I’ve often heard people say the first year of marriage is both one of the most exciting, yet trying times in their lives. Five short months into our marriage, I can agree with that. We’re still riding that newly wed high, reminiscing from time to time about the big day. But we’re also facing real life challenges together. While I wouldn’t want to share these challenges or this life with anyone else, it doesn’t mean that we aren’t constantly learning and evolving as individuals also.
I had the idea to write this blog post as our 5 month anniversary of being a married couple approached. We are by no means marriage experts, but let’s be real…is anyone? But we are two very real people with real experiences and it’s my hope that these lessons we’ve learned so far in our marriage can help another couple at whatever stage they are in.
Lesson # 1 - In This Together
This seems like a no brainer. Yes, we obviously knew that marriage would be a joint effort, we’re in this together. When I sat down to write this post, I also wanted to include a lesson that Corbin has learned in this first 5 months of marriage, so I asked him. He thought for a second before explaining that he already knew this and felt this going into the marriage, but since being married this feeling has been magnified. When I’m happy – he’s happy, when I’m hurting he’s hurting and vice a versa. While we find happiness in other places, we feel so deeply for one another that if one of us is impacted by something it has a rippling effect on the other.
A few weeks ago I had a small health scare. Nothing too serious, but I had to have some special tests run. When I got the call from Doctor asking me to come back for these tests, and I delivered this news to Corbin I could automatically sense his concern. We took a moment to freak out…and then we had to get our shit together. I needed his strength in this moment, we needed each other.
I know there will be countless times to come where we will be in IT together. Whether IT at the time is a happy moment, a moment of sickness, a sad moment, or a time to celebrate, we’ll face it together.
Lesson # 2 - Speak Eachother's Love Language
While we are in this together, we are still two different people who experience love in different ways. For me, the biggest thing I’ve learned is to be respectful of my spouses love language and really put effort into speaking that language.
I had heard of the book, “The 5 Love Languages,” many times. I have even taken my love language quiz in the past. It wasn’t until we received this book as a wedding gift that I finally picked it up and began to really understand and see our individual love language.
According to Dr. Chapman, there are 5 Love Languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. A person can feel or express love in one or several of these ways. The key is, if your spouse feels love by Acts of Service, and you show love by Words of Affirmation, your partner may start to feel frustrated or not loved, while you feel confused and aggravated because you believe you are showing them love. In reality, you’re just not speaking the same language.
Corbin definitely feels love through Quality Time. While I could spend my days giving him thoughtful Gifts, which I am certain he would appreciate it, he feels most fulfilled when I take the time to spend a few extra minutes of mindful, quality time with him.
While there are still many many things we have to learn along the way, by speaking the same language…or at least working towards it, we are on the right path!
As we learn to navigate life as newlyweds, one thing is for certain, I could not be more thankful to have found a partner like Corbin to do life with. Days, weeks, and months will go by but it is increasingly becoming clear to me that we make one another better. I’m excited to see what the rest of our first year holds for us!