I’ve heard it said that the first year of marriage is the hardest year because it’s difficult to take two lives and make them one. I’ve also heard that the first year of marriage is the best year because you’re still so in love and the honeymoon phase hasn’t quite faded away. My husband Chase and I just celebrated our first year of marriage and I for one think that the first year of marriage is one of learning!
What I’ve Learned from One Year of Marriage
We’ve learned so much during our short 365 days of marriage. We’ve learned little things about each other. For example, I’ve learned that Chase thinks the drinking glasses should go above the dishwasher (even though they obviously go next to the fridge). He’s learned that one of the most deeply satisfying parts of my day is when he finally turns the lamp off at night for us to go to sleep.
We’ve also learned some big and sometimes difficult lessons. 2020 was not a year that made anything easy. We’ve learned that communication, compromise, and transparency are key for us. A big lesson we’ve both learned, and are still constantly learning, is that it’s okay to not be the most correct one in the room. Sometimes it’s better to just understand what each other means and not knit pick and correct.
Most of all, I’ve learned that there is absolutely no one on this planet that I would rather be sharing my life with. Chase was my best friend on the day we said, “I do” and he’s still my best friend today. I still look at him with big doe eyes full of love and he still says, “why are you looking at me like that.” He doesn’t know how to take compliments well. I know life will bring pain, struggles, and heartbreak. I know I won’t always feel very loving towards him, but I also know that I will always choose to love him, and he will choose to love me. That’s the promise!
As the days led up to our first anniversary and I started reminiscing on all the things I’ve learned this year, I wondered what kind of things other people have learned from their years of marriage. I assume that the longer you’re married the more you learn, or maybe in some small beautiful way, the lessons are very similar and just applied differently to a new phase of life. Either way, I decided to ask people I know to share what they’ve learned from their years of marriage and I wanted to share them with all of you!
What I’ve Learned from Less Than a Year of Marriage
“What I’ve learned from two months of marriage is to say what you really want and not what you want them to realize you want.”Bethany Yeend
“In my 10(ish) months of marriage, I’ve learned that you still have to be intentional about quality time. Living together might mean you’re sharing the same space, but you still have to very intentionally put away the phone, turn off the TV, and spend time together.”Emily Jones
What I’ve Learned from 1-10 Years of Marriage
“After 7 years of marriage, I’ve learned it is important to go to bed tired. That means that when I come home from work, I’m not done with my day, but I continue to do things around the house like laundry or bathing children. Those duties don’t fall exclusively on my wife’s shoulders. It is my way of serving her and ensuring we have time to spend together because she isn’t held up somewhere doing chores while I play on my phone or something.”Taylor Head
“Almost 5 years of marriage and I’ve learned to laugh at myself thanks to my husband’s sense of humor. We try to find the positives and funnies in everything, even when it’s hard. The more we kind of giggle at ourselves, the more we realize how minor/no big deal some things are. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s one of our ways of not stressing over the little things.”Hannah Wedemeyer-Rix
“Let them play golf. Seriously though, as important as “us” time is, it’s also important to be encouraging of a hobby they enjoy or some valuable friend time. It gets very easy to lose yourself in the identity of your marriage or parenthood, but balance is key. Try to consistently reflect on how much of yourself you are giving to each area of your life. That’s after 5 years of marriage”Savannah Wilkerson
“After 5 years of marriage, I’ve learned to try to participate in hobbies and activities that your spouse is interested in. Even though you may not have an interest in that hobby it’s an opportunity to spend time together. Also, you might find some parts of it that you do like, and it could lead to working on skills or projects that you might not have normally worked on or thought about.”Nick Wells
What I’ve Learned from 11-25 Years of Marriage
“Michael and I have been married (almost) 11 years. I have learned that it’s important to spend time with just the two of you, especially when you have small children.”Ashley Cornwall
“After 20 years of marriage I’ve learned he’s still my best friend and I still can’t wait to grow old with him.”Holly Long
“Tommy and I will be married for 21 years November 12. Tommy has loved me more than I have loved myself sometimes. He has stood up for me when I couldn’t do it myself. His actions in taking care of me and his family speaks volumes of his character that others may not see, but I notice it and I cherish him!”Marlene Mcgough
“After 20 years of marriage, I’ve learned to let the little things go and focus on the blessings.”Amy Corwin
“After 11 years of marriage, I’ve learned that it’s important to respect each other. Be patient and kind. Trust each other and don’t be jealous.”Jennifer Hill
“Grace!! Even after 25 years of marriage you still have to learn to have grace with your partner and yourself.”Heather Lawley
What I’ve Learned from 26-50+ Years of Marriage
“Steve and I have been married for 37 years as of this year! I have learned that I still love him as much as when we first got married!”Jane Mobley
“After 27 years I have learned many things! Marriage is not a competition of who is right, it’s about an equal balance of give and take. It’s ok not to like each other sometimes but always love each other unconditionally. Marriage is a lifelong journey, not a race.”Trish Robinson
“Well, next month will be 53 years. There is not a magic answer to your request. Every marriage is different, but all good ones are based on mutual respect, patience, understanding, and a lot of love mixed in. I can honestly say that I can’t imagine having traveled this road with a better companion! Every year is different, but every year is better. I’m looking forward to many more!!”Suellen Lee
I think Mrs. Suellen does a great job of summing it up: respect, patience, understanding, and a lot of love! As the years pass some things change. Kids will come. Loved ones will pass away. Jobs will come and go. There will be new houses, new friends, new opportunities, new struggles, but from what it looks like, some things stay the same.
No matter if you’ve been married for 2 months or 53 years it’s still important to connect with one another. It’s still important to grow in your understanding of each other. It’s still important to live, learn, laugh, and let go! Most importantly, it’s still important to remember why you started this crazy adventure in the first place, love.