One year, baby. We recently celebrated one year of being married.
One year of life and love and my favorite, getting to say “This is my husband, Scott”. Hot damn that STILL makes something in my stomach do a little happy dance.
When I think back on this year I think of the times we laughed, the times we cried, and those special moments that we both laughed until we cried. I tell ya what, being married is so much fun, it really is.
I really didn’t expect much to be different when we got married but it is. Somehow. I really still don't get it but it's like this sudden rush of raging water exploded and swept us both up as we started this new life moving forward, together, forever.
Oh don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our fair share of fights and learning and growing and getting better as individuals so we can be better together. It’s not just the sunshine and rainbows you see on the Instagram highlight reel. It’s real life. And no one tells you about the hard times. But we’re in it to win it and are committed to loving each other each and every day.
I wanted to share a few things I've learned over the past year but just one more thing before I get to that.
Before Scott, I was always the one asking “But how do you actualllllyyyy know that is the person you’re supposed to marry. Like, sorry, I don’t really buy the when ya know ya know thing.” But I am now that person. I get it. And if I had to describe it, this is the best way I can.
The Lumineers have a song, Stubborn Love and this line from it is spot on: “The opposite of love’s indifference.” WOW WOW WOW. This sums it up to a T.
With Scott, I care so much it hurts. Everything Scott does makes me feel something. When he's happy or sad, I feel happy or sad with him. Even if it's not about me, maybe he's out fishing on the kayak but when he comes back filled up and happy, I'm extremely happy. Like the song says, the opposite of love is indifference and I never ever want to become indifferent about our love. And I guess looking back, that's how I really knew. There were a lot of other factors, but mostly when I cared so much it hurt.
Ok, and now for the list of things I’ve learned in my first year of marriage. We most definitely don’t have everything figured out, no my friend, not even close. But oofta, it's been a journey so far and my favorite one I've ever been on.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
For real, I can’t stress this one enough. Communication is key my friend. I know, I know it’s classic and seems way too easy but it’s the #1 thing that I’m like mmmm yeah, it all comes back to communication.
Make sure you're talking about the hard things the good things, the things that make you happy or sad. Talk about finances and kids and faith and ideas and dreams and reality and your parents and everything under the sun.
I've learned you can't expect your spouse to read your mind and you sure as heck can't hold a grudge (more on both of those below). But you do need to make sure you're communicating about all things. Talk, communicate, understand.
TEAM, BABY, YOU ARE A TEAM
It’s so easy to get in little fights. To compete. To find ways to nitpick and poke fun and be sarcastic and roll your eyes but my friend you two are a team. And there is no I in it. Well, there is in it but not in team.
Things changed for us when I realized that Scott wanted what I wanted. It wasn't an "I want this and am going through it and you just don't understand." He was right there in it with me. He goes through and experiences the things that I go through.
We actually use the team idea often, like saying it out loud. Whenever we get in a little debate or disagree or have a different version of the story and the other gets a little chip on their shoulder, we call out team and it's like, oh......yeah. There is really no point to this win because we're doing this thing together.
Plus he's my favorite pickle ball partner sooo......team baby team in all parts of life.
WE BOTH LOVE AND RECEIVE LOVE DIFFERENTLY
You KNOW I’m all about those love languages people. I wrote an entire blog about them. Scott’s is quality time, mine is words of affirmation. Knowing how each of us loves and receives love has helped us love each other better and with more intention. It was truthfully a game changer for us. Find out more by reading this blog post.
MARRIAGE IS WAY HARDER AND 100X BETTER THAN I COULD HAVE IMAGINED
I say it all the time. Married life is definitely not what I was expecting but way better than I could have every imagined. It's hard but there is so much joy. It's frustrating but I get to spend each day with my person.
Sometimes I'll wake up in the morning and it's like holy cow I am married and it's to you and wow wow wow I just can't get over it. It's the best. I'm not sure what I was expecting from married life but this is better than anything I had in my head.
