Throughout engagement, people offered a lot of marriage advice.
We learned to listen to and internalize the advice from those who Max and I trusted and looked up to. Those who knew us well and had our best in mind gave the most valuable insights.
Last month we celebrated our first anniversary, and although it is just the beginning, we have learned some things over these past 365 days that I don't want to forget.
Sharing life with another person is awesome.
Yes, you give up freedom when you commit your life to another, but the freedom you give up is replaced with the awesomeness of companionship. I love having Max by my side as we go through the hardships and joys of life hand in hand. And there's a new freedom that comes from laying your life down for another.
Be a team.
One thing we talked about a lot during our engagement was acting as a team versus acting against each other. I can't remember who gave us this advice, but it must have been somebody wise. When problems or stressful times came, it was us against the problem instead of us against each other. This has helped us communicate through those harder weeks and decisions.
Don't try to make your spouse your clone.
At first, I subconsciously expected Max to want to do everything in life like me, from relaxing to planning to eating to housekeeping. Once I realized this fault of mine, I can now focus on learning from him and being thankful for how he's wired differently than me. Because honestly I do not want to be married to a man who's trying to be exactly like me, I want to be married to Max being who he's created to be.
Invest in Your Friendship.
Max and I had to intentionally make sure we spent time together as friends, often. It's easy for jobs and life responsibilities to make it feel like you're just partners in managing life. And I'm sure different seasons will make this harder than others.
Our job this year has been to live part-time with 8 kids, who cannot live with their families. With a slew of emotional kids relying on us, we did not get much one on one time in the day. We had to purposefully plan date times, where all we could do was be together, whether that was at home or out. And any chance we got to spend a weekend away, we took! That has always been money well spent.
Believe the Best.
This has been something I've had to re-learn over and again with family, friends, work relationships, etc. Making a simple choice to believe that your spouse has your best in mind helps eliminate the opportunity for hurt and resentment to creep in. It helps us communicate out of a place of love and understanding instead of attacking and criticizing. But honestly, we still need to keep growing in this area with each other and others in our life.
So that's a glimpse at what year one in marriage taught us and we know we have a lot more to learn.
I can't wait for the adventure of year two with Max and to enter a new season of life with him!