Adjustment

I was a bachelor for 10 years before I met Lindsey. That fact still amazes me, I never thought it would be that long. By the time Lindsey came along I had pretty much given up on the idea of being married, I had also became very, very set in my ways.

Because of this, I set my home up exactly as I wanted. There was no one around to suggest any alternatives. Expensive modernist bedroom furniture? Why not? Guest room in orange and black, filled with OSU memorabilia? Check! Really ugly TV stand in the middle of the living room? Who cares what a TV stand looks like?

So obviously adjusting to Lindsey being around, to her having a say in things, and even changing my precious setup, was tough. I would say things like, “You can do anything you want, except for…” and then list off 25 different things I didn’t want her to change. Yeah, I was an awesomely welcoming husband.

I’ve come to realize how antithetical this approach is for a new marriage. Sure, it makes sense that some things won’t be changed. There are good reasons to make certain decisions, but let’s not kid ourselves, I know I’ve made a lot of bad choices (and not just in decoration) that I have been holding onto.

I’m still not giving up the fight on some things (come on, how awesomely rare is an OSU bedroom like we’ve got! I’ll have to post pictures…), but I need to surrender some of my comfort, my likes, and my fear of change for the good of our marriage. I keep coming back to the words said on our wedding day, “two become one flesh”. If I can’t let go of my small preferences, how can I give up more?

Becoming one certainly does not entail Lindsey just becoming like me, it is about our new identity in our marriage. That is a shocking message to some. I know that many these days see this as a dangerous thought. But that’s okay. It may be old-fashioned, but we like it that way.

A new school year is coming

Growing up a teacher’s kid my sisters and I were more familiar with my elementary school than most other kids. Before and after school we’d hang out in the teacher’s lounge after begging mom for a few bucks for the vending machine, we’d play in the library, or run around the halls.

The most fun was always the last few days of summer. Mom would take us to the school, ostensibly to help in her classroom, but if I recall we actually weren’t that helpful and ended up being sent out of the room to go play. Out there we would find big cardboard boxes and build forts, or we would take some teachers’ rolling desk chairs and push each other down the sloped hallways in a race. It really was a lot of fun.

Today though I was back helping a teacher get her classroom ready, but this time it was my wife’s. It was not as much fun as being a kid, and there was not a single chair race. Disappointing.

On the other hand, it really is a joy to help my wife. Seriously. I have found that I really like being able to help her out, solve a problem she has, or just be there to make her laugh while she is dealing with the stress of too much to do with not enough time.

After seeing the school more, meeting one of her new co-workers, and seeing a few of the kids around, I am even more convinced that this is the right move for Lindsey. She has a lot of work ahead of her, but she will be great at it.

Plus, this woman is a serious classroom decorator. She knows what she’s doing and she will have the best classroom around. She loves this stuff, and even though she is stressed and working day and night, she is so happy. We thank God for that.

She’s settling in

It’s been four and a half months since our wedding day and Lindsey is finally settling into the house. We’ve had all of her stuff her for awhile, and she has been making changes around here since she moved in, but in the last week she has really been comfortable with making changes. And I love it.

Now, it may surprise you that I am so comfortable with the change. I lived alone for ten years before meeting Lindsey and getting married. I’d become accustomed to having my house and my stuff a certain way. Anyone who has visited my place would tell you that it was my perfect version of a home– for a bachelor at least. I thought it was great. So when Lindsey moved in I honestly asked myself, ‘how much could she really want to change?’ Again I found out how little I understand women.

Over the last few months I have pushed Lindsey to make changes to the house and to decorate it the way she wanted to. I told that unless she was buying anything crazy expensive or furniture to just go for it. She didn’t bite.

I think she understood that I was saying it, but I really wasn’t saying it. I was putting it all on her. When she did not like something I suggested that she, “find something to replace it.” Well, if you know my wife you probably know that just replacing out of the blue something hanging on the wall is a little to close to confrontation for her. So it didn’t happen.

But then two things happened in the last couple of days that kick-started things.  First, Lindsey picked a few of the small things she wanted to change and just did it. When I either did not notice the change or noticed it and liked it, she was encouraged. Then when I, of my own volition, took down one of her least favorite items from the wall and left a blank space she really got the message.

But let’s be honest, she really wasn’t the one who needed to “get it”. That distinction is mine. I told her that she ‘could’ change things, but offered no help or suggestions. That was my mistake. I was still treating it like my house, so why was I surprised when she treated it that way too?

We now have progress. She is kicking butt and taking names around here, but I will let her share the fun details with you herself. For my part I want to leave you with this: husbands, support your wives not just with your words but with actions. Take the first step yourself. Sacrifice something. Show her how much you love her. Don’t make my mistake.