When we were first married, one of the biggest adjustments Michael and I had to make was in the area of doing chores.
I remember spending a few hours washing, drying and folding clothes in our little laundromat at our seminary apartment complex. I was still so happy to see our clothes all mixed together in the basket. I carried our neatly folded clothes to our apartment and left the basket in the living room, with the intention of putting them away. I got busy doing other things and had to leave for a little while. When I returned, Michael had put away the clothes.
Hold on, let me rephrase…Michael put away HIS clothes.
Mine were still neatly folded in the basket.
I started to notice a pattern when soon after that, I cooked dinner for both of us to eat. I set our little table and we enjoyed our meal. Then Michael got up, washed off his plate, and put it in the dishwasher and left the kitchen. I think he was studying when I sat down beside him and asked if we were just going to split all of the chores fifty/fifty. He gave me a blank stare and said, “I don’t know.” I told him that if we were going to do that, I was just going to start paying half the rent and half the utilities. (He was in school and I worked full time.) He was taken aback by that, and I explained that if we were going to live as roommates, we were going to pay the bills like roommates.
We were brand new at marriage, and had no idea how to live with one another. It has been so much fun figuring it out! That is one of my favorite memories, because it shows how different our lives were before we got married. Michael lived with a bunch of guys. They split the chores and responsibilities. I lived with my parents, and had been declared “unmarriageable” by them because I didn’t know how to do anything.
We have worked it out. We’ve found our way. We’ve argued and discussed and laughed about it.
One of the greatest gifts God gives people in marriage is the time to learn about each other. You don’t have to know it all when you walk down the aisle. You don’t have to be good at it. You learn about each other and about yourself. It does take patience, but God has given you the rest of your life. It does take understanding and commitment, and forgiveness if needed. It takes a good dose of humility as well, because sometimes you have to say, “Okay. This is not how I would do it, but I’m okay with your way.” The world is not going to end if things don’t happen exactly like you think they should.
You’re more than roommates. You’re in this for good. Enjoy it.