My husband and I recently had our thirteenth anniversary…I know, awesome right?! I talk about my husband a lot on my blog and podcasts because not only is he my husband, but he is my friend. I get a lot of comments and messages about how blessed I am to have found someone who is so amazing. And I totally agree, he is amazing, but there are truths about marriage (my marriage included) you need to know.

But before I go there…..

As I mentioned above, people often ask me if I realize how blessed I am to have married someone like him. I do realize it! I seriously do recognize the gift that I have been given by God in my husband. Often times, those comments and messages are followed with ladies saying that they do not have that in their marriage, or asking how to get to that point with their husband. I’m not a marriage or parenting expert, but since I have been getting so many comments I thought I should address the “situation at hand”. In all honesty, I really don’t feel that I am the best person to offer advice on marriage. Why? Because I am flawed, as are all of us! But, in all fairness and realness, I wanted to bring this up because I do get asked these questions so often and I would love to shed some real truths and light on this subject.

Even though I do talk about my husband a lot, I don’t really talk about my marriage, because I believe that there are some things that should be left in the marriage and not brought up outside of the marriage. So now that all of that is out of the way let’s get to the nitty-gritty.

Behind The Scenes

Behind The Scenes Truth and Reality of MarriageWe have to work at our marriage every single day and it is a full time job, as is any relationship. I want you to realize that marriage isn’t always what it seems on the outside. Yes, my husband is fantastic, and I love him very much. It took a lot of praying on my part and my parents and grandparents part. (And let me just say, they had their work cut out for them! The person that wrote this was a wild child. Yep, you read right, WILD!) There are a lot of behind the scenes things that go on at our house that you do not see on social media or even on this blog. I try to be more transparent on this blog and social media outlets (especially on Insta Stories) , but I still feel there are some things that should be left between a man and his wife. So for that reason I still leave some things behind closed doors and off-limits.

I wish I could give you the full play-by-play so that you could understand that there are times when I don’t deserve him and vice-versa, all because we are human. One of the reasons I don’t talk badly about our relationship is because I respect him enough to know that he is growing in this marriage day-by-day just like I am. Everyday brings a new challenge, a new change, and something different. These things are usually uncharted territory for both of us, and it can be hard. I know that no marriage is the same just like no two children are the same.

Having three kids I know that each of my children are totally different from each other. I’m sure all of the mamas’ reading this can vouch that it is hard to keep up with all of those different personalities. It is the same with marriages, no two marriages are the same. I even watch my own parents and their marriage is very different from our marriage. And that is okay! All marriages are unique in their own way. In total honesty and realness, do I know how blessed I am? Absolutely. Do I love him unconditionally? Absolutely. Do I want to smack him some days? Absolutely. Do I want to throat punch him sometimes? Absolutely!!! But guys, that’s real life!

The Truth and Reality of Marriage

Things may look so perfect on the outside, but you never know what it took to get there, or what it takes every day to stay there. I will tell you what it takes for Chris and I to stay there. First and foremost is God. God has to be in the middle of all of it. Second is work. You have to work for it every single day. Whether it’s with your kids, your husband, or your best friend, every relationship takes work.

So, when all of these messages start pouring in and some of you ask what you are doing wrong, all I can say is this…I don’t know, but I know God does. I can’t tell you if you are doing anything wrong. I can’t tell you if your husband is in the wrong. But, God can! I honestly don’t know, but God does! The one thing that kept Chris and I going for the last twelve years was we never gave up! We still don’t give up! There will always be changes and challenges from finances to raising kids to your spirituality. There will always be issues that stress your married life. You have to grow individually and as a couple when these times occur.

Knock Us Off Of The Pedestal

Before you put Chris and I on a pedestal, please understand that we don’t belong there. I can tell you now that you need to knock us down right now! I don’t talk about him to give you a false sense of reality, it took us a while to get to this place. It took growth in each other, with each other, and in ourselves. I’m here to keep it real for you and it is not always sugar plums, fairytales, I love yous, and kisses everyday. Life gets in the way just as it does for all of you. Some days it gets to us and some days it even gets the best of us. Sometimes we get too into ourselves and we forget that this is a partnership. It can be really hard, but we both believe that a successful marriage takes respect for each other and it takes God in the middle of all of it. Does this mean it will be perfect? No. Does this mean there will be three and four letter words flying some days? Maybe so. This is real life baby, cursing and all!

I love and appreciate every comment and question that I get from my readers. I love having people relate to me, and the reassurance from you ladies. It helps me to realize that y’all get it, you get me and you relate to what I am going through. I wanted total honesty about this today because I feel like it is an important topic for all of us. Remember, I am far from an expert. Have we messed up in our marriage? Um yes…a lot!

Our Story

I was twenty-five when we got married and he was 31. We only knew each other for three weeks when we got engaged. Yep, you read that right! Three weeks! We knew each other five months to the day when we got married. I know that stories like ours don’t happen a lot, and people ask me all of the time how I knew he was the one. I honestly don’t know, but when I married him thirteen years ago, that was the first thing in my adult life that I knew was the right decision. I didn’t question it, because I knew it was from God.

Our story is a little different than others, but it isn’t any better than anyone else’s story…it’s just OUR story. It’s a story that I am proud of, even when we have our less than stellar moments. At the end of each day I know that I made the right choice that day thirteen years ago. There are days when I question that decision because I am only human, but then God steps in and reminds me why He chose him for me. There have been days when I have wanted to hit the road and never come back, but God smacks me around a little and puts me in my place.

Marriage takes a lot of work, and you don’t deserve a false sense of a perfect reality. We are a work in progress and I am okay with that, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that he is the one I am supposed to work with. So when you feel social media makes marriage look so easy, remember the behind the scenes is what makes the marriage and counts the most!

Until next time…

~xoxo

~Mandi

P.S. In all reality, 13 years and 3 kids later, we look and feel like the bottom pic most of the time!

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