6 Things I've Learned In 6 Months of Marriage

Christopher and I have been married for six months today!  What's that you say? 6 months is not a year yet and therefore isn't technically an anniversary?  You just shush!  I'm excited about it, so it counts.

Six months is such a short time it's almost like nothing at all, and yet so much can happen in six months. In six short months we have worked on half a dozen shows, gone on two trips, Chris got a promotion at work, Jess began a new program she's been heavily involved in, and we've even moved!  So yes, it's been quite a busy time for our family and we've gone through (and learned!) a lot, so I thought I'd share some of those things with you!

#1. Being married feels different.
This might sound like a ridiculously obvious statement, but I'll be honest, I didn't expect my life to feel too different between engagement and marriage.  Christopher and I were engaged for almost a year and a half, we lived together for awhile prior to our wedding, and Jess (Chris' daughter if you're new here!  Also, Hello!) and I have been very close for years now.  Honestly, I thought being married would be awesome, but I didn't think it would be very different from where we already were in our life and relationship.

But oh my goodness, something changes when you get married.  I can't even really pinpoint it, to be honest, but there is something so different about being married compared to being in a dating relationship.  Now let's make it clear that I'm not begrudging other forms of relationships, nor do I necessarily think marriage is the right choice for everyone, but it is a new and different and exciting and crazy and amazing thing, and it IS different to me than dating or being engaged.  If you had told me this before we got married, I would've been slightly doubtful, but here we are and it really really is.

#2. ...That being said, you don't magically change either.
Although being married may feel very different than other stages, the second you say "I do" and steal a kiss and feed each other cake, you don't magically change who you are.  Christopher still has his quirks and I still have mine.

Before our wedding I hated dealing with cleaning out the fridge. Like...It's extreme.  I literally won't do it.  I just won't.  After our wedding I wasn't suddenly chomping at the bit to bust out the multipurpose cleaner and sponge and scour plastic drawers for awhile.  That's not realistic and frankly it's not going to happen. (Sorry babe!)

My point is, marriage feels different. Marriage changes something.  But it doesn't change who you are and who your partner is.  Of course as you grow and love and live together, you're going to make sacrifices and compromises because you love each oher, but putting a ring on it doesn't actually change who you are, so don't expect it to.  If you're in a relationship and you're noticing your partner is commiting some serious 'dealbreakers' please don't think "Oh, if we get married, things will change." They won't.  (Lucky for me, Chris and I knew that ahead of time, so he's more than willing to clean the fridge for me. But if you're having relationship questions or doubts, please don't jump into marriage thinking it'll change things. Not gonna happen, ya'll.)

#3. Being married is fun!
I don't know about you, but I have heard so many negative things about marriage in my lifetime.  Although I know that my marriage is super young and we have yet to face what I'm sure will be many crises and trials, I also know that in our marriage we do a lot of talking, a lot of joking, a lot of praying, a lot of playing, and a lot of laughing.  Please don't feel like you can't have fun in your marriage!  Sure, it's a serious thing, but it's also the chance to hang out with your favorite person FOREVER!  So do some fun stuff and pass the time with humor and adventure!

#4. Disagreeing on some things doesn't equate to a marital problem.
Disagreeing about something does not mean you should worry about your marriage, it means you are different people.  For most of the "major life stuff" I would say that Chris and I are in agreement, but that is not always 100% the case, especially with a child in the mix at our house.  But that doesn't scare me and it shouldn't scare you, either.

We do a ton of talking things out.  Big things, small things, fun things, not-so-fun things - we talk about them.  Do we always 100% agree?  Of course not.  That would be bizarre and would probably mean one of us was a robot, which wouldn't be ideal.

The important thing is that when we disagree, we talk and we listen and we compromise, and that works for me.

#5. When you're stressed out, take a breath and a break.
This may sound like the most obvious suggestion on the earth, but I am not and have never been a "take a break" person with anything.  I will work myself into sickness.  I will stay up late every night for two weeks completing a task until I crash and burn.

This, as I'm sure you can already assume, is a less-than-ideal quality. And, admittedly, it is not always possible to drop everything and take off for the weekend, BUT it IS possible to stop, take a breath, and get a hug from your partner.  This has made a huge positive difference in our marriage.  Take a minute, get a hug or a kiss or a coffee or a snack, and regroup for a second. It might seem minor but I swear, it helps me get back into balance every time.

#6. Life is better as a team.
This is a fact literally 100% of the time. Always strive to be a supportive, fun, epic team. High fives and pinkie swears strongly encouraged.

Any fellow newlyweds out there? Anything special you've learned in your marriage so far? I'd love to hear it!
All photos by the ridiculously amazing Laura Marie Duncan Photography

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