Sunday, January 23, 2011

reflecting - better late then never.

I said I would post about the first year of marriage, now WEEKS later I'm finally finding the time/inspiration/will to do so. It's not that I don't have a million things to say - it's just that I don't know how to sum it all up without making this pages & pages long.

I can't begin to tell you the amount of people who told me how difficult the first year is, that it's the toughest year.

My first year as a married woman was something like this...

Exciting, tough, and exciting.

We bought our condo about 5 months before we got married, and moved into it on Halloween weekend in 2009, so a few months before our wedding. Until then we had never lived together, and aside from 1 year living with a friend when I was 21, I had never lived with anyone before, other than my family of course. Ted, on the other hand, had been "on his own" for quite a while, living with roommates & by himself for a long time. So for me cohabitating was exciting & tough. For the first time in my life I was responsible for a home. It's something I still struggle with to this day. I'm not a neat & tidy person by nature, and I'm lazy. I like relaxing & I hate chores. So you know... there's still a bit of a learning curve for me when it comes to keeping house. It's something I'm working on and hope to greatly  improve on in 2011. I think we all learn that being in a relationship with someone & seeing them all the time =/= living together. At all. Things that might be annoying or slightly irksome to you, you can ignore those things when you go home. When you live together you then have to figure out how to deal with the day to day. It's all worth it.

Learning how to be a wife. Again, exciting & tough. I personally find it funny that I still seem to struggle with the urge & desire to be a "1950's housewife". Do it all, and do it with a smile. Plus work outside the home. I find it funny because that was not my mom. She was awesome, but 1950's she was not. Maybe that's why I try to act that way?? Who knows. I consider myself lucky because I married someone who doesn't expect that from me. The fact that I completely fail at meeting my "1950's" standards would be so much more difficult if my husband also expected those things from me. So you know, finding balance between being a woman, wife, friend, daughter... it's been tough. And exciting. Discovering my husband. Letting my husband be a husband... be a man in this relationship. It's all worth it.

Balancing Life after Marriage. This one was mostly just tough, with a little excitement mixed in. I failed in some ways, some people failed me in other ways. It's a balancing act for sure. I'm very lucky because I have an extremely supportive family. I came to see who wants to be in my life and who doesn't. I've made some amazing new friendships in the past year. There has been sadness & loss. There has also been happiness & much gain. I could write something entirely on how friendships (can) change after marriage, but not now. Either way, it was again, all worth it.

Learning a new way of communication has been exciting & tough. Exciting in a way like... anxious. It's one thing to not have any responsibilites and live in a dream world when you're dating. What do you really have to argue about that can't be resolved quickly with an "I'm sorry."? Living together, owning a home together, resposibilities to each other & ourselves, love, homelife, day to day stuff... there can be so many pitfalls and arguments. We both had to learn a new way of communicating our needs, desires, difficulties.  Again - it's worth it. Great communication is worth it! I am a firm believer in that, if you can't communicate you don't have anything. That rule may not be true for everyone, but it is for us.

I can honestly say that if the first year is the toughest... I don't know whether to be jumping for joy or absolutely terrified. I thought our first year was awesome. Full of joy & love & excitement & tough conversations that led to knew understanding. So, is the tough stuff still ahead? Probably. There's always tough stuff. But if there's one thing I've learned in the past year it's that it truly is all worth it. Even when I get so mad at Ted I can barely see straight, the openness & understanding that comes from that is worth it.

At the end of this now, I find myself wondering how I will feel in 5 years, 15 years, 30 years?? Will I feel the same? Would I laugh at my old self? Would I cry happy tears of rememberance? Who knows. There's only today, this day, this life. I can honestly say that at 1 year of marriage, I love being married. I love my life, I love being a wife to my husband. I love the life we're building. I feel so lucky. Sorry if this is too repetative but... It's ALL worth it.