Learning More About Your Spouse During the Discovering Stage

large 9900713924 Learning More About Your Spouse During the Discovering Stage

 

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.”

  1. Engagement RING
  2. Wedding RING
  3. DiscoveRING
  4. PerseveRING
  5. RestoRING
  6. ProspeRING
  7. MentoRING

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?

photo credit: Spenser Marie via photopin cc

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Author: Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

Jackie is an author, blogger, and speaker. He helps motivated but overwhelmed husbands and fathers lead and love their families, so they can have lasting, fulfilling marriages and influence on their kids. He is the creator of  The 7 Rings of Marriage™, and the author of The Family Leader Manifesto. Read more from Jackie by subscribing to his blog, and following him on Twitter.

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  • http://changeyouremotions.com Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    Hi Jackie,
    I loved this…the 7 Rings. What a great analogy. I can still remember almost twenty years ago when I realized something about my brand new husband I did not know. You see, we had a fast courtship. Both of us were in our early forties. We knew what we wanted! But I came saddled with the memories of abusive and uncaring relationships. The first week of marriage, I was in charge of taking possession of a new house we bought while he was on a business trip. Nothing worked out as planned. The prior owners had not moved out, and there was no way to get ahold of my husband (pre-cell phones). When I finally got in the house and called him, I knew he would be frantic. I was afraid of anger.

    What I discovered was someone who had put my well-being above his own, who was concerned about my feelings, my fears, my discomfort. He drove back 3 hours and picked me up. I spent the next two days on his business trip with him. It’s been almost twenty years and that is still who he is…I can count on him. What he discovered about me? Well, it wasn’t as pleasant. Enough said!

    • http://jackiebledsoe.com Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

      Hi Linda! I’m glad you loved it. :)

      Thanks for sharing your story. That is a an awesome example of the “DiscoveRING” stage. And a great discovery about your husband. It actually encourages me to be more patient and understanding with my wife. Thanks, again! :)

  • http://asmithblog.com Adam Smith

    Love this post and how you came up with 7 different rings…Genius. Points #4-#7 that you listed are what really helped me through this stage. Man, you were spot on.

    • http://jackiebledsoe.com Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

      Thanks, Adam! I’m glad you loved it too! Point #5 always brings me back to the perspective where I need to be, because I am sure my issues are more serious than my wife’s. I need help! Or I guess she needs help dealing with me! lol

  • http://www.bravecommunicationllc.blogspot.com/ Julia Winston

    Laughter helped us through the discovery phase! We decided since we are in this thing (marriage) for the long haul we might as well not take ourselves too seriously as we discovered each other. It was a literally one year from the time we first laid eyes on each other to our saying I do. And we had a long distance relationship most of that time.

    So discovery was very interesting in our house. Still is. I just found out a few months a go who his favorite NBA team was. Almost 12yrs later.

    Having been raised with brothers, he didn’t know much about women so he assumed I would be neat and tidy. HA! I am the messy one. Most of my friends complain how their husbands leave their clothes lying around…that’s me! So he was shocked when he discovered this about me. I was shocked that it bothered him. LOL!

    Good memories. Love the RINGs. Hope to read more about the others.

    • http://jackiebledsoe.com Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

      Thanks for sharing, Julia! But 12 years before learning his favorite NBA team?? :) That is just proof that the discoveRING stage is never ending! lol

      • http://www.bravecommunicationllc.blogspot.com/ Julia Winston

        I know!!! I felt like a huge putz. I kept asking, how is it that I didn’t know that one. But in my defense he is more into (and thus talks more about) college basketball than he does NBA! I knew his favorite college team before we even got hitched. But you’re right. DiscoveRING never stops.

        • http://jackiebledsoe.com Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

          I will give a pass for this one…but I’m willing to bet my wife doesn’t know my favorite college OR pro team. I’m going to have to ask her! ;)

  • Vince

    “Accept and love them for who they are.” – That’s a good one there. Too often we try to change other people to fit how we think they should be. We have to realize they were created by the same God, in a unique way, for a specific purpose. We are called to love them for who they are.

    • http://jackiebledsoe.com Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

      Agreed! Great points, Vince.

  • http://leadershipvitamin.com Leo J. Lampinen

    This was one of my favorites Jackie, just awesome. I think you forgot to mention the suffeRING though?

    All kidding aside, what has helped me during the discovering phase has been the understanding that we’re not going to change each other. Because of this we find ways to complement each other instead. And like you said about helping her solve a problem she’s not comfortable with, it’s about asking the right questions so that you don’t come off as trying to change and more assisting her to change on her own terms.

    • http://jackiebledsoe.com Jackie Bledsoe, Jr.

      Thanks for sharing, Leo! I like that, “asking the right questions” so we don’t come off in the wrong way. Great input!

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