After getting married, one of the best and worst parts of marriage is learning more about your spouse. Some things make you love him/her even more, while some things may make you wonder “what have I gotten myself into!”
I recently wrote a post about this stage of marriage, and six other stages of marriage. In the post each stage is represented by a ring, together they are called the 7 Rings of Marriage. The 7 rings were derived from each phase my wife and I have experienced in our marriage, as well as what we’ve witnessed in other marriages around us.
What are The 7 Rings of Marriage?
To get you up to speed on the 7 Rings of Marriage, I’ve listed them below. For this post I will focus on the “discoveRING.”
- Engagement RING
- Wedding RING
DiscoveRING = Learning more about your spouse
Of all the different stages, or rings, one of the most interesting is the discovering stage. It really represents the first challenge of your marriage. The stage where your spouse’s habits are revealed. It is where a husband sees his wife without makeup. It is where a wife sees her husband’s grooming and hygiene habits.
Prior to that you see the finished product. You see what they wanted you to see. During the discovering stage, you see everything. And you really get to know him/her.
What do you do when you don’t like what you see?
When you see everything during this stage, what happens when you don’t like what you see? During this stage my wife learned how impatient I was, while I learned how slow she was. Great combination, huh? A person who is always in a rush, matched for life, with a person who likes to take her time.
When you go through this, it can test your marriage and your commitment. It can begin the process of you growing apart, and maybe even divorce at some point. But there are some things you can do. Things which can help you make it through and begin your progression through the remaining 7 Rings of Marriage.
7 ways to go through the DiscoveRING stage of marriage
- Accept and love them for who they are. The worst thing you can do is allow this to change your acceptance of them. If they are constantly late, or like to sleep late, or easily flustered, that is part of their entire make-up. Love them through it.
- Remember your commitment of “for better or for worse.” Now those wedding vows make sense. You probably only saw the good when you said “I do.” Now you see some of the “worse.” But you committed to still love and commit to them through it all.
- Don’t try to change them. Trying to change your spouse may seem like the ideal solution. But focusing all your efforts on making them change can end in frustration for you both. You can control your actions, and your actions only. Maybe, the change needs to begin with you.
- Appreciate their differences. Maybe the thing you learned and see as bad, can actually be good for your marriage. The fact that my wife takes her time and I am always in a rush can bring us both to a happy middle ground, if we appreciate this and allow it to do so. Be glad you didn’t marry a clone of yourself.
- Remember you aren’t perfect either. Back to #3. All the crazy stuff you now know about your spouse, may only be half of what he/she has learned about you. You have some issues, too. So, like number three, maybe focusing on what you can do, and changing (yourself), is where your energy should be focused.
- Pray and talk with them about the things that bother you. Maybe what you have learned about your spouse is just too much for you to handle. If so, it is not too much for God to handle. The Bible says to not worry about anything, but pray about everything. Not to use this as a last resort, as it should be a constant in your marriage, but intentionally speaking to God and your spouse about it will help you handle it.
- Find out how you can help them in this area. Maybe what you have discovered bothers your spouse as much as it bothers you. Just maybe they don’t want to be this way, but haven’t had success in changing. How can you help? What can you do to provide support, empathy, and anything else needed to help them? Find out what you can do, and do your best.
What helped you during the “discoveRING” stage in your marriage?