Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Five Lessons from My First Year of Marriage

Last October marked a full year of marriage for me and Derek, so technically these are things I've learned over the past year and four months but for the sake of a normal-length title, we'll call it a year. Here are some lessons learned throughout our time spent as husband and wife.
Communication is hard but it's the most important thing to making a marriage successful
Whoa, Kalyn, the most important thing? Are you sure? Yes, I am sure. You can have everything else - a great sex life, a perfect home, wonderful children, but at the end of the day a marriage is just you and your spouse and how you communicate with each other is key. The tough part is figuring out how to communicate in a way that the other can understand. I have to remind myself constantly that my husband is not a mind-reader and that if I want something done telling him "if you want to" isn't going to do the trick. Likewise, Derek is learning ways in which I understand him better as well.
Apologize when you are wrong
This one is tough, you guys. I have a traditional aries personality, and while I am quick to love and I put all of my emotions out there, I'm also quick to anger and undeniably stubborn. These things combined don't make for a quick (or easy) apology. However, I've learned that once I can admit when I am the one in the wrong, life goes on much easier than if I were to wallow in my stubborn pride.

Openly discuss your faith, marriage expectations, and plans for your future
This coincides with communication, but I wanted to expand further upon the subject. If you have an expectation for your husband or wife, for goodness sake, TELL THEM. If you expect your husband to be in charge of finances and monetary decisions, don't expect him to just know because it's likely that he won't. If you expect to go to church every Sunday and Wednesday, talk about it and ensure your spouse is in agreement. Don't ever assume your spouse knows your plans or expectations, because that will likely lead to irrational disappointment on your part.
Doing something together is pretty awesome
Usually, no matter what the activity, Derek and I enjoy doing things together. At the same time. While I'm sweeping and mopping the floor, he's vacuuming the living room and bedroom. While he's working in his garage, I'm crafting outside. We go on hikes, bike rides, to the gym, grocery shopping - you name it, we're usually doing it together. It gives us a sense of accomplishment and pride in the fact that we are a team. 

Talk openly about the love you have for your spouse
I will never forget a time when Derek, jokingly, commented on the amount of housework I do vs. the amount of housework he does in front of our friends. While it was said jokingly, our friends could tell there was an underlying issue and it came across as not a joke. We discussed the situation privately and I explained how it not only hurt my feelings, but it was disrespectful to me as his wife. He apologized and explained that he never intended it to be taken that way, but from now on would make an effort to never speak negatively about me in front of our peers, even jokingly.
Furthermore, one of my friends who witnessed the quip between us has continued to bring it up. At first, I played along, joking that my husband was the one "without a filter" and never thought before he spoke. Afterward, I realized that even though he was initially disrespectful to me, it wasn't any better for me to talk negatively about him. So the next time the subject was breached, I explained to my friend "We have talked about this with each other and it is in our past. Yes, it was upsetting at the time, but I have forgiven Derek and for me to continue to talk negatively about him is disrespectful to him and to our marriage." 

So practice talking positively about your spouse: say it to them, say it in front of them, to your friends, his friends, your coworkers - say it all the time. Talk about the things they do that make you happy and feel blessed in your marriage. 

What are some things you have learned over the course of your relationship?




36 comments:

Meredith @ Barbell Wardrobe said...

I agree, when it comes to chores they are no fun but if both of you are working together it goes quickly, you feel accomplished and know both of you worked equally hard. The Apology is so important, I'm much quicker to forgive when the apology is there rather than skirting around it.

Amber Thomas said...

OH MY LORD SAYING SORRY. Why is it SO SOUL-SUCKING TO SAY THAT? I mean, honestly, UGH.

My latest advice, get pictures taken. Or take them youself. But sometimes you just need the reminder of how much you two freaking love each other to appear in a few frames for your little gushy self to be reignited. :)

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

communication is definitely the most important thing. i also think its important to laugh, and let little things go. oh, and speaking negatively about your spouse never ends well. ever.

Jackie @ A Better Me said...

I was actually talking with my coworker about this today. I agree with all of these, but one I think is so important is to not trash talk your spouse. I don't post negative things about him on social media and I never say anything bad about him to family or friends.

Samantha Brothertron said...

