Last weekend, Josh and I celebrated our first anniversary in Nashville. The trip gets a post all on its own (one of the best trips I've ever been on! So much great music! So much great food!), but on the plane ride there, Josh and I talked about the things we learned in year number one.
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1. Marriage feels different than dating!
People are mixed about this, but we decided marriage definitely felt different. For example, it was so weird saying my husband or my wife. Other things that were new? We could officially-officially include each other in our waaaaay future plans. Things felt secure. We could fight for real, without having to seriously consider whether or not we should even be in this relationship in the first place. We’re married now, and your immediate reaction is no longer should I be in this? It’s how do we work on this? Guys, not only is breaking up really unappealing when you're married, it’s so much harder, so you just don’t go there. Plus, you wanted to marry this person, so clearly there is lots of goodness to salvage.
2. Marriage doesn’t feel different than dating.
Things felt soooo different for the first few months, until they kinda just felt like they did before we were married. Saying my husband is now just how it is. Things are back to normal and it’s great. Though we do agree that the security thing adds a level of comfort that you simply cannot takeaway.
3. Your fam treats your relationship differently.
We’ve always felt our families liked our significant other, but once the I dos are said, it’s a whole different thing. Suddenly, you’re a legit part of the family. You’re asked to sit in on important meetings about family finances, secrets and advanced directives. Shit gets real.
4. Your friends treat you differently.
Now that your married, the invites roll in less often. I mean, you must be busy doing married things! Nope, you’re not. You’re the same as before, just with more security and maybe a different last name. Eventually, this will go back to normal, unless you don’t want to be social anymore. In that case, you stop calling people too, and people will continue to just not call you.
5. Sharing finances can be weird.
We still keep separate bank accounts and credit cards. At least for now. However, last month, after 48 weeks of marriage, I wanted to buy a book or something. Josh was logged into Amazon on my computer. I thought, if I buy through his account, is it stealing? I pondered it a bit more, then was like, whatever. Purchase! It still feels weird to share finances with each other, even though we legally do. I still feel like my money is mine, and his is his, which gets complicated now that I’ve quit my regular job and work for myself and make a lot less than I used to.
6. Changing your name is an unscripted process.
The other day, Josh said to me, I don't even know what your real name is.
I definitely meant to change my name when we got married. And I did on our marriage license. But what does that really mean? I don’t know. My driver’s license says Molly Marie Mogren Katt, but my passport says Molly Marie Mogren. My credit cards are a mix of the two and my insurance card is Molly Katt. I haven’t been to the social security office, so I think that’s where it’s made legal-legal. The point is, I don’t even know what my name is and no one really seems to care-- not at the airport, not at the doctor's office, not ANYwhere-- so long as there’s a Molly and a Mogren or a Katt attached to the end it works. So weird!
7. You really don’t have to get your wedding dress dry cleaned right away.
Still haven’t. Judge me all you want.
8. The stuff you sweated over at your actual wedding doesn’t matter at all.
All I remember about my wedding is that it was hot as balls and I had fun. Everything else is a blur. Feed and drink your guests, make sure people have a safe way home and you’re good.
9. Some days you think, “I married my best friend!” Other days, you suspect you married your nemesis.
Guess what? Both are true. I love spending time with Josh, and I get to almost every day. That said, we know we aren't going anywhere, which means on occasion, you treat each other like dirt. It just comes with the territory, and you probably occasionally act the same way with your parents, siblings and closest people. But hopefully the best friend days far out weigh the nemesis days. If they don’t, start working on it ASAP.
10. The key to a happy marriage: Don’t expect to be happy all the time.
We heard this little nugget from our friend Ryan two weeks ago, and we couldn't stop laughing because it's so true! Marriage sounds romantic, and it is, but sometimes you just need to be a realist.
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So.. what's your biggest lesson for newly weds? Or thoughts on marriage in general.
PS Some other wedding/marriage posts: Why I decided to change my name, why I am all about pre-marital counseling, plus... everything that I feared would go wrong at our wedding, did. And here's why I couldn't have cared less.