I have been a wedding photographer now for the past eight years. Although I am absolutely obsessed with weddings, there were many points throughout my life where I never thought I would settle down and become a bride. I loved the idea of marriage, but I just didn’t know if it was for me. Many times I thought I would just be a full-time missionary in a third world nation and live with my hundreds of orphans. I guess God had different plans though.
This past weekend I took the leap as I became Mrs. Aziz. I was finally ready, it felt right, and I knew that I knew God had put this man in my life to be my husband. Some of you know, some of you don’t, but when I was 21 years old, I broke off my first engagement realizing that I was far from ready to be a wife. The four years in between then and now I have learned so much. Here are a few things I learned through my process of “becoming a bride.”
First and MOST important of all… you are not ready to be a bride if you are expecting the other person to complete you. Plain and simple, no one can complete you (except Jesus). You need to be a whole person, and they need to be a whole person, and then you come together to be one whole awesome person. Two broken pots don’t fix each other; they just make one big mess. Of course, we will never be perfect, but there are many things we can work on to become ready to join ourselves with another human being. So make sure you work on yourself and don’t have false expectations.
Speaking of false expectations… you CAN NOT change someone. At all. It won’t happen. Ever. I learned this the hard way. I had a list in the back of my mind for every guy I dated of everything I wanted to change about them. I would try to change them subtly, but in the end, it always ruined our relationships. You have to find someone that you love for exactly who they are, flaws and all. Of course, as you grow together you become better and better, although you need be able to accept the person for who they are. It’s a set up for failure and disappointment any other way.
Everything is not about you. In a relationship, you have to be willing to make sacrifices. This was a hard thing for me as I had always done what I pleased, where I pleased, and when I pleased. If I felt like moving to Florida for a month, I’d pack up and leave the next day. In a committed relationship, there are now two of you. You have to consider the other person just as much if not more than yourself. Andrew and I had planned on moving back to Seattle after our wedding although his job made it quite complicated. Although it was initially hard to accept, I knew that it was what we had to do. Now I am thrilled to be staying in SoCal, although initially, it took a lot of sacrifices for me to lay down my plans for what was best for both of us.
This one is pretty practical but learn how to pick up after yourself! Seriously. No husband wants to come home to an explosion of clothes from the bedroom to the kitchen. Get in the habit of always keeping your things clean.
SAVE YOUR FREAKING MONEY!!!!!! Holy crap I’ve wasted a lot of money on stupid things. Thank God I’m not in serious credit card debt but shooooot I wish I had a much larger savings account. Marriage is EXPENSIVE.
Lastly, be ok with being wrong or agreeing to disagree. Maybe your best friend is yelling at you over something you completely don’t agree on. Practice agreeing to disagree and walking away from the argument. You’re going to have to do it eventually, and you don’t want to waste all the time in your life arguing with your husband when you could be making incredible love or doing something much more exciting. A husband isn’t like a friend who you can just ditch when you’re not “going in the same direction” anymore. This is a life long commitment so get used to working things out, or just being ok with disagreeing. One of the best things my mom taught me is that no one wants to be married to a loser, so you should let your husband win too. 😉
It’s only my first week in marriage, so there are a million lessons I will learn being a wife, although these are a few of my tips for those on the road to becoming a bride. I hope you’ve been able to take at least one thing away from this.
Melissa Aziz (#ThatsMyNewLastName :D)