How to Expect the Unexpected
As I have heard so many times, I am a young wife. I know people who marry younger than I do, but generally for my generation I am a young wife. Not only am I a young wife, but I am a new wife. And as so many people have been gracious enough to remind me, young marriages are harder to make work than when you wait.
Just what every newlywed wants to hear, right?
No, not at all, actually.
I love my husband more than anything in this world, and while we may still be in the “honeymoon phase”, real life hit us both a lot faster than we expected. I had expectations, don’t get me wrong, but some of the things happening in my marriage right now I could have never expected.
So, from one new and young wife to another, here is what I’ve learned:
Even if you did not fight while you were dating, I promise, your first fight is on the horizon.
Is this fight the most terrible thing ever? No. Does it mean you should not have gotten married in the first place? No. Does it mean you are getting a divorce within the first year? NO. Fighting with your spouse is one of the harsh realities of marriage. It happens, and if it hasn’t happened yet, it will. My husband and I’s first fight was because I apologized for being homesick when we first moved and he was sick of my apologizing (Yes, I am aware it is an incredibly stupid fight). And we have had many little arguments since then. While I hate fighting with my husband, here is what I have learned and my advice from it.
Having a nice healthy fight can get all of your emotions out. As human beings, sometimes we just need to yell. We need to cry. We need to tell someone what is bothering us and why. Sometimes they need to do the same thing. But instead of holding it in, we argue, we talk, and we come to some sort of solution.
Never go to bed angry, never leave the house upset with your spouse, and never say something to them that you cannot take back. While calling my husband a name might add to my point at the time, I can’t swallow those words back up and expect them to be forgotten later. Those words are forever, and it can seriously hurt the person you are closest to.
People will say mean things and think they are just passing on wisdom.
Every marriage is different. What works in one marriage may not work in another. And I’m not saying I’m some sort of marriage expert. I’m DEFINITELY not. I’m still learning like the rest of us, new wives. But what I do know, is sometimes people say things that hurt. “You know your marriage is less likely to last because you are so young”, “You’re going to have to work really hard to not let the passion burn out”, “You still have growing up to do, you’re going to grow apart”. Yes, I have been told all these things. And while they hurt me and I wanted to slap them for doubting my decision, I had to remember that (most of them) were only trying to help me. So instead of losing my cool and acting like the child, they all thought I was, I just nodded along and said that I know my husband and I love each other. That is what counts.
I also know that sometimes statistics don’t mean a thing. My husband’s parents and sister got married young, and are happy to this day. My parents waited until they were older and had one of the ugliest divorces you could imagine. While age is a contributing factor, it is most definitely not everything.
You will lose friends when you get married, it’s part of the bargain.
I always thought since I had known most of my friends since kindergarten or younger, they would be my friends for life. Even friends I had made more recently, I thought we had been through so much together that we could withstand anything.
Nope. I was wrong again.
Some of them I can still exchange funny text messages with every couple of weeks, but some have cut me off completely. Others have decided to now express their deep disliking for me. And for all the new spouses out there, I hope you have more accepting friends than mine. Most people in my age group wants to go to clubs, drink, and meet new people. There is nothing wrong with that, and if that is what makes you happy, by all means, please enjoy. However, that was not what I wanted. I’m not a big drinker, I have a bad back which is easily irritated by dancing at clubs, I was never a big fan of the city, and while dancing with my friends was a great time, it was more of an occasional thing for me. I did not want to do it every weekend. Are they wrong? No. Am I wrong? No. We were just different.
But when I got married, the phone calls became few and far between. When I moved, most of them stopped altogether. We were in different phases of our lives. It hurts and I miss them. But sometimes that is what happens. Do not let this discourage anyone from getting married, but this is what can happen. Don’t hate them, don’t hold grudges, and don’t get sad when you see them on social media. Accept it for what it is, and do your best to continue with your own life.
Tedious adult things become a lot more fun.
Cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping, your morning coffee, and long nights in front of the TV because you don’t have money to go out to dinner all become a lot more fun. I never enjoyed grocery shopping through college and avoided it at all costs. But now when my husband gets home from work, we love to go food shopping together. We bicker over what kind of hummus we’re going to buy that week, laugh about buying generics, and pick out crazy ice cream flavors to find our new favorite.
Savor these small moments. Enjoy every moment that you can sit together, sip on coffee, and take a deep breath together. Marriage can get pretty stressful, especially when you’re first starting out and you haven’t gotten everything organized yet. So, these small things can make or break you. Make time for these small moments, no matter how busy your day gets. Ten minutes of cuddling in front of the TV can make a bad day into a good one.
Enjoy the ride.
Yeah, there are bills to pay, work is stressful, there might be syrup on the floor from your spouse’s waffles, the bed isn’t made, and there may be so many other responsibilities that you feel like you’re being crushed. But if the bed isn’t made today and your kitchen floor is sticky until tomorrow, life will go on. Enjoy being together. Go on a drive at 2 am to the gas station because you want a milkshake. Watch an entire season of your favorite show on Netflix this Saturday. Stay up late talking on a Tuesday night even though you have to work in the morning. You can be tired one day. Make a fort in your living room and camp out because why not.
You’re in this for life, so enjoy it. The little moments, and the big ones. Save up and take a vacation. Go visit your family. Buy gifts for each other for no reason. Do whatever it takes to bring as much joy to your marriage as possible.
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