Mr. Rocque turned 36 the day after Christmas and although it’s cliché to say, I can’t believe how fast time has passed. It’s the time of year when people, self-included, get reflective about what they’ve done over the last 12 months. And as we’re approaching our one-year wedding anniversary, I can’t help but be amazed by the man Mr. Rocque has become and the role that he’s played in my life.
I met him the summer of the last year of his 20s, and attended his 30th birthday party. At the time, I thought he was so mature and grown up and so did he, but we were both wrong. I was a silly early twentysomething with a crush, and he was a cocky NYC professional who thought he was hot isht because he had a good job and was a homeowner… so why settle down, right?
Neither one of us realized the role we’d play in each other’s lives, but six adventure-filled years later I’m excited about where we are and the potential for where we can go.
Today, Mr. Rocque is still the caring, supportive man I recognized years ago, but life as a husband has made him more committed, focused, mature, and a better man for me.
He recently listed 36 lessons he has learned in life on his personal blog, but I’ve learned a lot from him as well. I won’t go as far as 36, but here are five lessons I’ve learned that I probably wouldn’t have applied had anyone else but my husband taught me.
1. The biggest lesson I’ve learned about myself from Mr. Rocque is that anger is not becoming. I get frustrated and upset easily for reasons that aren’t as serious as I make them out to be. This is a fact I’ve always known, but I didn’t work as much as I am now toward making more positive changes. Once I started to see how my negative behavior was affecting the hubby, I realized I needed to get serious about being more positive. Eventually, everyone gets tired of the Debbie Downer, and if I want my relationship to be healthy and work out, I need to make some modifications. I’m not promising I’ll always not go off on someone or about something, but I will be better.
2. Patience really is a virtue. I’m amazed by how many things Mr. Rocque seems to take in stride, which is good. Being patient means less stress and less worrying about things that can’t be controlled. It’s a lesson that people and the universe have tried to teach me all my life, but being a wife and possibly a mother in the future are ideas that have inspired me to be about it.
3. Mr. Rocque taught me the biggest lesson I’ve learned about forgiveness. It’s an easy concept in theory, but in practice it’s hard. True forgiveness means that if you accept someone’s apology then you must move on. We had a rough start at the beginning of our relationship when, in our dating phase, he fell in love with someone else. When we split, I assumed it was for good, but eventually we drifted back into each other’s lives, got close again and started a life together. I’ve been able to move on, and I understand that sometimes people become who you need them to be if you give them time and space. People do make mistakes and not everyone is out to hurt me, so practicing forgiveness with as many people as possible (even people who have never apologized) can provide an amazing release and a sense of fulfillment as long as I let go.
4. Sweating the small stuff is counterproductive.
5. I must constantly be thankful and express gratitude for the positive things going on in my life. There was a moment when I complained to Mr. Rocque about not getting what I prayed for, and he asked, “Do you ever just express gratitude when you pray?” I didn’t, but from that moment I started, because I often focus on what I don’t have and overlook the multitude of things I should be thankful for. The lesson I learned is, if I focus on gratitude and abundance, then that’s what I’ll attract.
As we go into our second year as husband and wife, I look forward to learning more from him, and I hope he can say the same.
What has your spouse taught you about yourself? Sound off!
Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, Chicago-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.