackson Hole. I did get to come to a shower though. Marriage really is the best example of love covering a multitude of sin. We disagreed on how to roll the toothpaste up, how the toilet paper needed to go, and all kind of life changing and important issues. (she says sarcastically) It is taking up a towel and using it just like Jesus. It ain't always easy, but there are times joy overflows in having a servant heart and for once acting on it. I love this post and the picture is pretty darn cute.

Abby said...

so sweet!!

you look beautiful!!! :)

i'm taking notes in my marriage book for some day...

Anonymous said...

HIL-AR-I-OUS, truly hilarious!!!

Anonymous said...

I love this post Amanda! That pretty much sums up my newlywed days, and I am sure most everyone else's as well! So true...I, too, am going back and clicking "here" to see the personality types!

Love,
Sarah TN

AKat said...

I am laughing. This is too funny and true. Great post!

connorcolesmom said...

Oh such a great post!!
So true blending from 2 into one is not such an easy process but is is so worth it.
I love looking back and seeing all the little things that have changed since we have gotten married (hubby not being big into PDA but now loves to hug me or give me a kiss and always hold my hand)
A few days ago my hubby actually wrote a surprise post on my blog for our 10 yr anniversary. It is fun to look back and see how far we have come.
Love,
Kim

Marla Taviano said...

Ooooh, I would love to redo my wedding photos (soooo 1998) and look like you! Stunning!

The Williams said...

Oh thank you for this post dear friend - and we need a Benihana date - SOON! Marriage has been an adjustment, but I wouldn't change a thing. I LOVE being married, and love having new friends to blog with.

Honeycutt Family said...

I was smiling when I read about the sheet thing. For some reason Matt has always loved to have his side of the bed untucked and I love being tucked in. It feels nice and cozy to me that way. Oh well. There could be worse differences, huh? :)
Cute post, Amanda.
Jen

Marla Taviano said...

Hey, Amanda. You don't have to post this one--just wanted to share something with you.

I wrote a book for new wives last year and I'm always looking for newlyweds to share it with. I told your friend Ashley about it, and she just e-mailed me. I'm sending her a copy tomorrow.

Anyway, if you have any other friends who are newly- or not-so-newlyweds, I'd love to send you a few to give out to them. Or you can even give me their addresses, and I'll send one right to 'em.

Oh, the book is From Blushing Bride to Wedded Wife. You can e-mail me through my website.
www.taviano.com

Have a great week!

Lori, Landon and Logan said...

Great post! I can't believe Curt is a or should I say was a 2 hour snoozer! I had a roommate in college who was a 2 hour snoozer so that was one of my pre marriage questions.
I forgot you need to tell hubs that his sermon on fear about three months ago got me to quit watching SVU. Now I am not scared at all when my hubs is out of town. This is a huge PTL!
p.s. Did you check out the VS deal?

courtney said...

my man wants his side of the sheet untucked as well. i oblige him, but it still irritates me, 7 years later.

Lindsee said...

This is probably my favorite post yet of yours. Too funny and way to cute.

Not married, but am taking notes. :)

Thankfully, I have 3 best friends that have gone before me. It's nice. I will feel well prepared when my time comes!

Anyway, this post was very clever and very cute! I loved it.

And the sheets? You are a better woman than I.

Lindsee

Bev Brandon said...

you write Amanda as though we are right there with you---you bring us into your experience, into your beautiful heart...we are all so coaxed, curled, curved in on ourselves tucking sheets and choosing snooze patterns and it is your beautiful God moving you into your husband's heart and life...you truly are His princess and your husband's...loved this post, so full of truth that needs to sink deep into our hearts--- Psalm 51:6 ---whether we are married half of a decade or half a century

MamaCass said...

I love this post! Rodney does the snooze thing too. I realized after reading your post that Rodney and I have come along way in embracing each other's little quirks. I could go on and on about our early clashes. I really don't think either one of has changed all that much. He still leaves wet clothes in the washer for me to find a week later and I still refuse to squeeze toothpaste from the bottom of the tube. We just pick up where the other one has left off. I don't even really even think about it anymore. That is a miracle!

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

I'm a sanguine/melancholy.

I too, am a lucky woman, that Xavier didn't ask for an annulment after 6 months. I definately presented him with some stuff he didn't bargain for. But so did he. So did he.

All I can say is I'd do ANY of the 7 years of our marriage over again, except for the first one.

barbarahead said...

