As most of you know, M and I had been together for almost 7 (yes you read that right SEVEN) years before we actually said "I do." Now having been together that long most people seem to think that with us getting married not much would change. Well I am here to tell you that although things haven't completely changed, things are different now that we are married and not just dating or engaged or doing whatever it was that we we doing before we got married. Since this past Saturday (April 19th) marked the 6 month mark of being married I figured I would share 6 things that I have learned in the past 6 months of being married. (Disclaimer: I am in no way trying to imply that I am an expert in all things wedded bliss... just sharing some insight into what I have learned now that we are officially husband and wife)
one. You really do have to pick and choose your battles... some things just aren't worth fighting over. Like for instance my changing my name. Those of you who know me know that I did NOT want to change my last name when I got married... well I am here to tell you that after all was said and done I did end up changing my last name. It was something that was really important to M and as much as I first felt like changing my name would somehow change my identity I realized that since it was so important to M that perhaps I needed to learn how to compromise a bit and make the change. While having to change everything was the biggest PAIN IN THE BUTT... I feel so much better knowing that I did something that made him super happy. Because in the long run, was it really worth it for us to fight about what my last name would be... no?
two. There are now two of us to consider when making decisions. As much as there were two of us to consider when making decisions before in my mind the fact that we weren't married meant that if M was completely opposed to my decision it really didn't matter because ultimately my decision was what mattered. Now I realize that since there are two of us I can't randomly decide that I am going to fly to Florida for one of my bff's bridal shower and bachelorette parties... M & I need to discuss things like this before they actually happen. In fact I used to even tell people before we were married that it didn't matter what M thought because in the eyes of the federal government I was still "single" because that is how I filed my taxes (of course I didn't really mean that I was single, I was just trying to prove a point). This year of course that does not apply as we filed "married filing jointly" now in the eyes of the federal government there really are two of us to consider when making decisions... especially big ones.
three. Make the most of the time you have together. Since getting married M and I really haven't seen each other too much. He works day time, I work night time.... he is in bed before I get home from work and quite often I have to leave for work before he gets home. This means that we don't get to spend much time with each other. So when we do get to spend time together we need to make it count... and by make it count I don't mean that we need to go on crazy dates or do crazy things... I just mean that we need to take the time to just be with each other. I love on Monday nights how we usually cook dinner together... or how last Monday before cooking together we went for an hour long walk around the neighborhood. I also love when we have the time to just curl up on the couch together and watch one of our million DVR'd tv shows.
four. Make sure you still continue to take the time to do the things you love... even if it means not doing those things with your significant other. I love that M and I still take the time to do our own thing. While yes it stinks when I don't get to see him... I love that we are the kind of couple that can do our own thing. Take a few weeks ago for instance... I was hosting a baby shower and a #SipHappens party so M took that weekend to go spend time with the guys going to a beer fest and working on their cars. It was such a great weekend because we both got to do something that we loved, but also something that the other person doesn't love as much. What I mean by that is... I don't really know much about cars, don't like cars and certainly can't help M when he is doing work on his own car... and M well he doesn't care much about wine parties or baby showers... so it is great that we both understand that sometimes we each just need to do our own thing in order for our marriage to be the success that it is.
five. It is ok to ask for help with whatever. This probably doesn't apply to most relationships but it does apply to the relationship between M and I. For whatever reason when M and I were dating I was almost always afraid to ask him for help with anything (unless of course it came to fixing my computer, car, or something where you needed to be handy... I am not very handy.). If I had a rough time at work and was short on money I would never as M to help me out with my bills (even though had I asked he would have helped me out in a heartbeat). If I was struggling with making a decision I never wanted to ask M for his advice because I thought he might think that my problems were silly (I have a SUPER hard time opening up and talking to people about things because I have been burned in the past which has just made it a little harder for me... instead of talking more often than not I just tend to keep things to myself... this is also something I still have to work on because if you ask M he will tell you that sometimes it is STILL like pulling teeth trying to get me to talk about what is wrong.). I have really learned that no matter what M is there for me and even if he doesn't know how to help me he will do his best to make sure that I know that I am loved and that he will be there for me always.
six. Our marriage doesn't have to be perfect in the eyes of everyone else... it just has to be "perfect" for us. People may not agree with the decisions we make throughout the course of our marriage... they may not understand that we are ok with going our own separate ways on the weekend to spend time with the girls or with just the guys... and that is ok. We need to do what works for us and not what everyone thinks a married couple should or should not do.
These are just a few of the things that I have learned along this journey we call married life... and if I learned this in just 6 months I can't imagine how much I will learn within 1 year, 5 year, 25 years, etc. These have seriously been the best 6 months of my life and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us as a married couple!
What are some things marriage (or relationships in general) have taught you?