Ten months ago (yesterday) was the best day of my life. We joined hands, hearts, and lives, and set out together on the greatest adventure we'd ever been on.
I was excited, as well as afraid.I felt ready, and yet horribly unprepared.
Overwhelmed...both with joy and apprehension.
I didn't know it was possible to feel so at peace, and yet at the same time wonder "what in the world are we doing?!"
It was an amazing day. So many conflicting emotions...so many incredible moments...a whirlwind of joy and love and wonder, and then we were off on our honeymoon - and the start of our new life together!
Things I've learned:
I knew this would be important, but I've come to realize it's the most important dynamic of our relationship. So many fights, disagreements, hurt feelings, and misunderstandings have been avoided merely because we talk things out. Quickly, as soon as one of us realizes that we've been hurt or don't like something, we go to the other person. Usually, it's a mere misunderstanding, or something completely unintentional, it's worked through in a matter of minutes, and life goes on.
But communication is more than just talking through problems. We just TALK.
We talk about everything, share little details from our day, we're silly together, we talk about deep issues, and we talk about nonsense. And it makes us feel closer to each other.
Don't take things personally
This is something else that we have found makes a huge impact on how we relate to each other. I know of and have read of people who get personally hurt over small things, and in my mind, that is so damaging to a relationship.
Growing up, one of my mom's favorite verses to quote at us girls was Proverbs 19:11 "A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an insult." Whenever one of us would feel insulted or offended, she'd just say "Overlook insult!", and we all knew what she was referring to.
That mindset of overlooking offense, of just moving on, of letting things go - it's so wonderful. I'm not talking about staying quiet when someone offends you, but harboring bitterness inside. I'm talking about truly overlooking things, and not feeling personally offended when someone does something you don't like.
Always assume the best of your spouse
I actually read this quote in the book Love And Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs, and it's similar to the last point. Going into any situation, we always assume the best. Instead of feeling like "he did such-and-such...he obviously must not love me, or must be upset with me", it helps so much to approach each other assuming the hurt or problem was unintentional or a misunderstanding.
Now, there are times when one or both of us are just being downright selfish, and then we can talk through it and apologize.
But instead of automatically assuming the worst, assume the best.
Prioritize "us time"
Going into marriage, I knew this concept was important, but I thought it would always be easy to make happen. Not so!
My biggest struggle is feeling guilty that we are going off on a date, or going to do something that's "just us". But after we do, we always, always feel closer, more connected, and are better off for it.
Now that kiddos are coming, I know it's just going to get harder :P
Along those same lines, we've learned it's okay and even necessary to set boundaries. Our relationship with each other is the most important relationship in our lives, and protecting it is so important.
Read the Bible together
This seems like a no-brainer, and it should be. But it's truly amazing how much closer I feel after we have read together....usually something hits one of us as we're reading, and that leads to a long conversation, and long conversations are always bonding :)
Things I didn't expect:
It's not as hard as I anticipated
I say this slightly tongue in cheek, because I know we have ONLY been married for ten months, and that we're technically still in that "honeymoon season". We'll see what I say after being married for ten years as opposed to ten months :D
But that said, I was mentally geared up to struggle more, disagree more, and just have a harder time overall. It hasn't been that way, though. It's basically been the best ten months EVER ♥
Our physical need for each other is different than during engagement
When we were engaged, we were constantly holding hands. Literally.
Like, I think some people wondered if we were super-glued together.
We felt desperate for each other, and I remember that during that time, I thought "Wow, it's so sad how couples get married and lose this intense love we have for each other!"
I was wrong!! Now that we're married, we can sit next to each other during a meal, or just talking, or during church, and actually NOT hold hands for more than a few seconds :)
What we found was that there was a difference between desperation, and love.
We are just as much in love now (if not more so!), and way more physically connected (obviously), and yet that desperation is gone. I didn't expect it to change like that, but the intense desperation we had for each other gave way to a deeper, steadier, more passionate love. We realized that what we felt during our engagement wasn't a gauge of how much we loved each other, but was instead just a desperation coming from the fact that we were so in love and having to physically hold back so much.
I think laughter is a love language for us!
I had no idea how much time we would spend just being SILLY together! We have laughed until we cried on countless occasions. It is so wonderful to be so comfortable with another person...to have absolutely NO reservations, and to be able to just enjoy and revel in each other's company.
We fall more in love every day
And I truly didn't know that was possible....but we do. It's the best thing. Ever. ♥