A Letter to My Newlywed Self: Age 24
I’m jumping on the “A Letter to My Newlywed Self” bandwagon started by Debi and Tom from The Romantic Vineyard, and continued by J of Hot, Holy & Humorous. (I did something similar in my A Letter to My Younger Self on my last birthday, but this is specifically marriage focused.)
So, you “finally” got married – congrats! You have indeed found a good thing – a real keeper.
Getting a wife is nice, but the real work has just begun. “Keeping her” as she should be “kept” takes attention and effort. However, the results are well worth the price, so pay it with joy.
You need to grow up, a great deal. It is not that you’re horrible, just not nearly as mature as you think. The sooner you accept this, the easier life and marriage will be for you (and for her).
Become a student of your wife. Watch her; learn her ways and thoughts. Learn her habits, moods, desires, joys, and sorrows.
Her mind is more different from yours than her body. She doesn’t think or reason as you do, and that’s not because she is wrong, it is because she’s female. Learn to accept this, and then learn to benefit from it.
There will be times you should protect her from your mother. The sooner and more clearly you do this, the better for everyone.
You will find you can manipulate her fairly easily, sometimes without even really meaning to do so. You will also find this hurts her and always costs you in some way down the road. Guard against this!
She has great wisdom, and you can benefit if you learn to tap into it.
She is low maintenance and rarely complains. Don’t think this means you can scrimp – like a computer, marriage is a garbage in, garbage out thing.
Usually the anger you feel towards her is more about your pride than anything else. Get over it.
Sex is both more and less important than you think. Great sex can only happen on the firm foundation of a deep, intimate relationship. You don’t need it as badly as you think you do, and sometimes being willing to go without, without being grumpy, will ultimately mean more and better sex for both of you.
You can push her to have more or different sex than she wants, but doing this hurts her and hurts your future sex life. Don’t be stupid!
Sacrifice for her daily. She’s worth it, and God expects it. Go the extra miles.
I know you have high expectations and hopes for your life with Lori. You think there’s something more and better than you have ever seen in any couple. You are, in fact, correct, and you’ll have all this and more. However, it will take on-going work and sacrifice, and a willingness to die to yourself. Again, it’s well, well worth the effort.
Paul Byerly, age 52