Wednesday, May 11, 2016

6 Months of Marriage

J and I reach 6 months of marriage and celebrated with a few date nights this past weekend. As we were watching the sunset one night, I asked what he had learned about marriage, me, or us within that time. What a great moment to pause, check-in, and see how this sweet marriage thing is going. Since that conversation, I've continued to reflect, aww, laugh, and feel real blessed to walk in marriage with J.

Some of my top reflections include things you'll totally laugh at, and hopefully be encouraged in (wherever you are in your own journey). Enjoy!

Acts of service are our lifelines to each other

I awoke the other morning to my crockpot on the counter. J had taken it down off of the high shelf we typically store it on, and I thought, I love this man. We keep our menu for the week displayed on a chalkboard (planner hearts) and he saw that I planned to use the crockpot that morning so he took the extra time to get it down for me, (a task I usually seek his help with). It was small and it was big, all at the same time. Gosh, it just feels quite nice to be considered, for my needs to be thought of and for those thoughts to be acted upon. Clearly, J and I both have Acts of Service as one of our top Love Languages and I'm so grateful for the way he serves me in that space. These small or big acts go a long way in the Fitzgerald home. 

I do really gross things. 

Several weeks into brushing our teeth together, J said to me, “Baby that is so gross!” Me, unaware of what was gross, proceeded to ask my husband what he meant. He informed me that is was beyond gross that I would rinse the sink out with my hand, as I brushed my teeth, (I’m obsessive about sink cleanliness) and would then proceed to rinse out the toothpaste from my mouth with the same hand. Clearly, he had been watching this rather gross habit of mine for weeks with pure disgust. My germophobe husband continued by telling me about all of the germs that lived in the sink and how I was putting them into my mouth under the goal of “cleaning” out the sink. You could say he had a point. And, I realized that I do kinda gross things, which I am now keenly aware of after sharing intimate living space with another person.

Honeymoon Teeth Brushing

Shared money and financial goals are key

When J and I were engaged we talked to other couples about how they managed their finances and gathered information to help inform us about how we would manage our own. We decided that we would share all of our accounts. To determine how our money would be spent, we created larger financial goals and broke them down into our monthly budget. Every few months, we review our spending to see where we are actually spending and if we are doing well at achieving our budget goals or determine where we need to make adjustments.

In full disclosure, I was nervous about shared budgeting. You know, little Miss Independence over here. Truthfully, I was more nervous about not sharing because I thought it would lead me to me vs. you in decisions or self-protecting. Both are defaults of mine, none of which are helpful. 

I wasn’t sure how I would feel or how we’d manage our different lenses regarding money, but I'd honestly say that this has been one of my favorite parts about marriage. It helped us set priorities for our family, establish long-term goals together, and have discussions prior to spending. We are on the same page when it comes to our spending, and that feels really good. It has provided freedom to give financially where others may need it and support one another in our individual and shared goals. There is great joy in knowing that your partner supports something that is important to you and helps create financial space for your passions and gifts to live. 

Bigger than all of our goals, it helps me (and I think J too) not feel too attached to those numbers in our accounts but to rather view them as gifts we are to steward well.

We should save fruit for the end of the week

I call J a food monster. Bless his heart, I don’t even know how he is so hungry but he sure is. In fairness, he works out a ton thus sustenance is needed. I have to watch myself around him because I should stop eating long before he does. This is not a matching system that will benefit this thirty something/have to work out harder just to maintain body I am in.

I took responsibility for meal planning in our home because I love cooking and testing new recipes. I also eagerly await his response on a new dishes because I seriously love cooking good food for people that they'll enjoy. It's the Southern in me. Seconds = it was good.

I have learned that I am super obsessive about all things in the kitchen, especially how things are organized and even how items are placed into the refrigerator. I'm not sure why. I just like it a certain way. We've also learned to ask before diving into leftovers, or using up something that may have been intended for a dish later in the week. 

And then there is the fruit. We both eat an insane amount of fruit. J will eat it all at the beginning of the week and I like to have a little each day to savor it all week long. So I "gently" give reminders about it lasting all week, and he's sweet so he lets me.



Well, that didn’t go as planned

In marriage counseling we heard a lot about communication. Part of me was like, how much could you have to possibly communicate about something, and then we got married. The answer would be over communicate, in detail, always. Any and all expectations. We have had plenty of moments where one of us had a plan or thoughts about how something would look or go and then it doesn't quite happen like that. Sometimes that leads to a laugh with a, "that's okay" and sometimes it leads to frustration/an argument. However our plans go or don't go, marriage has taught me a whole lot about grace for someone else, communication, and not being too attached to my plan.

It is way better than I expected

I have always been clear about wanting to be a mother. Hands down, no question. Marriage? Eh. I wasn't so sure it was really going to be for me. J wasn't so sure either. Kind of funny how we have been shown differently. Marriage has been and is way better than I expected it to be. My capacity to love J surprises me all the time. And, it is hard to describe, but the unification of two people, the commitment to no other option but choosing to love one another is a game changer. It provides freedom and intimacy in the sweetest ways. I look forward to the ways marriage will continue to surprise me.

This is the best slumber party I’ve ever had

People keep asking me how marriage is going or what I think about being married. My honest response is, it is the best slumber party I've ever had, and it's every day. On our wedding program we stated, "Welcome to our greatest adventure", and that is exactly what the first 6 months have been. The best of days and some hard days, but the greatest adventure with my favorite person.

Wedding dancing captured by our friend, Laura Foote

For the next 6

We are just starting, life will keep delivering stuff, and God will continue to be faithful. There is so much more to experience and I am like a kid on Christmas Eve, full of anticipation and excitement for what is in store for us.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello 6 Month Honeymooners!
I enjoyed reading your observations and personal perspectives from your first 6 months of marriage.
You really sound like you're mostly loving this "wedding" adventure while understanding that there are ups and downs and adjustments to get to a committed, balanced, and loving relationship...
Keep up your honest communications, joint planning, and remember that laughter, playfulness and surprises are great too!
Love you both, Aunt Kathy