“The first year of marriage is the hardest.”

That’s what they alllllll say anyway. About 2 weeks ago my husband and I celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary. Whoo hoo! 1 entire year, we made it! Not to brag, but if the first year is supposed to be the hardest I gotta say we are in for an easy and happy life together. Our first year was extremely more easy-going, uneventful, relaxing, and full of simple bonding moments more so than any year we have been together so far. Though some might feel this sounds mundane and bland, it was just the way we prefer things to be.

Our first year may have been relatively easy, but that does not mean we didn’t have our bumpy moments. There were some challenges, as any marriage is going to have at any point in the relationship, but it is how you handle these challenges that helps you grow closer together. Not just the challenges, but the happy times too. Growing and sharing in the happy times is such an enriching experience that brings you closer together as well. I am lucky that there were more of these happy times than the latter. Throughout our first year together I did learn some important things that I think sometimes young couples don’t always get right (I know we struggled with some of them)! To help all you lovely new Mrs. out there I decided to share a few.

wooden crates, purple mums, "happily ever after starts here" sign

Photo Credit: Ebby L Photography

One of the most important things I learned is how to forgive.

I don’t just mean to say, “It’s ok, I forgive you.” How to truly forgive, without keeping score, and without expecting anything in return. For instance, he forgets to mail that bill and asks you to hurriedly drop it in the mail on your way to work because he is running late and does not have time. Rather than getting angry, arguing with him about why he must ALWAYS wait until the last minute, and chewing his butt for relying on you to make up for his screw-up, just forgive. Let it go, agree to help him out (given you have the time to help before rushing off into your own day), and don’t expect him to bow down at your knees for helping him out. There’s probably been a time or two that you screwed something up and he willingly helped you out without holding it over your head. So return the favor. You are a team after all, having each other’s back is what it is all about.

red mums, wooden blocks, wedding rings

Photo Credit: Ebby L Photography

Going along with forgiveness, we should always be quick to say “I’m sorry.”

I feel often couples get caught-up in pointing fingers, and stubbornness gets the best of the situation. Pride can easily get in the way of settling a conflict peacefully and quickly. If you did something to upset your spouse or you made a mistake then don’t be too proud to admit it. A sincere apology can go a long way. Not only does it show your spouse that you are sincere, but he probably will be more likely to dismiss whatever the issue is rather than drag out a long, pointless fight. This is not to say that you should always be the only one apologizing. You should not allow your spouse to make you feel that you are always wrong and messing up, because the truth is we are all wrong at times and mess up. We’re human; we’re not perfect. And no marriage is perfect. So I am not condoning an emotionally abusive relationship in this manner. But if you did happen to be in the wrong then show your spouse you care, apologize for the situation, and work together to find a solution. I promise, more times than not this will result in immediate forgiveness, moving on to a solution, and some time spent making up over the silly argument 🙂

piggy back ride, fall foliage, married couple

Photo Credit: Ebby L Photography

One thing that I think can keep a marriage fresh and fun is simply being silly together.

Share a stupid joke, grab his tush when he walks by, or like my husband likes to do, get into an intense and almost fatal tickle fight (he LOVES to watch me squirm around in agony)! Don’t get too serious or too boring in your relationship. Of course, some times call for serious matters and attitudes, but overall you should never stop having fun with each other. Didn’t you hear about the wife who bought her husband a nerf gun, hid somewhere in the house, and left him a note daring to come find her in an epic nerf gun battle? Now that’s a wife who knows how to keep things fun! Never be afraid to be silly and act like kids once in a while. These moments will bring you closer together as you can see how much fun the other is again amid the stresses of everyday life.

golden wedding bands, bible

Make your needs known.

I feel his one is somewhat overlooked at times. Never expect him to “just know” what it is you need. If you need him to help you with a task, ask him. Sometimes this might require asking more than once (I know this can be frustrating), but that is ok. Feeling blue and simply need a hug and some special attention? Talk to him and let him know. It’s likely he’d be happy to oblige and console you. This saves you from being disappointed and him from feeling like a bad husband because he disappointed you.

Guys aren’t always sure how to best take care of you, and sometimes as women we want space and other times we want our man to comfort us. Don’t expect him to automatically know what it is you need. The more you communicate these needs, the more intuitive he will be about taking care of your properly without you having to ask. Communication is key to a successful marriage.

It goes without saying that I’m no expert at marriage with only 1 year of experience. But I know that as a young married woman it can sometimes be difficult to navigate the confusion and complexities of married life in this day and age. My last piece of advice would be to pray for your marriage. At times we tend to only pray during the hard times or when we want something specific to occur. Prayer should be part of the maintenance program of your marriage. God will always guide you in the right direction, long as you keep your heart open. Let God be the center of it, and together you two will come out of any conflict stronger than you went into it.

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