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Our First Year of Marriage
For the first hour I tried to write about this, I stared out the window or at the blank page on my computer screen. I’m not sure what to say or how much of it. I know what I’m supposed to say, that this first year has been a dream to me. That our honeymoon stage has left me breathless and been the best/most fun/exciting/joyful year of my life. But I also know that this is what everyone says, and that these words mostly left me feeling lonely and like a failure during the hard times this year, so I don’t really want to say them.
1 year of marriage down, 52 weeks, 365 days with this man who I chose and who chose me. Going in, I thought this would be the easy part. We’d been living together for years, been dating for longer, and have generally had a really joyful and loving relationship. It did not occur to me that anything would change, merely the title and legality of our relationship. But almost immediately after our big day, we kind of fell apart. The transition was actually incredibly hard for us, and we spent the first half of the year feeling our way through the dark trying to guess what step to take next.
We worked our asses off, tried everything we could think of to help us, and things started to shift. We communicated in ways that we’d never communicated, about things we thought we were already talking about. We listened to each other, really listened, maybe for the first time ever. We cried a lot, and laughed just as much (emotions get weird when they’re running high). I can’t look back and pin a moment, but reflecting on this last year, I see it as our first big struggle and triumph. We did not uplift each other through these last 12 months, we dragged each other through it until we could stand side by side and walk it out.
I will say one cliché thing about love here, I do truly love Joe more and more as time passes. It felt like the previous 5 years of being together were the fun times to prepare us for this real, genuine love. The messy kind, that at present is providing so much more of a rewarding partnership then I could have even imagined before. I love my husband, and am so proud of us, our decision to marry, and how we have so far chosen to navigate our marriage. I really and truly can NOT wait for years to come with this man I have the privilege of spending my days with.
As my wife said so eloquently above, getting married did not provide us with our traditional “honeymoon” phase. We had a lot of individual soul searching during our first year of marriage that drastically affected our relationship. We were down, sad, and just in a general funk. However, we did not let that overtake us, we fought for each other. I feel like during our first 5 years of being a couple, everything was kind of easy. We loved each other, we were easy to live with, we got engaged, and then we got married. And then all of a sudden, we both kind of looked at each other and realized, what do we do now?
After our wedding, we both realized there was so much more to our relationship that felt like it wasn’t there. We felt off. We both knew how important this was to us and we both put everything into it. We became better communicators, friends, and people during this year. Even after 6 years of being together, I can say that I have without a doubt, found my partner for the rest of my life. I am incredibly excited and grateful to get to spend each and every year of my life with my wife.
I think even looking back at it now, there is some sort of denial about it all, we love each other, what more do we need? And you know what, love is only a part of a relationship, and maybe that is all you need to survive as a couple. However, in order to thrive as a couple, you need so much more. By no means, do we have all of these needs and parts of our relationship figured out, but, we’re working on it, talking with each other about it, and preparing for our beautiful future together. So let’s eat our wedding cake–obviously carrot–have a bottle of champagne and celebrate.
All wedding photography by Heather Raeburn Photography.