Hi from Oregon! As I mentioned in last week’s post (and over and over and over again on social media, you know I can’t resist a plea for attention) Sunday marked one whole year of marriage for The Hotts. Time sure flies when you’re having fun / embarrassing your husband by talking about his butt on the internet all the time. (It’s so cute tho! I can’t help myself!) At some point I’ll be sharing a few thoughts on what I’ve learned about marriage and relationships over the last year...you’re dying with anticipation, I’m sure. For now, I’m too busy out living those lessons, such as: Take Romantic Adventures and Don’t Get Mad At Your Husband If He Loses His ID In The Midst Of A Romantic Adventure And Then That Becomes A Whole Thing and Love Your Wife’s Friends, Even If That Means You Spend Your First Anniversary Dressed Like A Pirate With Her BFF. You know, all the classics.
In all earnestness, though, one thing I realized while reflecting back on year uno, is that one year ain’t no time at all and we still have SO much ahead! We’re still total rookies. So I turned to a few women I love and admire and asked them if they might share any memories from their first year of marriage and/or tips for keeping things strong and spicy. And oh how they delivered!! I was so overwhelmed and honored by the words of advice and wisdom that poured in and so grateful these wonderful gals took the time to share their stories with me...and YOU GUYS!
Their warm, wise, funny and occasionally surprising and tips, tales and tricks are collected below and... I might just have to retire from blogging and hand the reins over to this crew - they good. I am a sentimental sappy sapster, we all know this, but the combo of love stories + friends opening their hearts to share had me all verklempt and I mayyy have even shed a tear or two. I hope you enjoy as much as I have!
And as always, I’d love to hear from YOU! Are you married? What memories do you have from your first year? What tips would YOU share with newlyweds? Are you dying over this photo of cute old lovers or is that just me?! xo Liz
L - Married 19 Years:
Year one of marriage? One specific story doesn't jump out in my memory - I just remember overall happiness and contentment. And 19 years later, I still feel that way! I think one of the best things we've done is make our anniversary a priority through the years. We don't buy each other any gifts. We just take a weekend away - just the two of us. In the last five years, this has meant a recurring visit to the same little town, in the same cozy apartment, and an anniversary dinner at the same little restaurant. It's a weekend I look forward to all year!
M - Married 11 Years:
1. Go to bed mad. Staying up and arguing when you're both tired and angry is just counter-productive. Sleep on it, and when you wake up most likely the argument will seem silly. If not, at least now you have slept on it and can move forward more rationally and calmly.
2. Never use powerful words like divorce unless you're willing to back it up. The word divorce is nothing to throw around lightly as a threat that you really don't mean (see: arguing while tired).
3. Always treat each other with respect; always, but particularly when you're in company. There is nothing more awkward than sitting with a couple who is bickering about something completely asinine in which one person is inevitably throwing their partner under the bus for something ridiculous, like why didn't they wear the shirt that you told them to wear.
4. Keep touching, cuddling, kissing, making out, etc. Be that embarrassing 30 year married couple who still can't keep their hands off one another.
A - Married 6 Years:
My husband and I were married in July, and we waited until December to go on our honeymoon to Vietnam. At the very end of what had otherwise been a spectacular trip, we both came down with food poisoning. Mat first. He complained about a stomach ache in our hotel room, right before our Mekong Delta river cruise, and I basically told him to buck up. “You’ll be fine,” I said.
He toughed out the cruise (which was more of a rough boat ride in a river strewn with plastic bags that kept getting stuck in our motor than a relaxing cruise) and then, on the drive back to Saigon, I started feeling queasy.
We spent our last night in Vietnam in agony. We had the chills, so we took turns sitting under the showerhead (standing was too much effort). Mat braved a trip to a Vietnamese pharmacy, where he came back with dubious-looking medicine that we took anyway. (It didn’t help, but I don’t think it made matters worse.)
We made it, somehow, to the airport, and onto the plane. It occurred to me that we might die, and I didn’t even care. I wanted to die, a few times—I’d never felt so sick in my entire life.
