Marriage Monday: Maintaining Your Sense of Self

January 22, 2018

Two become one.  It’s the beauty of marriage.  Two lives become intertwined and begin operating from the same heartbeat.

Except my heart doesn’t beat for sports.

In my own marriage, I struggled the first few years to relate on, well – everything.  I couldn’t get interested in the football games he watched no matter how hard I tried.  And why didn’t he want to watch rom-com with me??  He insisted that Drew Barrymore was on his “do not watch” list & she was practically in every movie I loved at that time.  We couldn’t even agree on a movie?!  Our marriage was doomed.  It sounds funny now, but truly – I remember being really frustrated that it seemed we (suddenly) had nothing in common, at a time when I was feeling like we should have EVERYTHING in common & do everything together.  All the time.  And love it.

It was awhile into our marriage before I finally realized how silly that notion was.  I didn’t stop being Amanda the minute I married Hayden.  I joined my life with someone else, indeed.  But I managed to forget the “my life” part of that.  There are two lives.  Two vastly different strands of DNA woven together into one piece of artwork.  But to deny the differences between those threads is to deny the beauty of the marriage.

Choosing to love one another & support one another, not just “in spite” of our differences, but because we fell in LOVE with those differences.  That’s the magic, folks.  Allowing one another to maintain interests that you just don’t get.  Hobbies that you have zero interest in.  That’s more than just “okay” – that’s part of how this whole thing works.  There will be times where you’ll sit through a Michigan football game in negative 10 degree wind chills and cuss out all the things internally because WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS.  And gentlemen, there may even be times that you’ll watch the Bachelor.  (…and we’re pretty sure you secretly like it anyway).  There will be other times you’ll join your spouse in an activity that you’re positive you’re going to hate, but you’re just trying to make them happy – only to find that you actually love it & it is the beginning of a new hobby for the two of you to share.  And there will also be times that you’ll kiss your spouse goodbye while they head out to spend time with friends doing something that brings them joy that you just don’t care to do.  …and all of that is okay.

-Invite your spouse to join you in the things you love.
-Don’t be offended if your spouse isn’t interested.
-Don’t let their disinterest stop you from doing things you love.
-Find other things to do together.
-Don’t give your spouse guilt trips.
-Remember to also consider showing your spouse love by putting aside your desires and choosing to join them in the activity they enjoy.  (They’ll notice & repay the favor.)
-Allow yourself to continue to be the you that your spouse fell in love with.  Keep camping.  Keep playing tennis.  Keep watching your rom-com.

Embrace the charm of your differences.

Cincinnati wedding photographers Amanda Donaho Photography

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