6 months of marriage.
I went into marriage thinking I would be the best wife in the world. That I would laugh at everything Tanner said, cook the best meals + keep the house sparkling clean at all times.
I think a lot of young wives or wives in general go into marriage with this outlook. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say Tanner or I were unprepared for marriage. We did EVERYTHING there was to prepare. Pre-engagement counseling, (to get us ready for engagement), engagement counseling, we had the best mentors known to man + read every marriage book there was. We discussed our expectations, our goals, made budgets + worked through past hurts. We did marriage the “Christian” way + honored Him with every step through the process.
But still, after the wedding + honeymoon were over + real married life came at us head on, we learned very quickly that although we were prepared as well as we could be, there were a lot of things + situations we just weren’t prepared for.
This blog is not to bash marriage, it is still the most wonderful thing I have ever been a part of + I enjoy my husband SO SO much! This blog is to encourage newlyweds or soon-to-be newlyweds that they are not alone. There are plenty of people on social media flaunting their perfect marriage + perfect life. I want to be REAL! I’m here to say that marriage is SO HARD + you have to work every minute of every day for it (the rumors are true) but it’s so worth it.
This is my experience of the struggles and the triumphs of the past 6 months:
STRUGGLES I WASN’T EXPECTING OR PREPARED FOR:
Why do I feel like all my friends hate me now? Losing friendships. I knew when we got married that my social life would change. But I never knew how drastically. First of all, most of my “spare time” (this doesn’t include church or work) was dedicated to spending time with my husband and learning how to be a wife. I never knew how offended my friends would be by this, or how hard it would be for me to juggle all my girlfriends that I maintained pretty well when I was single. It felt impossible for people to understand how much my life had changed now that I was a wife + I felt so misunderstood + attacked. I started spending a lot more time with married women because they understood me + we had so much in common. It was also a lot easier to hang out in groups when we were all married (we had the same schedules, no one was trying to have sleepovers every week, wives could hang while husbands hang, exc.) And a lot of my friends were pretty torn up over that. Here’s my advice: it is OKAY for friendships to change after you’re married. + they 100% will. Real friends will understand that. Do not blame yourself for integrating yourself into married life in a way that works for YOU.
How do I spend time alone with Jesus when someone else is always there? This was something I noticed the very first week of marriage. Where I would read my bible and pray in bed at night there was now someone else there (small apartment problems. also, we literally don’t have enough space to be alone ever because our place is so tiny) Where I would pray out loud in the car driving somewhere- someone else was always there! This got me a little off track with Jesus because I didn’t know how to get alone with Him LOL. I learned this is something you have to fight for when you’re married! That means getting alone for some time each day to talk to him (don’t get me wrong, praying + studying with your spouse is great too, but you need your alone time as well.) That means walks, coffee shops + bath time bible reading.) I really had to switch up my routine with this one!
How do I have a home open to anyone anytime but also not allow people to be in our home constantly? Tan + I are super social people + one thing we had prophesied over us was “your home will be a direct ladder to heaven.” Something that was super important to us was hosting people at our house + letting people know it was a safe place to come if they ever needed anything. But- within our first week of being home from our honeymoon I seriously don’t think we had a moment alone or with people not sleeping over at our house. Let me also tell you, our apartment is one bedroom + probably around 500 square feet. So if someones over you can throw your privacy out the window. We had such a hard time finding a balance between having an open home + people taking advantage of us having an open home (another reason why I veered toward more friendships with married couples who GOT IT.) This is still something we are figuring out but here is my advice: don’t feel bad if you need alone time with your spouse. Set a boundary for people coming over + stick to it. Establish that “we go to bed around 11” or whatever you choose, before people come over so you don’t have to say anything awkward when you’re ready for them to leave. You are not selfish for not wanting someone sleeping in your house every night (obviously there are exceptions for fun or emergencies) but as a married couple you deserve privacy + that’s not wrong to ask for!
Why am I not the wife I thought I’d be? This for me, was THE hardest thing about marriage. Going in, I saw myself being the greatest wife of all time. Being on top of cooking + cleaning at all times. Encouraging my husband in everything he did + all while looking gorgeous night or day in matching pajama sets. (Not sure why I was so set on the pajamas but I just was okay?) Well guess what? I failed on every front. I quickly realized that keeping an apartment clean- however small (honestly it’s harder to keep a small apartment clean bc of the clutter) is almost a full time job! I also don’t have a dishwasher, my kitchen is the size of a bathroom + our laundry is coin operated + I never have quarters. A few months in I found myself frustrated about the chores, lashing out at my husband for not helping me 24/7 (even though I never communicated to him that I needed help + had taken on this “role” willingly.) I felt like I couldn’t cook anything right + cried when Tanner made a comment about the Mac + cheese I served him for dinner at 9 pm one night. I looked at every social media wife + their perfect rendition of their great-grandmothers 3 cheese asiago brie parmesan whatever noodles + deemed myself a failure. Not to mention I did all of this in old leggings and sweatshirts with stains on them instead of my lacy PJ sets I had once envisioned living my life in (they’re just NOT comfy!) I had to realize that this is real life. I had to realize that I am doing by best + it is okay to ask my husband to help me. I’m not loved any less because of my clothing choices or my Aldi Mac and cheese. The wife you want to be might not be the wife you become, but all you can do is learn, grow + give yourself grace. Since I’ve stopped trying so hard to be perfect I think Tanner enjoys me more. Turns out, men don’t care all that much about how clean the house is or if there are dishes in the sink. Also, they’re perfectly fine with Buffalo chicken salad + gatorade for dinner most nights. Give yourself a break. Marriage isn’t about being perfect, it’s about seeing the imperfect in the other person + loving them anyways! Thanks Tan for loving me despite my imperfections.
TRIUMPHS: (these won’t be nearly as long winded)
Learning how to manage money together was way easier than expected!
Sleeping in bed together every night is seriously the most fun thing in the world
Watching each other change careers since we’ve gotten married + freakin kill it is so much fun
Creating traditions together! (Ours so far include bed popsicles, using paper plates for everything + noodle head every week!)
Never driving anywhere alone!
Late night delirious laughs
People being shocked that your husband is 20 and feeling really cool
Going to the gym together
Scaring each other
Playing pranks on each other
Getting to show someone parts of yourself that you’ve never shown anyone before + them loving you anyways
Getting to have holidays together forever
Getting to make them say weird things when they’re half asleep and record it
Getting to say I’m married when 15 year old boys hit on you
Sexy time ;)
Having funny date nights
1 am ice cream runs
EVERYTHING ELSE EVER
I hope this blog post encouraged any married couples who think no one else has problems OR to people who are engaged + have questions about the first few months of marriage. It is the BEST MOST FUN THING IN THE WORLD but don’t be too hard on yourself. No couple has a perfect relationship + marriage especially the first few months takes so much hard work. Don’t get discouraged or down! And don’t believe everything you see on social media <3 Love you all so much - thanks for reading! ( below the most aggressively excited face I've ever made)