As this is wedding season and lots of you ladies are getting hitched in the coming weeks and months, I thought I'd share a few pearls of wisdom that I've gathered in our very long (okay, just shy of two years) marriage ; ) You do learn a LOT that first year, though.
Here are a few things I've learned that might help ya out, (or make you feel more normal if/when it happens.)
1) With men, it's better to just tell them how the heck you really feel. The beauty of guys, (and probably something we ladies should adopt), is that they typically prefer the blunt route. In the beginning, I used to keep S guessing. I wanted him to know exactly why I felt the way I did about something without me having to explain. Yes, clearly I that was flawed logic.
Problem is, this genius method of communicating with my spouse usually ended in me getting even more upset with him that he didn't just inherently know the cause of my foul mood. Men aren't psychics; do not treat them as such. Tell them when you're ticked and save yourself the extra time sulking. Besides, the making up is pretty fun ; )
2) Decide which household "jobs" you'll each take care of. We went into this with a 50/50 mentality. We'd each take on half of the household chores because we both worked outside the home and for us, it just made sense. We decided that Stephen would take care of the lawn, pets, kitchen cleaning and ironing (he's really quite good at it), and I'd take care of vacuuming, dusting, mopping and bathrooms. Laundry is a first-come, first-serve. On Saturdays, we split the chore list in half and in just a couple hours, it's done. Again, this method worked for us, but I know it's different for every couple and every unique situation.
3) Thank each other for the little things. I make sure to try and acknowledge his hard work both in our home and at his job. He does the same for me. Trust me, this will pay dividends.
4) Pray together. Shortly after we got engaged, we started praying together - out loud - daily. I understand that not every couple might feel comfortable with this and everyone has different religious backgrounds, so this is totally an "it works for us" thing. But, I love the connection that I feel with him when we openly share what's on our minds and talk to Him together. I'll be honest, when we first started doing this, it was a little awkward. But, I promise that within a week, you'll love the feeling of intimacy that it brings.
5) Date. This is going to become even more important now that we are about to welcome Caroline to the picture. Be sure to take time one night a week or so and go on a real date. It can be as simple as getting a burger and walking around the outdoor mall, or having a fancy dinner and going to a movie. We even have "couch pizza" night where we get a pie and eat up while watching old episodes of The Office. The point is to turn phones off, disengage from social media for a few hours and concentrate on your partner.
6) Decide in advance whose family you'll spend each holiday with. For us, this came pretty naturally, as each of our families has different traditions. We always do Christmas Eve with Stephen's parents, Christmas Day with mine and Thanksgiving, we try to do with both families by hosting the dinner ourselves. Again, it works for us, but each couple's family sitch is different.
7) Remind them that you think they're attractive. Frankly, I married out of my league. My husband is a bonafied hottie. I make sure to tell him that I still think he's crazy cute, because, well, he is.
These are just a few of the things that keep us in check. It's tricky finding that balance of what works versus not, but hey, give yourself some time, sister. You'll get there.
Happy wedding bells, bunnies.