Newlywed Survival Guide: Year One Recap
I remember our wedding day so vividly and all the planning and preparation that went into our special day. I remember my nerves being tore up and wanting everyone to feel the love and good vibes we were feeling on our wedding day.
This was the start, this was our beginning our new chapter to the greatest book ever written. We had done the work, we had built something amazing and we were ready to become ONE!
Now just one year later we are taking a moment to step back and reflect on our first year of marriage, the highs and lows and most importantly the lessons we learned.
Before we dive in let me start off by saying that none of this would be possible without the love of God and his grace and mercy, we are who we are because of him! Also I want to add that I am not a relationship expert, counselor or claiming to know everything I just want to share what's on my heart.
For those who don't know I met my husband November 2016, he proposed May 2019 and we got married July 6, 2019! We took our time building our foundation and we developed a great friendship that blossomed into a wonderful union. We put in the work and we surrounded ourselves with positive, encouraging and impactful friendships.
Year One Recap:
Before getting married I would often ask my parents, grandmothers and mentors what was the most important tip they could give to young, hopeful married couples they all mentioned COMMUNICATION!
And, honey!!! Let me tell you they were right. Once you strip away all the glitz and glam and you settle into real life you have to communicate non-stop. We found ourselves at times over communicating and discussing it all and in the end it helped fuel our intimacy. See when you communicate open and honestly it gives your partner a glimpse of how you operate, how your mind formulates and solves situations or disagreements. Now I have to admit it took a minute to really communicate the hard things, the things that I battled silently because I never really had to express those thoughts or decisions with anyone besides my therapist. I had to learn that there was no reason to hide behind the shame or silence it was not only best for my marriage to open up but for me as well. This is where I have to stop and thank God because I could've never imagine sharing my inner most deepest thoughts and secrets with anyone, but he gave me a man that not only saw me but he heard me!
- Leave and Cleave!
"That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh" -Genesis 2:24
Anyone who knows me truly knows that I am a daddy's girl through and through, and there's nothing anyone can do to change that! Now let me say this, "Leave and Cleave" is not a concept I had to really battle with I understood that when my father gave me away he released me to my husband. Which in returns means that it's hubby and I. It means my hubby is now my covering, he is now the one who leads, who uplifts and pushes me towards my destiny. Now that doesn't mean that I cannot have a solid and strong relationship with my father but it does mean that I am married and my husband is the head. I still talk to my father a few times a week and we still have amazing conversations but my father is quick to say "well what does your husband think?" or "wait, let me speak to your husband real quick!" (which then results in my husband and father having a full blown conversation about me or the topic at hand and there's a ton of laughter and good advice given)
Going into marriage every couple should really establish boundaries if necessary, we were lucky enough to have parents who love us but they understood the importance of developing a strong union.
- Pre-martial Counseling
Before we got married we attended pre-martial counseling and honestly it was one of the best decisions we made. After being proposed to my brain went into "ultimate wedding planning mode" but I knew that before we signed our names on any contracts or locked in venues we needed to complete our counseling sessions. Now every pre-martial counseling program is laid out differently and you have to find what works for your relationship but let me tell you many of the tips/lessons I learned I still apply to my marriage. In my opinion, pre-martial counseling equipped us with the tools we need to succeed and trust me there is no shame in seeking outside help before marriage, during and individually! I recommend finding a therapist or spiritual advisor who will truly push your partner and you to discuss the hard things.
Prior to us tying the knot I was in the thick of my grief journey and was struggling to catch my breath during the waves of grief, our counselor encouraged me to speak what I was feeling during those moments and it created a safe space for us.
Listen! To put it simply do what works for YOUR relationship! Some couples chose to merge their bank accounts and finances while others chose to keep things separate. Whatever you do is your business and no one can or should make you feel differently. Do have open and honest conversations about any debts (student loans, credit scores, credit card debt etc) it will save you unnecessary heartache and resentment!
- Be Equally Yoked
It is very important that you have a vision for your marriage, goals and family. Your beliefs, values and worldview was shaped and formed before your entered into your relationship or marriage, its important to not let the other person change you but to be in an agreement. An agreement that this is our beliefs, values and this is how we see world through our eyes.
- Resolutions? Maybe or Maybe Not!
Every disagreement or argument won't always have a resolution or conclusion, it's very important to not always seek an ending. Sometimes it's just better to agree to table it until another time when things are calmer or when you both have had to think about it. I am the type that wants a final verdict but during this first year of marriage I quickly learned that sometimes not having a resolution is the resolution! Crazy right?!? But it actually works!!
- No Comparison Traps
What works for you and yours is all that matters! Do not set out to cure the other person and do not set yourself up for a fairytale! Marriage takes real work and sometimes it's not cute, sometimes it's that ugly crying, nose running and tears streaming down your neck type of marriage. But hey that's what vulnerability and openness is all about. Your marriage will not be like your parents, grandparents, mentors or best friends marriage or relationship. Do not compare yourself or your partner to someone else! Trust me, it's not worth it!! Comparison traps on social media or tv are just that, TRAPS. Define and refine what works for your marriage or relationship, keep evolving and most importantly keep trying!