1 Year Later

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
— Mignon McLaughlin

My husband and I started dating four years ago and now we are celebrating our one year wedding anniversary! It is crazy to look back and see where we are now. (Honestly, we are still the same crazy kids, but now we just "adult" during the week and occasionally some weekends.)As soon as my husband got down on one knee the marriage advice started streaming in. Some of it seeked, some of it unsolicited. Either way, we appreciated hearing all the ways others made a  loving marriage last. We were given the ins and outs of marriage. Faith, trust, always listen to your wife, the list goes on and on.

 Rob and I are no experts on marriage but slowly but surely we are learning how to navigate our life together. Here are a few things we have learned this year.

Photographer: Jesse Giles Photography

Photographer: Jesse Giles Photography

Happy Wife, Happy Life is Wrong. It's All About Compromise:

Sorry wives, it's not all about us. The biggest lesson we both have learned is sometimes you have to put your selfishness aside and do what your spouse wants. Example A: During football season, I already know we will be tailgating and watching football 99% of the weekends. Does it get old, yes! However, I know its something my husband enjoys. That means he has to live with me dragging him to Disney [ALL THE TIME] and having blogging days! We may not always be thrilled with the activity or decision each other makes but we have to remember we are two people with different likes and dislikes. It is important that we make each other happy.

It's OK to Let Your Spouse Make A Decision For You:

Rob and I make all of our decisions together. It is important both of us share our opinions. We have learned how to listen and to debate our side if we do not see eye to eye on a matter. However, there are times when one of us has to be in charge. It is hard to be vulnerable and allow someone to make a final decision that in some way, big or small, will affect your life but it is also an extremely freeing feeling. The wonderful thing about marriage is when you are having a hard time making the final call you have a partner to turn to and say ok, what's the verdict?!

Little Things = Everything:

This cliché could not be more true. The little things always add up. I cook almost every single evening because lets be real, I'm just better at it. However, sometimes when I'm in a funk, he will just walk into the kitchen and start cooking the one of few meals he can cook well. It is huge for me because it immediately makes me feel so much better and fall just a little bit more in love every time. PSA: You do not need to make some grand romantic gesture to show appreciation for your spouse. Honestly, thinking of a grand gestures is stressful and then you lose perspective on what exactly you are trying to accomplish. They are nice but not always necessary.

Put the World Away:

I mean exactly that. It is tempting to check your phone and social media. Its tempting to dive into work and your busy schedule but when we are so focused on other activities, we lose focus on our spouse. We both worked long hours and when we were home we were so exhausted that all we did was sleep. There was no balance. It's important to put it all down and just make time for each other, even if it is just taking some time to have a conversation together over dinner. We have out best moments when we put the world away for a little bit and focus on one another.

Communicate:

Did I mention communicate?: Rob and I bicker. We banter back and forth but that's because we see each other every day and are together all the time. Well at least when we are not at work. Our fights feel different than when we were dating but I think its because marriage feels more serious. It's like, ok there is no getting out of this marriage, so am I going to hold on to this fight forever or are we going to just sit down and talk about it?! We always vote for talking about it. We raise our voices, say something stupid, and then look at each other and go, "Ok, but seriously why are fighting about this, and how are we going to fix it?" Communicate and apologize.

Don't forget about the other relationships in your life: 

Our faith, each other, and relationship with our own selves are most important but there are so many other relationships that make us feel whole. We have learned the importance of maintaining relationships outside of our own.  Rob and I not only have date nights with one another but also with our friends and family. Sometimes we go out on group outings but sometimes we just need an evening out by ourselves with our friends. It's good to have girls and boys nights.

Photographer: Jesse Giles Photography

Photographer: Jesse Giles Photography

Don't be too hard on yourselves. Marriage is easy, hard, beautiful, messy, etc and everyone works differently.

So tonight we are raising our glasses to no longer being considered "newlyweds" and taking the rest of our lives one lesson learned at a time. As long as it is together, than I think we will be just fine!

XoXo

Jenna McVie

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