newlyweds.May 10, 2016
A few months back, Taylor and I had a friend on facebook who posted something along the lines of, "Happy six months to my sweet wife! I'm so glad we're not newlyweds anymore!" When we read that, Taylor and I both laughed together because we had recently come to the mutual conclusion that we'll consider ourselves "newlyweds" until we have our first baby or until we've been married 10+ years. That being said, there's such a cliche that comes along with being a recently married couple-- people will give you advice that suggests that, "The first year is the hardest," or ask crazy things like, "Do you guys hate each other yet?" But in my opinion, the married lifestyle, although filled with various challenges along the way, is both very happy and extremely rewarding. People have weaknesses, times are tough, and difficult things are bound to happen, but when it all comes down to it, a happy marriage is one that's based off of mutual goals and a desire to make each other happy.
Sometimes I get mad at Taylor when he leaves his socks on the floor or when he doesn't put things back where they go after he's made something in the kitchen. Sometimes I get real snappy with him because I haven't eaten anything all day or because I haven't gotten enough sleep (and it's funny because I know that I'm being a brat but I can't seem to control myself). We don't always agree on how various situations should be handled. I'm a stubborn son-of-a-gun and that always seems to make things interesting because I refuse to budge (even when I know I'm wrong)-- Taylor just has to roll his eyes and deal with me. Taylor doesn't like feet and I make a point to always rub my bare feet on his face. He tickles me until I nearly pee my pants (and I get so mad I refuse to talk to him for a solid ten minutes). Long story short: yeah, we don't agree on everything. No, marriage isn't like all the fairytales we grew up telling-- it's better. It's better because it's real, and it's raw, and it gives us the opportunity to grow in ways we never could have otherwise.
I'm obviously no expert on marriage (heck, I don't know if any of us will ever be) and Taylor and I have just as many disagreements as the next couple. But I've realized that being different and having different opinions really is such a good aspect in a marriage. It helps us to see things from multiple points of views and to make the best possible decision in different phases of life. What matters isn't necessarily the way we handle the mundane day-to-day things (like toothpaste, socks on the floor, and dishes in the sink), but rather, the goals that we share as a couple and the things we hope to accomplish during our lives together.
Who cares if I want to play soccer but he wants to play basketball? Who cares if sometimes I'd rather sit and watch gossip girl while he's watching the football game? Who cares if he knows all sorts of things about cars and that I'm completely incompetent when it comes to that topic? What matters is that we both share a desire to have a family, we both want to travel and experience different places and cultures, and we both want to continue to put an emphasis on the role religion plays in our lives. What matters is that we value each other's dreams and opinions and do the best we can to accommodate to each other, even when it's not always convenient to us. What matters is that, in the end, we just like being together. It doesn't matter where we are or what we're doing, as long as we're together.
In life we have to pick and choose our battles; it's no different in marriage. You can choose to be upset about the socks on the floor or you can just laugh about it and throw them in the laundry hamper. Or, if it's something that really troubles you, you could simply express why it upsets you to your spouse (and more often than not your spouse will put up a valiant effort to be better about it)-- but you have to give them time to be better. None of us is perfect. We've got to be patient with others and we've got to be patient with ourselves.
Getting married doesn't solve all of your problems. In fact, more often than not, it presents a whole new list of problems that you couldn't have predicted you'd have to deal with. What marriage can do, however, is offer you a lifetime-partner in crime with whom you can take on life's challenges with. It gives you a permanent cuddle buddy, netflix buddy, and adventure buddy. Your relationship doesn't change just because you say "I do," over the alter. You're still you and he's still him. You become permanent sleepover buddies and that's about all the change you get. So don't expect marriage to make your relationship into something other than what it already is. You love him for who he is, he loves you for who you are, and that's about it. You'll be married and other than the permanent sleepover thing, nothing feels different. It's just more fun because you know that you'll be there for each other forever and always.
They may say that the first year of marriage is the hardest, but I think it's probably the other way around. As life moves on greater trials will come-- the trials you deal with in the first year of marriage are more-so related to getting used to living with another person. But the trick to overcoming those issues is merely communicating well with each other and deciding from the beginning that you're not going to let the little things eat away at your soul. Marriage is sweet, exciting, and sometimes a little difficult, but like all things in life, the things that push us to become greater are the best things for us.