I’ve heard your first year of marriage is sometimes your hardest. Well, if this was our hardest year together, I am beyond hopeful and even more excited for our future. Today marks our first 365 days together! That’s right, one year ago today we vowed to love and honor each other for the rest of our lives.
When we said our vows, and when I looked at my groom waiting for me at the front of the chapel, I really didn’t think I could love someone more than I did at that very moment. But I was so, so wrong. I truly love him more today than I did yesterday. Not only do I love him more, but I appreciate him more each day.
Don’t get me wrong, this past year wasn’t completely peachy. We had a couple big figuring-each-other-out arguments. One, in particular where we went to bed without speaking to each other. I’m not airing our dirty laundry, but I’m saying that because we learned that going to bed without saying, “I love you,” was a terrible way to end the day.
This year we’ve been learning how to really care for each other, not just as husband and wife, but also as friends, lovers, and people…with real feelings and real emotions. On top of that, we respect each other and actually listen to what the other has to say.
Distance is not for the fearful, it is for the bold. It’s for those who are willing to spend a lot of time alone in exchange for a little time with the one they love. It’s for those knowing a good thing when they see it, even if they don’t see it nearly enough…” – Anonymous
Would I have changed anything over the past year? Absolutely. I would’ve liked to have my husband home with me instead of deployed for four and a half months. But other than that? No. I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I feel like this first year was just baby steps, preparing both of us for what’s on the horizon. When we move to our next base we’ll endure six-month separations, and we’ll also be the furthest from home we’ve ever been, so we’ll have to rely on each other even more.
I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned over the past year. I’m sharing these as a way to record our life together—they’re in no way things I think every couple should do. These are things that work for us, and “we” are the only people who matter in our relationship.
Be vulnerable and let your guard down. It’s in my nature to be stick to my guns, always. I like being in control, and I tend to freak out a little if I doubt someone’s judgment. It turns out that my husband also has strong opinions and ideas on things, too. And most of the time, he’s right about whatever it is we’re discussing. Yes, you heard me…”most of the time, he’s right;” I can admit when I’m wrong. It’s SO hard for me to let my guard down and let him take control, but every time I trust him, he pulls through.
Trust and loyalty go hand-in-hand. I trusted my husband from the first day I saw him, which is important, especially in long-distance relationships. But this past year I’ve had to trust him even more completely, because our lives are in each others hands. I’ve also enjoyed figuring out his quirks and I love when we figure out things that make us more compatible.
We also spend a ridiculous amount of time together and I wouldn’t have it any other way. At least once a week we try to have lunch together, and some days I’ll drive an hour round trip to take him to work and pick him up. Yes, we have two working vehicles, but we just want to be with each other a little longer each day. I’m so thankful I work from home and that’s an option for us some days. That’s pretty corny, right?
You know what else is cheesy? The things we say to each other in normal conversation. Our dialog is absolutely absurd and we’re the first to admit how silly we are. But you know what? Saying lovey-dovey, super sappy, makes-people-want-to-throw-up-a-little-bit things to each other makes us happy, and happiness is kind of what we’re going for here. I haven’t even mentioned all the inside jokes we have together. Let’s just say that we constantly make each other laugh. Communication is, quite possibly, my favorite thing about our relationship. I love that we talk about anything and everything and use as many forms of communication as often as possible.
In our year of marriage, I’ve seen more than a few people tilt their head and say, “Oh, newlyweds,” when they see us together, and for the most part, they’re right. We are newlyweds and I absolutely love it. I love having this passion and insane happiness around my husband. I love it so much that I decided the word “newlywed” isn’t going to be applied just for our first year of marriage. Why should it? I know life will get in the way, but I hope we can keep the spark alive as long as humanly possible.
So here’s to our first year of marriage and the many more enjoyable years that come with it. And to my husband: you are the love of my life, my better half, and the most amazing man I know. I love you!