I feel like I just got married yesterday…like forreal, but I look at the calendar and realize that I have already been married for two months and in thinking about it, I realize that a lot of things have happened in these last 60+ days. They say the first year of marriage is the hardest, so I know there is still a lot of unknowns, but here is what I have learned so far.
- I got REALLY lucky.
I mean I knew I loved my husband before I married him, but I had no idea how lucky I was going to be to have him as a husband. We had never lived together, so I was nervous about how that would pan out. I mean we had spent the night together plenty of times… but what I had gathered from those times was a) he was really messy (his bathroom and bedroom were a little scary), b) he went to bed really early and c) he likes to sleep with the air turned WAY down… like Antarctica kind of cold. I had no idea though that when we moved in together, things would be a lot different. He cooks… and really well! There’s no way to know if he cooks so often because he loves to… or just because he doesn’t want to eat what I cook, but either way, he cooks! When I come home from work and dinner is ready it is the best feeling and the days that I do cook, he eats whatever it is with a smile.
I’m not saying he’s perfect, but he is pretty dang amazing. For example, he doesn’t flinch when I say I need to use our $1500 emergency fund we haven’t quite gotten together because my dog is sick. He has taken over saying the blessing before dinner even though I know he feels awkward every time and he has carried me through some hard times. He knows just when to sit quietly and hold me when I cry over bad news and how to console me when I wake up after nightmare. Did I mention he cleans? Yes ladies, it’s true! We equally divide the chores and knowing I have someone to help out with everything makes doing chores way less daunting.
- Compromise is key.
It sounds cliché, but it’s true. Moving in together you learn that you both have a different way of doing things and like things done differently, and if you don’t find a happy medium, it can lead to some major fights. For example, my husband doesn’t feel the need to rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and puts the utensils in facing upward (aka if you grab a knife it could cut you). At first, this drove me crazy and I would nag him about it (among other things we do differently), but have recently realized this is counterproductive. I should have been letting him know how much I appreciate him doing the dishes and cleaning our home clean rather than knit-picking him. There have been a few things I haven’t been so good about compromising on (i.e. him leaving the toilet seat up), but all in all, we’re both trying to give a little. This is also true with things you just don’t think about, like the fact that I like my home to be warm and cozy, while he is hot-natured and likes the house cool or that I like to go to bed around midnight and he’d prefer to go to bed at 8 pm. We try to meet in the middle and it seems to work a lot better than being stubborn and unwilling to give a little.
- Coming home to your husband is the best ever.
It really is. Honestly, it’s kind of similar to coming home to your family after school. Someone is so happy to see you, give you a kiss and ask how your day was. You get into a routine of finishing up cooking dinner, eating together and either watching the new season of Bloodline or reading while he works out in the garage. It is so comforting to know when you get home all of the stress from work is gone and you can just cuddle with the hubby.
- Finances are the least sexy thing on planet Earth.
Really though… one of the last things you want to think about during your engagement is how finances will work out with your new spouse. Budgets, spreadsheets, savings accounts, student loan bills, etc. = not sexy. There’s nothing that can get you both in a worse mood than trying to figure out whose paycheck will cover which bill and realizing that the new cutest clothes and playing golf every weekend just don’t have a place in the budget. This is something we’re working at and will have to continue to work at for probably forever because it seems there’s no 100% right way to do it. Every married couple I’ve talked to has a different method, so we’re doing what we can to listen to some of the things Dave Ramsey has to say while not totally ruining our lives. At the end of the day though, we consider ourselves lucky that we’re able to pay our bills and live comfortably enough. Hopefully, these Dave Ramsey tips will eventually get us to the point where we can have a lot of fun, but for now we chalk this up to being “fun” first few years of marriage memories and a good reason to have “fun” together after we get too tired to keep looking at our list of bills. 😉
- Sometimes calling a truce is the only thing to do.
I have always been someone who wants to talk it out and resolve it, but I’ve also been someone who thinks they’re right more times than I really am. I have fought my husband to exhaustion in past years, but I’m quickly learning that doesn’t work so well when you live together. It’s not like you can get in a screaming match, get in your car and go home to cool off… you are home and he’s there! I’m not someone who believes in someone sleeping on the couch. Not to say we both haven’t threatened it before, but we eventually end up crawling back into the bed to spoon and silently say “sorry”. My husband and I disagree on a lot, so sometimes we just have to realize we’re not going to agree and call a truce. This is something we were taught in our pre-marital counseling and it was a really great lesson for both of us.
