Outlasting The First 365 Days Of Marriage

Is there a perfect guide to lead you through your first year of marriage? Absolutely not. My favorite saying is, “You don’t know until you know.” There are a million things I wish I would have known before my journey into marriage but the advice probably wouldn’t have sunk in anyways. Like many I’m the (i know what i’m doing and no one else does type) however looking back at the 27 year old girl about to tie the knot I wish I would have received more substantial advice then “don't go to bed angry”. My husband and I are approaching our five year wedding anniversary, and how we didn’t murder each other within the first 365 days is beyond me. For those about to say I do or already in their first year here are a few things I wish I would have known.

1. Communication

Don’t roll your eyes. I know this seems so simple but it’s not. For some, like myself, I hold everything in because I am extremely afraid of rejection and conflict. Guess what?? Expect conflict. It’s ok. You both have to communicate your needs and feelings to each other. And you know what else?? Your complaints or concerns are most likely the same ones millions of other married couples are struggling with at that moment as well. If you feel like your argument is escalating use the G.I.V.E acronym:

Gentle - Lower your voice

Interested - Let your partner know you are interested in their feelings

Validate their concerns

Easy Manner - Be kind and polite. No name calling or below the belt remarks.

2. Be ready for unexpected surprises

This one is fun. This can range from finding out your spouse has withheld the fact that they are in $100,000 of debt due to student loans to OOOPS babe I’m pregnant. The later happened to us. Six weeks after saying I do, I was peeing on a stick. Reality hit hard. Neither of us had our crap together. We were both just beginning to learn how to live with each other, how on earth could we take care of another person??? The answer to that question is we just figured it out. We put on our big boy and girl pants and figured that shit out. Because that’s what you do no matter what circumstance. You are life partners. You grab each other's hands and let them know you have their back and you will get through it, and get on the same page.

3. Let your expectations be known

My husband and I used to battle with this and sometimes still do. He felt I have these high expectations of him that he could never reach. Why was he feeling this way? Well I wasn’t clearly expressing what I needed and expected from him. Clearly neither of us are mind readers so letting your spouse know at, before or the beginning of your marriage will alleviate these guessing games. Not only should your expectations be made known early on, so should defining your roles. I am not going to elaborate on that this moment, but I only bring this up because role defining is key when co-parenting. Something Isaac and I never got the memo.

4. Losing is winning

This one is simple and is my favorite. Losing an argument is worth winning a marriage. Is winning a fight worth losing the love of your life?? Choose your battles, you aren’t going to look weak if you just let it go. We all have our stubborn moments but when push comes to shove being right all the time might cost you your marriage. Actually, BEING RIGHT ALL OF THE TIME WILL COST YOU YOUR MARRIAGE. It’s not worth it and is it what you really want? We are all human. We all make mistakes. It’s ok to lower your wall.

5. Go on dates

Ok here comes the eye roll again… but spending quality time with your partner is crucial. Whether it be hanging out in your living room listening to music and drinking wine or going to a movie your other half has been dying to see. Setting aside time to for each other keeps the marriage alive. BTW netflix and chill does not count ;)

Do my husband and I have the perfect marriage? No. Do we claim to know it all? Absolutely not. We are a work in process. We are constantly learning new ways to improve our marriage and ourselves because when it comes down to it, life wouldn’t be worth living without him by my side.

~Dedicated to Isaac Taylor. Thank you for putting up with all my crap these years. Happy Anniversary love~

Anjelica Taylor