A Newlywed’s View on Marriage

If I could tell my younger self that I would be happily married at 32, I’m sure my younger self would roundhouse kick me like this:

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I would never believe it. Not only that, but being married to someone younger than me? Who would have thought? So where do I start? How’s married life, Marisa? What are the pros and cons? What’s the tea? Well, what’s your tea about marriage? Let’s start off by me saying that my husband is an angel on earth. He is unlike any man I’ve ever encountered and is the most kindhearted person I’ve ever met. I say that a lot, but its true. 😎

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The sum of our marriage 😄

So…

Marriage is a lifelong journey, that’s not for the faint or weak hearted. Although I’ve embarked on 6 months, I’ve learned the true meaning of patience and grace, lol. Trust me, I’m still learning. And I’m ready to go another 6 months and so on! Talk to any married couple. They’ll say its hard work, but rewarding. Our favorite married couples happens to be my Bishop Barry Mitchell and his wife First Lady Janice, my uncle Bill and aunt Joan, our friends Pastor Theo and First Lady Patrice, my sister-in-law Kaycie and my big brother Jonathan and a plethora of other couples. We love taking advice from couples who give sound wisdom who doesn’t take sides. With that being said, there are sacrifices that we make for each other, a whole set of other feelings to consider, and someone who we can take on the world with, with God by our side. Yes, we’re a couple who believes and loves on JESUS and He is REQUIRED not only in our marriage but in our daily lives.

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You know, I left home at 18, became completely domesticated and independent that I spend the next few years with this attitude that I didn’t need anyone, not even God. That’s how arrogant I was. I went though life and it completely changed me. I had to take care of myself, fend for myself because no one else would. I became tough and I looked at people like, “get over your feelings and keep moving.” I had no sympathy or empathy. Throughout that I learned quite a bit about finances, how to survive, how to live on my own, pay bills, etc. I was the epitome of self-sufficient. Sometimes, that can be a flaw too. If you’re like me, and you meet your future husband, its not his job to break that wall you build up. Its God’s job. And yours. “Well, that’s how I am and whoever marry me will have to put up with me.” LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING! If you think like that, you will NEVER be married. Throw that arrogance away. Throw that mentality that you don’t need anyone. Get rid of the anti-sympathy. When you’re married, you’re no longer alone. I’m learning that.

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I would not let Benjamin do anything. Take out the trash? I was doing that way before I met him. Putting the groceries in the house? I use to carry 20 bags of groceries up 6 flight of stairs. Pump gas? Move boxes? ANYTHING! I can do and therefore I didn’t need him. That puts a dent in your man’s confidence. To feel like you’re not needed? Then why get married? I had to learn to step back and let Benjamin take the lead. I didn’t have to do these things by myself! But as an independent woman, yes it can be difficult to relinquish control a little bit and give it to your husband. But the amount of weight that is lifted is like no other.

What about this whole wives submit to your husband?

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Ephesians 5:25 (KJV)

Guys, read that scripture. Our husbands should love US like Christ loved the church so much that he died for the church. Which means, Benjamin has to be good and ready to take a bullet for me. That’s a lot of love first of all. Submission, if you don’t understand, is yielding your will to your husband’s will. For example,  I may want seafood for dinner but hubby wants steak, so we’re gonna go to Longhorn. But because my husband LOVES me so much, he’s gonna say, “babe, let’s get seafood!”

Benjamin is the head of the household. He is the leader and provider and I am his helpmate. For me, this is very challenging for someone who is use to complete control and makes the decisions. But I will tell you, it is refreshing for someone who you trust to make decisions that’s best for the both of you. Now that’s not to say that Benjamin doesn’t ask me my opinion because he does but I enjoy letting him take over.

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Control your tongue

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21 (KJV)

We women, especially us black women , we are very sharp-tongue, vocal women. We say what we mean and mean what we say and sometimes the tone can go left-field. Our tone can be callous and harsh if we’re not careful. When we get upset, we say any and everything to our man, no matter hurtful it is. We may bring up the past, or break his confidence or just make him feel the lowest of the low. Men are very sensitive creatures. They may not act like it, but they are and we know how to hurt them. Therefore, we must be careful to their feelings. So when I’m angry, I stay quiet to refrain from saying something I may regret. I learn to speak life into my husband, speak positivity into our marriage.

