Today is our one month-iversary! It has been a whole 31 days since I said I do to the love of my life! Amongst news of loss of loved ones and friends this week, I was reminded that every day is not promised to us. Today I’m taking the time out to love and cherish my best friend, share some of our favorite wedding photos, and reflect on what I’ve learned in my first month of marriage.
1. Marriage Changed Everything
I was slightly concerned that being married means everything changes…I mean, it seems like it would, right? You recite promises to each other, eat a really expensive dinner with your family and friends, and waltz off into the sunset together directly to the Honeymoon getaway plane, expecting to live these blissful, romance-filled lives for the rest of forever.
And that’s partly true.
However, things change because you are now sharing your space with someone for the rest of your lives, and you thereafter prioritize them as number one in a healthy marriage. You hopefully have a nice honeymoon where you have no responsibilities or immediate concerns. But when you return, if you’ve been dating for six months or more, you get up, you go to work, and you come home and hang out together. Honestly in that arena, besides loving him even more, not an incredible amount has changed!
I mean…there is one significant perk, but I’m not sharing! 😀
2. The Honeymoon Phase = No Arguments
FALSE. I would argue that my husband and I are still, very much in the Honeymoon Phase; however, I don’t think that is an indication that everything will be fantastic with strings and orchestra playing in the background wherever we go–we definitely experience arguments and discussions. I also believe that the Honeymoon Phase doesn’t have to end because that’s the “norm”. It is definitely something to be worked at, but as someone told me this previous week, your marriage is what you make it, not what people prescribe for your life.
3. He Takes Out the Trash, I Do the Dishes
Part of our pre-engagement/marriage counseling included reading “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married,” a great book about expectations, family and the realities of marriage. I encourage all of you to read it! One of the exercises in this book included making a list of all of the things/chores/responsibilities you think your spouse should own about the household. Even though I listed myself as the dishwasher, Dave has often washed the dishes, and made up the bed, while I check the bills and wash the car. Regardless, the point is that what I believe makes life work is a willingness to work together, and he is so great at doing that!
4. From Brown To Richardson
Changing my name was hard–not because I did not love my husband, but because I realized how much of my emotional identity was linked to my name. It represented an actual leaving and cleaving, something that initially proved difficult because of how close I am with my family.
Ultimately, I love David, and came to know how much it meant to him for me to have his last name. Although I will always be a Brown, born-and-raised, I would not renounce the opportunity to create a new identity with the man I love.
5. Ask and You Shall Receive
Marital communication is a foreign language, one I am still trying to master. Depending on how you were raised, there may be many different dialects. What I am realizing is that David is not a mind-reader, and neither am I. Together, we have been creating a new language where we communicate openly and honestly with each other.
6. Intimacy Is Not a Given
Whether it’s your first rodeo, or you’re an all-star player, I’ve learned that your thoughts about intimacy and how things go in your marriage are going to be different than anything you may have experienced previously. That being said, it is something you have to put intentional time and effort into, just like anything else in life you want to excel in. Every person is different, and their take and expectations will also be different. Put time into be open and honest, and learning about your partner and yourself….it truly is a learning experience and a chance to grow together as God intended.
7. All the Women, Independent
“…throw your hands up at me!”
Can I tell y’all that this is me?! For this reason, the first month (short though it may be) has been difficult. I like to open my own doors, pay my own bills, drive my own car, and fix all my own things. I pride myself on being able to solve problems, do my own work, and operate as a successful independent. But, just like any other thing in life, there is a time and a place for that, and all of that is not applicable for my marriage’s success. I had to recognize early that most men enjoy being needed, and although I could probably do most things in the world by myself should I put my mind to do them, the joy of being with someone and trusting them is that you don’t have to. I’m still a work in progress, but I’m beginning to enjoy the process!
8. Marriage = No More Single Friends
One of my least favorite myths EVER is that you cannot maintain/nor do you need friendships outside of your significant other. I think that is unhealthy and weird. Sorry, for all of those of you who feel that way. I believe we as people need one another, and I think that need surpasses just those who do the same things as you all the time. Truthfully, there will be some things that you’ll discuss with married friends that you may not discuss with your single friends. However, I feel like both/all areas of life can benefit from one another. Now, if your single friends stay in the club, behaving very single-like, you as a married person might not want to be about that life. Beyond those extreme examples however, maintain your friends–married or single.
9. Slow To Anger Is a Work In Progress
I’ve never been one to be angry. Very seldom does that occur, but if it does, watch out! 😀 Just kidding. Very few people have ever even seen me angry. However, disturbed or upset are emotions I have experienced. I am learning that the age-old adage is true; don’t let the sun go down without addressing your negative emotions. Addressing them early makes for a lot less heartache, and the opportunity to grow together.
10. Us Plus God = Greatness
Most importantly, I believe every good and perfect thing comes from God. I never want to get so swept up in being happy and joyful that I forget the true reason that I am happy, and that is because of God. I view David as tangible evidence of God’s love in my life, and never want to forget what a blessing he is. We live in a crazy world, where loved ones are lost at the hands of foolishness every day. For that reason alone, David and I make it a point to pray together before leaving the house. You never know what the day will bring, but with God on our sides, the world is a much brighter place.
All in all, I hope this has been helpful to you. Whether you’re single, getting married, or married for years, the few concepts I’ve been learning I think may benefit us all!
And, a happy, blissful, fantastic month-aversary to the wonderful, handsome God-fearing man of my dreams! I love you more today than ever before. Here’s to thousands of months more.
Happy Tuesday, friends.
Want to see more photos?? Visit our wedding website and stay tuned for my Wedding Inspo and Bridal posts!!
All photos by Anastasya Photography.