Today is one week from our anniversary so I’m wrapping things up with a final salute to the first year of marriage.
I began thinking about this post last week and jotted down a few thoughts. Today I’ve rounded them out a bit– with some input from Tyler– but I’m sure there will be still be holes left, maybe for you to fill in with introspective observations on your own marriage.
Totally had to start with that quote. Which the original source believes to be pure genius, so be sure to credit him as you help that saying make it’s way into everyday speech. 🙂
Take the time when things are new and still flexible to speak your mind about your needs, feelings, and preferences. Dare to be bold and have those vulnerable conversations as you’re still getting to know one another. It seems counterintuitive, but the time when it’s most uncomfortable is the time when it’s easiest to set the right rhythms.
Being selfless is hard work. And for many of us, marriage requires a retraining of our self-oriented ways. Consciously working on a particular habit is a great way to show service to your spouse. For example, I made a chart to keep track of who emptied the dishwasher more. After turning it into a competition, I ended up doing it so often that instead of my deeply ingrained habit of putting off it off until “later”, I now naturally walk over in the morning and empty the dishes. (I have to admit that example is questionable since such things should never be competitions… in the opinion of Tyler Murphy. I say a little competition never hurt anyone.)
Pick your battles; annoying spousal habits are just a matter of course. My personal stance? Forget about the wet towel on the foot of the bed. Stand your ground on using nice hand towels as cooking bar-mops. They make (and recommend) specific towels for that.
When you do find a cause worth championing, be careful not to veer into nagging territory. A book we’ve just begun [that-we-have-mixed-feelings-about-but-still-recommend] has been helpful with that. I’ve decided to operate out of an assumption that Tyler doesn’t mean to leave things undone, or verbally commit to a task and neglect to follow through. And Tyler in turn assumes that I’m not meaning to disparage him when I follow up. Our conversations are more fruitful and mutually-understanding when this happens.
So a year of marriage! Such wisdom.. imagine what the next fifty shall bring us 😉 But seriously, time flies and we barely have the presence of mind to snatch the lessons we can as they rush by. Tyler and I just realized we were only halfway through our honeymoon a year ago this weekend. While we haven’t been gorging ourselves on great restaurant fare, sleeping in everyday, and overdosing on crime drama tv shows, we still enjoyed life here at home. And with two family vacations coming up, it will be a travel-heavy month for us as we lead up to our longest road trip yet! Here we go!