This is so great. It's true that you should always try to talk positively about your significant other in front of other people. I've learned that over time, it's so important to me for my friends to like my significant other and if I complain to them about annoying things he does, that's not helping. Loved this!

GoodEnufMommy said...

You are very wise for being in marriage only a year. I love your outlook and especially the last tip. It's so important to have your spouse's back and you're right - an eye for an eye doesn't make it better. It's important never to joke at the expense of your partner.

Taylor Epperson said...

I'll be married a year this coming May, and these are a lot of the same things that I've noticed. One other thing we've tried to do is to make sure we are putting each other first, above everything else. We're both still in school, but we've organized our schedules so that we have time at night together, to make dinner, do homework or just hang out! It really is so important to talk with your spouse and spend time with them!

Linda said...

You have a great handle on marriage. Your advice here is spot one and says you and your husband have a great relationship now, and for so many years to come.

Amanda Walter said...

Loved reading your post! I agree with everything! And yes - communication is SO IMPORTANT for sure. That's something I really had to work on. Congrats on being married 1 year!!

Carolynn Markey said...

I remember my first year of marriage! I totally agree, these are things I learned too :)

Hayle Olson said...

Thank you for posting these wonderful tips! I'll be using these in the future!!
Hayle

www.hayleolson.com

Savannah Ward said...

Apologizing when you're wrong is so important, but also apologizing even if you feel you didn't do anything wrong is necessary too. I read this quote that said something like, "When someone says you hurt them, you don't get to decide whether or not that's true."

http://thealwaysblog.com

Ashley LaMar said...

Naturally I loved the last point you made (I wrote about a similar topic today) but I also loved that you mentioned openly discussing your marriage expectations. YES to that! *claps hands* Girl, that is a hugely important thing in marriage. I'm a straight to the point kind of person and I don't do well with hints and assumed expectations. I need things put right out there and that was one of our big obstacles in the beginning. Rather than saying, "Who is taking the dogs out tonight?" I told my husband I need him to say, "I have a lot of work to do this evening and I'd appreciate it if you could take the dogs for their evening walk." That way I can respond with either a yes or a no rather than beating around the bush and potentially leading to a non-communicative argument.

Bravo! Great post girl. I pinned it. :)

Christine Everyday said...

Apologizing is SO hard no matter how long you've known the person. But it's so important, in all kinds of relationships, to actually apologize instead of dancing around it. Love this post.

Corie M said...

I think my favorite part about being married is doing everyday life together. Going to the grocery store, driving around, walking our dog, etc. doing that together is the best!

Nicole Leith said...

I agree with all of these! We learned that we need to do our own things as well as doing things together. I also try to not talk badly about my husband to my family. I don't want to distort their opinion of my husband based on one bad day.

Seersucker Sass said...

I'm not there yet, but I've pinned this post for safe keeping :) You are one wise lady!

XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

Keating Bartlett said...

Great list! Communication is the toughest for us right now since my husband is military and currently stationed overseas for 12 months. It's a huge challenge. I also love your point on openly discussing marriage expectations and plans for the future. My husband and I were long distance when we fell in love and the moment we realized we were falling for each other, we decided to have all of those "deal-breaker" type of conversations. With us living so far away from each other and him being in the military, we didn't want to waste our time if there was something preventing us from being compatible. I'm SO glad we did this. It got so many conversations out of the way right from the start. We continue to talk openly about these things as well. It all goes back to having great communication! :)

Debonita Choudhury said...

I totally agree with you that communication is very important and you should discuss things openly. One of things I have learned being married for 2 years now.

Debs x

Marette Flora said...

I completely agree that you shouldn't talk negatively about your husband or wife in front of others, even as a joke. I know when I hear others do it, it seems as though there is an underlying issue. You never really get the whole story. It's best to just keep that to yourselves and discuss it with each other. I love this post.

Ashten @ Just Go Left said...

Yes, yes and yes. Though I'm not married I can definitely relate to so many of these!! Congrats on one year of marriage! Here's to many more!!

TheFutureCEOBlog said...

I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing, I’ll definitely be bookmarking your blog :) especially since I'm getting married in NOVEMBER!

xoxo,
Katie, thefutureceoblog.blogpost.com

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