Pssstt…..are you ready for me to ruffle your feathers?
Let’s talk about the first year of marriage.
And before we get started, I suggest you grab some ice cream, popcorn and a glass of wine!
Because I guarantee that you will have consumed at least one, or all of them, by the time we’re done. 😉
First Comes Love
As unexpected as most love stories start, my husband and I met in college during a game of Capture the Flag.
It was the last day of orientation, and the two teams were split – upperclassmen versus freshmen. Despite our ages, I participated as a part of the upperclassmen team, and my husband, Nate, participated on the freshmen squad.
But we didn’t meet right away. We only crossed paths thirty minutes into the game.
To make a long story short, no, I did not swoon at the sight of him. In fact, I thought he was so annoying.
Nevertheless, since that day, my husband pursued me.
A few days later, on the first day of school, we reconnected in a class we discovered that we both had on our schedules. Then, three months later he asked me to be his girlfriend.
And, as you know, the rest has been history.
Then Comes Marriage
That history turned out to be:
6 years of dating,
8 months of engagement, and now
2 years of marriage PLUS a kid!
Who knew that one moment in time would turn into such a lifetime of memories??
But as we celebrated our second wedding anniversary last week, we both marveled, laughed and reflected on our first year of marriage.
It was nothing like we’d expected.
Here’s The Truth About The First Year Of Marriage
The truth, as we came to find out, is that the first year of marriage is amazing but TOUGH.
And for a variety of reasons.
(1) No matter how long you’ve been a couple, marriage makes the stakes higher, and it demands growth in ways you wouldn’t anticipate.
Because guess what? You’re going from a “me” mentality to a “we” one, and I’m telling you – that WILL throw you for a loop!
Especially if you’re an independent gal like me.
(2) Marriage is work ever after. Trust me, I love Disney – maybe more than I should at my age, but the truth is that marriage is not happily ever after. It’s W-O-R-K.
You have to work at respecting each other, loving each other, and growing with each other.
I mean your vows did include the phrase ‘til death do us part‘ so even when he doesn’t put the cover back on the toothpaste, or he leaves the toilet seat up in the bathroom, you will most likely have to set your irritation aside and still tell him, ‘I love you‘ before you head off to work.
(3) Not to mention the most important lesson of all — a successful marriage is built on a set of agreements (aka norms) that you and your spouse have decided on.
It’s not what Beyonce and Jay-Z are doing.
It’s not what the most spiritual person you know shows you in public.
And it’s definitely not what your favorite influencers posts online.
Marriage is between you, your spouse and God…and that is it!
[bctt tweet=”Marriage is between you, your spouse and God…and that is it!” username=”baydiangirl”]
In a world full of opinions, this is the only thing that will keep you sane.
But wait there’s more….
Let’s break down the reality of the first year of marriage in categories shall we?
And don’t worry, I’m only going to tell on myself.
Money can cause even the closest friendships to go awry. So there’s no surprise that in marriages, discussions about finances can be deadly.
For example, my husband and I spend money differently. I am the spender between the two of us.
I spend money on my business pursuits, on top of my self-care. I also believe in spending more money for a quality item rather than going the cheaper route.
On the other hand, my husband likes to choose the more economic option.
With that being said, we tend to have heated discussions about big purchases because of our differing perspectives.
My husband and I have been laughing about this a lot recently.
Before we got married, I gave him the impression that once we got married, I would become this sexual goddess that would want to be intimate every day, multiple times a day.
Man, did I lie!!
I mean we had our honeymoon phase, but to be frank, I get focused on a million other things before I think about sex.
I know that’s not how every woman is BUT for those of us who are not as active as our friends/colleagues, and may feel ashamed about that, you need to know you’re not alone!!
Don’t let that shame cripple you in marriage like I let it cripple me.
Communicate with your spouse, and they will work through it with you because they love you!
This was a biggie for us.
My husband is an extrovert and I am an introvert so what we expect from interactions with each other tends to differ but we are also alike.
For example, we don’t believe that we should do every single activity together. However, when I come home from work or an event, I just want to go in the room and be alone for a while to recharge. My husband, though, comes home from work and recharges when we hang out together.
In the first year of marriage, we truly had to learn how to respect this about each other.
If he didn’t allow me to have my alone time, I became a real pain to be around because I was completely drained. However, if I never made time to hang out with him after work, then he would assume that I didn’t enjoy his presence.
It was work but we intentionally put in the work, and we have achieved a great balance now.
Oooooh this one is touchy!
This area of marriage incorporates your approach to your in-laws, kids, and even family traditions.
Anyone who knows my husband knows that he was itching to be a father. But anyone who is close to me knows that I was petrified of being a mother.
Then there’s also cultural differences.
My family never suggested that I have kids within a certain time period after being married. My husband’s norm was a tad bit different.
Trust me, that caused me to shut down on multiple occasions.
Again, we worked through it but not without some serious disagreements.
Now last but not least….
General AKA Why Did I Get Married?
Yep, I said it.
I know plenty of women, including myself, who asked themselves this multiple times.
And yes, we asked ourselves this during the first year of marriage.
To summarize why we ask ourselves this, I want to share, the funniest, most perfect thing to a friend said to me.
She said, “Husbands. You love them but you also want to knock some sense into them sometimes.”
Trust me, that pretty much explains it.
And That’s A Wrap!
In conclusion, I’m pretty sure that if you chatted with the married women around you, they will agree with the above experiences or have some of their own. You’d probably be very surprised!
Nevertheless, I do want to say this:
Marriage is a beautiful thing! But like all beautiful things, in order for it to shine, it has to be refined.
You can’t have a successful relationship without the pressures and fires of life.
So if you’re not married, keep this in mind when looking for a life partner.
Don’t get caught up in the surface stuff or be deceived by the highlight reels on social media.
In order to get to the happily ever after, you have to continuously put in the work.