And the whole time, I kept thinking that I hadn’t believed Mat when he’d told me he was sick. I’d thought he was just wimping out. Because I felt fine, so how could Mat feel sick? And then I felt just as sick as he did, and the lesson felt cosmic: believe your husband. It’s something I remind myself of all the time. Take what he says seriously.
L - Married 3 Years:
(1) The saying "never go to bed angry" is BS. Sometimes you need to time to cool off, think about the issue or catch some zzz's. If you guys love each other, which you presumably do since you got married, you'll be able to work through your issue even it you don't deal with it until the next day
(2) Compromise or come up with a good way to settle matters when you have differing opinions (on relatively unimportant issues). I know one couple who flips a coin when they can't agree on something like where to go out to eat, for example. We don't do that, but we definitely compromise a lot and agree on the fair way to proceed. Maybe I pick out a restaurant this time and he picks next time
(3) Waking up next to the love of your life never gets old...at least not so far :)
(4) Spend quality time together - maybe try something new, have a conversation over dinner at home instead of sitting in front of the tv or go out for "date nights"
(5) You don't stop learning new things about your partner. I've been with my husband for almost 7 years (married for 3 of those) and we recently went on a trip and I learned new things about him that I never knew before!
(6) This piece of advice came from my husband - Husbands like these things that start with the letter "B" and end with the 10th letter of the alphabet ;)
K - Married 25 Years:
How not to get through the first year of marriage: never, ever attempt to wallpaper a tiny bathroom together. We bought our first house and moved in right after we got married. Actually, it was not completely done after our honeymoon, so I lived with mom and Chris lived with his mom for two weeks and we got by with conjugal visits until our new place was finished. Anyway, I was obsessed with wallpapering the downstairs bathroom. I knew the paper I wanted and how it needed to be done. The bathroom was tiny, and under the stairs, so the ceiling had very awkward angles. To put it lightly, wallpapering was a nightmare. The room was cramped and hot and Chris had his ideas (which were probably correct) and I had mine (which we did ). We had some spectacular fights wallpapering that bathroom and I think once it was done, we questioned why we even thought marriage was a good idea in the first place. Luckily, Chris is quick to forgive and forget and besides the bathroom really did look amazing. We decided to stick it out for a little longer.
In all seriousness, marriage is work. It is not nearly as easy and carefree as I thought it would be. Chris and I are two very opinionated people and don’t always agree. As time has gone on, I value him being different. I always said that if I married someone exactly like me, it would have driven me nuts and we would no longer be together. For the really important things, the things that truly matter (and wallpaper is not included), we are rock solid. Chris always uses the reference from my favorite movie “Rocky”. When Rocky is in the meat freezer, Paulie asks Rocky what his attraction to his sister, Adrian, is. Rocky replies “it fill gaps". When asked what that means Rocky says “she’s got gaps, I got gaps; together we fill gaps". In the few areas that Chris has gaps, I fill them in and, more importantly, Chris more than makes up for the areas in my life that I am lacking. Yep, we beautifully fill gaps.
H - Married 5.5 Years:
I'd say that I think the whole "never go to bed angry" thing is a line of b.s. Because sometimes, getting the bed to myself is worth the fight.
Sometimes I daydream about being divorced, mostly as an escape from my in-laws, but then I remember he's my favorite. He's my team. He's my bff. He's the best dad there ever was (truly, I'd put him in any competition for that title with total faith he'd win). He's it.
M - Married 7 Years:
M has been married for 7 years. During their first year of marriage, she and her husband continued to enjoy all the activities they participated in while they were dating. They also faced fertility challenges, but are now the proud parents of 4 year old identical twin boys. Marriage is full of ups and down and requires a strong commitment to each other.
N - Married 6 Years :
1. Never share a bathroom sink.
2. Don't get anything smaller than a queen size bed.
3. Marriage is about comprises so if you want him to make dinner you will have to give him "dessert" later. But trust me it will be your best meal.
4. Sex is always your wild card to fix a situation and/or get what u want.
5. Remember that he will be the one there with you through everything so don't be too hard on him but also don't be too easy. ;).