Trish Ryan on Life as a Wife
Beliefnet catches up with memoirist Trish Ryan on what happens after 'happily ever after'.
You were single well into your 30s before you got married. What surprised you about marriage?
I was surprised by how much my attitude influenced things—there are so many choices to make when you combine two lives, and they take on such weight when love and vows are involved. It sounds hokey, but when I chose to see things that could frustrate me—all the extra laundry, differing expectations of what constituted “dinner,” the giant bag of hockey equipment in the living room (because there was nowhere else to keep it in our 600 square foot condo)—as reminders that “Wow, God answered my prayers and gave me a husband,” life was so much more enjoyable.
Your second book, A Maze of Grace, talks about the complexities of life after Prince Charming arrives. How has your marriage changed and grown since your last memoir?
We’ve been through more together. I think the passage of life has a way of either drawing you closer or driving you apart…and if you don’t pay attention, it’s more likely to be the latter. In our best moments, Steve and I actively draw together: praying, connecting intimately, listening to wise speakers on how to keep our focus on God’s plan for our lives. It seems like the longer you’re married, the more attention this requires—there are more things vying for your time and focus. So my advice to newlyweds is to REALLY develop your “drawing together with God” skills in the first couple years of marriage (even if you have to put off other things, like professional goals or social opportunities, to do so). Having that strong foundation is so helpful when the world begins to shake.
Infertility is a problem faced by so many couples who long for a child of their own. How have you coped since your last memoir and what advice would you offer women in a similar situation?
My advice would be to guard your heart. We’re told to do this in Proverbs, and while it’s usually quoted in terms of romance, it applies to any dream or prayer: we shouldn’t trust just anyone with the things that are important to us.