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5 Shocking Things My First Year of Marriage Taught Me

By  La Shell Reid Hoilett

5 Shocking Things My First Year of Marriage Taught Me

Ahhh! The year flew so fast! OMG! And what a year it has been. Full of ups and downs as life would have it but I must say I enjoyed it for the most part. So the big question, what has marriage taught me?

Well, marriage is something that so many people (especially us women) are taught to aspire to, to yearn for and to chase after. If you read this post you’d know my feelings toward the concept of marriage and everything that stands behind it from a gender point of view. If you didn’t, well, my wedding and marriage by extension went and continues to go against the grain because well, I’m not a big fan of the perpetuating patriarchy.

All that aside, here are quite a few shocking things marriage taught me, even only one year in.

I’m still very much a loner….& it works!

Yeah no, that didn’t change one bit. I love love love people and conversations and debates and just, company. Growing up in a household where there was always a ton of people around, I’m naturally what you would call, a social butterfly. But if I were to be completely honest, it’s easy to admit that I also love being alone. Being bored is not something that I can admit to ever being because I’m really the easiest person to entertain. It really doesn’t take much at all.

All of this is to say that even though I now live with another human being and I am always happy to have him in my company, I’m extremely fortunate that he is just like me in this respect. We both love alone time where we can exist in our heads a lil bit. It’s fantastic. For some strange reason, I thought that having a husband meant that we would always be in each other’s company, not leaving room for air or much else. Thank God that myth has been busted!

The expectations of being a wife is overwhelming

It is shocking the comments I get on a daily basis from friend, foe and family. “What kinda wife you gonna make? You don’t cook?” “Where are the kids?” “Let the man live, don’t nag him”. And of course the list goes on. The pressure to be a perfect, obedient, faithful, barefoot and pregnant wife is insufferable. Sometimes I question myself (and him), am I being a good wife? Do I deserve this status? Do I deserve him? I know. Shocking huh? Although I was born in the 21st Century, is a raging feminist and did things my way up until this point, it’s amazing to see how the effects of “the man is the head of the household” culture has warped my sense of being and reality. Because this propaganda has been embedded in my way of thinking, everyday is a struggle to maintain my sense of self and purpose. But it’s a struggle I embrace and look forward to, however long it takes to overcome.

Marriage taught me what the word TEAM really means

Why? Because it’s not like your uni course group, that if someone isn’t pulling their weight, you can go complain to the professor and have them deal with it. No, it’s not like that at all. Lol. Marriage taught me that we made vows, ones that we take very seriously, that we would work together to make this a happy, productive and positive union. This forces us to rethink our strategy in order to achieve what we want from this marriage. We can’t just banish the other when we feel like it, or block them on social media if they’re pissing us off, or get someone else to step in and fix things for us. We have to do everything ourselves. And through that, it has built character and resilience. Now, the little things are starting to just roll off our backs. We choose our battles wisely all in an effort to reserve the sanctity of our relationship (sounding churchy huh? Lol!)

Two words have changed the way we argue

Never and always. We were given this bit of advice in our pre-nuptial counseling. They’re almost always (heh heh) used to exaggerate a situation and hardly likely does someone ever ‘always’ or ‘never’ do something. I know it sounds a bit preachy but think about it, in arguments we always tend to say “you NEVER do this!” “You’re ALWAYS doing that!” and more times than not, it’s not true. It’s save us a ton on unwarranted blaming and shaming. No room for that here!

Talking, A LOT, helps almost anything

We talk a lot. Like, A Lot! During the day when we’re both at work, we maybe say hi once for the day but when we’re in each other’s company, you can’t get us to shut up. When I say talk, I don’t mean that we prattle all night long, but we talk to each other in different ways. And it’s bleeping amazing. A simple touch on an elbow in passing, blowing a kiss across the room (ok sometimes he looks at me like “ugh, get a life woman”), a peck on the cheek, a soft random ‘luv you’, a spontaneous cup of tea (God I love this man, tea’s the way to my heart!) and sometimes, just a simple, ‘hey, hear me out on this’. I love it as it gives me space to be in my own world, while knowing that I have someone there with me. This is a bond I’ve never had with anyone else and something that I truly was not expecting.

These things may all sound really good, and easy, and like yes marriage is always so chummy and mushy. WRONG! It’s some seriously tough stuff! There’s no way I could have done this when i was younger (so, so glad I waited *phew*), but as of right now, there could not have been a better time.

This first year of marriage has taught me so much. What about you? What are your expectations?

…thanks for stopping by!

(Illustration by the lovely Jessica Woodhouse.)

PS ~ Did you change your last name? and 5 Things Wedding Planning Taught Me

 




  Comments: 18

18 responses to “5 Shocking Things My First Year of Marriage Taught Me”

  1. Shelby says:

    I love this post! I also just had my one year anniversary, and I’ve noticed some of the same things you have. As far as the “man is the head of the household” thing… I’ve noticed that in our household. My husband is the head of the household. He makes a lot of the decisions, and I do a lot of the cooking and cleaning. It doesn’t bother me one bit. Because when he makes decisions, he has me and my values in mind. I don’t mind cooking and cleaning, because my husband works more hours than I do and has a much more stressful job. I treat him like my king, and he gives me the same respect as if I’m his queen. I know that if I have a problem with any of his decisions, he will hear me when I speak up. It’s a hard feeling for me to explain, but I guess it’s just a mutual respect.

  2. Nelly B. says:

    Never and always, my fiance and i learned this in counselling just last week.. I am the one who says always and never in our arguments… i know i will have to work on that. Wedding in August. Wish me luck.

  3. Cait says:

    YES! great post- i def am a loner and need my alone time when needed which my husband understands 🙂 its great to learn all of this so far!

  4. I could not agree more about not using the words Always and Never. I have learned some of these things as well, especially the importance of being a team.

  5. Crystal says:

    Love this! Thank you. Never and Always was something my husband and I learned too! Such great advice!

  6. Summer says:

    Loved this! And resonate with most of it. Marriage has definitely taught my husband and me how to argue more effectively haha it wasn’t always like that, though!

  7. Shannon says:

    I LOVED this post! As someone (also a loner!) in a v committed relationship, I got so much out of this. Really resonated with the Never & Always. SUCH a good point. I also love the last point on just always talking… it never gets old. I feel like every couple needs to read this! xx Shannon || http://www.champagneatshannons.com

  8. Erin Haugerud says:

    Great lessons here!! Marriage is definitely a team affair

  9. Allison says:

    These are so accurate! I love the always and never tip–it’s so true!

  10. Julie says:

    I have been married for a little over 7 years. Marriage and being a mom definitely has changed the type of person I am. Me in high school and me now are different. It’s so easy to take things for granted when you’re younger and don’t have to deal with all the situations as an adult and being married. It’s not just you that you are taking care of. You are taking care of your husband and children.

  11. This was such a lovely post. I love the notion of marriage and commitment, and can’t wait to go through it myself. My partner and I have been together for 5 years this year and, even though we have no plans to get married for quite a few more years, I know I will love it when that moments comes. I haven’t really thought about the expectations of being a wife though, sounds like I might have to put a few people in their place when the time comes!

  12. Ben says:

    Hi La Shell,

    I am in marriage almost 11 years, and we can learn every day something new.But in fact, for good marriage love is the most important, because only love can beat and defeat all obstacles on the way .Great post

  13. kara says:

    OMG I am totally a loner too! lol I love people and conversations and yup, I’m a social butterfly but I would much rather be alone!

  14. So many great lessons learned. As a somewhat newlywed, I enjoyed reading this!

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