My (humble) Advice for the First Year of Marriage…

Matt and I recently celebrated our first anniversary back in July, and since then I’ve gone back and forth about doing this post.  I’m no expert on marriage and I don’t pretend to be.  I mean, we’ve only been married for one year, but during the year I think that we’ve both learned a lot.  I’ve heard people often talk about the first year of marriage and how it’s the hardest and blah, blah, blah.  I’m not really sure if that’s true…I’ll have to let you know in ten or so years.  What I am sure about, is that marriage is a wild ride filled with twists and turns and highs and lows.

I don’t want to get too preachy in this post, so please keep in mind that these are simply things that I’ve learned.  No marriage is the same, and each relationship has its own dynamic.  What might ring true for us, might be completely different for another couple.  I can honestly say, though, that the following list are all things that I will genuinely take with me in the future.

5.  When in Doubt, Shut the Hell Up.

No, seriously.

I can’t tell you how much trouble I’ve gotten myself into just by running my mouth.  I’m the type of person that just has to say how I feel, even if that means regretting it later.  In the moment it feels good to get it all out there, but do you want to know what doesn’t feel good?  Wishing that you hadn’t said whatever it was afterward.  In fact, it feels terrible.

The point is, sometimes when you just shut the hell up, you realize later that whatever was compelling you to go on a rant, was probably something that would’ve blown over anyway.  So, is it worth it to say something that you might regret later just because you’re mad in the moment?  Probably not.  So, shut the hell up and wait for the storm to blow over.

4.  Do Not, May I Repeat, Do NOT Talk Smack.  Like, Ever.

Just say no to gossip.

Gossiping about your husband or wife to friends, family, strangers, etc. is not good.  Period.  Yes, you will eventually forgive your spouse (at least I hope so), and you will likely forget whatever you said, but do you want to know who won’t forget?  The person that you talked smack to!  Oh yes, that person will always remember, and most likely the gory details, too.

Be conscious of how you portray your loved one.  You should build them up in others eyes, and never put them down.  One of the things that I love most about my husband is that he brags about me.  How do I know this?  Whenever I meet someone new, they’ll ask about my blog, or school, and let me know in some way that he was talking about me in a positive light.  I do the same for him, too.  I’m constantly talking about how brilliant he is, and all of his accomplishments.  Matt- If you’re reading this, I think you’re awesome, and now everyone else knows, too.

3.  Live by the Mantra: Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner.

You tell ’em what’s up, Johnny.

Hey, remember when Patrick Swayze aka Johnny Castle tells a table full of people that nobody puts Baby in the corner?  Well, in a marriage, you can’t ever let anyone put your spouse in the corner…figuratively speaking.  You have to always have each others back no matter what.  You have to be each others greatest defender ’til the end of time.  Why?  Because you’re married and because you’re a team that sticks together through thick and thin.  Why else?  Because nobody puts Baby in the corner.  Period.  It’s that simple.

2.  You Don’t Have to Agree on Everything.

Hey, that’s one way of looking at it.

In a relationship, you’re not going to agree on everything.  Think about it, you’re two different people with different ideas and thoughts.  How could you possibly agree on everything?  It’s impossible.

Matt and I are alike in many ways, but we are very, very different too.  For instance, I like to go to bed early and get up early, and Matt is a night-owl.  I love trashy reality television, and Matt loves the news.  I like to listen to pop music on the radio, and Matt likes to listen to classic rock.  Matt doesn’t like to have stuff lying around the apartment, and I’ve been known to leave my sunglasses, purse, shoes, etc. anywhere that I put them down.  The list could go on, but you get the point.

Throughout our first year of marriage, though, I think that we have found a good way of dealing with our differences.  For example, when Matt’s around I’ll turn the Kardashian’s off, and when I come into the room Matt turns the news off.  Then, we find something on television that we can both agree on:  FOOD.  Because we can always agree on the food network.

I think early in our relationship, we used to try to convince each other more about things that we were passionate about as individuals.  After we got married, I think we both realized that it takes way too much energy to try and change the other person.  Now we just let one another be, and things are much more peaceful.

So, you can say tomato, and he can say tomahhhto, but isn’t it more fun to just say bloody mary?  Because who can’t agree on a bloody mary?

1.  Love to Give.

There was a moment during our wedding where my father-in-law was giving a toast and he said, “It’s not about how much you give, but how much you love to give.”  Even on that day, when there was so much going on around me, it made me stop and think, “Do I love to give?”

