In the first year of marriage my true love gave to me: arguments & smooches
Our first year of marriage was interesting. So many people warned us that the first year would be the hardest. I disagreed. But I also, think that saying this to engaged couples seems to be the best way to communicate that: marriage is difficult for most, so don’t give up!
My Hunky Hubby & I, in fact did not give up. But we had a lot to learn that first year that we didn’t realize going in. This led to me speeding away from our apartments in my car, only to park in a parking lot & call my Dad sobbing. While my Hunky Hubby thought that every time we argued our marriage was in utter ruin & counseling was the only answer.
During those first few years we would use the term “we need to go to counseling” as a weapon, or just a really poor way to communicate that: we were hurt & didn’t know how to fix our problems.
I really wish we knew then what we know now about marriage counseling. Going to marriage counseling is not any type of defeat. Communication is difficult. Having someone help you see where to apply your energy, is actually a really smart way to prevent spinning your wheels trying to make it work on your own for so long that you end up giving up from exhaustion. That first year of marriage we didn’t know how to talk things out, we could have defintely benefited from a guiding hand.
I would bring up a problem & he would immediately shut down, thinking he was under attack., when I was merely trying to sort through things. I would raise my voice when I felt misunderstood…which was very often. My Hunky Hubby did not understand this way of “communication” & it left him constantly thinking that our marriage was doomed, because I was upset & he didn’t know how to respond. I was of course thrown off by his silence, begging him to say something. Did he not care how I felt?
Then one time he decided to get loud with me. Exaclty what I wanted right? He got in my face & yelled. I don’t even remember what he said. I just remember shutting up instantly, knowing that whatever I had said, had pushed him too far. Later, he told me that the fear in my face, broke his heart & that he would never yell at me like that again. & he has kept that promise.
My pain, from having just come out of a broken engagement, only a year before we wed, would prove to be more difficult, than expected. I would ask myself questions like: Did I really want to be back with the person who didn’t want me, when I had someone who adored me right in front of my face? I knew the answers & was confident that I was with the right man, the love of my life. I knew that I most certainly did not want to go back to anyone else. But my grief generated a lot of anger. Anger toward myself, which fueled depression.
Looking back, if I had to choose the most valuable gift my husband has ever given to me? It would be his grace & what I can only describe as, supernatural understanding, especially during those first handful of years.
I was my Hunky Hubby’s first girlfriend. He had never been through a breakup. He had no real life experience to help him have empathy for me, or to know what I was going through. I would have days where I would just cry to him about missing my ex & how he deserved better than me & all my broken mess. He would gently look me in the eyes & say: Sarah, he was your best friend. You envisioned a whole life with him. You are going to miss him & that’s okay. You chose me. I chose you. I love you.
I’m so grateful that my brand new husband wasn’t threatened by my honesty or my pain. I will forever love Nathan deeply, for allowing me to process through that grief as slowly as I did, while loving me so tenderly & full of grace.
In the middle of all that emotional mess we had some sweet memories while living in Dallas that first year, like:
- Watching all the Rocky movies with our front door & windows open during a huge thunder-storm.
- Lighting candles SOOOO many evenings when Nate was on his way home.
- SO many love notes.
- Eating Chinese food on the floor.
- Seeing many movies in the theater.
- So much kissing & love-making
- Cooking for my Hunky Hubby
- Staying up late & binge watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix discs we had to wait to receive in the mail.
- Dreaming together
- Inviting friends over for Christmas who didn’t have any family to celebrate with.
- Having a massive sleepover with 9 people in our one bedroom apartment for Nate’s graduation.
- Finding humor in so many things…like the biggest corn dog on earth, lol
Some of the difficulties we experienced in our first year:
- Not knowing how to communicate or argue properly
- Drama with family & not knowing how to advocate for them to one another
- Being Homesick
- Dealing with the symptoms of a broken heart
- Not having a budget
- Getting so caught up in the idea of becoming one, that we lost sight of our individual selves a bit
- Being required to live on the campus where Nate was attending school & the stipulations that accompanied that
The first year can be the hardest. Or, maybe it will be the continuation of your honeymoon & you will never understand, why people warned you about, the infamous “first year”. ,Maybe, like us, your first year will be a beautiful chaotic mess of: learning, loving, & muddling through what being unified, married, & an adult really means & requires.
No matter how your wedding day goes, whether it be smooth or tumultous. Whether your first year of marriage turns out to be heated in the right or wrong way. Know this: marriage is tough.
You might not realize it at first, but as life continues to throw you curve balls you will understand more & more, the truth in that statement. You will consistantly be given the choice to either, cling to one another tighter during the storms that come or allow the storms to rip you apart.
Both choices can be difficult & painful.
But, the end results of staying together, are worth it. Marriage is worth it. You will become more rooted in your identity as a couple, through your experiences. By choosing to cling to God & each other during your difficult seasons, you allow yourselves to become truly unified.
Unity doesn’t just happen minutes after your wedding ceremony concludes. Your wedding signifies the day that you both decided at an alter to become unified. It is the same as here in the United States, we celebrate the fourth of July. We weren’t free on the fourth of July in 1776. That day signifies the day we chose to become free, one way or another. It’s the same for our marriages. Our wedding ceremonies provide us a day to celebrate, our chosen unity. We celebrate the day we chose to become unified, one way or another.
After making that choice, we head down the treacherous, yet lovely path of life. Unity starts to form between us, while we are busy working & persevering, together.
It’s important to celebrate your hard work & perseverance! Marriage is something to celebrate! Love is something to celebrate! Hard work is something to celebrate! Don’t let your Anniversary come & go without acknowledging it in some way.
We celebrated making it through our first year of marriage for two days.
- Day 1: we went to Six Flags over Texas. Then ate Chinese food on the floor of our apartment by candlelight, while we watched the movies: Music & Lyrics and The Holiday.
- Day 2: we headed to Hurricane Harbor & then ate some yummy food at Fridays.
No matter how many years you have or haven’t been married, I’m encouraging you to keep working Loves. Keep moving forward.
In the first year of marriage my true love gave to me:
Arguments & Smooches & A Set of Wedding Rings.
The Mess in Me Honors the Mess in You
Listen to this week’s Podcast: Newlyweds
In this episode me & the Hunky Hubby talk about our life as newlyweds. We recap some of our most memorable moments, the good, the bad, & the embarrassing.
Sex, arguments, & getting to know each other.