10 Things We Learned in Our First Year of Marriage

Marriage is so funny!
Marriage is so funny!

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.

* * *

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.

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 it sucks because there are two humans involved, and we screw up all the time.

* * *

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.

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Comments (20)

  • Liz 5 years ago Reply

    I love this! I’m approaching my first anniversary August 16 (um…item #11 for the list, time really does fly!) and this is so timely and sweet. #6! I thought I was the only hot mess who had different names on every account. Also I am keeping my maiden name professionally, which is the main place I actually introduce myself by my full name so I keep straight up forgetting about the new name everywhere else. Sigh. We’ll figure it out. Anywaaaay long story long this is adorable & lovely as are all of your posts. xoxo Liz Hohenadel…I mean, Liz Scott! Or something!

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Yes, that was supposed to be on my list! It flies by so quickly. Thanks for your comment Liz H… or is it Liz S? Who cares! XO Molly M/Molly K

  • Cindy 5 years ago Reply

    I’ve just reached the 5 year mark with my husband and I think these ring pretty true! I only recently changed my name on my DL–people assume I was just not ready to let go of my maiden name, but it boils down to sheer laziness and trying to avoid the DMV. I also think that adage "choose your battles" definitely applies to marriage as well. In line with that, not taking every sour mood and attitude as something personal is huge. Let it go, and all that shit. That said, let it go unless you can’t then, talk it out.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    10000 percent agree with choosing your battles! To quote a very wise woman: Ain’t nobody got time for that!

  • Scot Herrick 5 years ago Reply

    I’d advise making a project out of the name changes and go and do them. The reason is that if anything changes in your work life (hope not…), you’ll have to go through a background check and the different names will put all sorts of delays in the process. House financing. Buying a car. It can impact your credit.

    My wife (who has all the name changes done; this is an example…) walked into a meeting yesterday at 1 PM and found out the division she works in was sold to a group in another state effective immediately. This morning, she finds out that all of the people of the sold company have to go through a background check. No warning. Life, especially corporate life, happens.

    Think of it as prevention of bad possible things happening. Not exactly motivating, but worth doing.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Funny– my bestie and I both need to do this and we have a post-4th of July date to hit up the social security office! Thanks for the advice.

  • Michelle 5 years ago Reply

    The part about not knowing your name made me laugh! Totally true…but the change comes back to bite you at the most unexpected times. I transferred retirement funds four years after we got married, and it was a whole thing because the names didn’t match, and I had to find a notary…huge PITA.

    Congrats on 1 year! My boy and I just celebrated 5. It FLIES. Did you save wedding cake?

  • codi watry 5 years ago Reply

    You don’t have to go to the Social Security office- you can mail it in! I was told by countless friends to plan on spending an entire day waiting there, so I did some research, and lo and behold, you can mail it in! I got mine back in less than two weeks. Just send them your old card and your marriage license. Boom. Done.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply


  • Melissa Joulwan 5 years ago Reply

    I will now weigh in with the old person perspective 🙂

    Dave and I have been a couple for 23 years and married for 8 (on July 7). We’ve learned a lot (so much so much) about how to be happy together, even when we’re maybe not so happy, if you know what I mean.

    Two things that came immediately to mind when I read this:
    1. We learned a few years ago, in the midst of a pretty major crisis, that there are actually three components to our marriage: Dave, Me, and Us. It’s essential to pay attention to and care for each individually for all of them to work properly. When we first moved to Vermont, he was great, We were great, but I was in a muddle. Now, we’ve got all three back in balance, but it’s really important to pay attention to each separately, so as not to blame one for the other. For example, I might be unhappy because of something that’s going on with me, but blame our relationship. That Him, Me, Us list is really a good reminder to dig into an issue to make sure I’m assigning the issue to the right place 😉

    1. It’s important to be a "soft landing" for each other, as our couples’ therapist put it. Or as Dave likes to say, "Be extra kind when you find your partner’s weaknesses." For example, I sometimes get really worried about taxes. There’s a rational component, but my worry is irrational. Dave knows that, so he’s extra kind and caring and soft with me when I’m freaking out. Instead of losing patience because I’m being irrational, he recognizes that’s one of my weaknesses and proceeds with compassion and kindness. It’s like being protective of your partner without being condescending.

    My marriage is the most important thing in my life after my own health. I treasure our relationship and Dave so much. Yay for you on your first anniversary! Wishing you many, many, many happy years together.

    Harmony Prom 5 years ago Reply

    I love this advice.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    The three components is such a good point! And I definitely know the feeling of Josh and I being good together, but struggling as separate people.

    And yes, the weakness thing is such great advice.

    PS I sobbed during taxes this year, and I even have an accountant.
    PPS Congrats on your upcoming anniversary, too 🙂

  • Jaime 5 years ago Reply

    Family secrets!!

  • Shevvi Crowley 5 years ago Reply

    Codi is my hero. I will be married for 23 years in August and still haven’t made it to the SS office. I will be mailing in my info ASAP. Hope they’ll still honor a license that old.

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Ha! Let me know how that goes 🙂

  • Kathryn 5 years ago Reply

    Congrats on your one year anniversary!

    molly mogren katt 5 years ago Reply

    Thank you!

  • Kate 5 years ago Reply

    Coming up on one year in September and I feel like I could have written this list myself – especially #5! Sometimes the "us" part is hard for me to always consider, since for so long it was just me. I’ve really been learning to think of us as a family!

  • Carly 4 years ago Reply

    Oh man, Colorado makes you go to the SS office before you can change anything else. Congrats on one year! I loved this list!

    Carly 4 years ago Reply

    And I just read the date on this post. Congrats on TWO years!

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