I married the love of my life on a beautiful Sunday in June. It was a perfect day. My husband, Ryan and I got engaged the first week of December and were married the fist week of June. It was a very quick six months but I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I had finally found the man I knew I wanted to grow old with – why delay the start to our happily ever after? I’m a strong believer of creating your own destiny – that only you can control your happiness. I was comfortable with my life and myself and had found my little place in the world. So, when I found the man I wanted to share my happiness with, and who wanted to do the same with me, I couldn’t wait a moment longer.
Shortly after getting engaged I couldn’t believe that some people felt the need to question my choice to get married. Asking such questions as, “Are you sure he’s the one?” “So, are you truly happy now?”, “You know marriage is forever…”
I realized they fell into one of two categories. They either didn’t know what to say to me during my moment of celebration or they don’t believe in marriage. That is completely reasonable – that’s their perspective and I completely respect that. It would all be fine and dandy if they would just keep it to themselves. I surely would never think of judging someone about his or her life choices in such a way. To me, that’s on equal grounds as racism or bigotry. Let people be!
This negative energy continued throughout our engagement. Even at our reception people were saying things like, “now you can start letting yourself go” and “It’s all downhill from here!” After we returned from our honeymoon the “words of advice” continued. So I decided to expose four common warnings about newlywed life:
The First Year of Marriage is the Worst!
This little gem is the one I heard the most after the wedding. All you have to do is Google “first year of marriage” to get hit with a litany of articles describing the awful trials, fights, and heart-break that one should expect within first 365 days after saying “I do”. It felt like we were being set up for a trap – that by signing the marriage certificate we were basically signing ourselves up for a year of hand and hand combat.
I was confused – after getting married not much changed within our relationship. We had been living together for 6 months prior to the wedding – we had our routine down. I already knew that he left his dirty breakfast dishes in the sink and didn’t lick the peanut butter off the knife. He knew that sometimes my tissues didn’t make it into the trashcan (gross, I know). There have been no surprises. We are human, we make mistakes, you learn, you forgive, you move forward.
You have to do everything together to make it work
People make you believe you should share every hobby, interest, and guilty pleasure or else you’ll grow further apart.
Ryan and I are opposites and I love that. We build off each other – we help one another grow. I signed up for a life mate, someone to go through this crazy world together, not a Siamese twin. Yes, we do most things together but I still need ME time. I would never think of making Ryan sit down and watch every episode of Pretty Little Liars or Glee or go along for shopping trips or runs. Similarly, I don’t need to be involved in every aspect of his law school life or political discussion. The time we do spend together is quality time – we make it count.
The love you feel on your wedding day is the peak of affection, and it’s all downhill from there.
People would have you believe that you will never be more in love than on the day of your wedding and that your opinion of your spouse will only disintegrate going forward. Wedding days ARE marketed as “The biggest day of your life!”….
Yes, at my wedding I was filled with an exhilarating joy. I was on a special high all day of excitement, love, and anticipation. I was radiating happiness. But I was also excited with the anticipation of what is yet to come. As I told Ryan in my vows to him, I was excited for the wedding day but even more excited for the places we’d go, the people we’d meet, the home we’d create and the family we’d raise. Those are all the reasons I married him – the life we jointly wanted to create together. The wedding day is just the beginning it will keep getting better.
You know, marriage takes a lot of work
This one hurts the most. It makes you feel like people are questioning your judgment and commitment.
Of course marriage takes a lot of work! But with anything else, if you want it, you have to work for it. I have always known I was the marrying type. I’m a romantic – an old soul. I took the time to discover what I wanted out of life and as I matured I turned my dreams into specific haves and have-nots. I got married at 30 and Ryan was 28. Our relationship certainly wasn’t our first time at the rodeo. We both had experienced failure, heartbreak and periods of reinvention. When we found each other we knew it was right. Marriage is hard work, but this is the job I’ve always wanted. I’m going to give it my all and hope every anniversary equals a promotion in our union.
What are some other warnings or newlywed advice you’ve heard or received? Don’t even get me started on the baby pressure or questions yet!