On Sunday 3rd March 2019, I had been married for a whole year. That seems totally crazy – my wedding day kind of feels like it was either 10 years ago, or last week. Over the past year, I’ve learnt a lot. A lot about myself, a lot about my husband, and a lot about marriage. Here are 5 of the most important things I’ve learnt in this first year of marriage.
Other people have a weirdly negative view upon marriage
I was quite shocked by other people’s reactions and comments about marriage, especially early on. Me and my husband would frequently be asked “how’s married life going?” and when we said it was going well, we’d be met with statements such as “you can be honest” and “there’s still time to run”. I was quite taken aback by this negative view upon married life, especially in Christian circles. After the initial surprise, we quickly learnt to respond by reiterating that actually we were enjoying being married!
The home is an important place
Last July, me and my husband moved into our own place for the first time. I never thought I would be the homemaking type, but I have come to really love our little flat. Especially in a new city, our home is my base, my focal point, a place I can use to build community and my safe place. I still hate housework, but I have come to long to be the kind of person who loves housework – I wish it was something I enjoyed because I do love it when my home is looking clean and tidy. It’s something I’m working on!
Sex is an important part of marriage
Growing up in current society, sex can seem very trivial. It’s something that is expected, flung around in stories of one-night stands, casual flings and in pornography. We can easily forget its importance and the emotional bonds that it can create. Over the past year I have come to understand what sex adds to a marriage, and the difference created when it doesn’t happen. This also made me hugely appreciate our decision to save sex for marriage – read more about this here!
Don’t rush yourself into maturity
Getting married young (I got married at 20), can lead to us feeling like we should be more grown up, more mature than we actually are. I think this comes from the fact that when you get married, you are first thrown into the process of moving into your first home (if you haven’t done this before), then you get everyone asking you: “so when are you going to have kids?”. Just because you are mature enough to enter into a committed relationship before God, does not mean you’re automatically mature enough to bring a whole new life into the world and raise it. Don’t feel pressure to suddenly be a grown-up, sensible adult just because you got married.
To ask – “do you feel loved?”
I have saved my favourite for last. Asking the question: “do you feel loved?” has been such a useful question over the past year. During our pre-marriage counselling (read more about that here), we explored love languages – so I understood to a certain extent what made my husband feel loved. However, the theory of this is totally different in practice. There may be certain things you do that you feel fall into the category of “acts of service” or “quality time”, that don’t actually make your husband feel that loved. Asking, “do you feel loved?” can help you to much better understand whether or not you are getting this balance right, rather than relying on our own understanding of someone else’s love languages.
Here’s to learning many more lessons over the years to come!