T and I just celebrated our first year of marriage. You know, the one that everyone said would be the hardest? Well, it wasn't really hard at all...I asked him, too and he said no. We have actually had multiple conversations about this topic. There are a couple of things that we attribute to having an easy first year of marriage, so I am going to share those. I am also going to share the few things that caused some stress. I am going to do it in a bulleted list so my OCD is in check.
Let me give you some background on T and I first. We met my freshman and his junior year of high school. Yeah, we are that couple. No one said we would stay together and we have been defying odds ever since. Honestly, looking back on it we were babies when we met and have grown a lot together, but always chasing what we wanted as well. We aren't one of those couples that lost themselves due to the person they were with. He lived with friends, I was in a sorority and lived in the dorm, etc. We were together 8 years before we got engaged. And yes, if you are wondering at that point I was beginning to wonder when it was going to happen. We got married the same month as our 9th anniversary together.
On July 27th we celebrated 10 years together.
Here are a couple of things that have paved our way to success:
- We had a plan four our lives separately and together from early on. We both had goals that we wanted to obtain as individuals and our plan was to obtain those and then get married.
- We both finished school and got hired into our career fields first. Although I would not at all say this is how it has to be by any means it certainly made the money stress much less, but more on that later.
- We lived together first. I know this is a bit controversial, a lot controversial still in the south, but it was what was best for us. In all honestly, we built a house together while we were engaged.
- We laugh a lot.
- We are honest with one another...even when that means telling the other one something is frustrating, etc.
- We don't 'sweep things under the rug'...it just isn't conducive to a good relationship.
(yes, he is participating in a blog post)
- Flexibility. Going with the flow and taking things as they come, but always dealing with them together.
- Katelyn detaching herself from Facebook. She was constantly on it. He is telling the truth, I was. I currently haven't been on it in 2 months.
- Listening to each others needs and not just considering ourselves.
- Being understanding of one another. She hasn't harped on me for forgetting to take the trash to the road and I don't harp on her for forgetting to load the dishwasher. We give each other a break and don't have unrealistic expectations.
- Taking trips together.
- Praying together.
- MONEY. When we got married we did not have joint bank accounts and it took us a while to do that, after we did the money stress was gone. I know some people are really opposed to this, again, this is what was best for us.
- Work Schedules. My job takes about 12-15 hours of my day. I actually left a job and took another in attempts to reduce my time spent on work related stuff. Our marriage is first (after God), always.
- Expecting things without communicating that. We have gotten really good at this, but I will say it took a while. At times I would expect him to do something while I was at work and he wouldn't and I would be really aggravated. We have learned that we have got to tell each other what we need and expect.
We aren't perfect, and neither was our first year of marriage, but it also didn't seem hard....it just seemed right.