Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Newb Status

Philip and I went to an event hosted by our church (Real Life) called 10 Great Dates. We didn't know much about it, but thought it would help us to get connected with other married couples and to begin to build a strong and healthy marriage. When we arrived we saw that we looked like babies compared to most of the adults there. I'm not trying to insult like, "Oh they're so old and lame." I'm actually thinking they were probably looking at us like, "They have no idea what marriage is really like." Around in a circle we exchanged names, and each couple shared how long they have been married. We had to shyly mutter, "five months." Which, if you've been watching our ticker (scroll down to the bottom of the screen) you know is even a stretch. The seminar (I don't know what else to call it) is all based on the book 10 Great Dates. Each week, the couples meet up, watch a short video about the topic of the week (tonight's was reigniting the spark in your marriage--not exactly a problem for newlyweds) then go their separate ways for date night. Daycare is provided for everyone but us. We are also given a sheet of questions to lead us into intimate, growth-fostering discussion. I think there are some topics that could be really helpful for us to talk out through this seminar. Week three is about healthy conflict we could definitely use that. We thought we were pros at this during dating, but it has gotten harder within marriage. I think you need to talk out conflict, and that it's going to happen--period--if you get close enough to anyone. Still, we need to learn to fight fair and one of us (ME!) needs to keep her emotions in check. Anywho, the same principals designed to get married couples out of a rut might help them learn how to avoid getting in one. Or how to get out of one should it happen in the future, right?

Let me get to my point. When we were dating we were at the top of the food chain. We dated for four years before getting engaged and people used to come to us for advice and wisdom. We were respected, looked up to, and we had gotten pretty good at dating. We had a routine down. I really think, with God's help, that we learned how to have a healthy dating relationship. Who knew this would get more complicated when lived together, strove for intimacy and were committed to loving each other unconditionally--no matter what. Is it just me or do boys fart...a lot? Now I can't help but feel like a total n00b. We are babies juxtaposed against the other married couples we know. These are few and far between, by the way. Within our circle of friends we are a rarity. It seems like people are either young, college students and not married, or are married and older and have kids. I love being married. But I hate feeling like I have no clue what I'm doing, because despite books, sermons, and counseling I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I'M DOING. I also hate feeling like an outcast. It's not that people are intentionally leaving me out, it's just that we don't seem to fit in anywhere.

How do you cope with these situations in your life? Any married couples want to take us under their wing and teach us how to be better, or just empathize with us? Out of pity? :)


Tricia said...

I love your posts! :) You guys will be JUST FINE... you are an AMAZING couple and both very dedicated to eachother and God and you'll be amazing as a married couple! :) AND you're totally right about boys being stinky - and I have three (four if you count the dog) in my house... whew! ;)

The Stantons said...

Chels-we need to have a phone date like, asap :) it takes a while to find where you belong. You're not really in the singles crowd anymore, but most people in the marrieds group are 25-30 and many have kids. We are hitting the same problems over here, or at least I struggle with it. I don't have the right answer, but be thankful for the chance to share your life with PhilIp, and know that eventually your friends ill get married, and once again you will be the expert haha. Call me soon! Love, Jenna

Mindy said...

I remember those early marriage seminars. Sometimes it was hard to lock down on what they were saying because I was thinking we don't argue, we have "discussions". (turns out we had both)
You'll glean nuggets and it's good practice. You'll never be done learning how to communicate.
Don't compare yourself to the others. Nope you don't have six months, six years, six kids, etc. under your belt. So what?! Your marriage is RIGHT NOW!! Work towards the right thing right now and it will add up all on its own. It's not perfect and that's where a whole heap of forgiveness and grace smooth the wrinkles. So your dating was one way, feel free to say to others about marriage that you don't know and you want some time to be the best for each other right now.
(commented with love for your marriage)

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