It’s hard to believe that I’ve been married for one month now. I am somebody’s wife. It’s a little strange when I stop and think about it. But it’s a good strange. At the risk of offending my inner feminist, I’ll say that after being with the same incredible man for almost seven years, I feel like I was born to be his wife.
The first month of our marriage has flown by. The wedding, the honeymoon, moving into our first apartment– it’s been a busy month. I’m still in the “newlywed bliss” stage, but I’ve learned and grown a lot this past month. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the past four weeks.
1. Changing your last name is annoying.
Don’t get me wrong– I’m glad that I changed my last name, it was my choice to do so. However, the actual process of legally changing your name is exhausting. You have to go to the Social Security office and and the DMV (two of the most terrible places to spend an afternoon). After all that waiting it’s time to call the bank, all the credit cards, car insurance, and the list goes on. Thank God for the Pinterest lists that have been keeping me on track!
2. It’s okay to say “no” to people.
When you get married, your priorities should naturally shift a little bit. You and your spouse are your own little family unit now, and you should be putting each other first. Not to mention, being a newlywed can get busy and exhausting! You’re writing thank you cards, organizing leftover wedding decorations, and adjusting to a new way of life; these things take a lot of time and energy, and you can get burned out quickly. You might have to say “no” to a graduation party or a family dinner, and that’s okay. Once life settles down you’ll have more time to go out and socialize.
A word of caution on this: remember that you and your spouse are not an island. It’s important to stay connected to your friends and family, they are your lifelines. The people who love you will understand that you’re going through a busy season right now , and they’ll be cheering you on every step of the way.
3. Dealing with change can be hard, so give each other grace.
This one is especially pertinent if you and your spouse didn’t live together before you tied the knot. A lot of life-change is happening all at once and it can get overwhelming. For example, within a period of four weeks my husband did the following: 1) graduated college, 2) got married, 3) went on his first vacation without parents around, 4) started the first job of his engineering career, 5) went on his first business trip, and 6) moved into his first apartment. *Disclaimer, Dan is about the only human on this earth who could handle all this at once.
Having the right person by your side is what makes all of this exciting and overwhelming life-change manageable. Having the person who understands you better than anyone, and who will be there at the end of the day to hug you, let you vent, or make you laugh makes all the difference. With everything changing around me, mine and Dan’s relationship is the constant that we can hold onto.
4. Dan coughs really loud in the morning.
And it’s annoying, and it scares our cat. But that’s okay, because I’m sure have annoying habits too. It’s the everyday magic of living together and learning each other’s quirks.
5. Remember to have some “me time.”
It’s important to keep doing what fuels you, and what makes you you. It’s okay to bake cookies while he plays video games or to read your favorite book while he watches that documentary on the History Channel that you’ve already watched with him three times. Getting married doesn’t mean that you give up your identity.
6. Flexibility is your best friend.
This one is really important for the Type-A’s and the planners. Reality has taught me that things seldom go the way I have them planned in my head, especially when there is another person involved. You can’t predict and plan every moment, and life loves to throw curveballs at all the wrong moments.
In my head, we would be all moved in and unpacked within our first weekend at the apartment. Maybe there would be a little organizing left to do throughout the week, but nothing major. Well, it’s been a week and half and there’s still boxes all over my apartment. It would be easy to freak out and live in anxiety until everything is settled the way I want it. Instead, I have to change the picture in my head and embrace the fact that life has been too beautifully busy to worry about unpacking boxes every night of the week.
7. Love is the anchor.
When you’re annoyed, in a disagreement, or just moody for no apparent reason, love is what will anchor you back down to normal. Think back to that magical moment when you were standing hand-in-hand and made promises to each other in front of your family, friends, and God. Remember why you made those promises, and remember all the love you felt coursing through your veins in that moment. This sacred moment is what it all comes back to when the waves of life are tossing you around; cling tight to this moment.
8. I’ve never been happier in all my life.
The past month has been a crazy ride full of ups and downs, but my soul has never been more content.