Yes, you read that right. I’m sharing marriage insight after only a mere 31 days. Ryan and I got married on March 1, and while a week of this past month was spent in paradise on our honeymoon, we have already dealt with the things that any married couple, regardless of the length of the marriage, has to deal with.
Here are ten things that I’ve learned during our first month of marriage:
1. Not a whole lot changes. We lived together for about a year and a half before we tied the knot, so there weren’t any surprises when it came to shacking up after marriage. I still don’t put the lids on things tight enough, and he still places apple and fruit stickers all over the house–both because it drives each other crazy.
2. Everything changes. There is a weird sense of security with marriage. Not that I thought he was going to leave me before if we had a fight, but now I know he can’t (well he could, but we won’t go into those details). With that security also lends the opportunity to say things you might not normally say–things that might hurt a little bit more just because you can. This might not make sense to the average person (or any male), but for me and lots of women, we like to see how far we can push our counterparts. This is something I’m working on…
3. Now we are REAL adults. I’m 26, he’s 28. We’ve been adults (kinda) since we graduated college and starting paying our own bills. It’s different once your married–you have to sign each other as dependents, talk about who has the better insurance, fill out a bunch of tax info, deal with the government to change your name, and talk about a real savings plan so that you can someday have that house with a walk-in closet.
4. We are a team now. And being a team means we need to support each other every way we can. Since we’ve started dating, we’ve always shared our personal and professional goals and dreams. We talked about the “one day” and “what if’s”…but now for whatever reason, we are set on making our dreams a reality. We talk about what we need from each other to move forward, and what we can each do to make whatever it is we need, happen. We both want to be successful and happy, and while we realize we might have to make some sacrifices now, we are on the same page in terms of having our long-term goals be our motivation.
5. We rely on each other more. I’m super close to my parents, especially my mom. We talk almost every single day. And while I don’t want that to change, I do realize that Ryan is my person to confide in now. That doesn’t mean that I still won’t tell my mom just about everything, but I also need to clue him in just as much as her. Example: I got a flat tire the other day and the first person I was about to call was my dad…but I didn’t. I needed to call my husband. He’s my go-to person now and that is going to take some time to get used to. My parents have been my go-to people for 26 years…and change is hard.
6. My family is his family. And vice-versa. Before I would say “Ryan’s niece” or “Ryan’s brother,” but now I’m learning to say “my niece” and “my brother-in-law.” It’s really cool to all of a sudden have a HUGE amount of people that are automatically inducted into your family. I come from a very small immediate family of only 5 people including me. I gained 11 immediate family members when I married Ryan and that’s pretty cool.
7. I still need to hang with the girls. I love hanging out with Ryan…it’s honestly one of my favorite things to do. I realize, though, that it’s really important to still have my girl time. Sometimes I just NEED it. Ryan doesn’t get why I watch 10 episodes of The Real Housewives, or why I have to go shopping once a month, or why I need to get a pedicure TODAY–and that’s ok. My girls do get it. It’s so important that I maintain my lady friendships.
8. I still need time for myself. This one is really hard for me because honestly, I don’t like being alone. I’d much rather be with people than by myself. I know it’s still important to just be alone, even if it’s for a short amount of time. And by being alone, I don’t mean that you have tobe completely alone, but just not with other people you know. My alone time is usually spent working out. I don’t go to yoga or the gym with friends that often because I know how important it is to just take that hour to focus on myself. It’s my time to zone out, think through things, and work on becoming a better version of myself.
9. There aren’t many secrets anymore. Like I said, we lived together for awhile before we got married, so it’s not like there was really much to share after we got married–at least not in the verbal sense. I’ve always been pretty comfortable physically around Ryan, but I would never, ever change my clothes completely in front of him. On our honeymoon, I found myself getting out of my swimsuit and into my next outfit right in the middle of the room. I didn’t think much about it–until he said something. I realize that I’m so much more comfortable in all senses around him now that he’s my husband, and there’s no reason to hide anymore—at least not all the time.
10. I’m a Mrs. This has been the biggest change in the past month. I have a new name, I have a husband, and now I’m a Mrs. In my mind, the term Mrs. was saved for ladies who were 1st and 3rd grade teachers. It never really hit me that I would someday be one. “I’m Kelly and this is my husband, Ryan” is also really weird to say. I hear you get used to it, but change is strange.
Clearly, I’m not an expert in my short 30 days of being a wife. I have a lot to learn…but I’m really lucky that I have a great partner in crime to learn new things with. Cheers to marriage!