People tell me how hard the first few months of marriage are, all the time.
Before I got married it was family friends or girls who knew married people.
When we got back from our honeymoon it was couples we'd meet.
When they found out we'd been married for only a few weeks, the wife would take me aside and say "I promise it gets better, the first months are hard." Without fail, that was the consensus: the beginning of marriage was the hardest.
A few weeks ago I guest posted on this wonderful blog about exactly that, those first few "rough" months of marriage. For those of you who haven't read it, I wanted to share.
They don’t have to be hard! They’re SO wonderful! You’ve spent your whole life, or at least your whole engagement, waiting to finally be each others, completely each others, and now you are. You’re actually married! How fantastic is that? I remember so many people telling me how rough the first few months of marriage are and how there are going to be so many things that drive you crazy. They all promised me it would get better, but at first it would be very hard.
Fact: Ben and I aren’t perfect. There are things he does that I would prefer he didn’t and things that really hurt my feelings. There are things I do I am sure he would rather never have to deal with.
Falsehood: When something bothers you it has to be a big deal, it has to be hard, or you have to take it personally.
I got a great piece of advice the week before I got married:
“When you’re hurt - NEVER think he did it on purpose.”
This has made all the difference! When he leaves dishes in the sink, or makes an off hand comment I don’t appreciate, or tells me he isn’t hungry when I’ve planned a great dinner for that night - I have to remember that he wasn’t thinking:
“It’s Elisabeth’s job to wash these anyway and she isn’t busy enough as it is,”
“I don’t care about what you said”
or “I don’t appreciate the good food my wife has worked hard to make for me”
(even if that’s the way I initially took it).
I find it really helpful to just talk to him.
“Ben, when you say this - I hear this.”
He looks at me wide-eyed and is like “that’s not what I meant at all!” and its all better :)
The first few months are a lot about communication. You’ve been communicating all along but now you live together. Now there’s an unbreakable commitment. If you can remember how much you love each other no matter what is happening...and if you can remind yourself that he loves you too much to do something like that on purpose, whatever it is... a short conversation and a long hug are all it takes to fix anything :)
Maybe this is all very naive.
Maybe it’ll get a lot harder sometime soon.
Maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about. But so far, so good! :)
What do you think would be hardest about the first newly wed months?
Do you have any tips on how to make them easy?