At the beginning of this month, George and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. This makes me a marriage pro….NOT. I know I still have a TON to learn about marriage. However, after reflecting on the past year, I have jotted down 10 things I have learned about being married. This past year has really been an incredible ride. Some days it feels like we have been together forever, and some days it seems like the wedding was just yesterday.
So if you are looking for a little marriage advice from a newlywed, or just want a glimpse into my dream. Here goes!
Every day is like being on a date
I have had 365 (plus a few) date nights in a row. And it rocks. Every day, every night I get to spend with my favorite person. We have found that if we want to go out, we need to make an effort to make Friday night plans in advance. If we don’t, it will always be a pizza, a Redbox, and sweats. Here’s the catch though, I love Friday night’s like that🙂 Don’t worry we are not hermits, we get out plenty, its just that I used to have a bad case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) that has totally vanished.
Before: A Friday night in your jammies watching Netflix by yourself = lame
After: A Friday night in your jammies watching Netflix with your husband = a date night of relaxing bliss to look forward to all week long
If I want something done, I can’t be picky about it
I’m a control freak. I am particular about the little things. I have learned if I want the dishes (or enter any other chore here) done I can’t be picky or I end up doing them myself. So what if he uses a little too much soap, I am not the one scrubbing, soaking, and rinsing after dinner.
If you don’t want to live in a battlefield, don’t start a battle.
Some things don’t matter in the big picture. If I got upset every time the toilet seat was left up, I would spend more time chasing him down to yell at him than it was worth. I can choose to get angry, find him, yell at him, ORRR I could put the seat down and go. (Middle of the night exception…if I fall in, you bet I’m gonna wake him up and let him know haha).
Also don’t miss understand me, its not about bottling up the anger, or becoming a push over. If something really does bother me, I try my best to have a sit down conversation about it. The angry, heat- of-the moment, conversations usually don’t go as well.
I admit, this is one is very much a work in progress. One huge difference between a room mate and a husband, is after a fight, you know he still loves you. A fight with a room mate could potentially, hopefully not, but potentially, ruin the relationship forever. When the lease is over, you can move out, life moves on, and never see them again. Moving out/divorce is NOT an option in my marriage. So why stay angry? Anger is hard work, and the longer it goes on, the harder it is to get rid of. Take a few minutes, cool down, think about the situation and what needs to be changed in the future, then forgive and move on. Heck, making up is the best part. Get there as soon as possible!
You catch more flies with honey
Some times when I am feeling like I haven’t been getting the love/appreciation I want/ deserve, I tend to get bitter and crabby. I can really start to feel down when he doesn’t seem to notice me, appreciate something I’ve done, or hasn’t been particularity affectionate. I can either begin to sulk, snap at him or I look at myself and the way I have been treating him lately. Getting angry sure won’t make him want to love on me. These things tend to go in cycles (he wasn’t feeling appreciated so he didn’t seem to appreciate me etc.). When I step back, I almost always see something I wish I was doing better in the relationship. Then I am honest and explain myself and my feelings, and bring up the items I want to work on along with those I wish he would pay more attention to. It’s kind of like the saying, “If you want to be treasured, be treasure.” Work on yourself first before you point out the other’s flaws.
Love is not a feeling
In marriage, some days you don’t feel the giddy “puppy love” you felt on the wedding day. That’s okay. Love is not a feeling, it’s a commitment. No matter how I might be “feeling” inside, I made a promise to love, respect and honor him. He might not seem so “loveable” at all times, but its my job to love him, and his job to love me. Those moments (or days…maybe even weeks or months) pass, and uncover new amazing reasons to fall more and more in love with one another.
I read a book before I got married that talked a lot about how men yearn for respect in the same way women yearn to be loved. Of course it works vice versa, but something in men’s wiring associates respect deeply with being loved.
“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33
It doesn’t mean that women don’t need to be respected or men don’t need to be loved. Its simply drawing attention to some ways that God made men and women different and therefore
have different needs. This is something that I have kept in mind throughout the first year of marriage. Poking fun of my husband or correcting him in public are big signs of disrespect. If something bothers me, its best to address it in private.
“The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together”. – Robert C Dodds
Such a great quote! We are not the same person. We do not always agree, but we can come to a compromise. We often say to each other “Can you be on my team here?”. We might not totally understand each other all the time, but we do work to stand together. Looking at each other’s point of view, discussing the situation broadens our perspectives. We are not that couple that does EVERYTHING together. We both have our own activities, some of our own friends, and enjoy alone time. I think this is really important in all relationships (dating and married). We can exist without one another, but we are better versions of our selves when we are together and/or have each other’s support.
Blow money is essential
I am a budget nerd. George and I have some lofty goals for our finances and savings, as a result, we keep a tight budget. I really think having this “blow money” would help anyone who argues about finances even if you don’t keep a formal budget. In our budget we have a section for each of us that is called “blow” money (Dave Ramsey FPU Term). This is kind of similar to an allowance. This is a set amount that we have each month to spend on whatever we choose. As long as you stay in the limit, no arguments are allowed. It can be saved up over the months for something big, or blown on little items here and there. For example… I have a lot of cute boots. Do I need more boots? No. Does George want me to spend our money on boots I don’t need? No. BUTTTTTTT. If I find a pair I really want, and have enough in my budget for them, he can’t complain that I spend too much money on shoes. If George decides to spend his blow money on remote control helicopters, or silly phone apps, I can’t get on his back (if he keeps it in his limit). The rest of our budget money is generally used on stuff we need, or purchases we decide on together. We have some rules on determining what is considered a “blow” purchase, but I could write an entire post on that. (Comment or message me if you have questions on this). Overall, it really keeps us from having financial arguments.
It’s great to start off every day with a hug, kiss, and a smoothie.
My favorite place in the entire world is snuggled up my face in his chest for my morning hug before I leave for work. It’s hard to have a bad day when I start it off feeling loved, protected, and provided for by my man.
Here is to many many more years of marriage to my favorite husband and to many many more life lessons to come. I pray that I remember these lessons years down the road and remember this feeling of love, gratitude, and excitement I have towards my husband. This year has been an amazing adventure and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am so thankful for the family and friends that have been there as support to our relationship and as an example of love in our lives.
Do you have any advice for year two? Comment or message me please!