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What I wish I would have known before I got married

Cayden and I recently celebrated three years of marriage! Hallelujah!

These past three years have been the happiest of my entire life!

At the same time, I’ve also felt like I have been on the fast track to personal growth as I’ve leaned into my new role as a wife.

It’s unbelievable to look back and see how far we’ve come in just three short years. I can’t wait to experience a lifetime of growth together!

I wanted to share a few things that I have learned over the past few years, specifically things I wish I would have known or understood better before we had gotten married.

1. A healthy, happy marriage can be SO FUN!

I grew up believing that once I got married, I would lose my identity. I worried about losing myself when I became a wife and mother.

I’ve since learned that being in an equal, committed, loving marriage partnership has actually allowed me to find myself.

Knowing that I am loved deeply and unconditionally allows me more freedom than I ever had before. Our marriage is a safe space to discover more about myself (and my weaknesses) than I ever knew.

Marriage allows me to practice selflessness, love, service, and patience in ways that make me a better person.

I LOVE being married to Cayden!

What I wish I would have known before I got married

2. Disagreeing with your spouse is normal and inevitable, and in most cases needs to be worked out just between the two of you.

I wish somebody would have told me that it is OK AND NORMAL to disagree with each other and to approach things in different ways.

At first I thought that any time we would argue or disagree that we were failing in our marriage.

Good grief! Disagreements are a part of every relationship, including marriage.

Sometimes we have hard conversations. Sometimes we have to drop our pride and choose to let go of how we’ve always done things.

So much within a marriage is precious and personal. We try our best to keep our disagreements between just the two of us. You don’t have to share every detail of your married life with other people, even if they share a lot with you. 

There is a time and place to share personal struggles with other people that you trust, but everybody and their dog doesn’t need to know the long list of grievances you have with your spouse!

Take it up with the Lord in prayer instead!

I’ve learned that when you complain to others about your spouse, it impacts how they view your spouse. Family members or friends don’t always see the resolution of a disagreement or issue, so all they remember are the negative things you said. Most moments of forgiveness and resolution happen behind closed doors.

It’s alright if you disagree. We all do! And it’s best to just work things out between the two of you.

3. There is not one right way of doing things in a marriage. 

Every marriage is different and the way that you live and love and learn together as a married couple is up to you and your spouse.

Together you get to decide who does the laundry, whether both of you or one of you will work, how you earn and spend money, how you serve and love and take care of each other, how you spend your holidays, etc.

I’ve learned that I can observe and learn from other people’s marriages, but Cayden and I get to intentionally decide what we want our marriage to be like. How FUN is that?

Just because something works for one person or one family, or your parents did things a certain way, or your sister does things a certain way doesn’t mean those things are going to work for you in your marriage.

We get to establish our own family culture, traditions, and life from the ground up, brick by brick!

4. It takes time to learn each other. 

During our first year of marriage, though it was incredibly fun and amazing, I was SUPER hard on myself.

I had really unrealistic expectations that the transition would be seamless. When things didn’t go perfectly, I took it very personally and beat myself up about it.

 I wish I would have been more kind and patient with myself, and realized that many of the kinks within our marriage and family relationships would simply work themselves out with time.

With each passing year, my confidence and security within our marriage grows stronger, and I know that we can get through hard things because we’ve already done it!

If something isn’t working right away, be patient! Give it time! Don’t give up. Pray for help!

It takes time to find your place as a daughter-in-law or son-in-law. 

It takes time to learn each other’s love language.

It takes time to find effective ways to communicate.

It takes time to discover how your spouse thinks and feels and what they value most and what they need the most from you. 

It takes time to figure out which household chores each person prefers to do and what roles you’ll assume in your home.

It takes time to learn what brings your spouse the most happiness and fulfillment and how you can support them in those things.

I wish I would have just RELAXED a little bit and known that with time, we’d start to figure all these things out.

As amazing as I feel our marriage is right now, I’d like to think that with time, our marriage is going to continue to get even better, sweeter and more refined.

5. My husband is not responsible for my personal happiness, neither am I responsible for his. 

I am in charge of my own happiness!

In our everyday life together, I am not waiting for Cayden or anyone else in my life to do things so that I can be happy. I am proactively creating my own happiness through the choices that I make. 

I am the one who has to choose my thoughts – no one can do that for me. I choose what I eat, how I spend my time, what I say, what sorts of things I invite into my mind and into my life. The same goes for Cayden.

It is our job to individually cultivate and invite happiness into our lives, and then we can bring our whole selves to our marriage. Then we both have joy and experience happiness together.

Marriage does not complete us. We are not two halves that make a whole, we can be two whole people.

When we are each taking responsibility and doing our part to strengthen and nurture our marriage, together we are so much greater than we could ever be alone.

I love being married to Cayden. What a blessing our marriage has been and will continue to be!