This year was full of wonderful and amazing experiences! Aaron and I got married, we bought a house, got us a fur baby (Gus) and it has been so wonderful! The other day, a friend of mine said, “I bet you and Aaron never fight because you are always so happy.” While I wish that were true, I think everyone should know that marriage, while it is wonderful, it is not easy. I almost hate admitting that because I feel like people will think that I’m not happy or that I have a horrible marriage. But, my goal is to be completely transparent about what I have learned.
Marriage is something that has brought out the beautiful things and also the ugliest things about myself. I did not realize how selfish I was until I got married. You get so used to living your single life and you adapt so that you can enjoy it. While that is great, I feel like I picked up some selfish habits in the meantime. And selfishness and marriage just don’t mix very well, or at all. I have said things to Aaron that I already wish I could take back, he would probably say the same. I have done things that I am not proud of, disrespected him unintentionally. The thing is that we had only dated for a year. You can’t fully know a person in that amount of time. But, in every little thing that I do that may not be the best, there is a conversation, a time to learn and apply so that it doesn’t happen again in the future. And, there is also restoration and grace. Without it, grace, life in general would be so much harder.
Marriage has also brought out some really great qualities! We have both learned how to love each other the way we receive it. I realize that this will always change, but it is something that we can continually work on. I love that Aaron and I ask each other what our highs and lows for the week have been. It is something we started doing as we floated down a river in Jamaica on our honeymoon and it has been one of the best things. It allows us to encourage one another and to tell what the highlights of our weeks have been, and it gives us the opportunity to speak up if we have been hurt by the other person. It is one of my favorites! Being married has allowed me to experience a love in a way that I hadn’t really experienced. Not that I have not been loved well…my family and friends are some of the most loving people I know. But married love is a little different and I’m not sure I can really put my finger on what it is exactly. I also think that seeing each other through the other person’s eyes has been really fun for me. Sometimes Aaron describes in ways I never would think of, qualities that I would never claim as my own, but there is so much encouragement with that. We can be so hard on ourselves all the time and sometimes it just takes a simple affirmation from someone else to give you that confirmation.
I wouldn’t trade my last year for anything, as hard as it was for both of us. I feel like we kind of dove into marriage with really high expectations, and this year and all the experiences that came with it, helped us to bring our reality up and our expectations a little lower. Don’t get me wrong, I think high expectations are a good thing. But, it is easy to have unrealistic expectations for the other person and to think that the other person should totally understand why you have them. Talking has gotten us through this year. Talking about everything and anything. If it was good, we talked about it. If it was bad or hurtful, we talked about it. When we didn’t like each other very much, we talked about it. When one of us spent too much money, we talked about it. After this year, we have laid a foundation. We have gotten on the same page, and we are ready to relax and enjoy year two. Phew, we did it!
All photography by Vienna Glenn Photography