As young women, the hope that we have in our future spouse carries us into the relationship that we envisioned since our adolescence.
I remember making out a list around age 14 of exactly what I wanted in a husband. I remember my list, as it sits somewhere in our attic.
- Must love God above all else
- Must want children
- Must be loving towards children
- Only wants me, I will be his only lover. After we wed.
- He has to make me laugh, everyday.
- He has to be driven, artistic and creative.
Don’t ask me why I only had 6 requirements, I must have fallen asleep writing in my diary.
Luckily for me I found my husband earlier than most girls my age. I was 15, and after our first date I told my Mom I would marry him. I was sure, never more sure about anything else in my life. I didn’t have to search long, and I was grateful.
During our almost four years of dating before we wed, I had a lot of time to day dream about what it would be like to marry Matt Haggerty. What it would be like to be his wife and birth his children. Although I saw marriages fall apart and fail pretty often, the thought never crossed my mind for my own marriage to fail. It was never an option.
The only thoughts I had about my future marriage were positive, butterfly in the pit of your stomach, giddy like as the years went on. I was shielded with this pure blanket of bliss over my eyes, blinding me from anything realistic about marriage. All we needed was love, and that was all there was to it. I couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle and start my life with a man that I had loved most of my young life. Sure, we may have our ups and downs, but we would always stay faithful. We would always stay together.
It didn’t take long before reality slapped me in the face our first year of marriage. You mean we have to WORK to make our marriage good? We have to communicate more often, other than just physical intimacy? When kids were mixed in in our early years of marriage, we were sent for a loop of obstacles , in which we overcame and learned how to parent , together. And well.
I hadn’t thought much about the way I envisioned our marriage to be lately. Often we get caught up in the chaos of parenthood and who has brushed their teeth that night that we forget where it all started.
I watched him pick up the bowling ball and hand it to our youngest daughter, Adah. His face showed of his deep love and longing for Adah to feel loved by Him. As he helped her roll the ball down the aisle, a tiny tear ran down my cheek.
Why was I crying?
I wiped it away and smiled at them. All three of our children leaping for joy that Daddy got a strike. I sat there alone , watching. Observing the way he leads and loves them so well. The way he pushes for them to have a great time, the way he longs for them to have wonderful, warm childhood memories. He looked over at me sitting there, bouncing my crossed leg slowly. He smiled and winked my way.
It was in that moment that this was how I wanted my life to be. Beside all the struggles and the grief stood a love so strong, a love I had wanted so badly.
Often we get mixed up in life, and lost a bit. It’s important to remember, especially in our marriages where it all started. What did you want in the first place?
I am thankful for those years of dreaming about my marriage. Young or not, I knew what I wanted in a man. In a partner, in a Father. Those years set the tone for our marriage. My expectations held him to a standard that was respectful to myself.
I don’t regret the dreaming. It was vital to WHO I chose to spend my life with.
We gathered the bowling shoes , one by one we counted them to return to the counter. Sleepy eyes and sweaty faces , we journeyed out into the parking lot. We buckled all the kids in their seats, and got into the front seats together.
He looked at me, as if he knew what I was thinking. How happy the night made me, and how unified our family was in this moment.
” Let’s go home babe.”
The part I dreamed about most as a teenager is kind of silly, but yet such a favorite part of our marriage even still. I couldn’t wait to sleep in the same bed with my husband. To know someone was there, constantly. To wake up with smelly breath to start our day. To this day I get excited about laying next to him in bed.
What I am saying in all this is that our young adult years, those years where we dream of our future are important. It’s ok to dream and to build a foundation and set a standard for what you want in a spouse. God may surprise you and change your course, or you may be right on. Either way, if you are single reading this now, make a list.
Dream about your spouse more often. They are out there thinking of you too.