Have you ever wondered if your marriage is “normal?” If so, you’re certainly not alone. Though I don’t have this thought anymore, I was reminded that I once did when someone from the modwife.co community reached out to me with similar thoughts.
Here’s a snippet from her e-mail:
“I think my husband is an amazing individual. I genuinely love him and think he’s great. At times, I question my love…How can I be more confident in my love for my husband? He’s such a great husband, and I want to be a great wife.”
Her e-mail struck me. I had been there, in that exact same spot. Yet, I’d forgotten that I ever had thoughts or questions because I’d overcome them. In the first year or two of marriage while arguing with my husband, I would often wonder:
“Is my relationship normal?”
“Is my marriage normal?”
“Is this part of love normal?”
Those were tough thoughts to have. I’d always prayed that when I was proposed to, I wouldn’t think of anything or anyone besides “YES.” I knew my husband was the one for me years before he proposed, and when he did pop the question, the only thought that came to my mind was “YES.” I was already confident in our love, but because nothing else popped into my mind when he asked, I had even more confidence in our future marriage and relationship.
Yet, shortly after our marriage began, I started wondering if our marriage was what marriage was supposed to feel like. But, I think I figured out why I felt this way. And since figuring it out, I’ve never had those thoughts again.
Why I questioned if my marriage was normal
My parents divorced when I was very young. My mom was the first to remarry, and she married my step-dad when I was about seven years-old. However, she and my step-dad started their divorce process shortly after my wedding, showing me that perhaps the happy marriage I’d grown up around wasn’t as perfect as I thought.
My dad also remarried years ago, marrying my step-mom when I was about 10, and they are still married. My sister and I spent most of our time at my mom’s house, so I wasn’t exposed to the details of my dad’s new marriage to really take notice of positives or negatives.
I’ve always thought of my grandparents’ marriage as an exemplary love. They’ve been married for over 50 years. However, I didn’t grow up in their house, nor was I always around them. Both marriages I grew up with ended in divorce. So, when it comes down to it, I didn’t have a consistent, positive example of marriage while growing up.
I believe I questioned my marriage early on in our marriage because I didn’t know what a good marriage looked like or felt like.
In movies and books, couples have heated arguments, then passionately make-up and ride off into the sunset. Those couples lie tangled in white bed sheets after sex. Those couples are not realistic examples of happy marriages, but they were likely the only example of “happy” marriages I saw consistently.
Why I know my marriage is normal (in a good way)
Arguing with my husband and having complete opposite opinions on some things was a shocker. If our spouse is our soul-mate, shouldn’t we see eye-to-eye on everything? No, I don’t think so – not unless you married the male or female version of yourself.
Our arguments used to be screaming matches, leading me to breaking glass on the floor. I would be in shock that true love could make me do that. (In hindsight, we were not handling arguments efficiently, which is why they were so explosive. And, I was reacting to my husband, letting my emotions get the best of me. Thank goodness I’ve gotten better at not lashing out.)
I realized that love is hard. Love hurts, angers, annoys, saddens and disappoints. But, love can also strengthen, repair and satisfy in a way that nothing else can. Marriage is the commitment of that love. I realized my marriage was normal because all of those ups and downs are normal in love.
Love doesn’t change when you get married. If anything, it becomes a bit harder because you’re so committed to it. And, we were experiencing the commitment of love – frustrating parts and all.
I know I questioned if my marriage was good or normal because I didn’t have a good example to look to. But, I know there is no one who could possibly love me better than my husband. Together, we’re creating a happy, healthy marriage that makes us proud. And together, we’re creating our own “normal.”