What I've Learned from the First Year of Marriage

anniemade // Photo by Brett & Jessica Photography
anniemade // Photo by Brett & Jessica Photography

I find myself feeling very reflective and incredibly grateful when I think about our one year marriage anniversary coming up this Sunday.

The last twelve months have been a whirlwind, and without a doubt, the greatest adventure of my life thus far. As this milestone approaches, here are a few things I've learned/am learning through our first year of marriage.

A lot of people like to tell you "the first year of marriage is the hardest (with living together, adjusting to sharing, etc.) but that's not always the case.

And I have to say that hasn't really been my or our experience. Though we saw each other everyday, we had never lived together and our six year relationship started out as two years long distance, so every day of our marriage has been like opening a gift and experiencing something new and different. We have been tested, of course, but Gus and I agree that we feel we are in the best version of our relationship thus far. Being married feels so right and arguments over which toothpaste brand we use or whether we need $10 worth of CostCo are more entertaining than they are something to get majorly used to. And I am exceedingly grateful that marriage has made us stronger and provided greater joys than we could have ever imagined- even in just the first year.

The first year of marriage can be hard, but because of the new chapter it begins.

When others have said the bit about how the first year of marriage can be hard, I've tended to think more about what has been challenging for us - figuring out our next chapter. The wedding is such an incredible moment to look forward and build to, but once it's happened - the time comes again to consider your life - this time as the two of you. Suddenly, life is less about cupcakes and flowers, and more about careers and big picture goals and family and everything else that has been on the back burner. For us, these central questions have been our challenge in our marriage thus far. Where do we see ourselves in the future? What do we want to accomplish individually, and together, and as a family? It's like day one - now you are really playing for keeps. Time to grow up and get serious about those crazy big life decisions.

It's hard, but also such a rewarding ongoing process.

And lastly, communication is everything.

Gus and I have had many great and many awful experiences with communication in the past 12 months. Our biggest disagreements stem from miscommunication and wanting to take care of the other. Our greatest successes (like becoming debt free!) have come from talking and discussing together how to approach a big challenge. We are at our strongest when we make sure to talk about the things that matter most, and at our weakest when we don't take the time and be intentional with each other.

With these things in mind, I can't wait to see what's in store for the next 100+ years.

 Photo by Brett & Jessica Photography