As you slip that sleek silver bracelet from your grandma onto your wrist and run through your vows with your coordinated bridesmaids one last time, the last thing on your mind is what is to come the next month. On our wedding day, our mind is focused on three things. 1) Don’t trip down on the way down the aisle 2) This all must be a dream 3) I am about to marry the most wonderful man.
On that very special day we read our vows and truly mean them, but it is not till we experience them do things get real. In sickness and in health begins to have a whole new meaning when one of you faces anxiety, the flu, or a new diagnosis. You learn how to love them well in the midst that sickness. For better or for worse begins to ring in your head as you are ready to drive as far away as you can to “get some space”. You learn how to stay.
Living out your vows are just a piece of what you learn as a newlywed. With the vows you made on your wedding aside, I have come up with ten of the biggest things I have learned as a newlywed. I know they may not apply the same to each of you, but I believe in one way or another that you will be able to resonate with them.
Now that you have said “I do” or maybe will be soon…here are the things every newlywed should know.
You Want To Do It All
As equality for men and woman has been on the rise I find, for the most part, woman still take on the heavier loads around the house. We want to do the laundry, clean the dishes, make dinner, do the shopping, and for whatever reason we don’t want to ask for help. We want to be superwoman. Now most woman work full time along with their husbands so it seems like the work should be split, but for some reason it often isn’t. Woman will still take on the bulk of the chores. And honestly, I would say we are okay with that! We want it done a certain way or at a certain time so it’s just easier to do ourselves.
Wanting to do it all is perfectly natural and normal. But here’s the thing ladies, it is okay to ask for help when you need it. If you get home after a long day and the last thing you want to do is make dinner, then ask for help. If doing the dishes is your least favorite chore then make a schedule with your husband. You don’t have to do it all, but on those days you want to, go for it!
You Grow Closer To Family
I know, for a fact, that this is not true in everyone’s life. But I would say for the majority of married woman I have talked too, they find this to be true.
Once you move out and are officially the wife you always dreamed you would be…you realize you don’t know how to make that roasted chicken with the rosemary flavored potatoes. So what do you do? Call home. My mom and I are constantly talking because before moving out, she was the one I could rely on. My parents would make dinner every night, they would do the household chores, and they would always be there when I needed to talk. Well now I’m in charge of all those things and I’m taking care of my husband too. My relationship with my family has grown immensely during this past year.
For some newly married couples, it’s the distance that grows them closer to their family. They don’t see them as much so there is less tension and they are better able to enjoy the time they do have together.
You Face New Challenges
Before getting married, sure you dealt with things and they were hard, but after marriage you deal with completely new challenges. I am constantly battling the lies of if I am being a good enough wife or if we made the right decision on this or that. With marriage comes a lot of change and with a lot of change, comes a lot of challenges.
Some of you probably handle change quite a bit better than I do, but no doubt that it is difficult. These new changes bring about new challenges, but oh the growth that comes with them! Your first year or so of marriage really changes you and challenges you. But it teaches you how to love better, how to care for yourself better, and how far you have come.
You Learn To Embrace Simple Moments
It doesn’t take too long after getting married to get into a routine with your new husband. You spend a couple weeks figuring out what works and what doesn’t work, but eventually you get it down. You may end your evenings sitting on your phones as you relax for the day or maybe you snuggle up and watch a show. Whatever your routine is, you will find that the days where you mix it up become precious memories. Some nights instead of watching our show, we will play a game, bake something together, or simply lay in bed chatting about life. These are the moments that I take in as much as I can.
What are your moments?
You Question Yourself….A Lot
I think I’ll make chicken for dinner tonight…Oh wait didn’t I make that yesterday? I think if I just ignore that comment that it won’t be a big deal… But maybe I should tell him it hurt my feelings?
Your first year of marriage can be a bit of a roller coaster of figuring things outs. Some drops may be scary, but some turns might bring joy. Lately I have been learning to stop questioning myself so much. One of my biggest stressors, and don’t laugh, is trying to figure out what to make for dinner! I have been challenging myself to not freak out about it so much and just look in the fridge and start cooking something. Add a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Using a cookbook at the start of the week to meal plans helps me feel less stressed during the week because I already have the meals planned out.
You are amazing and you will learn as you go!
You Lean On Each Other
When Logan and I were dating and first married I was the chatty one in conversations. I would be outgoing and carry our conversations along. Logan isn’t an introvert or anything, but he just let me do the talking because I wanted too. Well once I began to deal with anxiety, I had the hardest time getting out of my head and being in the present moment. This meant that when we were with people, especially new people, I needed to lean on him to do the talking for us. I needed him to know when a situation was too much for me. I learned to lean on him when I needed it and he learned to lean on me when he needed it.
As you are learning to navigate the newness of marriage, you began to learn to be one. God opens your eyes to each others needs and you fill in.
Okay this one very well may just be me. Like I mentioned above I don’t do change well so that means as a newlywed, I cry…a lot. Some days I just cry because I love my husband so much. Other days I cry because I miss the way things used to be. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be married or I don’t love my husband, it just means that I miss the days that were familiar.
So if you cry, it is okay. Allow your husband to hold you and wipe away those seemingly ridiculous tears and know that this is part of the growing process.
Dream! Spend evenings talking about what you want for your lives and what you can do to attain it. Do you want to travel? Do you want to have ten kids? Maybe live in the country? Talk about what you want in your life and allow your mind to dream. Keep the deep understanding that you may not get all those things, but dream because you just might.
It is also important to hear what your husband dreams about. If you find common ground, then how can you make it happen?
Never stop dreaming.
You Learn To Give Each Other Space
Togetherness is one of the most beautiful parts of marriage. I absolutely love to be with my husband and by the end of the day I can’t wait for him to get home. Yet as you grow and as you learn, you began to realize the need to give each other some room to think, to grow, and to just be. Often when my husband and I are together for a long period of time, we feel pressure to do activities and talk, but what we often need is some space. Fortunately I get a lot of alone time since I work from home, but my husband is with people all day at work then comes home to spend time with me. We have learned how to give each other some space and every couple is going to be different.
For us, Logan wakes up a little earlier than I do so he can have some quite time or every once in awhile he will go mountain biking with his friends. He also spends every couple Saturdays playing Spikeball with his friends when we don’t have any other plans.
Giving each other space allows for you to grow closer as a couple. Especially for those of us who got married young. We are still learning and growing ourselves so take time to allow yourself the space to grow into the woman, the wife, that you want to be.
As every married person would tell you, marriage means sometimes you have to sacrifice. Life isn’t only about you and what you want to do anymore. There is another person who you must consider. It might be something small like sacrifice your spa days because your new budget just wont cut it. Or possibly your husband wants to go see this action packed movie, but you want to see the latest romance. If you find yourself doing all the taking and none of the giving, then I challenge you to look for opportunities where you can sacrifice your needs and wants so you can love your spouse well.
Marriage has come with a lot of growing up. Not only do you grow together as a couple, but individually you do a lot of growing as well. There has been a lot of soul searching going on in my life when we got married. I had to figure out who I wanted to be and what kind of wife to my husband that I would be. There is lots of trial and error, lots of really hard nights, but oh there are so many wonderful moments as well.
What are some things you have learned in marriage? Whether you have been married 1 week or 40 years? Marriage is a beautiful gift from God and I am so thankful for this journey that He has put me on.