The Pressures of Patterns…

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“mArRIAgE iS aBoUt GiVe aNd tAKe” ! I’ve honestly never GIVEN so much in my life. A lot of times I feel like I give way more than I’m allowed to take. Marriage is about giving of yourself without expecting anything in return…. sounds almost like a contradiction of my last blog, How Many of Us Have Them? right. WRONG! You shouldn’t expect a return but demand one.

Let me break it down…

At the start of my relationship with my husband, there were some things I said (🗣OUT THE GATE) that I would NEVER put up with. He knew those demands marrying me, so… If any of that stuff came up, he knew I would NEVER go for it. Ladies, start putting demands on your relationships, immediately. Let them know what you demand upfront and if they can’t handle it… they aren’t for you. On the flip side though, you have to allow demands to be placed on you as well. If you can’t handle their demands, you aren’t for them. Marriage isn’t just about you or just about him. Both of you should be setting those demands and demanding a return on your request. If there is no return, there is no growth. Why would you want to be in a place where you weren’t growing?

Now let’s talk about me. 🤦🏽‍♀️ I used to be afraid to speak about marital issues because I would be scared that people would associate me discussing issues with my unhappiness. Since then, I have developed a “think what you wanna think” mentality… because no matter what you think or what someone told you until you ask me… you’re only assuming! So here goes…

The first year of my marriage was very close to the worst year of my life. I had made a mistake, married the wrong man, and messed around and let him get me pregnant 3 weeks after we were married. I was planning to divorce him, but being pregnant with his baby, I knew that I would STILL have to be a part of his life forever. I hated the thought. I hated him. I hated EVERYTHING. I needed an escape.

18 weeks into the pregnancy I got so sick and ended up on bed rest. So now my mind was no longer on my TERRIBLE marriage, but on staying alive and keeping my child alive. I had little time to be with him, think about him, or reflect on the horrible place we were in mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I was near DEATH (in more ways than one).

After being in the hospital for 3 weeks straight, my grandfather came into my room and said, “your faith is being tested. Will you have faith to win or faith to lose ?” Of course, I automatically thought about my pregnancy. However, when he left, I realize that he was speaking to me about my marriage too. I hated losing ANYTHING but I felt like I was losing in the marriage itself. I felt hopeless. I just wanted to be happy. Ughhhhhhhh

One night while we were there, I caught him praying. He thought I was asleep, but I saw him talking to God. He wasn’t moving his lips at all, but his eyes let me know that he was in deep conversation with Him. I didn’t care, I still wanted out. I was done. I had made a mistake in marrying him…

The next day, he sat on the side of my hospital bed, looked me in my eyes, and said, “I don’t know how to be your husband, but I want you to teach me. Tell me what you need from me so I can make this right”. I was shocked. Didn’t even know how to respond. He was asking me what I wanted in a HUSBAND but I didn’t know how to put it in words. My immediate thought was to get an attitude and respond sarcastically, but my lips wouldn’t move…. only tears fell. For two days I didn’t respond, I began to write it down. After I finished my list, I gave it to him. He kissed me on my forehead and went to work.

A total of 40 days in the hospital and my husband was there (spend the night) every night except 1. (My mom begged him to go home and get some real rest.) He knew I hated him at the time, but he NEVER left my side. When he was there, we didn’t talk much because he didn’t know what to say— and neither did I. But I must admit, I found comfort in knowing he was near me. Then I remembered number 4 on my list was “comfort and security”!

He spent all his spare time with Carter after he was born. He bathed him, clothed him, sang to him… so much that I barely got a chance to spoil him. Then I remember number 3 on my list was “present and loving father”

He literally was showing me that he read my list and was making the adjustments. Now I had to make adjustments on my end. I had to be intentional in loving him (in the form he wanted to be loved, not the form I wanted to be loved… BIG difference). I had to do a lot less talking and MORE communicating—which including LISTENING. I was so busy focusing on him, that I didn’t realize that change came from ME !!! 

If you want a change in your marriage, be the change you want to see. It wasn’t until I STOPPED focusing on him, that God began to make moves on our behalf. Now, Chris is my BEST friend. We still fuss, we still have disagreements, but it’s all a part of the process. We are two different people who have to work at loving each other and the work is easily done with a solid foundation. Don’t give up when you have a rough patch, if it’s workable, WORK it. I love y’all married and soon to be and wanna be married folks.

Dedication: My best friend. Christopher, I love you more than all the words in all the books in all the world.

Jasmine
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Meet Mrs. Jasmine J. White. An enthusiastic combination of quick wit and social consciousness, Mrs. White is bringing her unique perspective of being a #MotherLoverSisterFriend to IYU’s curriculum. A fiery, yet vulnerable, black woman with so much to say. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

10 Comments
  • Lisa
    Posted at 04:11h, 22 January Reply

    Very Good Reading! This is the sentiments of most couples. Marriage is not for wimps! 😊

  • Kwamesia Works
    Posted at 03:17h, 24 July Reply

    Wow! I love this! Please continue to give us more!!!❤️

  • Kaye
    Posted at 01:27h, 13 July Reply

    Wow Jas! I’m speechless. Awesome truth. It will be 25 years for me & right now he is HIGHLY disliked. Love him? YES! Praying OUR way through…

  • yourstrulymo
    Posted at 23:31h, 12 July Reply

    I love this best friend !!!! As a single woman, it’s so easy to look at other people’s relationships and especially marriage and think that it’s “perfect” and this is showing that it’s never perfect, it just takes WORK to get it to as close to perfect as possible ! I’m so happy you guys are doing better now and I can’t wait to see the rest of your lives unfold !

  • Tiffany
    Posted at 00:09h, 12 July Reply

    This was absolutely awesome for me! I needed to read this! Thanking the Lord for placing it on your heart to share with the world ❤️❤️

  • Cheryl Brown
    Posted at 22:00h, 11 July Reply

    This Is What people need REALNESS! This is AWESOME!!! Thanks for your openness on your marriage🙌🙌🙌. You probably just Saved A Whole Lot of MARRIAGES 🙌🙌🙌🙌

  • Faith
    Posted at 15:41h, 11 July Reply

    Wow! I love this! May God continue to use you to help others and may he continue to bless your marriage! ❤

    • Cassandra Baines Arnold
      Posted at 19:09h, 11 July Reply

      Speechless..this is so good..read it twice keep letting God use you. We as women think its about the ring, dress, and wedding but it’s so much more..i love it. You are helping all of us. Thank you for sharing.

  • Faith
    Posted at 15:40h, 11 July Reply

    Wow! I love this! May God continue to use you to help others and may he confuse to bless your marriage! ❤

  • Peachess Wilson
    Posted at 14:29h, 11 July Reply

    This was beautiful. Being A single woman looking in we don’t realize marriage is about putting in work. You know I watch you all from a distance and admire you all thanks for sharing Jas.

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