Shortly after our honeymoon I phoned my parents so that they could listen to the storm that was taking place in Joburg. It had been raining a bit, but it was still so hot in the house that all the doors were open. Suddenly, the downpour was much more intense and then the hail came. It bounced into our house and in the chaos of trying to close all the doors and windows, Flip urged me to stay away from the windows so that I don’t get hit by big, icy balls of hail. He closed the windows by himself. He was protecting me. And it opened my eyes.
During the conversation, my mom asked me: “So, is there a difference between being married and just living together?” And trying to speak over the cacophony of hail and rain on a zinc roof, I simply answered yes. There was a mindset change.
To be honest, I thought that it was going to be the same as just being together, but it isn’t. It’s better. It’s like some switch in my mind went on and it said “He is now your husband and you better start treating him that way.” I have fallen in love with Flip all over and it feels that we’ve had sort of a fresh start. As if the old, sometimes bad, skin of just ‘being together’ had been shed. We had now started our forever journey.
There is no getting out of it, like in a relationship, where, when you fight, you can just say, screw it, it’s over. Marriage is a forever and ever promise that you made to God, yourself and your other half.
My mindset not only changed in that respect. It had changed to mindset of gratitude. He chose to spend the rest of his life with me and I am grateful. God put us on each other’s paths and he planned for us to walk the path of life together and I am grateful. This gratitude makes me want to be a better person, a better wife, for him. It makes me want to cook, to wash his shirt when he messed on it. It has opened my eyes to see all the little things he has done and still does for me – like keeping me away from windows in fear that I might get hurt. I am loving this change in my mindset.
A few years ago, four guys from Liverpool sang: I am he, as you are he, as you are me, as we are all together. It might be words inspired by a psychedelic space-out, but I see it as us being a union and that this union is only as strong as its members. In marriage, you need to support your spouse, build him/her up, praise him/her and be their biggest cheerleader. Vice versa.
I’ve only been married a month and already I have grown so much because of it. I cannot wait to learn, grow and experience life with my best friend by my side, forever.