- Having other couple friends is so fun.
It’s weird, you wouldn’t think your friends being single or in a relationship would make a difference, but it does. Of course we both have single friends who we LOVE and love to be around, but sometimes couples are just easier. A lot of times I want to spend time with my husband, but not be lazy at home watching movies all night (although I do love to do this sometimes), so it’s really nice to be able to call up one of our couple friends to go get dinner or to grab drinks. I’ve come to realize almost every Friday night, we’re both like, “what do you want to do tonight” and then like “well let me see what [insert all of our couple friends’ names] are up to.”
- We are polar opposites.
Okay, I guess I kind of already knew this before we got married. It’s something that always made me nervous about us, but truly I think it’s why I love him so much. However, sometimes it’s not always easy. Even basic things like our groceries can be a struggle… I like skim milk, he likes whole. I like organic chips and produce, natural meat and name brand cereal. He’s happy with off-brand chips, cheap lunch meat and anything and everything not low fat or low sodium. Our political beliefs are also starkly different and although it leads to arguments sometimes, it actually makes me do more research and consider issues more strongly than I would have before. As much as our differences mean potential for fights galore, they also make life interesting. Plus, when it comes to the things that really matter (our religious beliefs, our moral values, our loyalty and respect for one another, etc.) we are completely in-tune.
- Pooping is funny.
Who knew pooping would be such a funny and awkward thing? We both knew we did it and we’ve talked about it before, but the second we walked into our honeymoon suite and saw that the bathroom was completely open to the bedroom, I went into panic mode. We are slowly becoming more and more comfortable, but how comfortable is too comfortable… I mean you still want things to be sexy, right? We do funny things like he always seems to go to the guest bathroom and leave the exhaust fan on a long time, while I turn on the shower and the fan and hide away in our master bathroom. We did have a weird moment the other day though where I was talking to him on the toilet and we both realized I was going #2… things got a little weird, haha!
- Changing your name is hard/awkward.
Call me lazy, but I still haven’t legally changed my name… I mean Facebook official is pretty legit in itself, right? As much as I love my husband, I myself, was pretty reluctant about changing my name anyway, but it’s a lot of work. You have to contact all of these different organizations and pay different fees, plus you already have a ton to do with joining your bank accounts, getting on the same cell phone plan, car insurance, and on and on and on. The hardest part though is saying it! I have been trying to keep both last names, but do you know what a mouthful it is to introduce myself as “Anna Mullikin Freeman” every time? I think people seriously thing I’m trying to say a funny tongue twister or something. Then if I say, “Hi, I’m Anna Mullikin” I feel guilty like I’m not proud of my new marriage and if I say “Hi, I’m Anna Freeman” I’m like what? That sounds weird. The worst is when I’m meeting a new client and can’t decide which way to go and sound either like I have a stutter or don’t know my name. It’s so awkward. I’m sure this is another thing that gets better with time, but two months in, it still is so weird.
- As soon as you think you’ve escaped all of the “so, when are you getting married?” questions, the “so, when are you having kids?” comments swoop in like guerilla warfare.
If any of you remember, I hated being asked when I was getting engaged/married. I was so glad when the time came that I got engaged and people would just ask about the wedding that was already set in stone and that I was excited to talk about, but low and behold, the day the knot was tied the baby questions flared up like a bad case of gonorrhea (not that I would know). I know people are just excited about our lives and living in the South especially, people think you should get married and have babies, but man, that life is not for me… not just yet, at least. Unless an oopsy happens, I plan to wait at least five years before procreating. There are so many things that Bryan and I want to do and that’s just not how we want to start out our marriage. Despite people’s good intentions, I don’t think they realize how much pressure it puts on you and truthfully, how annoying it is. So PSA: We don’t plan to have kids for a while. K? Thanks!
- We still have a lot to learn.
This is probably the biggest thing I have learned so far. After pre-marital counseling, we were like “yeah, we’ve got this marriage thing”, but HA! that’s funny. We’ve learned so much in the first two months, I can only imagine what we’ll learn year after year. I’ll probably look back at this post five years from now and laugh at what I thought I knew. We can’t anticipate what will lie ahead, but we can trust that we chose to make our vows for a reason and we love each other more than anything and because of that, we’ll make it out okay.
Any marriage veterans out there that have advice for us? I welcome any and all help navigating this new relationship! 🙂
C’est la vie,