(And jeez, there’s probably a lot more than 10)
I became motivated to write this post because of Savannah Locke who is JUST the most precious human and amazing writer. I follow her on Instagram and she gave a little “here’s what I learned in year 1 of marriage” snip-bit.
Thus I became inspired.
Marriage is funny. Year one has been dramatically different and better than I thought it’d be.
#1. If you think you have inside jokes with your significant other now… just wait till you get married.
OH MY HEAVENS.
The amount of inside jokes Noah and I have now is one of my favorite things. The amount of times we have gotten in extremely goofy moods and laughed until tears have streamed down our faces is way more than I can count.
I love that we have learned how to communicate with just one word or one weird look. There are moments where I can figure out exactly what he’s thinking by his facial expressions in a situation.
One time, we were watching a movie with friends, and Bill Murray showed up on screen. Simultaneously, we both looked at each other and said in unison “BILL FREAKING MURRAY” and then died laughing.
#2. You will never stop learning about each other.
On the flip side of communicating with one word or one look, there are also things that still completely catch me off guard about Noah.
We still have to overly communicate things at times. I can’t always figure out what’s going on in his head.
I’ve had to learn how to ask really good questions and which questions he NEEDS to be asked.
For the most part, I understand broad overviews of how he thinks. But there are also times where I have to have him explain it to me so I can understand his interactions and reactions in certain situations.
Lately, he’s been really into the idea of going bow-fishing. I have no clue where this came from. But I’m still learning about him!
#3. Saving sex for marriage was SO worth it.
I will never be able to talk about that enough.
Having boundaries and guarding purity and honoring it for marriage has made everything so much more worth it.
Honestly, we could both preach on this for hours.
If you want a more in-depth discussion or if you’re in a relationship where you’re having trouble being envisioned for that, I would love to spill my guts about how worth it is on this side of marriage.
#4. Yes, you are going to have fights.
And yes, many times they’re going to be either about 1) really stupid things or 2) really intimate, vulnerable things that you’ve never had a conversation with anyone else about.
These fights are SOOO good. I’ve never left one of these fights NOT feeling closer to Noah.
Here’s the key to fighting well:
- Get it all out. Don’t do the whole “I’m just going to pout and not tell you what’s really going on with me” thing. That’s dumb. Stop it.
- Admit when you’re being a butt head. If about halfway through the argument, you realize you were completely in the wrong and that guilty feeling starts to creep in? Yea.. don’t ignore it. Get to apologizing. And admit you’re being a butt head. Then your spouse can agree with you and say “Yes, you are being a butt head” and you can laugh about it.
- NEVER reject a hug when they want to hug it out. Always at least end things with a big ginormous hug. You won’t regret it.
#5. Married life is amazing. But single life had its perks too.
For so long in my single years, I had moments where I was really convinced that married life had to be better and that single life was the worst.
If only I was married… I would think.
I’m confident that Paul knew exactly what he was writing at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 7.
Neither one is better than the other. I think there is a season for EVERYTHING. I think God writes stories in a million different ways.
Getting married to Noah and being his wife was and IS the best thing for me. Of that, I am convinced.
But between singleness and marriage… they can’t even be compared.
As a married woman, I get to sleep in a bed with a really hot guy (heyooo) every night. I get to always come home to someone. I have someone to process things with and someone who loves me REALLY well and shows me/tells me often.
As a single woman though, I had a lot of freedom in making decisions that I don’t necessarily have now. My choices and my actions didn’t affect a ton of people. In fact… it mainly just affected me. Move wherever and whenever I want? Sure! Go on a really long trip just for fun? Go for it! Completely change career paths? WHY NOT!?
They both have their benefits.
If you’re single and have the desire to get married, I would encourage and exhort you to savor your single years. They will be much shorter than your married years. Don’t get so caught up in the longing for a different season that you miss the current one.
#6. If you were one of those people who joked to your friends who were getting married that they were going to get pregnant in their first year of marriage, God will laugh and make you that person instead.
We got pregnant almost exactly 6 months into marriage. And I regret every time I joked with anyone about how I hoped they would get pregnant quickly.
3 more months till Bradley Grace Bowman makes her appearance.
#7. It’s okay to learn to be dependent.
Hear me out on this one.
I prided myself on my independence in singleness, dating and even engagement.
I was always told that being dependent is a bad thing.
And yes, in a way, it is.
But in marriage, learning how to become one with your spouse and learning to let them affect you is a HUGE process.
It’s also safe. SO incredibly safe.
For the first 3 months of marriage, I was so confused and angry about how easily Noah could affect me on the other side of marriage. Becoming his wife allowed him to have access to deep places in my heart that no one else on Earth had. And it felt so uncomfortable and vulnerable.
And I felt like I had to guard and protect and hold myself together… to keep myself unaffected by him.
But that’s not what a healthy marriage is.
I’m SUPPOSED to be one with him. I’m supposed to be affected by him.
Just let go. Learn how to depend on each other and let the other person affect you.
#8. Spending time with God is just as important as it’s always been.
It never stops being important. It’s just as necessary to hear from God and have intimacy with Him on the other side of marriage.
I need Him now just like I’ve always needed Him.
#9. You have to be more intentional to get quality time with friends.
I’m still learning this one.
But really, if you stop being intentional with your community and your friends who are both single and married, then friendships will dwindle and fade.
It is SO easy to get caught up in your little “marriage bubble”.
Don’t fall into the trap!
Make it a priority for both you and your spouse to schedule consistent time with groups of people and intentional times with members of the same sex.
Friendships are still important! Don’t let them fall through cracks.
#10. Marriage does not always have to be hard.
It really doesn’t.
It can be the most fun, life-giving, wonderful thing. And if it’s not, get prayer! Talk to people! Get quality time with other couples and have them help you with your conflicts.
I have loved realizing that Noah is my #1 fan and the best teammate I will ever have. Doing things TOGETHER is far better than trying to operate in our individual strengths independently.
LET’S GO, YEAR 2!