Lessons I’ve Learned in My First Year of Marriage

It's been a wonderful first year of marriage. It's been full of laughing, learning, and love. In this post, I share my tips for a happy marriage.I can’t believe Jeff and I are celebrating our first year of marriage. Our wedding was an amazing day celebrated with friends and family.  We have done and accomplished so many things since then. There have been some amazing moments but there have also been some hard days mixed in. Sharing your life with someone is a beautiful, crazy, fun, and challenging thing!

I wanted to write a bit of a reflection post on our first year of marriage. Mostly for myself but I thought it may be encouraging/insightful for others and decided to share.

So…what have I learned in one year of marriage?

1. Laugh

Don’t take yourselves too seriously. There have been many times where Jeff and I are arguing and we just start laughing. Usually, it’s me who starts laughing because I hear Jeff repeating back to me why I’m upset and I realize it’s unimportant and stupid. Being able to laugh at yourself and with each other is a gift.

2. Listen

When you find your spouse is upset with you it’s very easy to go on the defense and immediately start preparing your rebuttal. It’s a challenge to stop and really listen to what they are saying, but it’s so important. When you feel yourself getting defensive remind yourself to stop, take a breath, and listen intently. I find it helps to reframe your thoughts and instead of thinking “he/she is attacking me because he/she thinks I did something wrong” think “I have hurt my spouse, I need to listen to what they need and how to fix it”.

3. Travel

Whether it’s across the world or across the block, spend time exploring new places together. Traveling is one of our favorite things and something we prioritize when it comes to budgeting. We would rather go on a trip then buy new “things”. Not everyone feels that way and that’s okay, still spend time checking out new places together. Exploring a nearby town for the day can feel like a mini vacay when the budget is tight or the calendar is full. Make it a point to go new places together, the experience is priceless.

4. Try

One of the things I admire most about Jeff is his ability to be vulnerable. He consistently asks me what he can do to be a better husband. Having these lines of communication open allows us to talk about what we can each do to make our marriage better. While we don’t always have something to share when the other one asks, we know that we can go to each other if something comes up. Be proactive in your marriage. Go to counseling, read marriage books, go to marriage seminars, and use friends and family as supports. There is no shame in asking for help–it’s healthy!

Now, how about some highlights from our first year of marriage…yay!

Getting married!
Celebrating our first Christmas together
Our honeymoon in Jamaica
Trip to Denmark/Norway
Buying our first house
Camping at Cumberland Falls with friends
Northern Michigan Roadtrip
Trip to San Francisco
Camping and canoeing on the Au Sable River

I can’t wait to see what year 2 brings! Any marriage advice or tips for me? Drop me a note in the comments!