I’m late to everything else in life, and it seems I’m carrying that principle onto the internet… We just celebrated month two of marriage, and I have yet to write about month one. During our first year, I want to share fun moments and things learned, month-by-month. I have always disagreed with the idea that a wedding is the best day of your life, and I think sharing moments of actual marriage are just as exciting and lovely.
My lateness actually relates to one of the first things I learned post-honeymoon:
Marriage takes time.
Like everyone else in college, we’re flying by the seat of our pants 99% of the time (the other 1% we’re asleep.) We learned pretty quickly that marriage is different from dating in just how much time it takes. Caleb and I are both in school, in a vigorous creative advertising program. There’s loads of work, and a ton of late nights meeting with groups, brainstorming, and writing copy. All of this is on top of regular schoolwork. The problem is, I’m an early morning person. Like a 5:30 in the morning person, if I have stuff to do. Caleb? He’d rather stay out until 4am and just power through. Some nights he gets home and I get up a few hours later. It’s not the norm, but sometimes it happens. We’re both working on trying to be more moderate, which is probably good for mental health regardless of the whole marriage thing. 🙂
In marriage, if we only have one free hour per day, at least 15 minutes of that is probably going to need to be household management stuff on who paid the bills, where we’ll be out that night, and who will do laundry. On one hand, I absolutely love that we get to do everything as a team. It’s so much more fun, and can take a lot of stress off when you have somebody to lean on and split the work. It’s the best! On the other hand? My inner anxiety-riddled overachiever tends to want everything to be perfect, all the time. Dishes in the sink? I can’t go to bed. Date night planned? So fun, if we just clean the bedroom first, then we can earn relaxation! Free Friday night? Great, we have time to clean the bathtub!
WHAT. WHY. I’m not even a clean person. I’m actually pretty gross. I leave shoes and tea mugs literally everywhere. Yet, something in my brain tells me I have my life together if I always load the dishwasher and have clean towels. Which is weird, because we’re in college and I never have time to do that, so I’m basically setting myself up for meltdowns. I’m embarrassed to admit that often I’ll wait until 11:45, and then right as we’re about to go to bed, hop up and start making total chaos in our apartment like some whirlwind control freak fairy. It’s bad. Marriage takes time, and sometimes that means things can’t be exactly how we each personally want them. It’s made me relax a bit. It’s made Caleb help out a lot more with things he usually doesn’t notice.
By meeting in the middle and realizing what is actually a priority versus what is just a preference, life gets a whole lot happier.
Caleb is FANTASTIC at spontaneity. I’m not. In these first months I’ve gotten much better at going with the flow and accepting those unplanned dates that weren’t in my schedule. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? While we don’t have a ton of time, it’s even more important to take opportunities to laugh together when we can. A prime example of this was when Caleb called me as he was driving home from work and gave me a mission. I was to find bandanas and anything pirate themed before he pulled into our parking lot, and when I hopped in the car he started driving to Krispy Kreme. We practiced (really, really bad) pirate accents and stood in line chatting and laughing to get our free doughnuts. It was so fun! Finding time may not happen, but we’ve learned we can always make time. Even if it’s just a 20 minute expedition to get doughnuts dressed like maniacs.
Attitude is everything.
I learned extremely fast that I’m the WORST past about 8pm. I’m so mean. My brain is totally checked out for the day, and all I want to do is read, eat ice cream, and sleep. The problem with this is that Caleb and I usually don’t have time to chat until about 8:30 or 9. He’s incredibly patient with me, but wow, I’m kind of insanely grumpy at night. Sometimes being so comfortable with someone can be a bit dangerous. Happy, kind Olivia runs the risk of being used up by the time I go home, so sometimes Caleb gets the ugly side. It shouldn’t be like that! Bad days are okay, but saving some of that kindness and energy for the person you love the most is totally vital.
Attitude really is everything. Something can go differently than how I anticipated it would go, and that’s okay. I’ve been trying to be more intentional on taking responsibility for my attitude with Caleb, and not getting lazy with surprises and kind words. This leads to the last big thing from these first months…
Love languages are a big freaking deal.
Oh boy. This. I was so unprepared for this.
You see, when you’re dating, you can just coast on nice things and dates. This is because you’re not spending pretty much every waking moment together. All the sudden, after moving in together, nice things don’t seem so nice anymore. What? How?
It’s all about LOVE LANGUAGES.
The concept of love languages is that people tend to give and receive love differently. Some couples match up pretty well, which is great! Boy, ours do not. My highest are words of affirmation and acts of service. All I ever want is for Caleb to say how great I am and make me copious amounts of tea and plan adventures for us. So easy, right? Ha. That’s the thing… in my eyes, it IS easy. Because that’s how I give love, too. I leave notes everywhere and make lunch, and in my eyes that’s just how to love on people.
Caleb on the other hand, literally does not naturally think to do acts of service. It’s just not how he’s wired. He scores extremely high on physical touch. All he wants is for me to hold his hand and give him hugs at the end of the day. So easy, right? Well… it is. But I HATE touch. Hate it. Holding hands just makes me walk slower. Touching legs watching TV is the most annoying thing in the world. A kiss goodbye in public makes me want to break out in hives.
Good grief. Luckily, we’ve both gotten so much more in tune to what the other person needs. I’ve learned what it means to give with a cheerful heart. Back rubs mean nothing more to me than less tight shoulders, but they mean the world to him when I offer. Holding hands while driving doesn’t take that much effort from my end other than recognizing the opportunity, but makes him feel extremely loved. Caleb always takes out the trash and initiates nightly check-ins, where we can talk about what we’re feeling and he gives me verbal affirmation. It’s great!
The biggest area of growth so far has been loving each other the way the other person wants to be loved, not just the way that’s easiest for ourselves.
The first months have been so insanely busy, but so good. On the schedule for month 3? Halloween. Best couple costume ever TBA.
Cutie and I at a football game. (I don’t remember who was playing. I spent most of the game eating nachos. It was a good time.)