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31: 11-12 (KJV)

I’m just gonna leave that right there guys. I learned to be a peacemaker in our home and marriage. I bring out his strengths, I pray to God to learn how I can help Benjamin where he’s weak, I don’t bring up his insecurities in his face and if I see a need, I fill it. After all, Benjamin is my #1 after my relationship with God. God is my super #1 because without him, I can’t be the wife I’m supposed to be.

I may have mentioned this in my wedding day post, but when I met Benjamin, I knew he was younger than me. We’re six years apart. There are some areas when I’m more experienced than he is and vice verse but one thing about my husband, is he’s willing to learn. Everything. And sometimes that can be challenging because the things he is trying to learn, I already know and sometimes in my mind I’m like…..”why can’t you get it.” But patience goes a long way and being with my husband has taught me to be more patient, kind and graceful. I learned to give him the benefit of the doubt and I make sure to acknowledge him for his great work.

We tend to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.

You ever got in an argument and someone did something to you and the first thing they say is “I didn’t mean it?” And then you say, “but you did it!” Yeah, that. “Honey, I was trying to get to the laundry but I couldn’t get to it.” For me, I had to take a step back and not judge Benjamin one-sided because if I intended to do something and I didn’t, would it be fair for him to be angry at me? Satan is always looking for ways to convince you that your spouse is terrible. But guess what? There’s this thing called grace that you have to give and to learn to let it go. After all, God gives us grace everyday, even when we don’t deserve it. Who am I that I don’t extend the same to my husband?

So…are they any cons?

Nope! There are no cons…just changes and challenges. Marriage is what you make it. If you want a peaceful and happy marriage, then you work towards it. Marriage is 100/100. You put your all into it. We stood before God, family, friends and a couple of people we don’t like and made promises to each other. Know that your spouse isn’t perfect, neither are you. And that’s okay! Some days they will disappoint you, upset you, do something you don’t like, but you make sure you know that communication is key. Talk about everything in a respectful manner. Have you seen the Red Table Talk with Will Smith? He and Jada mentions how important it is to be respectful and loving with your spouse and if you can’t at that moment, take a minute alone to get your act together. Your spouse doesn’t deserve your “wrath”.

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I look like a creeper, lol

Please understand that marriage is not perfect. Don’t marry a person thinking it’s going to be lollipops and candy canes and that it’s going to be sunny everyday. You’re going to struggle. Life will throw some stinking curve balls at you. You may be broke, your lights might cut off, your car may break down, you may have to live off ramen noodles for a couple of weeks. Guys, I knew Benjamin was really the one for me when we spent one evening on our honeymoon eating ramen noodles and hot dogs at the dinner table and we just talked nonstop. 😅😅

A wise human being told us, and I think it was our bishop, that it’s us versus the problem. You guys versus the devil. You and him versus them. Your spouse is above all, EXCEPT your relationship with God, okay? Know that your spouse comes before your mommy, ya daddy, ya siblings, ya friends, etc. If you have kids, even your kids. We learned that in counseling from a couple who has kids. Think of marriage as one of those big promises that you made to God that you can’t take back, until you die. Keep your marriage tight-knit, seek WISE counsel, and never invite strangers into your marriage, and that includes family. Never display your issues for the world and keep God smack dab in the middle!

After all, what do I know? I’m just a newlywed.🤭

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Down the Aisle #TheWhiteWay: Our Love Story

I didn’t ask for this.

I sure wasn’t expecting it either.

I wasn’t one of those girls that would sit in her bedroom wishing for her King to come and sweep her off her  feet and sing sweet melodies into the distance. I had other plans. ME plans. MY plans. I plans. Mine, mine, MINE. Who is a WE anyway? There’s no WE with Marisa. Nope. Notta. Is that even a word? Notta? It is today.  I think my family was very concerned for me. I haven’t brought a man home since my high school sweetheart. I was 17 then. I  was approaching mid-twenties. Before him, I never brought anyone home to meet the fam. I was asked, “When are we gonna meet him?” or “So, what’s his name?” or “Do you even like boys?” No. I like men thank you very much. Anyway, then he came. Out. Of. Nowhere. I remember like it was yesterday, only this happened over 5 years ago. I was at my lowest in life (at least that’s what I thought), trying to literally rise from the ashes. Me and Jesus were friends again and I was making those plans! I was home, living with my dad and step-mom. One degree down, and I need a job to save a bunch of money so I can get out of that little town. A call center job. Nothing serious.

