Helpful Hints From an Admittedly NON-Expert Newlywed
Let me clear, I'm NO expert on married life. The hubby and I are coming up on our one year anniversary in a few months, and I still feel like I have a lot to learn in the marriage department. But even so, I've learned a lot about myself and about my husband in the last year. My first year as an army wife has been much harder than I expected but also rewarding, fun, and exciting. I'd like to share a few words of encouragement for others who are either just starting out like myself or getting ready to take the big plunge. And if you're reading this and you've already been married for quite a while, I would love your opinion! Or, you know, you can at least have a good laugh at my expense.
The First Year Is NOT The Worst
Right before and right after we got married in January, EVERYONE had advice they wanted to share with us. The number one piece I heard over and over was that the first year (or two) is always the worst. We've got two months left, but I have to say, I disagree. I think what folks mean by that is it's adjustment period. You go from thinking about yourself and what's best for you to considering how your every action affects the other person. And that's hard for some people (including me, don't get me wrong), but it's also eye-opening and truly a learning experience. I was watching a talk-show the other day and one of the hostesses mentioned that she feels like her husband makes her a better person because she considers him in her every day life. Not saying now that you're married, your life has to be all about your spouse. But I think it's sweet that caring for your spouse (your wife OR your hubby) and considering their opinions and thoughts can make you feel like your best version of yourself. It's definitely different than what I was used to as a single person but I'm enjoying the change (most days).
There's Still So Much to Learn About Each Other
Before we got married, me and the hubby would talk for hours. About future kids, finances, everything we could thing of that might be hot-button issues in our marriage. And we did pre-marriage counseling as well (which I HIGHLY recommend). But even with all that, I still feel like I learn something new about him just about every day. Whether it's something small like a certain dish that I can't stand or an opinion he has on something on the news that totally surprises me, we're constantly "getting to know each other". I, for one, hope we never stop surprising each other.
Some Days You WILL NOT Like Him/ Her.
And that's okay! Obviously, I'm in love with my hubby, but some days (especially after a big fight) I'm not what you'd call his biggest fan. And I'm sure some days he feels similarly towards me. But the thing to remember is these feelings are temporary. We've both said some pretty hurtful/ unfriendly things during a fight or just accidentally in passing, but even when I can't stand him, I get that eventually someone will apologize, we'll talk it out, and that'll be the end of it. And sometimes we just need a break from each other. I think going from living alone to all of a sudden this other person is there all the time is a big change. Sometimes it's cool to hole up in your own space and get your head together.
Compromise, Compromise, Compromise!
This one's almost expected, it's in all the books, magazine articles, and blog posts about maintaining a happy, healthy relationship. But I think it bears repeating especially when you're talking about being married to a soldier. A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on following my hubby from duty station to duty station. In a perfect world, would I rather just stay here? Of course! But that's part of what I signed up for as an army wife so I kind of have to go with it. As a "dependent" we'll always have to compromise parts of our lives because of what our soldiers have to do for their job. It sucks sometimes, but those are the cards we've been dealt so we have to learn to figure it out. This leads to my last tidbit,
Have Something For Yourself
Yes compromise is important. But I think it's equally important to have something for yourself. Something that you do solely because that's what YOU want to do. I meet with a book club every few weeks (more info on that later), and I have this blog, because it makes ME happy. For me, having parts of my life that are independent of my hubby make those aforementioned compromises so much easier.
What have you learned being married or engaged to your soldier? I'd love to hear!
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