I looked at the calendar yesterday, counted on my fingers, and let out a little gasp.
Has it really been nine months since Matt and I walked down that grassy green, rose lined aisle, sealing the deal as husband and wife?
Indeed, it has. In some ways the wedding seems light years ago; in others, only a heartbeat or two.
Before the wedding, Matt and I were together for nearly six years. Our wedding was a wonderful bookend to that chapter of our lives. September 21 turned the page to a new chapter. Shiny and new in some aspects, wonderfully familiar in many others.
In the nine months we have been Mr. and Mrs., here are some of the lessons I have learned and observations I have made about making our marriage work, every single day.
• As creatives, our alone time is just as important as our together time. I need time to write, read, brainstorm, and daydream. Matt needs time to produce and record audio jingles, work on his website, write, and create and build in his workshop. The more we honor each other’s alone time, the happier we are together as husband and wife. In a marriage, I think it is your responsibility to present to your spouse your very best self whenever possible. To do so, remember and honor who you were before you were married. It is those little quirks and personal passions that brought you two together in the first place.
• I am an early bird, while Matt is a night owl. We understand and accept each other’s natural schedules. There is no point trying to change one or the other. I enjoy my quiet time in the morning. Matt’s creative juices start flowing around 10:30 p.m. Bless Matt’s heart for wanting to start a movie at 11 p.m., but he knows I will only last until the opening credits.
• In most cases, a bottle of wine at home is far more enjoyable than overpriced cocktails at a crowded bar at 1 a.m. There was a time for those late night/early morning adventures, but rarely (if ever anymore) do I feel guilty for “staying in” on a Friday night. It’s one of my most favorite things about our marriage right now.
• Laugh. Laugh a lot and laugh often. Laugh together. It’s the humor (OK, largely Matt’s humor and creativity) that brings me such entertainment and joy. Need proof? Just watch this. And this. And this one.
• If you’re newlyweds, get Netflix. The films, TV series, documentaries, and more that you’ll discover together (and share with one another) will provide hours of together time and conversation. See the above note; Netflix goes great with a good bottle of wine (red for Matt, white for me).
• Embrace each other’s differences. Avoid changing your spouse. I like spaces neat and tidy, Matt enjoys his belongings here and there and out in the open. Not long after we moved in together six years ago, I surrendered the idea of “fixing” Matt and his daily habits. So what if he’s a little messy from time to time? It’s OK. Really. I love him far more than his little (and sometimes big) piles of socks. (A side note: Our home allows us the opportunity to truly have our own spaces. The basement is Matt’s space, the upstairs is more my sanctuary. If we ever move, we will need a similar setup to truly make our marriage work.)
• Few things make me as happy as riding on the back of Matt’s motorcycle. Yes, me … on a motorcycle! The thought of such exciting and brazen transport never once crossed my mind
unti Matt bought his bike a few summers ago. I was cautious at first, but quickly learned to sit back, savor the scenery, wear my helmet (safety first), hold on, and just enjoy the ride. Embrace each passing mile; it flys by awfully fast.
Whether you have been married for five days or fifty years, you undoubtedly have learned what makes your marriage work. Share your advice and lessons learned below. And consider: What advice can you offer those couples in their first year of marriage?