The #1 Thing I Learned My First Year of Marriage

A lot of people say that the first year of marriage was the hardest, if so, we were lucky. Our first year didn't seem that hard at all. In fact, the 5 months of long distance were a lot harder than being married if you ask me. 

I'm not naive enough to believe that's the norm. I don't believe everyone's first year is easy. I don't believe everyone's first year is hard. Why? Because everyone's marriage is different.

That's the #1 thing I learned during my first year of marriage. That my marriage isn't my parents marriage, or his parents marriage. Our marriage isn't the same as his co-workers or as my friend's marriage, even though she got married just over a month after me. Every single marriage is different.

Some couples cuddle and hold hands a lot, some don't. Some couples fight and bicker often, some don't. In some couples one works while the other goes to school, and some need both persons to work to provide. 

I'm not saying we should toss out all marriage advice we are given. People who have been married 50 years know a heck of a lot more about marriage than I do, and some pieces of marriage advice are solid truths. Gottman's ratio has been proven over and over. Date night makes for happier marriages. But the way my sister and her husband interact is very different from the way my husband and I interact, and that doesn't make either of our marriages bad. They are just different. 

Your marriage might not look like someone else's. A friend from high school is CONSTANTLY posting photos of all the cute things her husband does for her, right now, my husband doesn't even have time to do those kinds of things. Between full-time work, full-time school and lots of things that need fixing in our new house, he's busy from sun up to sun down. But I'd rather him fix the broken water heater than make a puzzle love note for me. That doesn't make my friend's husband lazy or worthless, it just makes them different. It means we are in different phases. It means we are our own marriage and no one else's. 

The #1 thing I learned in my first year of marriage is that no one's marriage is the same. Having a hard first year or an easy first year doesn't necessarily set you up for success or failure in the future. It's just a year of 2 people learning to combine finances, manage time, stress, sex and all the other crazy but wonderful things that come with marriage. My marriage is not your marriage. I might inspire yours, and you might inspire mine, but we will never have identical marriages. And for that, I'm grateful, because how boring would the world be if everybody was exactly the same?

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Life with Amberly said...

LOVE this post and I so agree!!! The guys at work were talking one day, one of them is coming up on his six month anniversary this week and I was asking him if he was going to do something fun to celebrate. Joe and I went on a date to Zoolights and then Joe changed my breaks, and it was to celebrate end of the semester as well. All of the guys immediately suggested against that, "You do this and you'll have to one up it every time." "Don't get her expectations ups to high." (I hate it when they all start giving him marriage advice, it's usually negative and crummy.) I told him he knows his wife, do what she'd like and don't worry about it (I think they're doing zoo lights!!) And then the guys were all going on about how they have to make big romantic gestures and that's what women like. I laughed and told them that for my one year anniversary, Joe had my windows tinted and it was a good gift, practical, something that we both wanted but wouldn't splurge on normal every day and that I was more excited about the fact that he was able to surprise me (because I'm hard to surprise) than I was about the gift, and it was a perfect present because he was able to surprise me. And I gave Joe a check for the amount of all of my tips I'd gotten that year so far at the salon to put toward paying off his truck. They all kind of stared at me, and then disregarded what I said and went back to the whole "high expectations".
I'm way off track here and writing a novel, sorry, my brain is going a mile a minute this morning. But that's what I thought of in your paragraph about what your friend's husband does. We're all different, this is why I love the Five Love Languages, because you can learn what will speak love to your spouse as well as how they show love so you'll know when they're speaking love to you even if it isn't in your languages at the time. I LOVE the uniqueness of every marriage and person and I think it's hard to say, "All women expect this" or "If you do this then you'll have to do this". You just have to know what works for you and your spouse and go with it!

Jana Tolman said...

Our first year of marriage was in no way our hardest either. Our hardest year was definitely Joshua's first year of life–adjusting to being parents after still being fairly newly-wedded was really difficult for us and it put quite a bit of strain on our relationship. I'm happy to say we figured it out though! :)

Sharon said...

Great post Brooklyn! I don't know much about marriage so posts like these are especially interesting for me. Thanks for sharing!

Tayler Morrell said...

I love this! And, it's true, everyone's marriage will be different!