“Your first year of marriage is always the hardest.” How many of us have heard that before? Planning a wedding is crazy enough and the only thing to look forward to is that it’s suppose to get harder?! That’s reassuring.
I decided before our wedding day that I would love and enjoy our first year. The same way I heard about the “freshman 15” and purposefully decided to go on a diet and exercise schedule after graduating high school. I went into marriage with a game plan. I knew I did NOT want to fall into the trap that most people did. I would be different. I would have the best year of my life. A year later, I can look back and say that this was the hardest year of my life-but also the best.
So many opportunities came our way to bring strife into our marriage and instead we used it as a way to grow closer to each other and actually build our relationship. I believe that’s the way God intended marriage to be.
We have faced a lot this year. Maybe more than most people their first year. We have totaled my car, lost my father-in-law to cancer, watched our house flood in Hurricane Harvey and more recently found out that cancer had touched another close family member.
We had many opportunities this year to call it quits and write this year off as a failure. Many times arrived that we could have taken our frustrations of life and thrown them in each other’s faces as if the other wasn’t also trying to figure it all out. We very easily could have let it wedge between our perfectly love bound marriage. But, we chose to be different.
Let me be very clear and let you know that there were several occasions that all of those things did happen. Several times I found myself in a victim’s mentality. Feeling like I could not catch a break. I would snap at Alex and quickly realize he was in the same boat I was. The difference in what we did and what most people do is what we chose.
We chose to not be victims. We chose to be in control of our lives. Do you want to know the secret to not just a great first year but a million years later? Be intentional. It sounds like a simple concept, but it can be one that’s hard to put into practice.
Choosing to be intentional. About showing affirmation. About being supportive. About sex. About date nights. About responsibilities. About finances. Being intentional is what creates a strong foundation for your marriage. It will help you through great times and horrible times.
Here are somethings that I have used to be intentional within my marriage:
We have set up a budget, and we stick to it! We go on weekly date nights. We choose to let the chores be quality time. Have you ever walked with your spouse around the grocery store and didn’t only talk about what items you needed? When things get heated we take a step back and realize that snapping at each other gets us further from our common goal. I had to make a conscience decision to regularly have sex, because yes that’s one of my weaknesses. I am just being completely vulnerable with you.
No marriage is perfect. Ours isn’t even close. However, we choose to strive for better everyday. We choose. Being intentional is about choosing to put in the work. Yes marriage requires work, a lot of it in fact. But if you never choose to actively put in the work, you just won’t do it. Being intentional is beneficial in every area of your life. Give your marriage a chance at being the best it can be. I want you to imagine what the best version of your marriage looks like. Are you doing anything today to help you get there? You can do this.
All my love,