The Hubs and I are about to reach our first wedding anniversary and if I were being honest...which I always try to on this blog, I will have to admit that it hasn't always been sunshine and roses. There has been lots of ups and downs, (way more ups than downs), during the "down" times, I often have wondered... is this normal, is marriage supposed to be so hard and so much work? During the first couple of months I spent a lot of time on the phone with my friends who are married asking "is this normal"? There response was almost always..."YES! Welcome to marriage."
Of course, I would definitely consider myself to be happily married, and I love my husband very, very much... but the transition from single to married has been hard, there has been a lot of love, laughter, tears of joy and tears of saddness, screams of excitement and screams of anger... but lots and lots of hard work and happiness. Oddly enough, I have found the transition to marriage to be way harder than being a step parent, which surprises a lot of people. Sure, step parenting has it's many challenges... many, many, many challenges, which I am sure I will blog about soon enough, but being with kids has always come fairly easy to me. I have always loved kids.. people would always joke with me that I was a "kid magnet".... so, for me the roughest part this first year has not been the kiddos, but transitioning to marriage. Marriage, by far, has been THE HARDEST thing I have ever done... but of course, the most worthwhile adventure I have ever done as well.
I hope this doesn't come across as if I am complaining, or am unhappy... that is not the case, I am very happy, I just feel like it is my duty to all my other single friends or newlyweds out there to share what I have come to believe is the "truth" about marriage... so here we go!
1. Expectations ruin relationships- not that I really need to expand on this one, but I will. Like I said earlier, I really believed that once we got married everything would just fall into place.... I actually expected it to fall into place and we would never fight and things would come easily for us because for most of my life, that is how things have happened. I expected that my husband and I would communicate about everything, we would easily agree on all parenting decisions, financial decisions ect.... but those were expectations.... not reality. That is not how life really works. Nobody agrees on everything and it is a proven fact that men and women communicate different.... people communicate differently, so why should I have thought that marriage would be any different. I remember a couple of months into the marriage, I had a little bit of a breakdown, we had fought about something, I cried and then repeated the phrase "this isn't how I thought it was going to be, it's not supposed to be so hard". My husbands response was a simple one "what did you expect it was going to be like". After that discussion, I realized that if I kept expecting marriage to be like it is in my head... I would continue to get frustrated and disappointed, so, I had to change my way of thinking. I started looking at all the good things my husband does, instead of just focusing on all the stuff he doesn't. I started asking more questions instead of just expecting him to read my mind. I started to realize that we were not going to always agree, but if we could come to a middle ground... it would be a win win for both of us.
3. Marriage is a partnership and not just about you anymore- Like I have said, having made pretty much every decision for the past 20 years as an adult for myself making I never really had to consider anybody else's feelings. I was in control of all aspects of my life... I made all my own choices based on my likes and dislikes.... in marriage you can't do that, you've got another person to consider. It's no longer "what's best for me", it has to change to "what's best for us". In my situation, it's not just about what's best for the Hubs and I, we also have 5 little kiddos with needs and likes and dislikes... so now, the questions is "what's best for the family". This part of the adjustment has been really, really hard for me. It wasn't until I was married that I realized how selfish my life was... not because I am a selfish person, but because it was only me I had to think about. In marriage it's not just about me anymore, and that is a change that I didn't expect to be so hard. Sometimes when I come home from a long day at work, plus an hour and 15 minute commute, all I want to do is just sit down and watch tv but I can't, I have 4 kids to get to their Tae Kwon Do lessons, and then dinner to get made, homework to be done, and my husband to give some love and attention too. Marriage means, things will not be the same for you as when you were single, and it is going to take some adjusting, and it will be hard, and there will be a few tears, and you may fight over finances, menu's, home decor, ect, but just remember, there are some amazing things about being in a partnership as well... at the end of the day, my husband will always have my back, and I his. There is also nothing like the feeling of coming home to kids and a husband excited to see you, NOTHING. Nobody greeted me at the door at the end of a long work day and gave me a hug and jumped up and down and said "Cami's home, Cami's home"when I was single, and that is the real beauty of marriage. I don't have to make all the decisions, I don't have to do everything by myself... I have a partner, and a pretty darn handsome and great one at that.
4. A happy marriage is a full time job- Marriage is hard work! Even the best marriages require work It never ends. You always have to keep working and striving everyday to do better than the day before. You have to work to resolve concerns, even when you are tired and don't want to. There are no days off. There is no annual leave, sick days or paid holidays. If you fight, you have to resolve it, you just can't let it go and that requires work, when you disagree on something, you have to work until you come to a middle ground that works for both of you. As with most things in life, the things that mean the most to us are the things we have had to fight for, to work for, the stuff that hasn't just come easy, and I think that is how marriage is.... the toughest job you will ever love. I have never worked so hard at anything as I have this past year with my marriage. Of course there are days I miss my carefree single life, really, I do.... but I would not change being married to my hubs and having these 5 beautiful kiddos in my life for anything... even if it requires more work that I thought was even imaginable.
Well, I have more to say, but honestly, I am tired and will have to get to the rest of this blog later. My sweet husband has been on a cleaning streak (which I love) and has now vacuumed, dusted, swept and mopped most of the house while I have been working on this blog. Yep, I've got a good one! Love my hubs! Now, it's time for me to take a shower and do some grocery shopping or we will all be having top ramen for dinner tomorrow.
If you have read all the way down to here... congratulations. Thank you for reading! Hopefully you have found something helpful from this. I would like to know what are somethings you have learned from marriage as well. If you have a minutes, feel free to put them in the comments.