Recently, Riley and I celebrated one whole year of being married. Yay! It’s pretty crazy for me to think that it has been the longest amount of time we have been together under a consistent title. We dated for seven months before we got engaged, and we were engaged for nine months before we got married. This first year of marriage has flown by and I am writing this post to hopefully slow myself down enough to reflect and take note of a few things that I’ve learned so far. So, here goes nothing!
1. My husband can’t read my mind.
Shocking, right? It’s nothing new to hear that communication is key in any relationship, but it’s arguably one of the hardest things to get really good at. No joke, I spend more energy willing Riley to read my mind, than it would actually take to put my thoughts into words. I wish I could say that I’ve seen great strides of improvement in this first year, but, the struggle is very real in this area. Hey, the title of this article is what I’ve learned, not what I’ve conquered. Sheesh.
2. Compromise is important, even on the little things.
I am not ashamed to say that I need my sleep. If I’m not in bed by 10:00 I am already grumpy thinking about how much sleep I am not getting. With that being said, Riley can easily function off of six or less hours of sleep per night. It is a constant, ‘thing’. He gets frustrated that I want to go to bed so early and I get frustrated that he doesn’t wanna snuggle when I’m ready for bed. Our compromise comes in the form of a book light and a sleeping mask. Yes, I bought Riley a little book light for Christmas last year so that he could stay up and read while I snuggle him and fall asleep. Shortly after the book light was purchased, my sleeping mask was purchased. That blasted book light shines surprisingly bright in a dark, quiet room.
3. Being together is my favorite place to be.
Our actual anniversary was Labor Day weekend. We both took off an extra day off work and ended up having an entire four days to celebrate our one year. I had a detailed itinerary prepared for our Kansas City Staycation. Literally, every meal was planned. Ask me how much of it actually happened. Probably less than 25%. Looking back at the weekend, I don’t feel upset about the list of the things we didn’t do. No, I look back and I feel thankful. The whole weekend was filled with quality time with my husband, making memories in our small apartment in the form of a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle (that never got completed), laughing at our puppy, and reflecting on the past year together. No matter how mundane our time together seems, being with him will always be my favorite place to be.
4. Marriage was created to make me holy, not happy.
This has been, by far, the most difficult pill to swallow in this first year of marriage. I had completely bought into the idea that marriage was the end all, be all. Although I ‘seemingly’ knew better, It was so easy for me to believe that my life would finally start when I became a married woman. How sadly, mistaken I was. This year has been really tough for me on a personal and spiritual level. While I knew that Riley would never be able to fulfill me like Jesus could, I have been completely humbled to see just how unholy I actually am. I was encouraged to read the book, Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas. It completely wrecked my idea of marriage. (If you’re married, please consider reading this book.) There is something about becoming one with someone that makes you more aware of yourself. This idea that God created marriage to make us more like Himself adds a completely new element to this whole marriage thing, that I hadn’t truly considered before this first year. You mean to tell me that marriage isn’t about me and my happiness? It sounds really silly to say that, but I think that if many of us were honest, we would admit that we cling to this hope that marriage has the ability to make us happy. Now don’t hear me wrong, I think that God blesses us immensely through our marriage relationship, in the form of joy and happiness. But, that was not his goal in creating marriage. I know for me, more than communication is tough or differing opinions are tough, realizing just how broken I am has been the worst. I am so thankful for God’s grace as Riley and I continue to become more like Him through our marriage.
So, I’ll be honest and say that I started this article two weeks ago and I didn’t like where it was going, so I set it aside for a while. After an encouraging night of communication and connection with my husband, I was motivated to try again this morning. (Maybe we’re not so bad at marriage after all!) I completely threw out my old material and have settled on these four things. It turns out I was pretty salty towards Riley while writing the previous post and it was certainly coming out in my writing.
Ehhh. The way I look at it is we’ve still got years and years to master this thing. If I can learn four things every year, I’m doing alright at this wife life.
Be encouraged, friends.
What wisdom can you share with me about marriage? I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Honestly, I still feel like I need all the help I can get!
Also, Here’s some of my favorite wedding pictures because they’re beautiful and I love them. Thanks, Beautiful Isolations Photography!!