Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me - A Guest Blog Post by Love Our Crazy Life

Wow!  That was a long title!  Today I'm introducing Natalia from Love Our Crazy LifeI have thoroughly enjoyed reading her blog entries.  And not to mention she has the most adorable kids!  Living between 3 different countries...WOW!  Talk about one amazing Momma!  After you read her blog entry today, I'm sure you'll be hooked on her blog like I am.  So scoot on over, subscribe to it and wait with anticipation on her next entry!  I know I will.

I wish someone would have told me...

I wish someone would have told me what it was going to be like when you take two lives together from two different walks of life, two different cultures, two different races, and then throw a little someone in there, move to another country and say have at it! Work it out! This is what I call my life. Three years ago, almost exactly (July 28th) the husby and I got married. I look back now and think "what the heck was I thinking!" Not because I don't love my husband now, I do, so so much. But because I had NO idea what marriage entailed, how much effort it took, and what I was getting myself into! I know you read a lot of posts about the perfect marriage and the perfect husband and the perfect kids. I don't have any of those. I have a real husband who doesn't always tell me what I want to hear, but what I need to hear. I have a real marriage where sometimes we fight and sometimes I think "how the heck are we gonna make it?" I have a real little boy who sometimes needs to be 'reminded' that he needs to obey, and it isn't always all the other kids that are misbehaving, sometimes it's mine.

Lavar and I have a unique story. One of these days I will write it all out for you all, but it is over a period of about 8 years and a lot of drama, so we'll save the full version for later. For now the reader's digest will do. We met in 2002 in college and were immediately attracted to each other. We were friends, dated a little, dated other people, dated officially, weren't aloud to see or talk to each other, dated officially again, weren't aloud to talk again, dated seriously for real and 5 years into this drama I got pregnant. We knew we loved each other and wanted to be married, this just gave us a reason why we didn't need to wait. So ready or not, we did it. I look back at about the time of our wedding, I was a new mom, Tae was 4 months old, and I was so excited to marry Lavar. We got married July 28, 2007 and in September we moved to Brest, France. I didn't speak any French at the time, was a newly wed, and had a 6 month old. As if marriage isn't challenging enough, I had a few extras. The first 8 months of marriage were hard. I think there was a point for each of us where we said "Okay, we don't believe in divorce, but what do we do now?" I remember getting ready to go home for Christmas and thinking through how I was going to fake my happiness while I was with my parents. I was mad at Lavar and felt like he was doing a bad job at this whole marriage thing. I don't know how or why, but things started to change for me. I realized that a lot of the fights we were having were because of me. Interesting... Somehow I started to see that I had so many expectations for him, for marriage, of how life was supposed to be and he was failing without even knowing there was something to fail at. I would get angry at something he didn't even know he did. I started to see that to make a marriage work, I needed to work. I can't change him, I can't control his actions, but I can control mine. I can control the way I respect him, the way I talk to him, and the way I treat him. I can control my expectations of him as a father and husband. Once I started to see this and work on myself, things got better. Things started looking up. He started to see things that he needed to change and we were able to talk about problems and work through them instead of getting angry with each other. Weird how that works, huh? Could I have been the biggest problem? Nah...

Well three years and two kids later, I know I am no pro and don't claim to be. I know that we have a long way to go to say that we've made it, if you can ever say that. I don't think we are above anything, because I think that is when you are more susceptible to falling. I do know, however, that with work, anyone can make it. I know that divorce now-a-days is pretty common, and I know that every situation is different, I don't want people to feel like I am judging them if they are divorced or are getting divorced. All situations are different. But if you have two honestly good people in a relationship who are willing to work, it can work. None of this soul mate crap. (Sorry Jessica!) If you can see that you need to work on yourself to be better and your spouse can see that as well, you're golden. If you are working together toward the same goal, nothing can stop you. Don't compare your marriage to anyone's, because everyone is unique. People have to get out of their heads the idea of a perfect marriage because there isn't such a thing. And if someone says they have one, they're lying! Marriage is hard! It takes a lot of work. But the reward you get from trying is so worth it. I know that I have a rough road ahead of me. My marriage is probably especially tough because we are trying to blend two cultures together while living in a foreign one. But one of my favorite things I have heard about marriage pretty much sums it up. It came from Lavar's Bahamian pastor on our wedding day: "Two people, two cultures, two races, one God." Maintain the same goal with love for each other and love for God. That is what I am relying on to make it!

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