Thursday, September 25, 2014

Marriage is Messy

This is a guest post written by Lindsay, of The Newlywed Notebook. She's fun, real, and I know this post will just make you want to be her friend. Enjoy!

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Confession: my husband and I never really went through a "honeymoon" phase. The first 6 months of our marriage were not lived out in marital bliss. We didn't hold hands everywhere we went, and we didn't spend every waking, non-work moment together. In fact, there were more than a few times in that first year of our marriage which were quite the opposite. Let me illustrate just a few of them for you:

 I can remember feeling very "frazzled" many nights that first year of marriage. I had just graduated with a degree in Elementary Education, and had decided during my final year of college that teaching was just about the last thing I wanted to do (good job Lindsay, I know). I was spending much of my days that first 6 months of marriage furiously applying for jobs, taking various classes online, and trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do with the next 40+ years of my life. There were many nights during that time when my husband would come home to papers all over the living room, laundry half sorted all over our bedroom, and dinner not yet started. This made me feel terrible because I knew I was home all day - I felt like I should have been providing my husband with a clean house and a hot meal. But it just wasn't happening no matter how hard I tried, and I know my frustrations and stress carried over onto my husband.

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I can also remember going to bed many nights with hurt feelings because of something that was said, but not knowing how to express it, or if it was even worth bringing up. I vividly recall the first night we went to bed angry - the number one piece of marriage advice people tell you to NEVER do. I remember feeling like this was it, and that everything was going to be downhill from that point. I remember not knowing how to fix the situation, or who should be the first one to bring it up. I remember burnt dinners (twice in a night, on one occasion), bum fridges, and broken plumbing. Sometimes I look back on that first year of our marriage and wish that we would have experienced that "honeymoon" phase that you so often see on TV or read about in books. But you know what? Looking back, that first year of our marriage was real. Sure, some of it was messy. But a lot of it was really great and full of memories I will never forget like decorating our first apartment, buying our first big piece for furniture together, and searching for our first home.

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So if I were to give you any advice today, it would be to let your marriage be real. Let it be an accurate reflection of you. Don't live your relationship based on how others think it should go or what they want to see from you. Sure, you won't always have all the answers and handle everything correctly, but that's OK. On those days, just know that I'm out there too trying my best to muddle through it all - and I'm pretty sure there are a few other wives out there who feel the exact same way as us. As long as you are trying to be caring and understanding towards your spouse, and working to meet their needs to the best of your ability, that's all you can do.

 And hey, sometimes "messy" isn't so bad! Think a flirty food fight, getting caught in a summer rain, or doing some physical labor on your first home together. I think that if we just try our best to let the "good" messes outweigh the bad, we will all turn out just fine. Marriage (and life) can be messy and stressful and crazy, but it can also be beautiful and exciting and life changing - and isn't that what makes this whole ride worth taking?    

Lindsay is the sole blogger and owner of The Newlywed Notebook. She enjoys sharing with her readers the everyday struggles and triumphs of newlywed life and the lessons learned along the way. Lindsay loves Starbucks coffee, window shopping, refurbishing unique finds for the home, and spending quality time with her extended family. When she’s not sitting in front of the computer, you can find her working on various home renovation projects with her husband or playing with their adorable puppy, Stella.

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