Anyone who has known a student in medical school is aware of how busy they can get.  Matt is no exception.  Most of the time, I am the one who takes care of all the household chores, amongst lots of other things, and it’s not always easy doing it on my own.  When he asks me, “Hey, can you iron this shirt?” or “Hey would you mind running to the store for me?” or “Can you take care of this phone call?” or “Can you run here or there?”  I ask myself, “Do I love to give?”  It’s easy to give when you have nothing else going on, but between my job, school, blog, chores, etc., it’s not always convenient.  But do I love to give?

In all honesty, yes.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to scream, “I don’t want to iron another freaking shirt!”  But for the most part, I can say wholeheartedly that I love to give.  Why is loving to give so important?  I’m not sure that I fully grasped it the first time I heard it in the speech, but after one year of marriage under my belt, I think it’s because when you love to give, you’re not doing it because you have to, or it’s expected of you, or you’re obligated to.  You’re doing it because you genuinely want to do something kind.  When you do something because you have to, it’s easy to become resentful, and when you become resentful it can create a whole host of other issues.

Next stop…the two year mark…and so on and so forth.

~The End.

Pictures by IMDB, Pinterest, and Anne Taintor.

28 thoughts on “My (humble) Advice for the First Year of Marriage…

  1. Yes to every single one of these. I’ll be celebrating our first anniversary (and blogging about it) Sept. 17 — while it’s also our 13th (waited 12 years to marry.)

    I think the most crucial thing, esp. when you’re younger, is everything is temporary, including life. The great moments need to be CELEBRATED and the lousy ones just gotten through, knowing both will pass. Your need to iron his shirts because he’s so time-crunched will not be forever. (We use the dry cleaner instead.)


    • I liked what you said about ‘temporary’….and you’re so right. I will eventually hire someone to iron the shirts! Haha…Only joking, but thank you for reading:)

  2. I Love this blog, marriage is hard work. I can tell you from 39 years of experience that the more you put into it the more you will get out of it!! There will be PLENTY of ups and downs but the ups will far outweigh the downs!! My two favorite things on your list are number 5 (BTW a very hard one to do!), and number 1 which is so very true!! Like Grandma used to say, “It’s only the beginning folks.” : ) xoxoxoxoxox

  3. Wise, thoughtful and mature. You and Matt are off and running! May you continue to appreciate one another for the rest of your lives.

  4. Every word is true, Sarah. I can attest to that after 33 years of marriage. Yes, it is hard work because it is never just the two of you reliving your fabulous honeymoon in Hawaii – LIFE gets in the way. It is a fabulous ride, however, one that I wouldn’t change a single day for. It just gets better and better when you are with the person that you love most in the world. Having lived in our home, you know that what Dad said is 100% spot on. We love to give every day of our lives, and it goes on an on……………… have seen that example on both sides………..
    xoxoxxooxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Mom Palma

  5. Well said, Sarah! I am proud (and proud of you) that you are my niece and Matt is my nephew! You had 2 wonderful sets of Grandparents who set the pace and loved each other, and what an awesome example for all of us…and then your Mom and Dad, and now Matt’s Mom and Dad, who have done the same (and of course, Uncle Mark and I…) setting an example that LOVE will get you through ANYTHING! That’s the thing…always remember the love you felt on your wedding day, and the vows you took…and take the advice of Grandpa Pampalona who would always say…”You ain’t playing with kids”! I love you both, and can’t wait to see you…soon! xoxoxox
    Love, Aunt Lor 🙂

  6. Reblogged this on The Bear Up There and commented:
    I love how Sarah writes, sometimes people are able to captivate you with their ability to write, and she does just that. Mature beyond years smart as hell. I am not even married but wanted to share her thoughts of marriage to the world.

  7. I can’t believe this sat in my gmail without reading for days. What an incredible article, Sarah. No lie. I have no reason to suck up to you. It’s just great!

    I just shared it on Twitter and sent it to my sister who is just in her first couple of months of marriage. 🙂

  8. A great post – should be compulsory reading for all newly-weds. .Wish I’d had some of your wisdom during the first years of my marriage – which didn’t end well; so, keep at it!

  9. Sometimes you need someone other than your mother to tell you these things in order for them to stick. Being in a relationship for the past 5 years, living together for about 2 – I’ve come to learn that a relationship is HARD work! I’m bookmarking this and saving it as my (very extensive) mantra!

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