Today, Hubs and I have been married for 6 months. I can’t believe how amazing it is to be married to my best friend. He’s the cheese to my macaroni and the butter to my bread. Can you tell I love my husband? And that I love carbs?
Before we were married, I felt a huge burden to learn to be a wife. Of course, there was nothing I could have done to prepare myself for marriage. True, I had great examples in our friends and family to learn from, but overall, Hubs and I are committed to just figuring our how to make our little family work.
Here’s a list of some things I’ve learned so far.
(P.S. Check out the links throughout to read the stories that inspired these lessons.)
1. Being a wife is much more difficult than being a girlfriend. We had a lot of fun when we were dating, but dating isn’t cheap. Now that we’re married, it’s not all fun and games anymore. Our nights are no longer just filled with dinner dates and going to movies or plays. We have nights that are devoted almost entirely to cleaning and paying bills, and we hardly ever go out to a “nice” dinner anymore. We save as much money as we can and we sometimes worry about the future or costly unexpected repair bills. Mostly, though, we just try to enjoy every day in this blessing of a life.
2. It’s not all smiles all the time. Since Hubs and I are together so much more than we were while we were dating, I have to really keep my attitude in check. Before I was usually happy when we were together because I didn’t want to waste any of the short time we had together by being unhappy. Now that we have more time, I sometimes struggle with thinking that I “have time” to pout. But, I constantly trying to combat that by reminding myself that as a wife, it’s my duty to be a blessing to my husband, no matter how grumpy or salty I am. That means I need to keep fighting against the grumps and not give in to the little, everyday problems that can chip away at our joy. Because let’s face it, when I’m not happy, Hubs isn’t either.
3. Doing laundry is my favorite household chore. However, I sometimes dislike the amount of folding that has to be done to keep clothes from getting wrinkled. Dusting, cleaning the bathtub, sink, and outside of the toilet are my least favorite. Vacuuming used to be at the bottom of the list, until I became the proud owner of an Oreck. Even, I smile, with my vacuum-hating history, when using this master cleaner.
4. Size isn’t everything. I love our little apartment. We don’t have a lot of room, but it’s perfect for us as we’re starting out. My only complaint? The lack of storage and prep space in our tiny kitchen. Luckily, I have a husband with the motto, “will wash for food,” and my dishes hardly ever stay dirty in the sink for very long. Which is great, because I LOVE learning to cook. Plus, I still love this room, no matter how small I sometimes feel that it is.
5. Growing up means going to bed earlier. Almost all the time. And you know what? I’m pretty okay with that. Especially since learning to sleep together has been a challenge. (It still is sometimes...)
6. Working is both a blessing (that I’m very thankful for), challenge, and a curse (I dislike working weekends when Hubs is home without me, and having my days off during the week, when I’m home without him). Yes, I whined all Fall about not having a job and how bummed out I was that no one would hire me, even Old Navy. Now that I’m working 30 or so hours a week at my part time job, I so appreciate the time I had at home to myself. I was able to get so much done during the day when I was home all the time. At the same time, I feel proud to contribute to our savings account as we watch our down payment fund increase every month. And while I don’t dislike my job, it’s certainly not what I picture myself doing for a long period of time.
7. We don’t need to pretend as though we feel we’re on a never-ending date. We’re married now, and that’s totally and completely different! We share a bathroom, for goodness sake! And we can hang out on lazy morning without getting dressed. And we can argue fairly and never worry that one of us will “give up and give in.” We’re in it for the rest of our lives, and there will be bad fights, hard nights, and unfortunate sights…and smells. But none of that matters because we’re not dating anymore. We’re married, and we’re happy to be moving forward.
8. Fighting fair is something we’re committed to doing for the rest of our lives, but it isn’t always easy. Wyatt has always been a bit more in control of his emotions, but that doesn’t always mean he’s better at conflict, because avoiding the topic and trying to move on only works for one of us (hint: it’s not me) and even then, it’s important to not bottle everything up forever. Still, I’ve learned more about myself and my argument habits than I ever thought I needed to know.
9. The hardest part about being a newlywed isn’t figuring out how to live together, so I disagree with those that say you NEED to live together before getting married to make sure it will work. The hardest part about being a newlywed is just figuring out how to do life all on our own. We’ve been best friends for more than 6 years, but until now, we’ve never been on our own together. We’re making decisions and doing our best to figure things out. We mess up and drop the ball (late or forgotten payments, anyone?) but we do our best to just laugh at ourselves and do better next time. And when we mess up with how we treat each other? It’s more than worth it to take the time to make up and make out later. (Yes, making out is key to any marriage, I say.)
10. Being a wife is something I’m certain I was made to do. I may not know “what I want to be when I grow up,” or when I’ll get “a real job,” but I know I’m being the best wife I can be to the best husband I can imagine. Sure, someday our family will grow and it won’t be just the two of us anymore, but for now, I love our little family, and am super blessed every day with new surprises that this newlywed life brings our way.
Oh, and a bonus lesson?
What do you think? What lessons have you learned in your marriage, whether it’s six months in or thirty years…or more!