July 13 marked exactly 1 year since my husband and I said “I do” in front of our family and friends. The first year of marriage has been wonderful, and anyone who has asked me what I think of marriage, I always reply with: “It’s great, I highly recommend it if you have found the right person!”
In this last year I have learned a lot about myself, about my husband, and about what it means to be married. I by no means think of myself as an expert on marriage, but I do want to clarify a few things.
I feel like more frequently it seems people make marriage seem terrifying and difficult. A few people even spoke with a sense of fear for us and how we would fare living together. There were several occasions where I was told how hard it is to live with someone and how you really don’t know much until you do.
While I can’t say I know/knew everything about Jacob, I don’t think I have learned anything horrifying in living with him that made me cringe. We both also knew that marriage is a relationship you have to work on. Just like a friendship, you have to put an effort into being married. We both take being married seriously and are willing to put in the time and effort necessary for the other person.
So here is a short list of some of the things I learned being married 1 year:
- Sacrifice: I am not the greatest at this, and I am constantly learning from Jacob. Jacob always puts my needs above his. He really astounds me. One of the greatest sacrifices I feel Jacob made, he gave me the chance to quit my job I was hating and struggling with. We/He sacrificed the extra income we had to put toward our savings/vacation in order to make sure I was happy. And for the most part I have been. It has been such a blessing to not feel stressed out about going to work, or receiving hate emails, or explaining myself 50 times. Again, Jacob is much better at this than I am, but I am trying to learn.
- Airing Your Dirty Laundry: I may be the worst culprit of this, as clearly I am posting things publicly, but a HUGE lesson I had to learn was that there are certain things that need to remain between and man and wife. Not everyone needs to know when you fight or why, no on needs to know every conversation that you. There are some things that you should keep as a confidential pact between the two of you. Your best friends don’t need to know everything, and the odds are, even if you are telling them I doubt they truly care.
- Fights Happen: OKAY, so this should seem pretty evident. And we talked about this when we went through our pre-marriage classes through our church, but you are never truly prepared for them. I think that beyond understanding that you will fight, you have to remember that you will make up. Even the worst, most over-dramatic, yellfest will always end up being fixed in the end. It is truly a matter of BOTH of you making a choice to listen to each other, not belittle the other person, do not name call, and really address the root of the problem. I am huge on finding the root of the issue. I am not yelling at you because I found toe-nail clippings on the couch again, I am yelling at you because I feel like you didn’t listen when I said toe-nail clipping on the couch are DISGUSTING!
- Know Yourself: There have been several times this year I have gotten really upset or moody and I have taken it out on Jacob. It really has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with me. Just because I clearly don’t know what I am doing professionally in my life, I don’t have the right to crap all over my husband. My mom always used to tell me that you have to know yourself before you date/marry. It is completely true. Your personal problems do not magically disappear when you say I do. All of the baggage and hang-ups and emotional crap you had before, oh you still have it, only now you have another person who has their own things to deal with to. This is sometimes hard to remember that you are not the only one with baggage to deal with, so you need to learn to accept where you are and to learn a healthy way of moving past all of that. Because adding to the baggage just makes it worse, the point is to try and lighten that emotional load.
- Have a Sense of Humor: Yes, choosing to get married is a very serious choice you and your partner make, but it doesn’t mean your lives have ended. I think that the best part of being married are the laughs that I have shared with my husband. He is the ultimate best friend with inside jokes. You are living with this person, there are going to be so many little things that happen that you will never be able to explain to anyone else. We have laughed over some of the stupidest things, but I really wouldn’t change any of that. I think our joint ability to find humor, whimsy, and fun have been the biggest blessing for us.
There has definitely been more lessons I have learned this year, but these have been the most valuable. But before I end this post about my summation of one year of marriage, I would like to address the rumors and myths about living together before you are married.
My husband and I made a conscious choice to not live together before we were married. We did go on plenty of weekend trips alone and with friends. We both felt that we knew enough about the other person to not be scared of worried about what marriage and moving in would be like. I can confidently say that I do not regret the choice we made. There is nothing that I learned this year about Jacob or his living habits that have made me doubt the choice to marry him or to live the rest of my life with him.
Are there annoying habits, sure. I am also sure that there are plenty of little things that I do that annoy him. Neither of us is perfect, we don’t pretend to be. The only thing we promise is that we are truthful and honest about who we are, and so far it has served us well.
I hope that if you haven’t found someone to marry, that you do. And when you marry, that you go confidently in that choice. There will be bad days, there will be awful days, there will be fights that has your inner devil telling you that you were wrong, but you aren’t. When you truly love someone, when you truly can sacrifice yourself for them, you are in a marriage that is worthy of you both. And dear reader, I wish that for each and every one of you.
Until Next Time,
Pocket Owl Press