His & Hers: 3 Things We Learned from First Year of Marriage

The first year of marriage comes with a lot of tests and trials. There is a lot of adjusting and figuring out how to get along as a couple rather than just living life by yourself and going on dates when you can see your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Today is the first post of a new series we will be doing called His & Hers. I (Britney) was on the newspaper staff in high school and we would have a guy and a girl talk about the same topic, giving the opinions from both sides. Since marriage involves two people, we thought we would take some of these topics that are seen as different between husbands and wives and address them in one post.

Our topic today: 3 Things We Learned from our first year of marriage.

Not take my cooking too seriously-Brit

So I don’t know about you but I knew the basics about cooking when we first got married, I just didn’t like the fact that making a meal for two could take so darn long!

Mistake #1 in that department is that we ate way too many Hamburger Helper meals that first year. I would come home for work, it would take like 20 minutes to make and then we’d clean up and do whatever we needed to that night.

What I learned: Let’s just say we haven’t had that for dinner ever since because neither one of us can look at that box!

Mistake #2-I worried a lot about what Max thought of my cooking. I would get offended if I put in the time to cook something non-Hamburger Helpery and then we would go through a night of being annoyed at each other. I would get mad when he didn’t like something he wasn’t used to eating.

What I learned: Try a variety of meals and understand that neither of us is going to like everything. I’ve tried some Pinterest meals that we use quite often and others that we had to throw out and head to get some fast food.

It’s a balance and as long as I’m following the directions, there’s no need for me to take cooking personally. Because we now have one kid that tells me he doesn’t like food and I guess that whole experience prepared me for that.

Not Be So Quick to Judge-Max

I remember when we were first married I was kind of hard on my wife. For example, she didn’t clean my clothes the way that my mother did or clean the house like my family did or she did not cook the food just like what I thought it should taste like.

The one question I dreaded the most was, “What do you want for dinner?” My usual response would always be, “Food.” I know this would drive my wife crazy sometimes because I didn’t know what I felt like. When she would come up with an idea I would say, “No, that doesn’t sound very good,” it would make her upset.

With all of silly quirks I was being very judgemental toward my wife it was not her fault that she did not do everything exactly how I was used to things growing up. She was a different person. (good thing too because I swore I would never marry someone like my mom).  

Now that we have been married longer it is a running joke in our marriage when we ask each other what we want for food. I wish I would have known that we’re both learning together both trying to understand how the other person lives or how the other person works or functions or deals with certain situations.

I wish I would have known that, “Hey, it’s ok to be different.” It’s okay to have different way of doing things and different ideas. I wish could have told myself that we are two different people coming together, working together. 

Not worry about other People’s opinions-Brit

Growing up, I was a people pleaser. I figured that was the easiest way to get through life but I realized that I had to have my own opinion in order to not get ran over. I learned this in college and then again as I traveled.

When we got married, the hardest part were the expectations both families held for us. Those expectations seemed to control us both, pulling us in every direction and making things stressful. What we have worked on over the past few years is the question, “What is best for our family?”

Sometimes we can’t make it to certain events and it took a while for me to be okay with that. Now, with three babies coming up on winter, it’s harder for us to get out because a) we don’t want them to get sick and b) we’re kind of an overwhelming bunch.

You have to do what is best for each other as a family, even when it’s just you two, and then it will be easier to make those decisions as a family. What everyone else says about how your relationship is going or how you’re parenting, etc. doesn’t matter.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take advice from your loved ones. But remember you’re the one in the relationship, you are the one that knows EVERYTHING that’s going on. Everyone on the outside only knows what they can see and sometimes their observations can be incorrect.

Marriage is between me and Max and when we focused on that, we have come a long ways in strengthening our marriage.

We’re on the Same Team-Max

We’re on the same team and we are playing to win together. What I mean by this is sometimes in marriage and, for some of you taking notes, I can almost guarantee that this will happen if it hasn’t happened yet. You will get into some sort of disagreement of how much time you spend time with each other’s family or friends or doing random things the other wants to do.

Sometimes I would think that my wife was torturing me for making me go to a family function, whether it was for my family or hers. Come to find out she wasn’t trying to kill me but she wanted everybody to win. I just needed to get on the right game plan and sometimes that means taking one for the team.

Not talking when I was frustrated-Brit

Everyone deals with anger in their own way. I thought the silent treatment was the way to go. I would bottle up all of my frustrations and respond with “Nothing” when Max would ask what was wrong. He would pester and ask me every five seconds to tell him what was wrong. I would get even more mad, thinking, “Why can’t he just leave me alone to calm down and think things through?”

Things would usually boil over to the point that we were discussing our frustrations when we went to bed, meaning we were both exhausted, adding to the level of annoyance.

One time, we were talking loudly in our garage and I said, “Shhh! The neighbors will hear us arguing!” I’ll never forget Max’s face as he laughed.  He said everyone argues at one point or another so why does it matter where we do it. All he cared about was that I was talking, telling him why I was bugged.

I’m sad to say it took probably that whole first year for me to figure out that Max would still love me even if I was angry or frustrated or bugged with him. He would still love me if I voiced my opinions. Life isn’t perfect but talking and communicating with one another makes for a lot less stress and less arguments (or shorter ones, anyway).

Patience in Communicating with Her-Max

Communicating is something I hope Britney and I can do forever. But when we were first married I had to be patient when talking to her and patience was/is not my strong point. We came from completely different backgrounds–I came from a family of four sisters and talking about anything and everything was not a big deal. Talking was something you did, whether you were happy, sad, mad or whatever.  I really don’t care what people think of me, I just say how it is and sometimes I should learn to hold my tongue. Britney, on the other hand, was used to bottling up her feelings and I would do everything I could to make her talk.

I would ask Britney, “How is your day?” Good was the response and she wouldn’t go into too much detail. This drove me bonkers because I wanted to know how things went. She was like Fort Knox. Trying to get anything out of her was hard and then when she wanted to talk about things or an issue that was going on she forgot that she married a guy who has a memory like a goldfish. 

We’ve made progress and I can’t wait to discuss things or get her opinion on things now. It’s amazing how that works.

Progress is where it’s at

Life is never ending battle of trying to be better than we are now. Trying to be a better person step-by-step, little by little. We all want the best marriage. We all have ups and down but what matters the most is that we are striving for the best for our spouse. It’s not the big things that make marriage great it the small everyday love tokens that make marriage great. 

Did you like this post? We have a few other His & Hers to check out:

His & Hers Series: Supporting Your Spouse l Marriage & Family Strong l trust l relationship l communication l

 

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