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He was one of my floor trainers. Once you’re done in the classroom, you’re on the floor using all the tools you didn’t learn in the class to take these random, bogus calls about cell phones and their expensive ridiculous plans. And then I raised my hand to ask a simple question. Just one of those yes or no questions. Not a life story question. I asked him that question and he thought it was okay to give me an essay of an answer. No, sir. I don’t need all that, THANK YOU! That was rude Marisa. So rude. That intrigued him. He would talk to me every chance he got when I came to work. A hello here and there. A tiny conversation outside during break time.

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I knew he was younger than me. But I wasn’t even looking at him like that. Just making conversation. Then our conversations became interesting. He can actually hold a decent conversation! That was rare at that job. That intrigued me. We talked about everything from pop culture, religion, music, celebrity gossip, current events, you name it. Then he took my phone and put his number in it. He didn’t have any expectation of me reaching out. He said a girl like me would never go for him. Well, that’s not nice. So, I proved him wrong. He was a gentleman. He had great conversation and he had this twinkle in his eye when he talks to me. Where’d that come from? Oh well, I wasn’t interested.

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As the days go by, we became friends, then good friends, and then great friends. The more our relationship grew, I learned, we have more in common than I thought. Who is this guy? He has an old soul. But he’s younger than me and that bothered me more than anything. Because now, I gotta pick a bone with God.

“You tryna be funny up there? Who is this guy? You think this funny?”

Benjamin became that person that I can tell my aspirations and goals to. My problems. my issues and what I struggle with. He’s the guy that I enjoy long car rides where we would talk. For hours. My dad would be upset at me for coming home late! But that’s how it was with Benjamin. You would get lost in the time with him. Being with him made time…..worth it. Jesus, who is this guy? Then we would go out. Dinner, the movies, everywhere. Making memories I didn’t think would stick with me 5 years later. Developing a bond that I didn’t understand would mean everything to me 5 years later.

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Complications happened and both parties were afraid of what was to come. This was different for the both of us. He had a string of failed relationships of dishonesty and heartbreak and I was constantly building a wall to keep out things like that. It was weird because when we got to a point in our relationship where we knew what we wanted, it was time for me to go. I got a new job in Charlotte, NC and he was staying home with plans to make it up that way soon.

The long distance was the challenging part. People thought we were breaking up just because I was moving! Who does that? We talked everyday. Found ways to video chat and we would send those long lovey dovey text messages. He would come visit. Then something happened. Everything stopped. This was hard work and life happened, making things stressful. We would argue and fight and it seemed like that’s all we would do.

“Now Jesus, I know good and well you didn’t put this guy in my life only for me to watch him leave. Fix this.”

It seemed normal to argue and fight more than anything else. We were never rude or hurtful to each other and thank God that Benjamin is the kindest person I’ve ever met. Even when he is upset with me, he is never boastful, or rude. That was rare. Even when I was mean or rude, he would never…

This was someone that I could not let slip away. Not on my watch. So I fought for him. He fought for me. We fought for us. It was like a switch went off on our brains and our relationship did a complete 180. Now I understand what married couples mean when they say stuff like, “After years and years, our bond grows stronger everyday.” I get it. As our bond grows stronger every day, we are met with some crazy trials in life. We struggled together. We were broke together. If one had it, the other had it too. It took Benjamin a long time to understand. “I got you.” The me became a WE and it came natural to me. He’s my best friend and in spite of our struggles, we’re always there for each other.

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Benjamin’s kindness taught me to be more kind. He’s a man of God, a true Believer and my personal Bible scholar. Its hard to stay mad at him. His hugs are comforting and his words are meaningful. He’s amazing. His mother raised him very well. We both knew that God was working on us to come together and that’s a funny story! That might be for another day.

Sometimes the person you want may come wrapped a little different than you expected. But don’t ignore it.  Finding a life partner that God has for you is not a rat race. It isn’t a competition. Proverbs 18:22 (NKJV) says “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Your husband will come find you. But you have to get prepared and be ready. I was ready and didn’t even know it. Funny. God knows everything. Here’s to the beginning of forever, Sweetheart.

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