Today marks two months since I married my best friend (that is, if you’re counting from the first wedding :). We’ve already done so much! Moved continents, gotten married again, hosted friends and family, gone on several trips, bought furniture, budgeted so many times…
Living life with him is nothing short of wonderful; and there are precious lessons along the way. Thus, instead of waiting until the one year mark, here are some reflections already gleaned:
Your Dating Life Becomes Your Married Life
Although a lot changes with a wedding (especially if you’re in a long distance relationship!), a lot also does not change. Our communication habits, our willingness to be vulnerable, our thoughtfulness towards each other, and our affections weren’t altered by an all-day event with loved ones—they merely carried over. True, there are new topics to discuss, a deeper vulnerability, and an increasing love; but the habits and trajectory of our relationship had already been set by four years of dating.
So whatever you have in dating, is what you will have in marriage. Just more.
Marriage Pronouns are a Big Shift
A few months before I got married, I was talking to a dear married friend and asked her what had been the hardest transition.
“Going from me to we,” she said. “Sounds simple, but it’s hard to make that mental transition!”
Boy, was she right. I’m both a very independent person and one who is obsessed with others. When we were dating and engaged, I was thinking about him all the time, so why would thinking about him more be hard? Because I wasn’t thinking about him in the same way.
Granted, it’s important to not make the me-to-we-full transition until after marriage. Thing is, I thought I already thought about the world in a we-centric way, but turns out I didn’t. I moreso compartmentalized my life: job is me, apartment is me, gym is me, family is me, and boyfriend is boyfriend. When boyfriend is around, then it’s us, but that’s like a quarterly vacation from real life. So real life = me and vacation = boyfriend.
Now real life and husband are synonymous—which is awesome! And a big change. It’s not just about me, my wants, my plans, and my way of structuring time and finances; instead, it’s what’s best for us. It’s a beautiful shift and a big one.
Marriage Distance is Harder Than Dating Distance
Since we started dating, the longest the husband and I have been apart is nine months—a very long and painful nine months (God bless military spouses!). It was difficult, but we survived. About two weeks ago, the husband left for a week. I can handle a week! We would regularly go months without seeing each other, what’s seven days?
Apparently a lot. I was warned by my wife mentors, but GEEZ. There’s something that changes when you’re married. Sleeping alone, cooking for just me, and making plans alone? The worst. As an introvert, I thought I would love the time all alone, but turns out I hate it. Good thing we plan on taking our next few trips together…
Marry Someone You Like (and Who Likes You!)
That probably sounds obvious, but experientially it’s not. Notice I did not say love; I said like. Marriage is romance and surprise flowers and together adventures; it’s also a lot of dishes, budgeting, logistics, and “why would you think I meant x when I said y?”
In all this, it’s important to marry someone whose company you genuinely enjoy. Someone you appreciate, someone whose logic and reasoning you trust, someone who will harmonize with the random songs that make no sense that you sing without a moment’s notice (no? Just me?).
The husband is genuinely one of my favorite people to do absolutely anything and everything with. And that makes marriage fun. Even when budgeting is on the day’s agenda.
Assume the Best
As someone with anxiety, an HSP, and a professional internal story teller, I’m really good at assuming the worst without even trying. Which is weird, because the husband is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people that I know. Still, I struggle sometimes when there’s asynchronous information between us—will I assume the best or the worst? He has given me books full of reasons to trust him, and I’m learning to do so.
But really. If there’s a question, ask the question instead of telling yourself a story. Your life is not a Netflix series, so it’s probably not as dramatic as you’re making it out to be. I’m talking to you, Callie…
Most of all, I’m loving marriage. I highly recommend it! Other lessons forthcoming along the way: always make time to pray together and for each other, have evenings in with no plans except time together, and vocalize your needs. And trust Jesus—He is the Author of all great love stories, very much including ours.