23 April 2012

|| What I Have Learned About Marriage ||

Today, April 23rd, a year ago I married this boy of mine.
PhotobucketWhen I think back to our wedding day it is hard to believe it was a full year ago. Not that it feels like it happened yesterday, but that I just can't believe a whole year really has passed. Like most experiences and timing in life, to think a year has passed feels both real and unreal. We have been through A LOT together this year so the length of time does feel very real. Clearly a year is not long enough to make me any sort of marriage expert, not even of our own marriage, but I have learned a lot. The first few months of being married I literally thought to myself on several occasions "I need some sort of book telling me if I am doing things right". Meaning, how I would react to things I wanted to know if I was the only one reacting this way or was this a normal newlywed wife reaction. I like to think it is a little of both...normalcy + my {dramatic} reactions. Well, honestly I was going through some level of depression the first several months of marriage so that REALLY didn't help things. To clarify, I was not depressed about being married or my choice in husband...but because I was living in Switzerland. On top of everything new in my life, I was placed in a land which I don't really fully get along with. I was quite off and on in a bad funk for many many months which also quite often I would direct that funk at my husband. Luckily, Jachen is amazing and never took it personal if I was crying, feeling sad, feeling lonely or super annoyed at anything he did. Also luckily I was able to grow very close to Jachen through it all and see how much he truly loves me and cares for me. He truly is my match. 

 So, here are some things I learned about marriage...not that they are NEW ideas... 

1. Everyone has a different first year experience. I have heard several people say the first year of marriage for them was a breeze and the best year for them. I have learned this is not true for everyone, because it was not true for us. While the marriage aspect and relationship aspect has been great, we have had a really rough year. Probably the hardest year of my life for many reasons. However much I was hoping for a "breezy" experience, that's just not how our first year went. 
2. Don't compare to other relationships. Sometimes I caught myself thinking about other relationships I wanted ours to be like, which can be a fine thing to do...it's fine to see something and want it to be a part of your life...but to not let it give you any negative thoughts about your own is the tricky part. 
3. A pretty big one...don't move to Switzerland. This is something I learned too late...hah. I fully support people moving to another country, but I would suggest not to do it your first year of marriage. This has been the hardest aspect of this year is being integrated into a country, luckily I had been here before we married, where I don't speak the language and which has a way of changing very much so my daily life. For others this could have been an easier transition, but for me it was for sure not. For many many reasons, our stay here has been harder than we thought...and not just for me for Jachen as well. Also, when you live in a place knowing you will leave the place it makes it very hard to "build roots". We both just feel so ready to be in the States where we can fully start living our marriage life and start having a family...we feel very temporary here. If that makes sense. Switzerland has been quite the experience, and not all bad, but living here for me has been a big hardship. 
4. I learned to remember, to constantly try to remember that it's just the first year and habits aren't formed yet and things aren't set in stone. Not only referring to Jachen and what habits I wish he had or didn't have, but also for myself. I am so set in my ways even though in my head some things I wish I wasn't so set on, but knowing I have time to perfect things is nice to know. Not everything has to be "the way it will always be" the first year. 
5. Try not to have your own expectations for your spouse. This has been a pretty important one to learn and implement. I think it's safe to say that women in general have certain expectations for their husbands which can be a good thing, but it's also important to think of your spouse, who they are and what are realistic expectations for them. Those other things you/I "expect" are not valid or important and that you/I should let those thoughts dissolve. Even when I was first dating Jachen I would think to myself "oh he doesn't do this, or he isn't like this and why doesn't he like this" I had a feeling of expecting him to be a certain way...once I realized that is what I was doing and that it was ridiculous, I stopped. 
6. Being married is such a learning process. DAILY. 
7. Patience, I have learned a LOT about patience and it is great to try and be more patient. I am now living with and depending on another person who has their own way of doing things and in that opens up a lot of times where you can practice patience. :) 
8. Don't go to sleep upset/angry/majorly annoyed at your spouse. Jachen is very good at keeping this rule, there are some times when I just really want to go to sleep mad...but he won't let me and I fully appreciate that. 
9. This relates to the above...don't let a disagreement or argument be unfinished. Always come to a result, always come to the point of understanding each other and both equally feeling you have come to a resolve. We don't like to leave disagreements hanging. Jachen grew up seeing arguments not handled well and bad communication lead to divorce and so he makes it very important in our relationship that we handle things right and always end up loving each other more at the end and not the opposite. 
10. I learned it's okay to have heated discussions, it's okay to get angry and annoyed. But while doing so stay close and like I said above end on a good loving note. Clearly it's not either of our favorite thing to be annoyed or mad at each other about something, but that we are okay in our marriage if we are. Luckily there hasn't ever been an argument that didn't bring us closer together. 
11. Along the lines of the above, know when to stop a disagreement before it becomes "a thing". This is one I have learned and have tried to implement. That though arguments happen, it's also good to avoid them.
12. I learned Jachen can be annoying. I am annoying too. I learned I am going to be annoyed, but to try and quickly not letting it really bother me.
13. Know your spouse makes silly mistakes. I make silly mistakes too. We both are not perfect. 
14. I have learned it is amazing to have a partner, a best friend and a person to always be with and talk to. THAT is the best.
15. I have learned that we have so much in common, yet are such different people too. 
16. To always ask for hugs and kisses when you need them and to always "say I love you". To not ever leave an "i love you" not said. 
17. I have learned it is really great to feel 100% comfortable and open with another human being. 
18. Jachen and I were "together" for a year before we were married, but much of that was spent in different continents. Though it was great, seriously great, to have so much talking/communication{cus that is vital in a relationship} we have made up for lost time and have spent this past year pretty inseparable. It has been important for both of us to use this first year together not constantly apart. We know in future married years this won't be as easy, so we are getting it in as much as we can.
19. I learned the love I had for him a year ago is now NOTHING compared to how much I love him now. And I know that will just keep increasing. 
20. I learned it is really really great to have a techy husband. It was always something I wanted in a man...a man who knew how to do man stuff as well as how to do computer stuff etc. And I was right, it is sure nice to have a husband that knows how to do it all. 
21. Jachen is one GREAT husband and I feel 100% happy with my choice. I feel so happy that he chose me too.

It will be interesting to see what this upcoming 2nd year of marriage will bring, but whatever it brings I am happy I have Jachen on my side.



Natalie said...

Oh my gosh! Seriously, all day yesterday I was thinking the 23rd was something.....it was your anniversary!
Bonne Anniversaire!

kaitlin said...

i loved this post! good thoughts, glad that you wrote them down.