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May 22, 2018

What a Year of Marriage Taught Me

Year 1 of marriage EngagementPhotos

It’s so crazy to think that Charlie and I will be celebrating our second anniversary this fall. The past year has been a rollercoaster, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. In the first year, we built a house, I went full time with Unica, Charlie got a new teaching position and we had a lot of ups and downs. I am so thankful to have Charlie by my side through all of the life shifts. To say we’ve both learned a lot in the last year would be an understatement.

We lived together for a year and half before we got married, so I really didn’t think “tying the knot” would change anything. I mean, I was already accustomed to his quirks and visa versa. But marriage makes things real. Makes them permanent. Neither of us can just throw in the towel or leave when things go wrong. Marriage is knowing someone has your back. You have theirs. No matter what. It’s about interdependence.

Every relationship has its highs and lows, and the first year of my marriage taught me a lot. Here are 5 the biggest lessons I learned.

1. You Don’t Have To Do Everything Together

Charlie and I instantly moved in together when we started dating, but we still had our own lives. Once we built our house and moved to a new part of town, we spent a lot more time together. Like 6 hours every week night + all weekend. (We crushed a lot of Netflix shows in this time, so I am not totally against this). I went to California for a week to visit my newborn niece, and whoever said “absence truly makes the heart grow fonder” was completely right. I missed Charlie so much. When we were at home together, I never even had the chance to miss him. Since then we have both gotten a little more independent and spend time on our own a lot more, because IT HELPS!

2. Listen First, Speak After

The best and worst part about Charlie and I’s relationship has always been our communication. We are both very opinionated, stubborn and think that we’re right. Problem is, if we disagree on something, one of us has to be wrong, right? Nope. That’s what I’ve learned in the last year. You don’t have to agree on everything, but you need to listen. You need to hear the other person’s point of view and value it. Make sure the other person knows that you are listening and care about what they think, even if it doesn’t align with your own opinion.

3. Keep Dating Your Spouse

The first year of our marriage we had so much going on, that we didn’t really ever go on “dates”. We were always busy with the house or work. At the beginning of 2018 we agreed to have “date night” every Tuesday – and we’ve stuck to it! Date nights don’t have to be elaborate, it should just be scheduled time out for you + your spouse. Even if you stay home and have movie night, it’s all about deepening your connection.

4. I’m #2

This one was HARD for me. I have always considered myself to independent and ~*~don’t need no man~*. I am a bit selfish and find myself working the most on this. Charlie has always made me his #1. He will do anything for me, like seriously, anything. I struggled to be able to give up what I “wanted” or do things I didn’t feel like doing if I wasn’t going to benefit from it in some way. Well, I learned that taking out the trash (Charlie’s usual chore) freed up time in his evening, and in turn made him happier. I realized that putting him and his feeling before my own allowed me to make him happier. And if he’s happier, so am I.

5. I Can Be Happy

I am a worry wart. I have really bad anxiety and I tend to think negatively. I figure if I can prepare myself for the end of the world, then it won’t be that bad if it happens. Knowing that nothing on this earth is permanent, I sometimes can’t help but consider the fact that something could happen to me, or Charlie or our marriage. But worrying about things out of your control will just drain you. I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that our lives are fleeting and it has completely changed how I treat my husband and live my life. Knowing that I could lose Charlie on any given day makes me think twice about what I say, my tone of voice, and how to love him.

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