Most people say the first year of marriage is the hardest. I agree. When we finally tied the knot, I moved 1,000 miles away from my favorite city to the south for hub’s job. To say that was difficult would be an understatement. I had no friends, no job, and all of a sudden I was supposed to make this new marriage work with a bald weirdo (love you, babe). When our one year came up in April, this is the post I shared on Instagram:
I’m only partly joking. Our first year was hard, but it was filled with a bunch of fun memories as well. Here are some things I’ve learned this first year of marriage.
Communication is key.
This is like the golden rule of all relationships, right? Don’t assume one person is going to take out the trash or do all the cleaning. There is a lot to figure out when you start a life together, so continual communication is key. If you aren’t on the same page, it’s not the end of your relationship, it’s just the start of learning how to make a marriage work with two very different people.
Divide and conquer.
Don’t try to do everything yourself (independent ladies, I’m talking to you!)! Divvy up tasks between the two of you. Maybe he likes cooking and you don’t mind the cleanup. Great! Hubs and I have two very different schedules. Because he works at a church, it is difficult to plan our weeks with rehearsals and other required events. My solution to our crazy schedule was to create a shared iCalendar and have a “weekly schedule” by our keys. That way, we can both glance at the week on the way out the door. We try to sit down weekly and plan out our weeks so we are both on the same page!
It’s okay (and a great idea) to have separate friends and different hobbies.
Hubs and I are the poster couple for “opposites attract.” I’m outgoing, creative and spontaneous while he’s quiet, intellectual and structured. I’m a huge fan of true crime, so when I moved to this new city, I started a Meetup to make friends and talk about murder mysteries. I need socialization and hubs needs time alone to unwind. Don’t feel bad if you want time with girlfriends and don’t make hubs feel bad if he just wants time alone! Everyone unwinds in different ways and it takes some time to get used to how another person does things.
Learn to submit and let hubs lead.
But, both of you should recognize when one of you better equipped to deal with certain tasks. As women, we are called to submit to our husbands.
Ephesians 5:21-24 Says:
“And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.”
While I’m not telling you to drop everything and only do what hubs says, if he is a God-Fearing individual, there are times when you need to stop digging in your heels and say “okay.” I personally struggle with this because I am such an independent person.
Submission does not mean you agree on everything, nor does it mean that you will receive all your spiritual strength from your husband.
Your relationship with God is your responsibility. Yes, hubs should lead, and yes you should respect and trust him, but his relationship with God can not be your entry ticket to heaven. Also, if hubs is asking you to do something you are morally not okay with or goes against God’s word, don’t do it. Sadly there are some skewed ideas on what a man can and cannot ask of his wife.
When hubs feels trusted and respected, any constructive criticism you have will be well received. If you have struggled with finances as a couple (maybe one of you spends, the other saves) take some classes together on finances and figure out who is better equipped to help figure out where the money goes each month. It takes the input from both of you, though. The spender will feel trapped if they don’t have some freedom to spend and the saver will feel stressed if the spender spends all the money!
Pray together/read the Bible together.
This is something that hubs and I don’t do consistently, and we need to. We both have our own separate quiet times but I know that that’s not enough. Hubs has implemented a note system for when he leaves in the morning before me. He will leave a note or send a text with a verse for us to read and then we both respond with what it means to us and how we can apply it to our lives and marriage.
This is my favorite. One of the best things about being married is the fact that I can be as weird as I want and HUBS IS STUCK WITH ME. This last year has held a lot of laughter. I’m the skillful woman who fell off a SELF-BALANCING Segway in the middle of downtown and made a complete fool of myself. We also forgot to order a larger bed, so once we moved down south, we had to SHARE a twin bed and couch for 4 weeks.
If you are in your first year of marriage and feel overwhelmed, I understand. Navigating a marriage is hard. Don’t give up hope though! It is difficult at times but it is also the most rewarding. I want to leave you with one of hub’s and my favorite quotes by Donald Miller.
“It’s interesting that in the Bible, in the book of Ecclesiastes, the only practical advice given about living a meaningful life is to find a job you like, enjoy your marriage, and obey God. It’s as though God is saying, Write a good story, take somebody with you, and let me help.” -Donald Miller
Write a good story, take someone with you, and let God help…
Until next time,