I realize some dads have had a totally different experience with being married, and it was anything but good. So you have every reason not to believe or buy into what I’m saying here. Still, it’s been true for and I believe it can be for other dads.
I vividly remember what happened on our wedding day, shortly after the ceremony. (No, I’m not talking about that, although I vividly remember that, too.)
My bride Melanie and I were at her father’s house during the reception, and I had lost track of where she was. I heard her voice from one of the back bedrooms, and as I moved closer, I heard something that rocked my world.
It was nothing scandalous. One of her friends asked her about something; I don’t even know what it was, but I definitely remember her response. She said, “I’m not sure. I’ll have to talk with my husband.”
Her husband? That was me she was talking about! We were just about an hour into this marriage, and suddenly she had to check with me about her plans! At least it seemed sudden to me. Apparently she was more prepared than I was.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I was thrilled to marry Melanie, and I still am. That’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. But at the time I guess I hadn’t fully grasped all that was involved in a marriage commitment. And I’m still learning. Some days I still wonder, Babe, how did I trick you into saying “Yes”? What were you thinking?
Even if things get hard, learn to appreciate how your wife has helped to make you better. -Carey CaseyClick to tweet
But more seriously, I know for a fact marriage helps us guys grow up and become more responsible. Going through the process of winning a woman’s affections and then learning to get along in marriage—those are big motivators that help us guys get our act together.
I like to believe I had my head on straight for the most part. But being married was different. I was playing football at the time, and the guys on the team seemed to look at me different after the wedding. It was like I gained more respect or more maturity—like they were saying, “Hey, this joker is serious about life now.”
Dads, do you share any of these experiences? Are you still growing into the role of being a good husband? Tweet this! (Please comment below or on our Facebook page.) That’s probably normal, but I say thank God for the good things your bride has brought to your life. Even if things get hard sometimes, learn to appreciate how her presence in your life has helped to change you for the better.
I even recommend you tell her. Say something like, “Sweetheart, you make me a better man and a better father.” I promise you, she’ll like that.
Carey Casey is the CEO of the National Center for Fathering (NCF), as well as a husband, father, and grandfather. He is author of Championship Fathering, co-author of It’s Great Being a Dad, and general editor of The 21-Day Dad’s Challenge. See more about Carey here.
NCF is a nonprofit organization seeking to improve the lives of children and establish a positive fathering and family legacy that will impact future generations by inspiring and equipping fathers and father figures to be actively engaged in the life of every child. You can sign up for NCF’s Today’s Father Weekly email here.