HAVING A PERSONAL INTEREST (OR A FEW) HELPS
Finding ourselves hobbies and personal interests has been a positive thing for both of us. We get to pursue things separately AND together. It gives us something to talk about, to learn, to dive in to. I think everyone needs a hobby/personal interest of their own. Something outside of work and outside of your routine.
We both have passions that we pursue together and our own that we support each other on.
I love volleyball, Scott doesn’t. I play women’s league on Tuesdays and he gets some time at home on his own. Boom. He's a master carver (ok, just I call him that) and I only watch from afar but you better believe I'm his #1 fan. But we both love pickle ball and showing up for that each week together.
Find yourself a hobby and dive in my friend. (pssst…I wrote a whole blog post on this one too)
GRACE...AND LOTS OF IT
This past year I've continuously learned how to give Scott grace and maybe more importantly, myself. It's a beautiful thing. Neither of us are perfect, neither of us has it all figured out. But with grace and prayer and forgiveness we keep on trying to follow the plan laid out for us and how our marriage can hopefully shine a light for others.
HOLDING A GRUDGE JUST MAKES THINGS WORSE
For real. It goes back to the communication is key idea.
(PS this is the #1 thing, when I asked Scott what he learned this past year, that he said he would say)
If you have an issue, no matter how small or trivial it may seem, you need to talk about it. Seriously though, I've learned nothing is too silly or no big deal to talk about. If you don't talk about it now I've learned it's just going to fester and either that day or some day down the road, it will come up again so why not get it out on the table now?
Too often we try to solve the problem internally or on our own and that rarely works, if ever. It's so obvious when the other person is "off" and then we get to thinking something is wrong or they're mad or being grumpy when really they're just trying to work through something.
No matter what size or kind of fight we’ve gotten in, the ONLY way it has ever been solved is through communicating. Go figure. Just when we think and want to get over it all on our own, it takes communicating to get past the holding a grudge stage and on to the moving forward part.
I HAVE A FEELING WE’LL LOOK BACK ON THESE TIMES AND SMILE
I know everyone’s situation is different but for us we are young, 20/30 something-year-olds without kids, without a mortgage, that live in a little cabin on the lake, and can get up and go anywhere in the whole wide world with the snap of a finger.
Trust me, we don't take this lightly. It is a dream. We talk about it often. We know how lucky we are and rare and beautiful and I have a feeling we'll look back on these days and just shake our heads and smile. It's been such a fun year.
Getting to hang out with my best friend and do life together, it’s the coolest thing in the whole world. That and packing cubes. For real.
YOU HAVE A SAY
If you don't like something, change it. If you want to do something big and scary and a little out of the norm, you can do it. You have a say in the life you want to live.
I got pretty lucky, meeting someone who believes in my definitely not normal dreams but I've found that I often blame Scott for holding me back (does anyone else do this when you don't feel good about yourself, you blame the person closest to you?) but in reality he wants nothing but to help make my dreams happen.
Stop making excuses for something you have a say in. If it's a priority, you'll prioritize it and make dang sure it happens. Look at your partner as just that, a partner/lover/supporter there to help you achieve the big things you want to do.
SCOTT IS GREAT BUT HE'S NOT A MIND READER
I don’t care how often you finish each other’s sentences you can never, ever assume the other person knows what you’re thinking.
No matter how small or silly or obvious it may seem, sometimes you might have to give your partner a nudge or make them aware of something.
My friend told this hilarious story of her and her husband. I actually laughed as I wrote this recalling her telling it to me.
“Steph, he left a pair of dirty socks in the middle of the living room floor. I was like no big deal, he’ll pick them up and put them in the hamper soon.
Well, the next day they were still there and I thought, nope, I’m not going to pick them up, these are HIS socks, he’ll see them and will put them in the hamper. It's pretty obvious.
