marriage year one.

If I have one thing to tell people about our first year of marriage, it's that I had no idea who I was marrying the day of our wedding. Say whhaattttt? Of course I knew Shane's favorite color, what he liked to eat for dinner, and that he wore whitey tidies, but there was so much more to him that I hadn't even grazed--let alone prepare me for actually living with him.

Our first year was not roses. It was not a daily facebook status saying how great my husband is. It wasn't an easy change for us going from long distance for years to sharing a 500 sq ft house. We fought almost daily, always wanted our own way, we were mean to each other, never seemed to agree on anything, and I was incredibly homesick for my family. I had a hard time emotionally leaving my family and cleaving to my husband. I wasn't expecting that (and neither was he) because the whole time we were apart it was always I just want to be with you. Married to you.

I realize now that living in Boone was such a blessing to us. I'm so thankful that we had that 4 months of no family or friends close by to run to. Because at times I would chosen them.

I literally thought that no one else had that hard of time in the first months of marriage (myth #1), that Shane was disappointed with his choice (myth #2), and that I could do better. (myth #3).

It hurts my heart to even type out that third myth. Ladies, realize this right now. You cannot do better. To believe that is like giving Satan your best recipe for chococate chips cookies. There is no get out of jail free card in life.

We both 'knew' what we were supposed to be doing. Serving each other first, communicating in loving ways, giving each other grace. Women, submit to your husbands and men, love your wives like Christ loved the church. Yes yes, blah blah. We knew.

Knowing isn't doing though. Despite knowing these things, being believers and Christians, it was still so dang hard. I tried doing it myself, serving my husband even when I didn't want to, cooking him meals, trying to encourage him. But if I didn't think he was trying to do the same for me then I would start comparing and getting bitter. Why isn't he doing things for me? Why isn't he loving me better? Why isn't he thinking of me first?  And then I would stop, and things always failed.

Hear me out--I always failed. I couldn't, and still can't love my husband and serve him on my own. Learning to lean into God is what has opened my eyes on how to serve, pursue, and respect my husband. God first. Shaner second.

In December of last year, we had finally found a church (then we moved) that was a good fit for us and I remember briefly meeting a woman that was inviting us to their small group. She asked how long we had been married, and when we replied 3 months she said something that I'll never forget.

Ohhhhhhh, the three month mark! When my husband and I were just shortly married I thought something was seriously wrong with our marriage. We were fighting about everything, toothpaste, how to put the pillows on the bed, you name it! It was really tough. How are you guys doing?

It's like a wave of comfort and relief covered me immediately.  It's not even like she said this amazing marriage advice to us, and reading that just now may have you thinking that anyone could say that, but I believe God used her in that moment. She didn't have to share that piece of life with us, we were complete strangers to her. But in her saying that, I was hearing that someone else went through this, someone else thought this way, I'm not alone here, we aren't crazy, we can do this. We can do the hard times.

It's still not perfect everyday and yes we still fight. But we've grown so much. Marriage year one brought out ugly areas of my heart that I have slowly started to work through and I love it. I love the change, and I love seeing us grow together in life.

Being married to your best friend is such an amazing ride. It's worth it. And some people don't have hard times right off the bat and thats where it's important not to compare yourselves to them. I've learned focusing on your own relationship leads to less fights, less tears, and more time for activities.

You heard me. Activities..

Now, go be married. And have some fun!


Sarah Nicole said...

I love this Kallie!
Thank you so much for your honesty. I think no matter who you are the first year of marriage is hard. My hubby and I just celebrated our 1st anniversary and we had our share of ups and downs. I think that's to be expected though. I'm just so so thankful God's mercies are new every morning! Can I get an AMEN?! :)

Praying for you guys to continue to have a blessed marriage.

Megan said...

Your honesty and bravery is really inspiring. Thank you for sharing, I can guarantee this will help someone else who may be in the same boat as you someday or right now.

Love your heart!

Kiri said...

This sounds so familiar! We moved in together before we got married, and honestly? I think that was the right decision for us. It was sooo hard learning to live together. I missed my family and we were only about five minutes away from them! And we hadn't been long distance at any time during our relationship, but it was still such a huge adjustment! Then, actually being married was a whole other adjustment. If we would've moved in together and got married at the same time, we would have been even worse. For us, learning to put each other first was and still is, at times, a challenge. I am selfish and have had to work on that a lot! Anyways, it's good to see that other couples have gone through the same thing. Marriage really is a blessing and worth all of the hard work! :)

Trisha Nelson said...

So well said Kallie. I will say my birth control added even more crazy to the mess but I am still learning how to be submissive to Dylan....it's a hard pill to swallow sometimes. Thanks for your honesty and openness! It is refreshing. :)

Becca said...

Kallie this made me cry. Call me emotional and a little girl, but there's a little tear right there on my cheek to prove it. I love your myths, and I couldn't have said it better. No one prepares you for the first year- all you hear about is how freaking awesome everything is. Not the hard parts! It's good to know we aren't alone!