OUR FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE: 12 THINGS WE LEARNED IN 12 MONTHS
1. It is weird to have titles. It was weird talking about my husband for the first few months in conversation. I felt like I stumbled over the word on numerous occasions. It was easy calling him my boyfriend because moving from friends to boyfriend is an easy step to progress to. What’s more fun is being able to say my wife in Borat’s voice.
2. You might get a pet. It took one week. One full week after saying our I Do’s and moving to Texas before we discussed and proceeded to find our dog, Colt. Now, I’m pushing to discuss the possibility of another addition to the family (a kitty). We still haven’t gone on our honeymoon, but we got a puppy!
3. The topic of children comes up more frequently. It mostly comes up from friends and co-workers, but I’m happy that our family isn’t pushing the subject. At this point the subject is unwanted and unnecessary and, also, unsolicited. When my husband and I do bring it up, it is mostly like “Oh, I never want my child to be raised like that,” or “I bet you would have our child doing that.” These conversations are usually based on our television and movie selections.
4. Deciding on dinner becomes a chore. We are really good on taking the time to plan dinners and lunches for the week. However, when we both decide that we would like to go out to eat, it seems very tedious to name off different restaurants or think about what we’re in the mood for.
5. Every month is a celebration. Yes, we celebrate our monthly milestones. Are we part of the group of disgusting couples? Probably. Do I care? Nah. We usually go out to dinner and order dessert or Zack surprises me with flowers. We keep this up because it gives us a day to remember that we got married and we are happy and in love.
6. It is easier to keep finances separate. We have not combined any of our finances at this point. I have many years built up of organizing my own finances and I don’t want to become disorganized all at once. I have added him as an authorized user on a couple of my credit cards in order to help his credit score.
7. My significant other is not my “other half”. Contrary to all the quotes about how “they complete me” or “they are my missing puzzle piece,” my husband is not. We are two wholes that live and work together on our lives. I am whole. He is whole. We have decided to join our two whole lives together into something more significant than being separate. We make each other better because we strive to be better in all aspects.
8. Fighting is not an option. Or not the best option. I could yell and scream all I want, but it would do nothing to fix a problem. We do not fight as in we do not yell at the top of our lungs at each other over little things. Don’t get me wrong, we do bicker to the point of irritation with each other, but it passes quickly. We both realize that fighting is not an option and try to choose a different path.
9. Patience is a necessity. I will be the first to admit that my patience wears thin often. I forget that my spouse has needs and some days I don’t have the patience for him. Or some days I only think about myself. Zack has a lot of patience with me and respect and love him for that. I know that I need to work on this quality. Both of our patience wears thin with the focus of taking care of the puppy.
10. Communication is important for friendship. I will also be the first to admit that communication is not my strong suit. I try, but I only have a limited amount of energy in a day. Often is leads to me not having enough energy for my husband after a long day of work. There are days when I won’t shut up and then there are days that I am completely stuck in my own head.
11. We don’t have to define our roles. For some people it may be helpful to define who does what chores around the house. We have taken the appropriate split of responsibilities. We decide to clean together and we tackle different portions. For example, if he cooks, I try to wash the dishes. Or if I clean the toilet, he will clean the shower. This makes cleaning a lot easier and we get done a lot quicker.
12. Living together is so much fun. We did not live together before we were married. Of course, our situation was a little quick because of a cross-country move, but neither of us were frightened. We drove our belonging 16 hours, signed a lease then moved in the same day. I am living with my friend and it is fun managing a household together and experiencing all the mundane and crazy bits of our lives together.