Then the next day comes and low and behold the dirty socks are STILL in the middle of the living room. At this point I’m like, can he not see the socks!? Are they invisible to him!? Is he serious!? But I was steadfast and assumed he’d pick them up and put them in the hamper. Wrong.
That night we were lying in bed and I was rigid. Like both hands clenched into fists, shaking with anger and breathing hard just thinking about his dirty socks in the middle of our living room that he COMPLETELY IGNORED FOR THREE DAYS!!?!?!?!
He noticed and asked, “What is going on with you? You seem like something’s been bothering you but I just can’t figure it out, you’ve got to talk to me.”
“GAAHHHHHH IT’S THE SOCKS! YOU’RE DIRTY SOCKS.”
“What socks?” He asked perplexed.
"You've got to be kidding me, your dirty socks you left in the middle of the living room floor 3 days ago."
He’s like, “3 days? I didn't even notice them. Why didn’t you just ask me to pick them up?"
YAAAASSSSSS. I was crying laughing when she was telling me this because I could relate in so many different ways. Also it was reassuring to know that I wasn't alone. Know this my friend, you aren't either.
Sure she could have asked him to pick up his socks, but that's not the point. You know those times that you just want your partner to notice something, to see what you see, to figure it out how you're expecting it to be in your head? This was one of those times.
But she learned from it too. What’s obvious to us isn’t always obvious, even to the person you’re the closest with. They cannot read your mind and you can’t assume they know what you’re thinking. Again, yep I’m gonna say it, it comes back to communication. Booya.
IT GOES BY WAY TOO FAST
You know I’m all about that intentional living lifestyle. Slowing things down and being present. But even with that, it’s crazy to think that it’s already been a year. One whole year. I'm a one year in married lady. Time flies man, it really does.
I look at people who have been married 30, 40, 50 years and it’s like no! I mean yes, that is amazing but how do I find the pause button for myself? It’s a beautiful thing to think about, growing old together but I’m really digging right where we are and trying each and every day to be present in it.
I don't want to look back even 3 years from now and say "I wish we would have..." I'm ready to live that life right now.
COMPARISON WILL KILL YA
It is way too easy to fall into the comparison game. Especially with social media and how connected we all are. You see other relationships and start to compare them to your own. You see other wives or husbands doing these ridiculously awesome things and you start to wonder if you or your partner are doing enough. Eh. Stop. You can’t do that.
Here's what I've learned, if you want something different or a change in your own relationship, you have the power to make a change. You have a choice. Take steps to make the changes you need and see the beauty in the relationship of the person you lie down next to each night.
DIVORCE ISN’T AN OPTION AND SO WE FIND OTHER SOLUTIONS
This was obviously something we talked about before we got married but we knew if we were doing this thing, we were going to do it and that meant taking divorce out of the cards from the get go. I know lots of people that have gotten divorced and it's been a healthy thing but for us, it's not an option. Like we took it out completely.
I don’t say this lightly, marriage. is. hard.
I can name times when I’ve thought that’s it, I’m done. I don’t HAVE to do this. But ya know, the truth is I WANT to do this. I want to be married to Scott. I want to call him my husband and spend the rest of my life with him and I know when I get really upset that the feeling is just a moment of rage and not the truth.
So when those REALLY hard times come I look for a different solution. Without divorce as an option, we find ways to work through it. To communicate (I told you it's the key my friend). To forgive. To support and love and listen and say I'm sorry.
Without divorce even on the radar, it’s like, ok, we’re here, we’re fighting, let’s find a way to get over this and move on because that’s what’s going to happen anyway.
FIGHTING SEEMS SO SILLY
Fighting used to be a lot more serious when we were dating but now it just seems silly.
At the end of the day, I just want to live it up with Scott. I want to laugh and soak in the moments and be a positive light for people and share each and every moment with him by my side. So why in the world would I even waste a second of my time fighting with him?
For the record, we still fight. Fight is such a weird word. We disagree, we get in funks, we have off days, and we argue but honestly, it’s so much less than it was a year ago.
