What I Learned During the First Year of Marriage
Marriage is hard work, but it is also rewarding.
Young girls grow up watching Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and other fairy tales. They dream of the fairy tale where they meet their true love and live a magical life. What they don't learn is the constant work that must be put into the creation of a successful marriage.
When I got married in March of 2017, I knew that it would take work, but I didn't know of the constant battle that would take place. Every day you must make a choice to put your spouse first. Once you get married, you learn that it isn't only about you anymore. You have someone else who is depending on you, as you depend on them.
One point I learned in the first year of marriage is the importance of setting boundaries that will protect your marriage. I found out the hard way that there are people who won't value your marriage. Even people that are close to you have the potential to hurt you and your spouse. My husband and I had a lot of struggles in the first year with people disrespecting boundaries. We ultimately had to make the decision of separating ourselves from that negativity. Now, we have been married for over a year, and looking back on that difficult time, I've realized that it's okay to put yourself/marriage first. Just because you're close to someone doesn't mean they have the right to hinder your happiness.
My husband and I believe that marriage is for a lifetime, so when someone comes and tries to ruin that, it is our job to protect it. We need to cherish it and hold on to it as tightly as we can. I get that no marriage is the same, and that there are many factors in creating a successful marriage, but I'm just sharing my personal experience.
Although there may be struggling times, I also learned of the joys of marriage. In March of 2017, I gained a lifelong companion, protector, and lover. I realized that struggles are a part of life, but the way that you handle those situations can determine the success of a marriage.
Another lesson I learned was the ability to compromise. Compromising is key when you're trying to settle a misunderstanding. I have found this to be a struggle, especially when I may disagree with his opinion, but it is so important to put your own wants aside. It is no longer just about what you want because compromising is about making both you and your spouse happy.
For example, today the Red Sox are playing, and I really am not into sports. As a compromise, I watched my show until the end and then he watched the game. Did he miss the first two innings? Yes, but we compromised and were both happy with the decision.
Compromise is key.
The Little Things
Some of the most cherished moments of marriage were the little surprises and acts of love. Waking up to flowers and coffee already made is one of the simple acts you can make your spouse's day. It's very hard to stick with these small acts of love. I believe that we as humans fall into a pattern. We get up, go to work, come home, and then start all over the next day. It is so easy for us to "forget" about the simple acts.
Little acts of endearment don't have to take long or cost a lot.
Some may include:
- Buying flowers for your wife.
- Leaving notes for your spouse to find during the day. If I am still awake after my husband goes to sleep, I'll leave a note on the counter or bathroom mirror for him to see the next morning.
- Pick up their favorite candy or dessert.
- One of my favorites is just a random phone call during the day. This shows me that my husband was thinking of me.
There are so many simple ways to show your spouse that you love and cherish them. It truly doesn't take that much to show your spouse how much you appreciate them.
Marriage is hard work, but it is also so rewarding. Again, I know all marriages are different, but I am just sharing my personal experience.