Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Life of a Wife: Shante Hutton

I recently realised that there are a lot of blogpost series on the blogosphere about babies, new moms and pregnancy, which, even though I'm not in that stage of my life, I enjoy reading. But what I then realised was that there aren't a lot of blog series on marriage and being a wife/husband. Or if there is, I've completely missed them. In which case, please feel free to point me in their direction. 

So this got me thinking about marriage and about how underrated it is in society. We've had many blogposts about 23 things to do instead of getting engaged at 23 (the original post has since been deleted, thank goodness!) and their responses and it seems to me that the world has a very cynical way of viewing marriage. In my opinion, marriage is something that should be guarded and protected against the elements of the outside world. I also realised that the world has fast become a place where we're encouraged to not show when we're failing or in need of help and that many people don't let on when they actually have no idea what they're doing. I've been married for almost 6 months now, and to be very frank, it's hard. But it's also so much fun, and so, so worth it! I would do it again and again and again, no questions asked. I absolutely love being married, but I think it's high time we found people who are in the same boat as us, sharing the difficult times, and the good times, and to show us that, yes, marriage is both hard and fun, but we are not alone and there are people out there who are willing to share experiences and advice. As people who are agreeing with an ideal that is also so questioned and attacked, we need fellow married people to be praying for and encouraging. It's also time to start being honest about marriage. It's not for sissies. It takes courage and honesty and a never give up attitude and personally, far too many people take it with a pinch of salt. 

So that's why I decided to start a series on the Life of a Wife. I wanted to know what other people HONESTLY thought about marriage and how they experienced the first few months and what their HONEST advice would be. So our first wife is Shante Hutton. She blogs over at Jhordan's Sister and you can also find her on Twitter and Instagram

- Tell us a bit about yourself; who are you, how old are you, who are you married to and for how long, do you have kids and what do you and hubby do for a living?

I’m Shante Hutton, 26 years old and counting. I have been married to Brett Hutton for 3 years and our kids are our 4 dogs which are far more behaved than children. I’m a News Editor for an online wine website and Brett is the sales director for a company that deals in the mining industry.

- Did you live together before getting married, and how do you think living together/not living together affected your life and marriage today?

We didn’t live together and never wanted to; statistically it results in more divorces and separations but more importantly, Biblically, it wasn’t right for us – marriage for us was about leaving our parents/family and coming together as one unit from the moment we said “I Do”.

Honestly, if we had lived together before marriage we might never have gotten married – as drastically honest as that sounds – I’m super stubborn and set in my ways and even little things can make me lose my temper so marriage, being a covenant, meant that I had to put on my big girl pants and deal with it.

- What was the hardest thing about being married in the beginning?

Everything. Goodness. I don’t want to sound too bleak but for us, we struggled.
We’re both headstrong and we had lived as separate entities before marriage, I was at University in the UK and Brett was sharing with a friend; we had our dislikes and routines and then BAM, we’re living together (in a teeny tiny flat) and having to share our space.

Marriage forces you to think more about the other person than yourself and in society, that’s not accepted. How often do you hear “Sisters are doing it for themselves” or “I’m a woman, hear me roar”. Marriage turns the ideal of being an island and fiercely independent on its head.

And yes, the toilet seat issue did rear its ugly head but I’m happy to report that after 3 years, he has learnt to put it down.

- What's something that's completely surprised you about marriage?

It’s a constant learning process, not just about your partner, but about yourself. There is no place to hide in a marriage, you have to be completely honest and open and your character flaws flare up at all times. I am continually learning how to be a better person for my husband and myself and though I fail often, Brett is the ultimate support in picking me back up and dusting me off.

I’m also amazed at how non-married people view us. It’s far too common for people, when they hear I am married, to say “oh that’s a shame” and, “so young?!!” – the world has the weirdest, most twisted view on marriage, probably because of how many ugly relationships are out there. I married young because he is my best friend and I wanted to continue being with my best friend at all times. I didn’t rush into it. I don’t see it as a shame; in University you choose to share a house with people and no one bats an eye. Similarly, single people don’t seem to grasp the fact that my husband will always come first and vice versa – that should be a given right?

- If you have/will have kids, how do you think this changed/will change the dynamic of your marriage?

I’m getting more and more excited about adding to our family but I’m still waiting to know whether it’s the right thing for us. It’s not something we want to rush in to but I am certain that if we don’t have our own children we will adopt.

Obviously, kids will demand your attention and I’m slightly apprehensive about sharing my time with my husband but I know he’s going to be an absolutely killer Dad – the idea of which is slightly sexy...I know that sounds weird.

Personally, I think we’re just so awesome that we almost need another being in the mix so that we don’t implode on ourselves :)

- How do you and hubby keep the spark alive?

Blitz. That sounded a lot funnier in my head. Date nights, so cliché but so worth it.
We have projects that we like to do together and we’re constantly looking at what the other person’s strengths are and developing them. Occasionally we have really silly days where we just do the most daft and stupid things and those are my favourite. Marriage should be fun, even ridiculous.

- What, in your opinion, are the three key essentials for a great marriage?

God. Family. Humour. It also helps if one of you can cook well.

- What's the best piece of advice you got for marriage?

Everyone is struggling, so never feel that you are the only married couple experiencing difficulties – My Mum said this to me and it helped me put aside my perfection complex and focus on myself and my husband, rather than looking outwardly and comparing. It’s often far too easy to judge yourself against someone else but every marriage is unique and can’t be weighted along with everyone else.

And secondly (am I allowed to have 2?), don’t try and change the person you are with. Love them selflessly and you will find that there is no room for you to feel wanting. Too often we think everyone around us should change, most of the time it should be us.

- What is your personal advice for newly married couples or couples who are about to get married?

Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s and don’t make your partner feel second best.

If you would like to be a part of this series, please contact me at amy.francis777@yahoo.com. I would love to hear more stories about your experience as a wife! We need more wives out there sharing their experiences and encouraging one another!


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