10 Lessons Learned During My First Year of Marriage
Marrying my best friend has been one of the greatest joys in my life thus far. But I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t work. Not a lot of work, because loving him is simple, but still, it’s work work lol.
During our anniversary vacation in Paris, I asked him “What has this first year of marriage taught you?” We always have deep conversations about life and the world, but for this special day I wanted to put the focus on us. As we sat on the bed, we talked about the things that we loved about each other, how happy we are together, and how we KNOW for sure that we are meant for each other. On the other hand, we also discussed things that we could improve to ensure that we have a long lasting happy marriage.
So between a mix of his input and mine, here are 10 lessons learned during our first year of marriage.
1. It’s Not Always About You
Marriage is about sacrifice. There will be times where you will have to give in to please your significant other. There will be times when you will give your spouse your last. And there will be times when you will have to put your spouse’s needs before yours. Marriage is a two way street and is about give and take. But, if you both focus on giving, then you’ll both always receive.
2. Everything Is Not Worth An Argument
This doesn’t even need an explanation, does it? When Justin and I were dating, I’m pretty sure that we argued quite often...and probably over some dumb, petty shit! Once we realized that we were each other’s happily ever after, we had to decide where we would put our energy. If we want to spend the rest of our lives together, is it really necessary to start an argument about every little thing?! NO! Now don’t get me wrong, we still have disagreements, but we are doing a great job at checking ourselves to see if the situation really worth us being mad at each other. Sometimes you gotta take the “L” and keep it moving.
3. Fight Fair
Now during the times when you are arguing, it is important that you both fight fair! This mean no name calling, no disrespectful blows, and no hitting below the belt. There are ways to have a healthy argument without wanting to kill each other after it’s over. Don’t allow the “heat of the moment” force you to say hurtful things that you’ve been holding on to inside. Having a loose tongue during a heated argument will only make things worse! Suggestion: Learn to practice self control with your anger.
4. It's Okay To Be Vulnerable
One of my favorite lines from “Why Did I Get Married” is “If you're not gonna be honest with your husbands, then who are you gonna be vulnerable with?”Over this last year, I have never been more open, honest, and vulnerable with anybody other than my husband. Our connection is unbelievably strong. The only way we got to this level of intimacy with each other was by allowing each other space and security to feel comfortable enough to express their most private thoughts.
5. Keep The Friendship Alive
Ya’ll, Husbae really is my best friend. Lol it’s really sick. We truly have traded “lit” weekends for Netflix and fall asleep on the couch...lol. We are completely WASHED! But it’s cool though, at least we’re washed TOGETHER! To keep things fun, my husband and I always look for adventurous things to do, a new restaurant to try, or new series to binge watch together. Whether we’re cracking jokes on each other or on other people we always make our own fun wherever we are.
6. Hold Each Other Down
I’m what they call a “Daddy’s Girl”. Whenever something goes extremely wrong I know that I can call on Dad to help make it better. BUT, once my father walked me down the aisle that was IT! He unreluctantly passed over his duties to Justin. Over this last year we’ve dealt with loss of family members, loss of finances, and sometimes loss of our sanity! But we both put forth equal efforts to hold the other person down during their low times, and work with them help to build them back up.
7. You Have To Self Reflect
This was a major lesson that my husband and I both learned during this first year of marriage. Although we were both confident in knowing our true selves before coming together to form our union, we both understand that people evolve. When I talk about self care and reflection, I take that very serious! We make sure that we set time aside for OURSELVES to reflect and honor the God within us. If we don’t feel complete on our own, how can we be whole for our partner? Shidddd, I didn’t marry half of a husband, I want the whole thing! Lol Likewise, when disagreements happen, keep in mind that it can never always be the other person’s fault. You can’t point the finger at your partner without taking time to look at yourself. Stop playing the blame game, and reflect on your feelings, actions, and daily behaviors.
8. Communication is Key
I may be a lot of things, but a mind reader I am not. In any type of relationship, you HAVE to communicate….even when it’s hard….even if you don’t exactly know what to say. You still have to communicate with each other. If things are heading down a rocky path, it is imperative that you two make it a priority to talk about the issues that bother you. The Silent Treatment only works for so long until you both go crazy!
9. Forgive Fast
Being mad takes up too much energy. Forgive fast and get back to the fun. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you don’t have a right to feel angry or to be upset, BUT don’t let it carry on. At the end of the day, if you know that you are meant to be with this person for ever, why waste your time being angry with each other?? Some people say “never go to bed mad”. I say “It’s okay to go to sleep mad, just don’t wake up angry.” Sleep those negative feelings away and wake up renewed and ready to love.
10. Always Say I Love You
Point. Blank. Period. I don’t care if you’re mad, I don’t care if you have to say it through your teeth, and I don’t care if you have to send a Bitmoji that says I love you too (all things that I do when I’m in feelings) but SAY IT. No day is promised and the worst thing that you can do is leave this earth with your last words being hurtful and hateful to the one that you love the most.
Are there any other married millennial couples out there? I would love to hear what lessons you may have learned during your first year of marriage. Does this blog post resonate with anyone else? Hopefully our lessons learned can be used as tools for those of you who are in a committed relationship.
All the best,
Mr. & Mrs. Butler
**Images taken by Tania of Images Composed