Five Things I Learned From My First Year of Marriage

Updated on March 8, 2018
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Ione Stevens obtained her bachelor's degree in English in 2016. She is now a library assistant for Stratford University.

Our first apartment together. 8 months pregnant. (2013)
Our first apartment together. 8 months pregnant. (2013)

My husband and I are not the 'traditional' couple. I say this in the most positive and endearing way possible! We were only dating for 4 months when I took a trip to the ER at 4:00 in the morning. I thought I had the flu, but several days passed and I still felt like road kill! Josh (my now husband) went to visit family in Florida for Christmas, so my 'trip' to the ER was with my mom and stepdad.

Nope, it wasn't the flu! The doctor came back with a positive pregnancy test and I started crying immediately. I revealed the news to both my mom and stepdad. Afterwards, I called Josh and he couldn't have been more thrilled.

In the summer of 2013, we moved into our first apartment. Our son was born in August, healthy and happy. After two years, we rented a house with my mom and stepdad. Josh and I watched our son, Tristan, grow into such a vibrant and silly human. The conversation of when to tie the knot always ended with, 'let's wait until our finances are in order'. We knew that wedding expenses were going to set us back and we weren't prepared for it. In 2016, I found a much better job after graduating college. Josh was promoted to full-time. So when the talk of 'when' resurfaced in May, we were eager to set the date!

Josh and I got married on September 24, 2016. We were surrounded by close family and friends. There was so much laughter, great conversations, feel good music, and plenty of comfort food and drinks for all! When the day turned to night and the majority of our guests left, the remaining of us lit up the fire pit and enjoyed each other's company. Our wedding day was absolutely perfect in every aspect and we'll never forget it.

Our Wedding Day (2016)
Our Wedding Day (2016)
Our Honeymoon in VA Beach, VA (2016)
Our Honeymoon in VA Beach, VA (2016)

On our honeymoon, we went to VA Beach, VA. We spent a wonderful week on the beach and it was the best and ONLY vacation we've ever had with just us. Josh and I still find ourselves remembering how it felt to be newlyweds. Some may even say that we're still considered newlyweds, but being together for so long beforehand makes it feel like we've been married for years!

With that said, Josh and I will be married for 2 years in September. Our first year of marriage ended up being vastly similar to our relationship before tying the knot. The responsibilities and priorities remained the same. After our honeymoon, we returned to our daily grind. However, I learned quite a few things in our first year together as husband and wife. Let's take a look!

Not Everyone Will Support Your Marriage & That's Okay

About a month prior to our wedding date, someone we loved dearly disapproved of us getting married. To be completely honest, if I was writing this before we said 'I do', I would've been a bit harsher in my choice of words. Time has passed and, even though all ties remain broken, we have spared ourselves the bitterness. We do not grudge. Josh and I have forgiven from afar, which is the best thing we could do for our relationship and for our son.

In the days leading up to our wedding day, we uninvited this person. If they couldn't support our union, then they were no longer welcome. Throughout our first year, there were times where the heartbreak would resurface. The lack of presence, love, and support from this individual broke my husband's heart. In return, my heart broke for my husband. As a wife, there is nothing more devastating than wanting to fix it all in one clean swoop, but knowing you can't.

In a situation like this, time doesn't necessarily make it easier to deal. We just choose to focus on what really matters: each other, our son, and our family. Josh and I do all that we can to provide for our family. Both of us working together because we are a TEAM.

To this day, we have no contact with this person. As time goes on, Josh and I have realized that the one missing out on anything is them. They don't get to see us succeed as a family. Our 4 year old barely remembers who they are.

One person out of an entire army did not support our marriage. We fell apart, put ourselves back together, and now we're stronger than ever. In conclusion, marriage is between two people and outside observations should never be welcomed...no matter who they are.

Sometimes We Annoy Each Other & It's All Good

Josh and I have lived together since 2013. We each have our quirks and we've learned to accept them for what they are. For example: I get frustrated easily. Josh can be super indecisive. I don't like to talk much first thing in the morning. Josh has a habit of pacing when he's over thinking or talking on the phone. I can be a little nagging at times. Josh will interrupt me in a conversation, sometimes repeatedly.

We've finally come to the point in our relationship where if we don't like something, we voice it. Now, if I'm nagging Josh about something, he'll call me out on it. If Josh interrupts me mid-conversation, I'll ask him to wait. We respect each other completely. Josh and I don't want to be the married couple that refuses to acknowledge our flaws. We don't feel shameful. We're not perfect. I'm not lying when I say that he does annoy me sometimes. I'm sure I annoy him! But the best part about all of this is how we love each other regardless.


It's Okay To Ask For Help!

There are multiple statistics that claim a wife will stress MORE than her husband. I'm not speaking for all married couples, but I've found this to be FALSE. Josh and I have found that stressing alone can raise conflicts in our relationship. We either get cranky, emotional, or completely shut down. This kind of behavior wasn't doing our relationship any good. So we decided to talk about our stress, no matter what it was or how it might affect each other. I believe it's normal to sometimes feel that your stress is yours only. In our marriage, we share everything...including our stress.

If I'm stressed about paying a monthly expense, I can talk to Josh about it and we will find a resolution together. If Josh is stressed about something, he will come to me and we talk it out. We always feel better about the situation, just by knowing we are not alone. It's perfectly okay to ask your spouse for help. You should feel comfortable about it, no matter what you need help with.

Date Night (2018)
Date Night (2018)

We're Married, But We Still Need To Date

I've known plenty of couples who forget to date AFTER they get married. Now, I understand that life can be hectic and it can feel nearly impossible to get the free time. We are full-time workers with a 4 year old. Some may think we have more time to ourselves than other families because we only have one child. All in all, we're still busy working the majority of the week. When the weekend arrives, Josh and I aim to spend time with our son. So, that means less time with just each other.

Josh and I have learned that a happy relationship means a happy family. One day/night every other weekend, we spend some quality time together. Be it dinner and a movie or binging Supernatural and eating take-out in bed, we make the time. In my mind, I don't want to miss out on my husband. I don't want to wake up next to him 15 years from now and not know the man he's become.

All In All, We're Still Learning

Some days I feel like I learn something new about Josh. Other days, I know what he's going to say before he even says it. That's the beauty of marriage, of building a life with someone you've vowed to be with forever. I look forward to spending many more years with Josh. It's been wonderfully chaotic thus far and I wouldn't change a thing about us.

Fourth of July (2017)
Fourth of July (2017)

© 2018 IoneLynne

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