marriage is growth.

I am sitting here with a cup of mint tea, listening to the rain outside, which always seems to elicit introspective blog posts. Bear with me.

We have been married 9.5 months and it has helped me grow in a way nothing else in my life has. Being married is such a strange and interesting and great and hard and fantastic experience, it's everything wrapped into one big messy bow sometimes. One of the reasons I like to write in my journal is to see the ways in which I have grown and changed over the years. You don't realize the changes over time until you stand back at a distance and see how different you look. Yesterday was a day where I thought, I'm different. I've changed for the better. 

Tim and I have always gotten into lots of little arguments. Sometimes while we were dating we would go a month without fighting, and then get into a huge fight, and it just felt like clearing the air or pent up frustration or whatever you want to call it. Since getting married, I often think we fight more and sometimes I feel like it's a bad thing. That is until I realize that we are around each other a lot more than when we were dating, and fighting is NOT A BAD THING. I actually think fighting is a really good thing because it is better than holding frustration in. Also (as Kristiana and Hank explained to me) fighting with your spouse shows that you are willing to be vulnerable in front of them and that you trust them with your honest feelings. I like that.

I think what can be bad is how people deal with fights or what happens after. When we were dating, the afterwards included me giving the silent treatment and not calling Tim for days (sometimes a week to a week and a half). Basically, being stubborn and waiting for him to come back to me, even though I had probably initiated the fight and kept it going. We fought a lot, but never fought really hard or dirty, sometimes because I was scared to say certain things and push him away. That is the beauty and the curse of being married... you don't worry any more about someone leaving you, but this can also cause deeply hurtful things to be said.

It's hard to learn the lesson that you may be able to say whatever you want to your spouse, but sometimes it's not about winning a fight, but rather coming out of it and having both of you feel happy and loved. I think it's a lesson I am going to have to learn over and over and over again, but that's also a part of marriage, I think. Yesterday we fought about something stupid, and I felt myself wanting to revert back to my old ways of being stubborn and unforgiving. And then I wondered why I would care to hold onto a fight that was so stupid when I love my husband and I want him to be happy and fulfilled by our marriage. It didn't make sense. I think we both had to go against our instincts to reconnect and apologize and discuss ways which this could be better in the future, but I felt afterwards that I had grown a little.

Growth comes from looking at the messy stupid awful fights and deciding to wade through the crap instead of run from it. (Sorry for that mental image, Shawshank Redemption anyone?) 

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