Experiencing the First Year of Marriage

Can you believe that it’s already Friday, and I’ve almost been married for one whole week? I’m guessing that’s what I’m thinking right about now ;) , but since I’m still away, Cinnamon from eatPRAYtri is here to talk to you about married life. Thanks, Cinnamon!

Hello to all of Emily’s readers! My name is Cinnamon and I blog over at eatPRAYtri about lots of different things mostly centering around family, faith, food and five K’s! How’s that for some alliteration? :)

When Emily put the call out for some guest posters and knowing that reason she needed guest posters was to cover while she was off getting married, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity (as a newlywed myself) to talk about what my first year of marriage has been like, the things I have learned and all the ups and downs in between.

Just to give a little bit of background, I “met” Paul online, we had our first date on Aug 20th, 2010, we got engaged on Christmas Eve and married on June 10th, 2011. We didn’t even know each other a year before we were married!

Granted, Paul and I are both “older”. Translation- mid 30′s. :) We both had quite a bit of life experience and had matured to the point that we had a good understanding of who we were and what we wanted out of a relationship. We also had a lot in common, similar sense of humor and were at the same place with regards to our faith. All of that together and it only took about four months for us to know that we would be partners for life.

Our first year of marriage is pretty easy to sum up in one word….fantastic. I know the common cliche phrase is “the first year of marriage is the hardest” and I guess I could see why people say that, but honestly this year has been pretty stinkin’ great. Here’s a few of the things I have taken away from this year…some expected, some not.

It’s fun
To have someone who laughs with you, shares in silly jokes with you, shares experiences with you and allows you to let your guard down is great. Getting to spend the majority of your day with your best friend is really just like nothing I have ever experienced before.

You are extremely vulnerable and exposed
Paul and I didn’t live together before we were married. Transitioning from both of us living on our own and then to be in each others “space” pretty much 24/7, all of “you” is exposed. Insecurities, laziness, selfishness, quirks…all of those things now have a witness. Someone else is there seeing those things in all their glory and it can be humbling, embarrassing and well, scary. All of who you really are is revealed when you share a life with someone. It can be painful at times, but in my opinion, what it really does is knit you all the closer together because you have such intimate knowledge of each other. It’s quite beautiful.

Communication is key
I definitely don’t think I am the first person to realize this, but its true, true, true. Even the smallest things, we bring up with each other. We talk it out. Not letting things sit and stew is so powerful. Often times its a miss-communication or misunderstanding abut something trivial. If we didn’t talk it out, who knows where it might go…

Study
We have done quite a bit of “work” on our marriage already! Bringing two imperfect people into a permanent relationship and expecting perfection is just silly. It takes work! It’s not all rainbows and butterflies and having the knowledge, tools and resources to deal with situations as they come up is essential. The earlier we know these things the better, so we have both committed to maintaining constant study and diligence to make sure we are on the right path when it comes to our commitment to each other. Highly recommend: Love and Respect by Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs and What did you Expect by Paul Tripp.

The name change process isn’t that bad!
Maybe I just had a great experience, but I didn’t really run into any issues when changing my name in all of the various places it needed to be changed. The marriage license is really the key document. If you have that, no biggie. Just get a lot of copies. If anything, the time it takes to make sure everything is updated is really the biggest “problem”. I would also say it took a good six months before I stopped typing and signing my maiden name. When you have a name for as long as I did before changing it, its a hard habit to break!

Last but not least…its fun to say “My husband”! Since we were older when we got together, I always felt awkward saying “my boyfriend this….and my boyfriend that…” Saying “my husband” when referring to him was just downright more fun to say and I admit, sometimes I would say it even if it wasn’t totally necessary. It’s silly, but true!!

I’m sure I could go on and on about other things that I have learned or experienced from my first year of marriage, but I think the above covers the major ones. I would love to hear of others who have been married for longer than a year what you took away from that first year. Or if you aren’t married, what are you looking forward to or worried about experiencing in that first year of marriage?

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2 Responses to Experiencing the First Year of Marriage

  1. Pingback: Unplanned and a guest post

  2. Min says:

    First of all, CONGRATS, Emily! Hope you are having a blissful honeymoon :) . I just adore Cinnamon! What a lucky man Paul is! Thanks for sharing your love story. Having been married for 5 years now, I can def say that it gets easier with each year. First year of our marriage was extremely difficult for the both of us. We refer to it now as the “dark days.” Those days are long gone (thank goodness!), and we’re now at a place where we can laugh about it. I thank God for this wonderful man who loves me despite all my imperfections!

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