This week’s post was inspired by a misconception that has been floating around. I keep seeing posts on social media from friends celebrating their first year of marriage, and writing something along the lines of “I can’t believe that the first year is the hardest, because it’s been amazing!” or “It’s true what they say, the first year is the hardest!” (The credit for the photo below goes to the fantastic Wendy Mayo photographer).
I hate to break it to you, especially to any newly weds who recently surpassed the year mark (congrats!) but the first year is far from the hardest. It is definitely a period of adjustment, but this is nothing compared what comes later. I am not writing this to make any of the people who wrote that feel bad. I know that I wrote something similar when we celebrated our first anniversary. It is just something that people say, and I believed it back then.
My husband and I are coming up on 5 years of marriage, and I’m not pretending to be an expert in the area of anything other than what I have experienced. Heck, in 5 more years I will probably look back on this article and think about how much I didn’t know when I wrote this.
For your first year of marriage, you are getting used to each other. You are getting used to their quirks, and little habits. And you are absolutely still in the honey moon stage. Everything that they do is adorable. For us personally in that first year, we had a few minor disagreements, but nothing that I would classify as a fight. I thought people who thought marriage was hard had simply picked the wrong person, or were just difficult people.
Fast forward to a few years in. You are much more comfortable with each other. Which is very positive, don’t get me wrong. However, there is something about marriage that gives you the ability to annoy and aggravate your spouse unlike anyone else. You love them more than anyone or anything, but you are comfortable and you are not always putting your best foot forward. You know they love you, and you feel secure. Sometimes we treat the people who we love the most the absolute worst. Which is heart breaking but true. Adding a baby to the mix makes it much more complicated as well.
I’m not trying to scare anyone away from marriage. There is no question that if you put in the time and devotion, you will receive more than you can even imagine in return (With the exception of a few very limited set of circumstances such as abuse, but that is not my area of experience, so we will not cover that in this article). For us, there have been far more good times than bad. There is nothing we have overcome that I would classify as more than a minor bump in the road. Especially when I compare it to the love that we share, and the amazing times we have had together.
I love my husband exponentially more than I loved him when I accepted his proposal, and when I knelt across the altar from him in the temple and we were sealed together for time and all eternity. I absolutely loved him then, but I am struggling to find the words to describe how much I love him now. Even as a giant word nerd, I can’t find the words. They simply don’t exist. I can’t even fathom how much I will love him 5 years, 10 years, or 50 years from now.
The fact is that falling in love is easy. Love happens every day. The beginning of love is easy. True love, two people that aren’t willing to give up on each other no matter what is incredibly rare. Two people that take care of each other, lean on each other, and who would do anything for each other isn’t something you find every day. Marriage requires work. But if you are willing to put in the work, you can’t even begin to imagine how amazing it can be.
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