Lester and I have made it through our first year of marriage and I think we did it like some Bosses! I have definitely learned a lot about my husband, myself, and our relationship during this time. So here’s my takeaway from our last year together.
1. Your first year of marriage doesn’t have to be hard. I am NOT saying that this year has been easy. There have actually been some pretty trying moments that made us both take a pause and question some thangs! (See our first Christmas) But overall we both look back and think man, this marriage thing is pretty cool.
2. Get your life together super early and stop fighting for your rights! Your marriage is going to be extra challenging when your main concern is getting “what you deserve.” I promise you, the times that we have had the most trouble occurred when we were more concerned about getting our point across than hearing each other. If you are doing your best to put your spouse and their needs first and they are doing the same thing, then everyone is covered. Right?
3 Gangstas need love too! Ok, my husband (and I for that matter) is as far from whatever you imagine a “gangsta” would be. However my love always was the guy who didn’t need lots of cuddles and kisses. He said he didn’t always need to hear me say how much I love him and such. But as we got further into our marriage I really got to see his softer side. He likes to snuggle more now (even though he prefers not to call it that and he would never admit it to you) and he gets a cute little smile on his face when I say something nice about him. The big softie!
4. Sex is a powerful part of marriage that keeps our bond strong. Lester and I waited until we were married to have sex and live together. I am happy to know that we can sustain a solid relationship without sex. (Hopefully we will never have to though). However now we have this thing that connects us so strongly. This is something that was not shared with anyone else either. It’s so cool!
5. Never underestimate the power and importance of a Homemaking. I realize that this might not seem politically correct or progressive to some. That’s why this blog is called The Goree Truth, it’s the truth for my life. Even in 2015, a man really appreciates a woman who takes care of the home. Yep, that means cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry and such. I recently read this great article. In the article it states that when one spouse is more proactive regarding the housework, the other has a chance to focus on their career. Don’t get me wrong, I have my own goals and endeavors that Lester fully supports. Since he makes the bulk of the money to take care of our household responsibilities, I have the freedom to focus on the things that I want to do. Oh and this role does not only have to be for a wife.
6. Only YOU know what will work in YOUR marriage. There will always be people who want to tell you what you should do in your marriage. But no one can know all of the dynamics of your relationship so how can they give you advice? It is healthy and beneficial for you to have wise mentors who you can seek counsel from. However don’t let just anyone speak into your marriage. Especially if they’re not happily married!
7. My husband is a pretty understanding and patient man. Though it is mainly my responsibility to take care of our home, I hold myself to a tougher standard than he does. Lester definitely appreciates coming home to a home cooked meal. But if I text him asking him to bring home dinner he’s fine with that too. He even plays it cool when I do that multiple times a week. He doesn’t complain when dinner isn’t perfect. He is usually grateful and appreciative no matter what.
8. It is important to leave and cleave. We are both blessed to come from a family that we love. Overall, both sets of in-laws love the opposite spouse and treat them with respect. So we had no major problems there. However that did not mean that things were perfect or that there were not any bumps in the road. When those bumps arose, it was very important that we made sure that we were good with each other first. We would not let any issues that outsiders had affect our relationship with each other. This does not mean that you no longer care about your family. However their needs can no longer be a priority over your spouses.
9. Just because you don’t have a “good” day doesn’t make it a “bad” day. When Lester and I were dating we only spent 2 or 3 days together each week. His school schedule and my work schedule didn’t always jive. So when we had time to spend together I always wanted it to be “perfect” If we got into a disagreement or if one of us wasn’t feeling well I would be totally bummed. It felt like a wasted day. But now that we are married we of course are together all the time. If we get home and don’t feel all lovey dovey or extra close it’s fine. Sometimes things get better right before we go to sleep. Sometimes not. But it doesn’t matter. I now have full confidence that we love each other and everything is ok even when it doesn’t necessarily feel that way.
As I reflect on marriage I will leave you with this last thought. Before I was married, I would look at those who were with a little bit of envy. I couldn’t wait for the day that I would get to have my forever person who was always in my corner and cared so much for me. Now that I have it I think it is pretty wonderful and I plan to do whatever I can to keep it that way. However for those of you who aren’t here yet, don’t be fooled. I know it’s been said repeatedly, marriage is beautiful and wonderful but there are many challenges and sacrifices that go into it as well. Don’t rush into marriage. God-willing, I will never again know what it’s like to be single. There are a few aspects of being single that were easier and I miss them a bit. Would I ever want to go back to that? Absolutely not. But I am also glad that I had a large part of my life that was spent being single and enjoying what that meant for me. You should do the same.
For those of you who are married, what have you learned so far about yourself through marriage? If you are single, what parts of being single do you enjoy now?