I woke up this morning determined to finish writing this post about our awful date night last Friday, as promised in my Monday morning email, for those of you who get the inside scoop 🙂

However, I keep struggling to find the words to tell you what made this date the worst we’ve ever had. Because honestly, it was a disaster, but not the kind that even makes for a really good story. The kind of disaster that is simply REAL LIFE smacked in your face. So, if you came here to read some juicy date-gone-wrong drama, I must apologize. This is just married life at its finest.

For whatever reason, things were just…off.

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I could blame it on the fact that we got a late start. Or that when we were on the train I wanted to take a selfie of us, but E ruined that by making a face like he would rather die than be taking that photo with me. I could blame it on our disagreement of where to eat. Or that when we tried to get dessert there was no place, besides Insomnia Cookies, serving anymore dessert. C’mon Chicago!!! I could blame it on the fact that E didn’t shave his face and every time he tried to kiss me his scruff irritated my chin.

I know, it all sounds SO pathetic now that I’m typing it out.

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Ultimately, it was the worst date I’ve ever been on because of me.

Because of my selfishness, my ego, my pride, and my stubbornness, our date night was ruined.

Throughout the evening, E would try to lighten the mood and make a joke. (He’s always doing whatever it takes to get me to crack a smile.) I wasn’t having it though. He’d try to coax me into “starting over,” but within five minutes of that I’d find another reason to be irritable and moody. I cried, I raised my voice, and I kept threatening to “just take the train home by myself!” I was mad at him, mad at us for fighting, and mad at myself for being mad. I had a terrible ‘tude and wasn’t going to cave in because this was all his fault.

Negative thoughts invaded my mind. This is the worst Friday night ever. Is it too much to ask that he just pick where we’re going to eat and make a reservation ahead of time? Ugh, I asked him to shave multiple times this week! Why wouldn’t he just take a darn selfie with me? I guess I don’t look as good as I wanted to. He should just put my feelings first for crying out loud! Wah, wah, wah. You get the idea. I sound like a child. A petty, spoiled, selfish child. And I’m embarrassed, truly. However, I still decided to share it all with you because that’s what I vowed this space would be; real, raw, vulnerable, and a reminder that you’re not alone.

Now, don’t worry, E and I made up ;). Despite the fact that writing this all out made me giggle, it also provides a good lesson that maybe you need just as much as me…

You see, marriage, more than anything else in my twenty-five years of living, has been fun and blissful. At the same rate, marriage, more than anything else in my twenty-five years of living, has been hard and challenging. It’s become the mirror I don’t always want to look at myself in.

You’re exposed to areas that need refining and change. When that mirror reveals how ugly you are, sometimes you take the easy route, projecting the ugly onto your spouse, pointing out what’s wrong with them instead. (You can see where I clearly did that with the thoughts I was having on Friday night.) But why do we do that??? It’s like looking in a mirror and seeing that my hair is frizzy and my make-up is cakey and blaming the mirror instead of myself. Quit getting mad at the mirror. And don’t you dare throw that mirror away (aka: get divorced) just because you don’t like what you see! It’s time we start looking in the mirror and taking responsibility for our ugly, like I had to do after Friday’s disaster date, and continue doing.

In essence, I want to look at my marriage and see a reflection of God shining back. And there’s no place for bitterness or selfishness where there is God.

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For my friends who aren’t married, I hope you didn’t get through this and believe the lie that it doesn’t apply to you. Because it does. Regardless of status, God is never more satisfied than when He sees His people communicating His character through unconditional love, selflessness, and humility.

Let’s all lay down our pride today. Let’s admit faults. Apologize. Forgive. & Love like Him.

-Manda

Photos by Jordan Lee

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