My husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary a couple of weeks ago and I’m still in awe that we’ve been married for an entire year. No one warned me that the time would go by so quickly! Now don’t get me wrong, I love my hubby (Alex), but we have definitely had our fair share of growing pains this year. Today, I’m sharing a few things that we learned and some that we are still learning.
Here are 6 things I wish I learned before I said “I do.”
1) Sharing finances is HARD!
I knew this and heard it dozens upon dozens of times before we got married. But like so many other 20-something-year-olds, Alex and I brought student loan debt into our marriage and different expectations on how we should manage our finances. What really helped us get on the same page was developing a monthly budget…and actually sticking to it. A monthly budget allowed us to tell our money where to go, rather than it just slipping between the cracks of different transactions. If you’re engaged I encourage you to start discussing a budget you will have once you’re married. One of you may only have debt, both of you may, whatever the case, start having those hard conversations and set up a long term plan for how to become completely debt free. Also, be sure you both have good life and health insurance plans in case of emergencies. It’s a lot to talk and work through but trust me, having more financial peace is worth it!
2) Developing a great sex life takes time.
A lot of people put a huge emphasis on the wedding night and the honeymoon. But in all honesty, it takes time to learn your partner’s body, learn their likes and dislikes, and it takes trial and error. For some couples it may only take a couple of months, for others it may take longer. But that’s the beauty of sex inside of marriage, you have a lifetime to grow, learn, and figure it out. Find ways to communicate (kindly) what feels good and what doesn’t. Be able to laugh if, and when, something awkward happens. It’s not about performing, but two people genuinely seeking to please each other.
3) Sharing a comforter, let alone a roof, isn’t always easy.
Living together is a HUGE transition. I was used to my own space and doing things around the house a certain way. For example, I’m okay with using one sponge for the kitchen, and he wanted a separate one for the dishes and the counters. As trivial as that may seem, it’s those types of preferences you can find yourselves bumping heads over. It’s normal to clash over habits you both have spent decades developing. It just takes adjustment and compromise, especially if something is simply a preference and no one is in the wrong.
4) Comparison is your enemy.
Before our one year anniversary Alex and I attended 5 weddings, one in which I was a bridesmaid! It felt so good to celebrate with so many friends and family members throughout the year. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was tempted to compare our weddings, our current finances, and the season we are in with our friends. I’ve learned comparison doesn’t do anything but stir up discontentment. Each marriage is unique and where God has you is something to be celebrated, not compared to others. We have to all “learn to be content whatever the circumstances…in every situation”
5) Your spouse cannot fulfill your every need.
As amazing as Alex is, I still need family, friends, and community in my life. I still need to get my weekly dose of corny jokes and laughter from my sister. We both still need others to encourage, advise, challenge, and support us. It is really important to continue to nourish your other relationships and continue to do hobbies and things you enjoyed before you got married. I’ve learned its not only important to seek God together as a couple, but also individually as well.
6) Life is better together!
Although I listed different growing pains my hubby and I experienced and many couples have as well, at the end of the day I am deeply in love with my husband. Yes, there are challenges in marriage and it takes time, effort, and prayer to work them out. But my life is incredibly better with him and there’s no one else I’d want right by my side.
Ultimately, marriage is what you make it. Learn to compromise, be content in whatever season, love and laugh together!
What do you wish you would have learned before you got married? Share your newlywed advice and leave comments below!