But if I’m nagging or trying to be right or arguing just to argue I find myself more apt to take a step back and ask why. Do I actually have something to say or is this silly and I’ll regret wasting this special time with the one person I love the most?
I AM NOT THE PERSON I WAS A YEAR AGO…..AND THAT’S A GOOD THING
I’ve changed, so has Scott. In a good way. In a together way. In a wanting to be better for each other way.
We've both committed to being life long learners and as we continue to learn and grow about ourselves and each other we ultimately aren't the people we used to be, in a positive way.
I loved who we both were a year ago, but I love who we both are even more today.
IT'S CHEESY BUT EACH DAY I LOVE HIM MORE AND MORE
Watching the person he is becoming, the man, the husband, the friend it's just a beautiful thing. Each day I learn and see something new in him and that love keeps building.
It's almost like each day I take a piece of paper and stack it on top of the one from the day before. 365 days later I have a giant ass tower of paper aka love built from these thin sheets of paper. And that giant ass tower of love just keeps getting taller and taller with each passing day.
I’VE NEVER BEEN SO EXCITED TO CHEER SOMEONE ON
Holy moly do I get so excited when Scott gets excited. I get excited for his wins and big news and exciting new adventures and just watching his passions and hobbies and interests change and grow.
I just want to shout, "That's my husband. He is awesome. And super cute. And funny and nice." Everywhere I go. Watching and getting to be a part of his endeavors brings me so much joy.
HE MAKES ME WANT TO LOVE BIGGER AND BETTER
I know how Scott makes me feel: loved, safe, like I can do just about anything, and I pray every single day that I make him feel that way too. That I’m showing him love, that I’m telling him love, that I’m constantly aware of how I treat and notice and pay attention to him. He’s made me want to love differently and, well, I just love that.
WE ARE OUR OWN FAMILY NOW
We are both blessed with families that love each of us like their own. It’s the coolest thing and something we know we got crazy lucky on.
But we are our own family now. Listen, this is hard to admit and even harder to write into the world. Scott is my husband, he’s my new family and it’s us together first. Like I said, we both have great families that are super easy to get along with but the fact is that we both talk about making our family a priority first and it's the healthiest for our relationship. Sometimes that means saying no or sacrifices or taking a step away to just have a moment together.
I FIND MYSELF SAYING "I'M REALLY SORRY I MADE YOU FEEL THAT WAY"
Saying I'm sorry is huge in any relationship but this past year I've started saying "I'm really sorry I made you feel that way."
When I say "I'm sorry", I just kind of brush whatever the issue is off but in the back of my mind I'm still thinking about all the points I could make about why I did what I did. When I say "I'm really sorry I made you feel that way" I recognize that it doesn't matter if I'm right or have a good reason why I did something or think that what I did wasn't that bad, the fact of the matter is that I hurt Scott and he felt frustrated/angry/sad/upset because of it. It doesn't matter what I think, because his feelings are more real than any excuse and/or reason I might have.
Regardless of what I think, he felt a certain way and it's my job to recognize that and learn from it. I still say I'm sorry often but I've started to take a closer look at how I'm making him feel with my actions.
LIFE IS BETTER TOGETHER
It really is. Having someone to share every moment and memory, every laugh and inside joke. Someone who gets you. Someone who calls you on your BS but also holds you tight when you can't get out of bed on the days the world seems too big to face.
I often find myself glancing across the room at him and think wow, I am his, he is mine and holy shish-ka-bob this is the coolest little life.
I am so thankful for my life before Scott. For the learning and growing and traveling on my own and figuring "me" out first but this is just different than that and better than I could have imagined, and I really, really love it.
There are just a few things I've learned in the last 365 days. Like I said we definitely don't have everything figured out but it's the coolest little journey that we're on.
Happy loving my friend,
Hey-yo. if you liked this one, you might like these other blogs I recently wrote: