Fun fact: my husband and I did not live together before marriage, I was still completely dependent on my parents, and I had never lived alone before.
With all of this in mind, transitioning in to marriage proved to be extra difficult for me but I thank the good Lord everyday that he blessed me with a kind and patient man who did not let me get lost in the transition of it all and instead kept me focused on all of the good things.
I have learned a thing or two in the past 11 months.
- Marriage is not a linear progression.
- [You are learning each other and how to live together, you might take a few step back every now-and-then but REMEMBER to always take more steps forward than you do backwards.]
- Call your mom. A lot.
- [My mom has been my absolute best friend for years now and when it all seems crazy and you feel like you are failing as a wife, it is nice to hear a familiar voice. ]
- Invest in YOUR hobby.
- [I emphasize this as someone who married a hobbyist. My husband is always tinkering/building/fixing up something which left me with a lot of time on my hands. For the first time I answered to no one so it took me a while to figure out how to start making/doing things on my own to fill my time. This was after I realized I couldn’t cook all the time…at least not for the sake of being able to fit in my clothes.]
- Do not sit at home.
- [This was a big one for me because I was in an unfamiliar place surrounded by unfamiliar chores and the weight of trying to sort it all out in a day or a month was overwhelming. I put so much pressure on myself to have it all figured out that I forgot I wasn’t in this alone. If my husband was gone to work, I would likely leave and go to a coffee shop, meet up with friends, or study at the library. The chores could wait until we completed them together (ya know, the point of marriage, togetherness)]
- Create a space that feels like BOTH of you.
- [My husband already owned his own place full of his own style and decor prior to me moving in. Long gone was my idea of finding a place of our own post-wedding. Therefore, I had to figure out how to make Cabin-In-The-Woods meet Modern Farmhouse and WOW that was hard. I am actually still trying to find that delicate balance. Stay tuned. ]
- Accept Help.
- [No, you are not super woman. No, there are not enough hours in the day. No, he will not love you any less to admit that you are overwhelmed. Yes, you will be thankful you accepted it. I can write a whole post on this tip alone. ]
- Communicate with you husband… which leads me directly to my next tip
- COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR HUSBAND.
- [He is there to help you, love you, accept you, compromise with you, lift you up, cherish you, believe in you, and work ALONGSIDE and NOT against you! If you are bottling up any feelings, you are not doing your marriage any favors. Sit down and talk face-to-face. Check in with each other. This will set the tone for your entire marriage and is a good habit to start, oh I don’t know, like yesterday!]
Honestly, this list could go on and on and on, but the harsh reality is you never stop learning in your marriage. You never have things “all figured out”. I am a firm believer this is part of what makes marriage so beautiful.
At this point, 342 days into marriage, my biggest take away would be to just be patient and treat your spouse no different than you would treat yourself.
If you would not yell, disrespect, and speak harshly to yourself then do not act that way to your spouse. (refer to my last tip)
I have an entire list of books, devotionals, podcasts, and journals that have been incredible tools for navigating this first year so be on the lookout for that post!
With love, Liz.