6 Months From Today… eep!

Honestly, it seems the two schools of thought on marriage are thus:

Your life will NEVER be THE SAME ever EVER.
It’s pretty much a continuation of what you were doing the day before you got married.

<skeptical eyebrow>

All signs point to: yes, some things will change; yes, some things will be the same; life goes on but doesn’t go back.

So here’s the thing… We’ll be married six months from today. In fact, the moment at which we are married is the moment when we declare our own consent to be married to each other. I find that to be a lovely Catholic thing – no one else’s words can declare us to be married, but rather it’s our own words that bind us. Quoting the Catechism time [1630]: the priest (or deacon) who assists at the celebration of a marriage receives the consent of the spouses in the name of the Church and gives the blessing of the Church.

Bonus Catholic thing: we’re not allowed to write our own vows, which is great, because I’m quite happy not having one more thing to do. Relatedly: there are two different versions of vows that one can use for Catholic nuptials, and they both say “in sickness and health”, so my allergies are apparently welcome to stay. 😉

Here’s the thing. We’ve got a long-but-I’m-sure-it-will-pass-quickly six months ahead of us. According to the anecdotes of the world, apparently everything but possibly nothing will change once we’re married. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to throw me your best, wisest, most amusing advice… and your anecdotes to convince me that we’re going to be just fine with this whole marriage thing. [Note well: I’m not worried.] My lovely unmarried friends, please do share with me all your thoughts on the things I should make sure don’t change. After all, I’m still ME, even if those will no longer be my initials. 🙂

While I await your words of wisdom and sacramental stories, know this: our Orioles fandom won’t be changing.

with smiles like that, is it any wonder we're getting hitched?

with smiles like that, is it any wonder we’re getting hitched?

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11 thoughts on “6 Months From Today… eep!

  1. How exciting, 6 months! I’m not married, and not even a successful dater according to most standards, so I’ve got to dig a bit for advice. Well, my parents have been married over 40 years so they must be doing something right. I think my mom would say it’s about accepting each other (even in the little things) but also making the decision every day to be committed and do for the other person. And my dad just loves to make my mom laugh and do things to show he’s thinking of her (even if he gets it wrong–he’s got a bit of Homer Simpson in him).

    And then my good friend who is a (Catholic) marriage counselor would chime in that the secret words to a long, happy marriage are, “Yes, dear!”

    • An open call for advice?! That’s a bit reckless of you, Marie! 😉 OK, here goes (in no particular order):

      – Remember at all times that there are THREE people in your marriage: you, Brian, and Christ. Hang a crucifix above your marriage bed as a visual reminder.

      – Renew your wedding vows privately with one another on a regular basis. Yearly at a minimum, but feel free to do so monthly or even weekly!

      – Live a rich sacramental life to ensure that this sacrament flourishes. Remember that small children are delightful, but they are not always conducive to coming away from Mass with warm feelings of grace and spiritual consolation. THAT’S OK. In fact, such dryness can be even more spiritually beneficial.

      – Give each other a healthy time apart to do your own things. One of the most successful Catholic marriages I know has the wife with her writing room at one end of the house and the husband with his painting/woodcarving studio at the other end. Both rooms receive ample use, and still after thirty years of marriage, the husband and wife act like giddy teenagers around one another. Similarly, my mom makes sure that my dad doesn’t miss his Monday night basketball with the guys at church for anything less than a family emergency. That “guy time” makes him a happier, more loving husband the whole rest of the week. Space is important for any kind of growth, and love and marriage is no exception.

      – That being said, don’t stop dating your husband just because you’re married.

      – Hunt down the Nuptial Prayer from the TLM Nuptial Mass. Seriously, it is mind-blowingly beautiful and is a mini-catechsis on the theology of marriage.

      – Just say no to unity candles. Light a candle before a statue of the Blessed Mother instead.

      – Lastly, remember that marriage is a cross, the place where you pour yourself out for your beloved in a total gift of love, and where he does the same for you. If this is your guiding principle and goal, no matter what trials come your way, your marriage will be blessed and full of joy.

  2. Six months from today! So exciting! My advice? Root for the Orioles! Oh, wait. You’re already planning to do that. Then my other advice would be to practice NFP, to argue only about the silly things in life like which color couch to buy, and to keep on blogging!

  3. Marie:

    Everything will change, and nothing will change. That sounds odd, but it is true. You will no longer be what you were, but you will still be who you were.

    The thing to start with is learning the other person’s daily, weekly, and monthly rhythms. Behavior and moods change when tired, excited, worried, not feeling well, etc. Learning the signs, understanding them and accepting them goes a long way to being in a happy marriage. And it can take a while for people newly living together to figure out each other’s rhythms.

    Don’t change who you are, nor try to change the new husband. Change will come, as it always does as a marriage grows and a family is formed. Let it happen organically. Above all, laugh and play. Choose happiness and fun. Stay crazy in love. When you are busy, set aside time for each other. Give to each other fully, holding nothing back. Make being at home with each other the place you both most want to be.

    Best wishes to you!

  4. Loving your blog which i just found through conversion diary. we have been married now just over 6 months (and yes, i see that you’re now a lot closer to your wedding date). I had and have the same contradictory feelings of everything and nothing changing. I’m still me, and yet I’m a new creation. This is amazingly mind-blowingly wonderful, and yet so perfectly normal.

    Advice, practice asking forgiveness and giving it. Often, and about little things. So the words will come easier for bigger things. Nothing feels right until we are back in harmony with each other.

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