On April 3, 2017, my wife Lauren and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. Not to be confused with our dating anniversary, which I've just learned I still need to keep track of.
So what have I learned? What can I take away from one year of marital bliss? Should I compile of list of my incredible knowledge? Perhaps the Top 10 Tips for a Totally Terrific Marriage. I tried to stick with the "T's" I know it doesn't work. I could do all of these things! Well, maybe not, but I can at least make a list of a few things I've learned on my own journey. Or should I say OUR journey. I just threw up in mouth a little bit, and so did Lauren when I said it outloud. Aw, marriage. This isn't really advice. It's more just saying "Hey here's me probably putting too much information about myself on the internet. Hope my wife doesn't mind. Ohhhhh well."
1. Me Becomes We
To tie in with my changing "my" to "our" in the previous section. This is an interesting topic for Lauren and I. Not that we disagree on it, but it tends to be a very grey area. That grey area is that it it's the most annoying thing when people that aren't us say it. You know, like when people say "we're pregnant". I guess that's the only example I have of it. I get it as a concept, two become one, and all that. But you're also still your own person, calm down with the "we" business.
2. Open Door Policy
Leaving the bathroom door open isn't anything to rush. It's a very serious step in the relationship and you don't want to push your luck with this one. That being said, if you take too long to get used to this, you could really cause a rift in your marriage. Maybe work up to it. A cracked door to start, and week by week slowly open up the door more until BOOM fully open door.
3. We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat
By boat, I mean bed. Sharing a bed, similar (but very very different) to the previous point can be hard to get used to. The biggest struggle I have personally is the balance of sheets and blanket between the two of us. It all starts out even, but somehow I end up with half of a sheet and the bottom corner of the blanket. It's not Lauren's fault, she's sleeping. She just happens to be incredibly selfish with her blankets when she sleeps, that's all.
4. By the Book
One of the biggest things Lauren and I had to take care of when we got married was combining our book collections. We both have a lot of trouble letting go of books. Which is great for looking smart, but terrible for space. It's gotten to the point of trying to do a one in one out kind of thing. Except without the "one out" part...
OH NO, A SERIOUS ONE! I started a job as a worship leader for my church's student ministry last May. We both thought, surely this won't affect us going to normal church services together like we always have since student services were only on Sunday, and our church has Saturday services. Only it did. I'll take the fall for this one. After a few months (probably less) I really didn't feel like going to church every Saturday night when I'd have to be back there the next morning. It turned into any other job I've had where I'd rather not be around if I'm not working. Only difference is not going and worshipping together with my wife and the rest of our church could have a slightly bigger impact than me not wanting to go into Trader Joe's on my day off. And Lauren didn't want to spend Sunday going to a student service...I wonder why.
It's like in "When Harry Met Sally" when Billy Crystal says he never takes a woman to the airport early in the relationship because down the line someday when you don't do it they'll say "You never take me to the airport anymore." Except in this case it would be "You never take me to church anymore." Much less appealing for a movie plot. Luckily Lauren hasn't said this, or I would be stuck making a sarcastic remark to avoid answering any questions. My contract just finished up for that job, and I've got to say, I'm looking forward to getting back to routine.
6. Family Matters
We don't disagree on a lot, but there is one thing. Whose family is crazier. I say mine. Lauren says hers. I guess it could be a different answer depending on the day. And what's the deal with calling the other person's parent mom or dad? I don't want Lauren calling my mom mom...that would make her my sister, which I wouldn't like at all. Get outta here, weird people calling in-laws mom and dad.
7. Time Out
We took the 5 Love Languages test a while ago and it said both of our number one love language was quality time. But is there such a thing as too much quality time? As my research would show, yes. We both have stories of spending too much time with friends growing up, sleepovers, vacations, etc. where we just got sick of the other person by the end. Well the same is true in marriage. Maybe sick of each other isn't the right word, but for us we've definitely found that sometimes we just need time to ourselves. Even something as small as just working in separate spaces in our apartment, sometimes you just need a little time to process things by yourself.
I mean, we're spending the rest of our lives together. I think we can afford being alone for half an hour.
Well there you have it. The knowledge I've gotten from one year of marriage. It's not much, but it's mine....I mean ours.