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10 Things I Learned In The First Year Of Marriage

photo: Joseph Yetman Photography

My wife Shawna and I will be celebrating our first anniversary this weekend.  Wow a whole year has gone by!  I’ve already learned a lot about my wife, and marriage in general.

1.  Time flies. The last year has been the quickest so far in my life.  I’m sure the next will be even faster.  When we were planning the wedding, or had a honeymoon to look forward to, time crawled.  Now I’m scrambling to think of an anniversary present.

2. Do your thank you cards right away after the wedding. We waited a little while, and got about half of the thank you cards done by June.  Then time slipped away and procrastination took over and we barely got them out 11 months late.  Better late than never I guess, but it’s embarrasing.

3. You no longer have “your” money.  It’s “our money.” Marriage really is a team effort.  It’s a lot easier to save for big things when you have two incomes working together.  We had a few little hiccups along the way, but now we’re pretty well adjusted.

4.  You need a kid free getaway once in a while. It may sound horrible to some people, but once in a while, you need to go somewhere, get away, and enjoy just each other without kids.  During the week, we barely get a half an hour of grown up time with each other, since we both go to sleep shortly after our kid because we both get up early.  It also needs to be a getaway, because there are too many distractions at home.

5.  Do things together, but not everything. It’s important that you spend time doing things together, sharing hobbies, activities, etc.  On the other hand, there are some times where you need your space.  My wife takes baths when she needs some quiet time, I retreat to the man cave.

6.  Intimacy is not A huge priority. Guys hear about this all of the time before they get married, “Once you get married, the sex goes away.” I heard this about a million times, I swear to God.  And of course, I never wanted to believe it.  Then about 8 months into the marriage I was sitting in my recliner and she gave me a kiss good night and said she was heading to bed.  My heart fluttered a little.  Not because I was going to chase her up the stairs, but because I could watch one of my recorded shows she didn’t like to watch.  Then it hit me.  I get what they were saying.  Now it hasn’t all gone out the window, but there are times when there are actually things you would rather do.  That being said…

7.  Kiss every day. I read an article that said how important physical contact is for your relationship, even if just a kiss.  It’s true.  You can be really upset at your spouse, but after a kiss or just a hug, things seem much better.

8.  Fit in time with in-laws. This one is tough, not because I don’t like my in-laws, it’s just because I’m so busy.  I rarely have a free weekend, and when I do it’s hard to go and spend it with her family.  Sometimes you have to fit it in and give up the things that you want to do.  It’s part of that whole “compromise” thing.  It’s important for her to know that you are a part of her family too.  Plus it’s always good when the in-laws like you.

9.  It’s ok to fight, it’s normal. I kinda had this thought before we got married that couples don’t fight in their first year of marriage.  Well I was wrong.  We rarely do fight, but there are times when you don’t see eye to eye and that’s ok.  The difference is how you settle your arguments.  Never say anything just to be hurtful, and realize anything you say can’t be taken back.  It will forever be there in a corner of their mind, so watch your words and don’t let emotions take over, or walk away for a bit.

10.  If she left the ketchup out on the counter before you got married, she will even after you’re married. The whole point of this is, that every little thing your spouse did before you got married, they’ll still do after you got married.  Just a heads up.  To be fair, I still forget once in a while to change out the empty toilet paper roll with a fresh one.

It’s been a good first year, and here’s to many more!

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