Lifestyle Marriage

What I Learned in the First Month of Marriage

February 1, 2017
Yarnsley Lane - What I Learned in the First Month of Marriage: Notes from A Newlywed

The Hubs got married in November of 2016 after dating for almost two years. Before marriage, we had both lived with our parents. The Hubs had lived on his own before, but I had never lived away from my parents (I know.). Although we saw each other every day (perks to dating a guy who lives 1.3 miles away), we had never experienced life from the same household.

After we got married, we moved into an apartment 20 minutes from home; with an amazingly large bathtub and closet designated solely for guitars (Hint: not mine.). As you can imagine, the first month of marriage brought a whole new level of closeness to us as a couple.  It also brought a whole new set of challenges. We learned a lot about each other and about marriage in general in the first month as newlyweds. Here were the biggest lessons I learned in our first month of marriage:

What I Learned in the First Month of Marriage - Notes from a Newlywed

1.  You get that weird early dating tension again.

Oh gosh, he left the room. Should I follow him? Should I give him his space? Did he mean for me to follow him? Is it going to hurt his feelings if I don’t? You remember having these mental conversations early in your dating relationship? It was part of the fun, part of the chase, but man, the tension was exhausting! It takes time to navigate the newness of a relationship and find boundaries that work for the both people.Welcome to  the first month of marriage marriage. Get ready to do it all over again.

Just like in the early days of dating, that tension comes from the fear that the good feelings will go away. Maybe you’re afraid of looking too needy, or you are scared to express how much you care. You analyze every reaction and conversation for signs that things are going smoothly. As in dating, the newlywed tension phase passes fairly quickly, but in the meantime you get to deal with lesson #2:

2.Say goodbye to your alone time.

This might just be a me thing, but I need some serious alone time. I’ll admit it. I’m an introvert. When I was single, I always hated having so much alone time. I spent most of my time alone thinking about what I’d be doing if I had someone with me.

After the wedding, I swear I didn’t take a bath alone in the first two weeks of marriage. I’m all for doing things together (and I love a good couples bath), but during that first month of marriage I was aching for some space. Marriage will cut down on your alone time. Going from being independent to sharing a room and a bed and a bathroom with someone can be a bit of a shock. Navigating your newlywed life may have the two of you in each other’s hair for while. After the new wears off a little bit, you and your spouse get into a groove and it’s not quite so stressful. You each find ways to be independent,  or you learn to adjust to having another body with you in bed, on the couch, in the tub…

That’s okay, because you still have a lot of learning to do in lesson #3:

3. Just because your spouse is a part of your family, doesn’t mean they will act like your family.

We all get used to our family’s habits. We can predict their behavior and how they will react. We know what they will say in response to various situations, right down to the tone. Similarly, you respond to your family in certain ways. These are your habits.

While you probably know your spouse quite well, you probably don’t have a baseline for how they respond in each and every situation. Several times early in the first month of marriage, I found myself bracing myself for The Hubs to react like my father. I was always rather surprised(and occasionally often grateful) when he did not. Your spouse is going to act differently from your family. Embrace this. It’s a good thing. At the same time, carefully examine your actions and make sure that you are not succumbing to bad family habits (only good ones). It’s also good to stop and check your assumptions about your spouse, and make sure to ask them for their opinion before you decide in advance that you already know it. 

What I learned in the First Month of Marriage

Overall, the first month of marriage wasn’t as drastic a change as I thought it would be. In many ways, it simply felt like I was playing house. I always got the sense that, “well, this has been fun, but I better go home. My mom is probably wondering where I am.” Luckily, the human capacity to get used to things is pretty extraordinary and that limbo phase doesn’t last long. It still stays fun though.

Treasure this time with your spouse.

Don’t forget to breathe.

Don’t ever stop being in awe of your spouse and don’t forget to let them know either.

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