Wife Spotlights share their love story & love lessons.
Nehemiah “Neo” and I first met at his place of employment about 18 years ago. We didn’t start dating until about a year after we initially met. We were married on May 12, 2007. Many challenges presented themselves in our first year of marriage. Neo lost his job, we had to move to a smaller place, and on top of that, because we didn’t cohabitate prior to marriage, we had to get used to sharing our space with each other. I had a nine and a ten-year-old by this time (children from a previous relationship), and they had to get used to having a man in the house as well, because there had never been a man living with us. There were times Neo and I truthfully thought we might not make it. But God. We were both growing in our walks with the Lord, so that helped us in our desire to work on our marriage, instead of throwing in the towel. My parents were, and still are, together, but Neo’s parents had been divorced a while by this time. Therefore, he constantly thought we were going to break up. We sought counseling through Marriage Works, as well as watched the movie “Fireproof” and prayed A LOT.
We’re now entering the “empty nester” phase in our relationship, as I was unable to have more children. We learned a great deal in these 14 years of being married and continue to learn. One of the most important lessons was to keep family out of it. It’s ok to vent to a trusted person, who will love your significant other regardless, and give unbiased advice when asked. However, it’s not ok to share every detail of every argument and every issue you have with your spouse. We all need to feel safe in this sacred institute we call marriage. Furthermore, we should never pit our family against our partner. We believe, for a healthy marriage, there needs to be a strong foundation, and, for us, both of our families provide that.
Lastly, continue to have fun. Date each other. When we go on date nights, I’ll sometimes ask my husband “Will you be my boyfriend tonight?” This takes us back to when we were dating… when we first fell in love and made “googly” eyes at each other, and when we were trying to impress each other. It may sound corny, but it works… for us. And I love us.
Wife Wisdom: Put God FIRST. He’ll guide you through arguments and issues like none other. Secondly, don’t get in your own head thinking that you’re ALL THAT. Remember that just as you accepted him with his flaws, he accepted you with yours. Be open to changing yourself if it makes you a better person. Don’t be afraid to talk about things even if it ends in an argument. Healthy arguments are good for growth, albeit scary. Silence can be easy, but even scarier than an argument & stunt your relationship’s growth. Don’t think “he should know” rather, tell him what you want him to know. Scripts written in our heads rarely play out like we’ve pictured them, because the other party never knows their lines. Voice your needs and wants, even if you must repeat it. Be deliberate in your conversations and “fight” fair. Stay in the argument you’re in and don’t throw in bits & pieces from other issues you’ve had in the past. Remember he’s just as human as you are.
First Wives Club: Thank you so much for creating this gem of a club. The thought-provoking questions are a welcomed challenge to those of us who wish to, not only strengthen our marriages, but to take an honest, in-depth look at ourselves in order to do so. Denise, I appreciate you for being the vessel God called you to be. Thank you for being obedient & understanding the assignment.