The top three questions that were asked of me this year were, “How is married life? How has your first year of marriage been? Does it feel different to be married?”
In the beginning, my first response was “it’s the same”–because indeed it felt the same. Our relationship was already planted on a solid foundation, really the only thing left to do was to get married.
But the more I was asked the more I started asking myself if there were things that were supposed to change because we had said, “I Do?” To be honest, our lives felt the same and the only thing that was different or took some time getting use to was saying, “My Husband”. For me my biggest struggles was changing my name after marriage–there were so many hoops to jump through–(click HERE to learn how to change your name on your passport for FREE after marriage). But other than that, I wasn’t really sure what kind of answer people were wanting to hear in response to their questions.
Perhaps everything seemed to be the same because we “shacked up” for 4 years prior to getting married. Shacking up is like the forbidden thing to do in the Black community but that’s what we did. So by the time we actually said “I DO” we had already gotten over those first weird months of living together. We had already strayed from being territorial and adopted the concept of “ours” and “we”. I was already use to him falling asleep before me. I was use to him wanting to sleep with the TV on while I wanted to sleep with it off.
Before we got married we had both learned to choose our battles wisely. Instead of me fussing at him because the TV was on, I would quietly lay down knowingly he would be sleep within 10 minutes and I could just turn the TV off then.
On the flip side, he understood my boarder line OCD issues. He no longer had to question why random boxes would appear on the front porch or my need for a Target run on Sundays.
It was also important to both of us that we would not lose who we were as individuals. This was the common denominator that we both had before and after our wedding day. I believe that making this concept a reality in our marriage has helped us tremendously.
For instance, we both like to travel together and separately with our friends. We still do that. We always make sure we are respectful of the other person and run our plans through each other and keep in contact during those times. Also, after marriage I thought I had to start doing all these “wifey” duties, like cooking every day and basically just trying to live up to something that I’ve seen others do. My husband quickly communicated with me that those things weren’t needed. That we should carry this marriage out the way we’ve been living our lives all these years. I loved that about him. It’s important that marriage couples do what works best for them in their household–this is one tip that I would give any married couple.
As the year progressed I would say that I found a comfort in being married that I don’t think was there before. I felt more in love with my husband. I found myself leaning on a common teaching around marriage and that’s giving 100% to your mate. I would give my husband 100% of me and in return he would give me 100% of him. This idea is that if each person in the marriage give their spouse 100% of them, then no one is left out. Finally, I felt more secure and freer (no more of the living in sin pressure–if you grew up in church you know what I mean). I felt another level of security. I felt as if the marriage had boosted us up yet another level.
“I found love in you
And I’ve learned to love me too
Never have I felt that I could be all that you see
It’s like our hearts have intertwined and to the perfect harmony….”
– Why I love you by Major
Did we have some cold feet going into this marriage? Of course we did. I think it’s only natural. You’re getting ready to embark on this new journey for what’s supposed to be the rest of your life. You taking a vow in front of God and witnesses and it is stressful. It’s easy to acquire insecurities especially if you’ve already been through something similar. For me, I had been engaged two prior times and never made it to the alter. The closer we got to the actual wedding day the more nervous I became. I just wanted to see my dreams come true for once–I started questioning if I was worth it. For my husband, this would be his second marriage. His insecurities steamed from being married once and just wanting to be the perfect husband to me.
Communication helped us both a lot here. We were both able to express our feelings and concerns and support one another. I believe this allowed us to see very soon that communication was going to the key to having a great marriage. What I love about marriage is that I have someone in my corner and my husband has someone in his. When I’m weak he is strong and vice versa. So in this particular situation we were able to support each other in our weaknesses by pulling on the strengths from the other person; meshing together to become one.
So to answer the infamous “How’s married life” question once and for all, I’m loving every minute of being married and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. No, it’s not completely the same from before I was married. The difference is each day I wake up more and more in love with my husband. And if you haven’t noticed, saying MY HUSBAND is becoming easier and easier. Sweet little nothings are going a long way. As cliche’ as it might sound, this has actually been a great year for us. We didn’t have any challenges. So one year down and a lifetime to go!
Every day we wake up and we choose love.
ps: As untraditional as we are, our wedding cake (the top piece you save) didn’t last until the one year anniversary. Actually, we didn’t think we had any left over and ended up finding a few slices in my parent’s deep freezer. Let’s just say we ate that around the 6 month mark! LOL