Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Surviving the 1st year of marriage

I still smile when I see my cake. 
We are fast approaching our 1st year of marriage. I know, I can't believe it either.  I can't say it has all been easy, in fact a lot of it has been hard, really hard.  My situation isn't normal, whatever normal is.   I see all these kids getting married in their 20's, living in their first rented place together outside of mom and dad's house and growing together as a couple without all the craziness and responsibility of kids, dogs, and chickens and I think to myself "how cute".  I missed the chance to be a young bride and meet his parents and have in-laws because by the time I came around, they were all passed.  I missed the chance to get to know my husband before he was a dad, although he is a good dad and the kiddo is a blessing.  I didn't do normal.  

What I do know however are these two things: marry your best friend and remember in the heat of the argument try and remember you love one another.  

That seems simple enough but it isn't.  Neither my husband nor myself are perfect. I know, I know, this is altogether shocking and disappointing.  Believe me nobody is more upset at not being perfect than me. :-) We both have tempers and are stubborn.   This makes life nothing if not interesting.  

There are times when I wanted to give in or give up. Not because I didn't love him but because I didn't like him in that moment.  Luckily, the moment passed and I have gotten some very good advice that basically says "You have to accept one another as is, warts and all.  You won't change for him and he isn't going to change for you."  

Next best marriage advice from a soon to be not newlywed?  Pick your battles wisely and remember nothing you say in the heat of the moment will be forgotten or can be unsaid.   I am terrible at this one, I admit it. My mouth runneth over way too often in arguments.   It has gotten better over the course of the year but learning to not talk is hard for me.  (Insert shock here!). We have had some really stupid fights.  I mean laundry had been a battle royale in our marriage.  See I don't always turn my dirty stuff right side out.  This drives him nuts.  Honestly though,  I have the ability to blow off his blow up and that's what I have learned to do.  I do try to remember in the middle of my complete need to get the bra off (ladies you feel me here) to turn the cloths right side out and sometimes I even do.  It's just not worth an argument.  Silly stuff like that, is marriage.  You get on each other's last nerve once in a while.  

Remember in the bad times that the good times are coming.   Life has a way of beating us all up and down simultaneously.  If you are feeling beaten chances are he is too.  Find a place to pray, think, and make peace within yourself so you can make love not war with your spouse.  Don't bring work anger home and turn it into spouse hate.   Learn to talk to one another not at one another.  Remember your common goals and desires.   

Do it together.   Not everything but find things to do together.  We are building a rail around our deck to keep our friends from falling off.  Okay, not because we want one or need one because our friends aren't stupid or drunks but because the insurance is making us.  (Shout out to State Farm for being just stupid enough to not hear me when I tell you nobody ever walks on the sides of the steps or deck but you know better!) 
I told my husband the other day that working on the deck has actually been nice, if not one of the hottest things ever.  
We are doing it together.   Last week for my birthday (yes you missed it!) we went to his land.  Our land...I always say his but it's ours now.   Anyway, we filled feeders and worked on sprucing up and mowing and trimming together.  We shared the joy of getting bit and stung by hateful wasps. (I am not allergic, he is).  We were exhausted, grumpy, hot and stinky...but we did it together.  Let's be honest, it was 105 so we smelled so bad we couldn't smell ourselves or each other by the end of the trip although I smelled like stink and vanilla because I sprayed down with air freshener.  Yep, air freshener as perfume because who takes perfume camping?  Roughing it in the wild is making use of what you have, ladies! 

You know those things about yourself that drive you crazy?  Yeah well chances are they get on his nerves too.  I mean there are times I can't stand myself and wish I could run away so I know he feels the same way.  That may be the time for a day with your girls and a boys night out for him.  (Although hubs always drags me along on his boys nights because he likes my company or something?). When we were dating he told me the best thing about hunting was he would get a chance to miss me.  (What a bunch of bull! The best thing is bonfires, beer, and hunting buddy talk, I'm not fooled).  Never underestimate the value of missing someone!  You sometimes have to be apart to appreciate what you have.   

One last thing, take some time together, alone, and do nothing special.   We don't do this enough because we have house and boat and land and so dang much on our plate.  Still we get a weekend in here or there a couple times a year to relax and stop.  Kinda.  

Alright that is my sage wisdom and warning for everyone in the midst of wedding or marriage.  What marriage wisdom can you share?   

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