I could feel the irritation building in me as Adam was driving us home from the airport, doing EVERYTHING wrong, I might add.
It felt like everything he did and said drove me insane. And then I got nervous. If this was how I felt coming back from our honeymoon, how would I feel after being married for 30 years?
We were lucky enough to go on a two week honeymoon. Leading up to our wedding I could not wait for this extended period of only being with each other. It sounded perfect. We could lock ourselves away, or go exploring, or lay on the beach, whatever we chose. But it would be just the two of us.
Since we dated and were engaged during college we spent this season of life having to coordinate with roommates and class schedules. It always felt like such a hassle to spend time together and I was ready for some change. Sometimes I wished it was just the two of us stranded on an island. Or something dramatic like that.
I think in the back of my mind I knew we would need other people in order for our relationship to be healthy but in all honesty that just didn’t sound appealing leading up to the big day. It wasn’t until we were driving away from the airport after two weeks in Hawaii that I realized we had a little too much Adam and Claire time. I didn’t think I would ever get tired of being with Adam but oh man, let me tell you, it was real. We were ready to have a conversation with someone besides each other.
And that is okay.
My fears about coming back from our honeymoon fighting were based in insecurity and just plain not knowing what to expect. The truth of it is, it’s good that we need other people.
So yes, I accepted that I still need my girls, other couples, and yes, I need time by myself away from Adam. Irritation and conflict do not mean that you married the wrong person. We are not meant to live life alone and similarly, we are not intended to live life as a couple alone. Having people come beside you as encouragers, friends, and supporters is so important for the health of your marriage.
These people point you back to your vows, Jesus, and ultimately what God intended for marriage. They can call you out on things that could damage your marriage before it gets that far. They can be a sounding board when you just need to talk something through before taking it to your spouse. These are the people that will ask you how you are really doing and want to walk with you through the most joyous moments as well as the hard times.
So what if you feel like you are alone in your relationship? We have totally been there.
It was tough to be one of the few married couples in college. At times we felt like complete outsiders and a lot of times we felt lonely. We each had friends that we loved and who loved us but one of our goals after college was to connect with more married couples. Let’s be real people, making new friends is hard.
As we moved to Seattle we decided to go all out getting involved and doing our best to meet people. New church, new friends, new school for Adam, new job for me. Putting in the extra effort to say “hey, lets grab coffee sometime” or “hey, we would love to double date with you guys” was hard at first but then it just became habit. Half the time people were busy or would blow us off in one way or another. That happens. But a few times, we met some awesome couples and ended up with more people in our corner. With all the ups and downs of marriage, trust me, you want people in your corner.
So take the time. Don’t be an isolated couple. Allow other people to speak into your life and your marriage. You will only become stronger.
Have you ever felt isolated as a couple? Or have you felt guilty for wanting to hangout with someone other than your spouse? How have you handled this with your spouse? We want to learn from you!