This is one of the last posts in my “five lists” series in honor of our 5th anniversary. I’ve been distilling some of my marriage lessons learned into bit sized lists around the number 5. This one is 5 assumptions I had about marriage that turned out to be wrong. These are specific to our marriage and may or may not apply to marriage in general. Let me know?
My lifestyle will stay the same with no consequence: I got married shortly after college graduation. I worked during college, but my parents paid my living expenses and tuition, so I spent money I earned on meals out, clothes, Starbucks and makeup.
I realized too late that we’d eventually pay for my lattes and Bare Escentuals, but it wouldn’t be with our grad student stipend.
I’ll enjoy and excel at all things domestic: Once the newness wears off, household chores become just that: chores. Cooking is fun when you do it occasionally for dinner parties, but the daily question of what’s for dinner became more burdensome to me than I like to admit.
Between getting more help from Mike and simplifying meals, my system works pretty well now, but it’s taken five years.
I’ll never be lonely: Some of my loneliest days were during those first months of marriage. I lived in a new city without friends or employment. The time Mike and I spent together was sweet and established a strong foundation for our marriage, but I also spent long, quiet days alone.
We’ll do everything together: Before we got married, I loved hiking and exercise. I watched Gilmore Girls and read novels in my free time. Mike had different hobbies and interests, but I thought he would become my companion, taking an interest in everything I was interested in.
I imagined him hiking and reading alongside me. Ironically, as I type this, Mike is reading a novel, but early in our marriage, he didn’t read much for fun.
I had to learn that he would participate in some of my favorite things because he loved me, not because he enjoyed them. I wanted him to want to watch my shows. Now I know that it’s healthy to have interests we pursue independently. It’s okay not to do everything together.
The first year will be hard: During our first year of marriage, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had heard so many people talk about how difficult the first year of marriage is that I felt like we were getting away with something when we celebrated our first anniversary without any major problems.
Our first year of marriage was one of my most trying yet, but mostly because of everything happening outside our household. Marriage was a joyful, peaceful refuge in the midst of upheaval in every other area of my life.