The four ways my wife has improved my life

We’ve been married 360 days, and I have a better life, and I am a better man, than on our wedding day. Here’s a look at the four ways my wife has helped that come to pass.

She helps me grow in faith: I know this is a bit cliche, but it really is at the top of the list. By encouraging me in my efforts to grow, walking alongside me in our programs at church, and supporting me all the time. We share the same goals, and she picks me up and encourages me when I fall short. She’s really been more than I could ask for in this regard.

Our home is awesome: I know she feels like it has a long way to go, but in terms of how I lived as a bachelor… well, let’s just say I feel spoiled all the time. The best part is I know she’ll keep on making it better and better, far more than I ever could.

I have more confidence because she loves me: This may be a bit more esoteric, but let me give it a shot. I no longer fear many of the things that I did before. I know that I have Lindsey’s support and love no matter what happens, so I feel more free to stretch myself, take risks, and try new things. Her love is a motivator and a liberator.

I’m more joyful:  It’s simple and straightforward, but it’s true. I love my life and my wife. I am truly blessed and I know it.

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A night off

Tonight we had a rare night off. Neither of us had any work to do, there were no chores or tasks to take care. It was wonderful. I built a fire, we heated up some leftovers (okay, so it wasn’t perfect :P), and we settled in for some time together. After a few good hours alone Lindsey went off to bed and I’m here writing this post. As Lindsey wrote about a few days ago, she’s not the best at simply relaxing. I have the opposite problem, I like to rest a little too much. Because of these tendencies and scheduling factors we don’t get many nights like tonight. Evenings like this are precious to me, and I know Lindsey feels the same way.

Sitting down to write a post every day, or every couple of days individually, is not always the easiest. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have anything meaningful to say. When I sat down tonight to write that is exactly how I felt. But then I really began to think about the quiet, restful night we had. That’s when I realized how precious it actually was.

When I think back to before we were married I now know I had no idea what I was really signing up for. The good and the bad have been more than I expected. I want to write a longer post on this topic before the year is up, but my main point is this: I had no idea what a real marriage would be like. We went through extensive pre-marital counseling, in fact it was the most thorough program I’ve heard of. With all that we learned we were well prepared, but no preparation could have been enough for the reality. To understand it, we had to live it.

There was no way someone could have explained to me how happy a night of nothing would make me. As a bachelor a night like this would have been spent with a book, or more regularly a video game or TV show. I would have been happy and I would have been able to do anything, but nothing would have been as good as night alone with Lindsey. And there was no way for me to know it at the time.

Our 10 months of marriage has been full of moments of reflection and realization like this. They have made me a better husband as I internalize them and learn to appreciate what I learn. I pray that God continues to give me nights and small lessons like this for a lifetime.