It’s officially been seven months since Alex and I, got married and moved across the country to Chicago. Whew! On July 23, 2016 as soon as we finished our vows and jumped over the broom, I knew there would be a lot to learn about each other. We were going from a long distance relationship and seeing each other every day over FaceTime, to living under the same roof.
Marrying my best friend has been the greatest blessing of my life! For one, I now have a hot new roommate. But on a more serious note, it has also been one of the greatest learning curves. I’m no marital expert, just someone wanting to share and grow. Here are a few things I’ve learned so far in seven months of marriage:
You get TONS of marital advice- sift through it.
If you are newlywed or engaged, you probably already know this. But everybody and they mama, wants to give you marital advice. And I mean everybody! Married couples that have been together for decades, newlyweds, single friends, your parents, co-workers, neighbors, FB friends, even your 3x divorced great uncle. But all advice is not good advice, and even if it is good it may not work well for you and your spouse. I’ve learned to listen and appreciate people’s experiences, but to also sift through it. I take out the golden nuggets, discuss it with my hubby, and we pray about it together. Ultimately, we try our best to listen and rely on God to lead us in our marriage.
More to marriage than happily ever after.
If you have ever seen a Disney movie, you know the story ends with the princess riding off with her Prince Charming, and then they live, ‘Happily Ever After.’ Even as a kid I didn’t fully buy into that and wondered what really went down after Prince Charming rescued his damsel in distress.
Since we’ve gotten married, I’ve learned different things about my husband, (as expected). However, I had no idea that I was actually going to learn a lot more about myself. Marriage has been a back hand smack of self-reflection and humility. Living life side-by-side, day-by-day, so intimately and up close with each other, has dug up deeper character flaws, dreams, fears, and pain. Relationships with friends and other family members won’t necessarily bring out some of those deeper, concealed issues. I see how when I encourage and speak affirmation over my husband, it is like a breath of fresh air to him. I also see how when I’m slow to apologize it is hurtful and ultimately rooted in pride. But hey, I’m still a work in progress y’all!
I’ve learned that marriage is full of happiness, but it’s also full of a lot of other things. Full of learning each other’s odd quirks, bad habits, date nights, sexual desires, spending habits, budgeting, arguing, forgiving, serving. Full of the mundane things like replacing the toilet paper when you use the last of it, or laughing till it hurts over a new recipe you tried that totally failed. While happiness should not be the end all, be all goal for marriage, it is certainly a part of the equation for a healthy growing relationship.
No joke and no lie! You would think going from single to married would just double the laundry that needs to be washed, dried, and folded. I don’t know how it happens mathematically, but since tying the knot, the amount laundry loads have now tripled, haha or at least it feels like it. Thank goodness we have a washer and dryer down the hall on the floor of our apartment, and that Alex helps with laundry. But the single days where I only had to do laundry every other week are officially over.
Talk, agree, and make a plan about money.
Before marriage I always heard that finances were a big part of it, now I see! I can’t stress enough how important it is to be up font and honest about how much debt each of you may have before you get married. You should also go over your credit scores, savings, health insurance, and income. We had some difficult, but necessary conversations about money while we were engaged. Like so many other 20 something-year olds, we both have student loan debt from undergrad. Deciding to take on each other’s debt and work together to knock it down was a not-so-fun, but super critical decision.
Within the first month of being married we took Dave Ramsey’s online course ‘Financial Peace University.’ It was life changing! So many questions and disputes that Alex and I were having ended. We were able to get on the same page as far as, how to knock down our debt and make short term and long term financial goals. ‘Financial Peace University’ also taught us how to create and manage a monthly budget, how to save and invest our money, and the ends and outs of home buying. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it to singles, married folk, every and anybody!
Every day I learn something new about myself, my hubby, and married life. These are only four of the countless lessons I’ve learned within the last seven months. I hope they have encouraged you!
Before you go…
Feel free to comment and share a few you have learned in your relationship.
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