Hey y’all! I am so excited for this post today! As many of you know, I am a newlywed and I wanted to share with you what we have learned from 7 months of being married. You’ll get to hear from Joey in this post! Joey and I hit the 7 month mark yesterday and it seriously flew by. I couldn’t believe how fast 7 months went by and how awesome it’s been. It has ABSOLUTELY not been smooth sailing but I’ve loved every minute of it and I’m so excited for the future!
I didn’t go into marriage thinking it was always going to be hunky dory. I think anyone would be kidding themselves if they thought that. I knew ahead of time that marriage was going to be a lot of hard work but it’s also a lot of fun! Here are some things we learned from 7 months of marriage.
What I’ve learned
1. Your marriage is the most important relationship you have
Now, I’m not saying let any relationship that isn’t your marriage go by the wayside, because other relationships are important too BUT your marriage takes the cake. It just does. You’re stuck with this weirdo for life so you absolutely need to put more work into this relationship than any other relationship you’ve ever had. That’s not to say you block out your family and friends, but the marriage is the relationship that needs the most attention (aside from your relationship with Jesus, of course). You live with them, vacation with them, maybe even work with them and the relationship needs to be nurtured. Joey and I received a weekly devotional all about marriage that we do weekly and it has been so insightful. It really has taught us how to nurture our marriage rather than figuring out how to get the most out of it for yourself. I think the key to nurturing our marriage is actually the 2nd thing I learned in the 7 months we’ve been married.
2. Serve each other but don’t expect to be served in return
This one is a big one. My generation gets a bad rap as being entitled and entitlement has absolutely no place in a marriage. I can’t expect Joey to serve me just because I do things for him. And same goes for him. He can’t expect me to do things for him. We can only work on ourselves and strive to serve each other. I think that really is the key. Even when he is getting on my last nerve, I know I need to be a servant because that’s the only way to keep bitterness out. If I expect Joey to just do things for me, that may turn into entitlement. I’ve found that in a lot of marriages I’ve seen, entitlement is poison in a marriage. It’s weird, I kind of love gender roles and I’d love to be a stay at home mom/homemaker one day. I love all things taking care of the home. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and I love taking care of my husband. It brings me a lot of joy knowing he’s happy and healthy. I think marriage also needs to be a balance. I’m thankful for a husband who doesn’t expect me to do all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. While I normally do most of those things, Joey is always asking if I’d like him to go with me grocery shopping and we split the chores so neither of us is doing all of them. Joey never makes me feel bad if the counters don’t get wiped down or the bathroom doesn’t get cleaned when I said I’d clean it. He just knows if I’ve had a really bad work week or bad day and he’ll do whatever it takes to make me feel better or lighten my load, not because I expect him to, but because he’s being a servant. I think being a servant and not expecting my spouse to do things for me and vice versa is imperative to our marriage thriving. I think this is the most important thing I’ve learned so far in marriage.
3. Marriage is NOT the end all be all
I wish I could shout this from the top of Hostetter Chapel at Messiah College. The college I went to was a small, Christian college in central PA and “Ring by Spring” was a very real thing. While I am so blessed to have gone to Messiah and to have met Joey there, I think the culture there was waaay too marriage obsessed. You’re probably thinking, “Then why did you get married if you hate marriage so much?” I’m not saying I hate marriage, obviously I don’t because I did the dang thing! What I’m trying to say is once I finished school and got into the real world outside the Messiah bubble, I learned that being married is not the end all be all. I thought at Messiah that I was a lucky one because I got the ring by spring and marriage was this amazing thing that was going to complete me and I needed to be married to be happy. Looking back now, I’m like wow what a naive little girl. While marriage is amazing and I love every minute of it, even the rough parts, it is not going to complete anybody. Your life doesn’t end when you get married. There is still so much life to be lived! Marriage shouldn’t be your end goal in life.
I’ve found that a lot of people get married and once the honeymoon phase ends and the glitz and glamor of the wedding fades, people realize that they actually have to live with and be married to this person for life. I think that’s where people struggle. I have learned through 7 months of constant ups and downs that marriage is sticky and hard and it’s not super glamorous most of the time and that’s ok. I think it’s encouraging to know that even if you’re single or have been dating someone for forever, that marriage isn’t going to magically fix everything. I think sometimes single people struggle with the Ring by Spring mentality because they feel like they should be at a different point in their life. But good news! Marriage isn’t for everyone and it’s not going to be magic so take it easy on yourself! You are fine just where you are. Marriage is great, but it shouldn’t be the end all be all.
What Joey has learned
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff
One of the biggest things I’ve learned from 6 months of marriage is not to sweat the small stuff. You and your spouse may have plenty of differences and sometimes little things may cause problems if you let them get to you. I’ve learned that it’s important to appreciate what makes you different and to just let the little things go.
2. Marriage is wonderful
I’ve learned how wonderful marriage can be. There’s nothing better than going home to my beautiful wife after a long day at work. It makes every day all that much more special.
3. There’s still a lot to learn
I have lots left to learn about Gabby and how to be a good husband to her. Marriage is a journey and we are just getting started, but I’m excited to see where God leads us.
Whew, that was a lot. I hope what we’ve learned so far can help some of you other newlyweds out there navigate through the mess that is marriage 🙂