I have been married way longer than most of those who posted--44 years to be exact. Marriage is truly one of the greatest compromises ever devised. I say with some experience in this area, one must "pick the battles" with care. Who cares about flipped up toilet seats (they can be lowered quite easily) or top squeezed toothpaste tubes(I simply can't stand this one) but having a close relationship with another person is quite irreplacable. I will tell you for sure, Amanda, love gets sweeter and sweeter with time.

Rose said...

I love your post, you don't know how much it spoke to me and made laugh, I don't consider myself an expert in marriage at all just more experience after almost 16 years of marriage (with 3 kids, 14,11,3)the hardest thing for me has been true submission, I have no problem submitting in the big things, it's the little things (like you mentioned). . . God has really been teaching me that this last 5 years. . .

Blessings for the many wonderful years to come :)

Emily said...

So true, my friend, so true. By God's grace ALONE, my hubs likes a made-up bed. He's actually been caught making up the bed, just to get back in it. I kid you not.

Anonymous said...

Love your honesty -- so many newlyweds could be saved heartache by understanding how hard it is for two to become one! I thought our first year of marriage would be one extended honeymoon. Why, I don't know -- our honeymoon wasn't even one extended honeymoon! We weren't so much sandpaper as sandblasting, but going on 15 years and two boys has smoothed it out to gentle exfoliation every once in a while. Blessings to you and your family!
misslisslee

Shelly said...

Princess Amanda! I'm glad you are aware that you are a princess. This made me crack up...even though I'm not married and I confess this princess hasn't been molded yet :)

Thanks for the lighthearted message to us single gals about what could lie ahead :)

Allison said...

What an awesome post, Amanda... so much of it echoes my newlywed heart's cry right now!

Jan said...

Okay, after 23.9 years of marriage my toilet seats are still up! How'd ya do it, Princess?
Lots of love,
Jan

Sherry said...

I was just listening to our local Christian talk radio the other day and the speaker was discussing that it takes our brains up to 14 YEARS to reprogram to the idea of being "one flesh." He said that if he had one bit of advice to give newly married couples, it would be to stick it out. He also said that if most people that get divorced in the first 15 years would have waited just a bit longer, they would have had successful marriages. It is amazing to think that, but I have been married 13 years and I know that things are so different, and so much better now that they were in the beginning- and they just keep getting better everyday!

Suzi said...

Great post Amanda!

Oh my word! my husband hits the snooze button a million times before he actually wakes up! WHY!!!!!

Mommy Firecracker said...

What a great post!

We will be married 20 years in a few weeks. AFter we got married, it was an adjustment for me to share a bed. Two nights in a row he rolled over and his left arm flung across, hitting me in the nose. I thought he broke it the second time. It took awhile but now we each stay on our own sides. And I eventually learned to enjoy a tucked in sheet at the bottom. Maybe Curt will come around. Now I can't sleep unless it is tucked in.

Cindy said...

Great post, Amanda. One of my first thoughts reading this was what a blessing you must be to the college students you minister to. This kind of transparent honesty, humility, and direction to the Source will be HUGE to a young couple getting ready to be married!

Keep it up, beautiful princess! :)

twinkle said...

Beautiful post. I would love to hear more about your "Jewish" elements to your wedding. Thanks for visiting my blog and come visit anytime.

Allison said...

Way too funny! I love the whole personality thing too-- Brad's mom gave me a book on those four types in college and I spent the whole next semester analyzing everyone!!!

Anonymous said...

I was so honored that I got to attend that special evening! You were beautiful! And Curtis - well he showed us that he was more human than we knew - lol!

Love you guys!
LMS

The Sanders House said...

i loved this post amanda! isn't it true that we are like sandpaper after the honeymoon? i can relate in so many way in how two stubborn people like things their own way. it is funny to think of now, PTL!! by the way, no birth control is the way to go...oh wait...but now we know what happens!!

A Place For Ministry Wives said...

I cracked up at this post.

My husband wishes I would hold him all night, but I prefer the pillow. It's more moldable!

So, the other night...I held him all night long and said to myself..."This one's for Amanda!". :-)

David and Kelli said...

Amanda, I have NO idea if you are able to see comments on such old blog posts, but if you do, know that you have made this newlywed's day lovely :) It was like reading the last 18 days of my life! Hahaha. You've probably put together that we've been married for 18 days and literally this could've been our story...almost verbatim...even the sheets! Thankfully, we've been busting through it every day and the good Lord led us to an amazing and soul-bearing talk last night. I think two normal people have returned as a result, Praise the Lord! :) Thanks for the sanity, and blessings to you and your family.