Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Surviving Our 1st Year of Marriage.

When Speedracer and I first got married, we heard a load of "Good Lucks." Everyone kept telling us how hard the first year of marriage is and that sometimes people can't even make it past year one because of all the difficult things you encounter. Like, Arguments and Miscommunication. Or even learning how to live with someone and do their laundry. Whatever the reason may be, people had tried to convince us that our first year of marriage was going to be some huge scary battle that will either make us or break us.

As our first 365 days as Mr and Mrs went on, we started to learn things we never knew about each other and we began to get a different outlook on what we thought marriage was going to be like. And it feels damn good to say that being married is way better than we both had expected, let alone way better than what people were telling us it was going to be like for those first 365 days. And so, i thought I would sit down and share with you all some things we've learned in the first 365 days of marriage. Things we think all newlyweds should keep in mind when they embark on this beautiful journey of being Husband and Wife.

1. Year 1 doesn't have to be difficult. 
I'm telling you the truth. It doesn't have to be difficult. On our Anniversary, April 19th, we talked about how we didn't think the first year was hard at all. The first year is what you make of it. If you focus on all the negative moments you may have; like disagreements or laundry being left on the floor, than you are not focusing on enjoying this beautiful time together.

Just remember: Marriage isn't complicated. People Are. If you want your marriage to succeed than you will make it succeed. If your marriage fails its because someone wanted it to fail. Simple as that.

2. Marriage is not 50/50. It's 100/100. 
We always hear that Marriage is this 50/50 effort on both parts to make the marriage work 100%. But the truth is, Marriage is 100/100. John Legend said it best by saying "Give your all to me, Give my all to you," when we give 100% to our spouse, we are letting them know that we are not going to half-ass this relationship. We are in it to win it. We are just as committed to them as we were on our wedding day. Marriage has a way of being connected to Faith, which is something I hold true in my heart, it's to come together under God and work as a team to give all, every day. Do you think God half-assed dying on a cross for us? Probably not. So why should we only give 50% of our time, love, and dedication to being a Wife or Husband? My Point exactly.

3. Communication is Important. 
I'm not afraid to admit that mine and speedracers communication skills aren't always the best. Sometimes we just grunt at one another, I roll my eyes, and he yells "well here we go," and then we both walk in different directions. But, after a while we always walk back and talk it out. I'd have to say that our communication skills, though they aren't the best at times, are stronger now than they have been within our almost 5 years of being together. For us, after we got married, it's like a switch just flipped in our brains and we were like "Lets talk it out, that's the best way to resolve it." instead of just yelling like madmen and walking away. I believe that our ability to sit down and talk about things is what helped our 1st year go smoothly. And it wasn't about who was right and who was wrong. It was about coming together to figure out how we could work as a team to get to the next point

You know that saying: "Most People don't listen to understand, They listen with the intent to reply?" Well in marriage, you need to listen and understand and sometimes it's best to not reply. We don't always have to understand though, we just need to listen to the concerns and feelings of our spouse. and be respectful of the things they are saying instead of trying to tell them they are crazy or wrong. It's just nice to vent sometimes and have some there to listen without saying anything in return.

4. To be a Better Spouse, You have to Be a Better You.
Focus on Improving yourself during this first 365 days. I repeat, Focus on Improving yourself. I know, I know..some of you are probably thinking "um, ashlee, you're married now. aren't you supposed to focus on your marriage and your spouse?" and Yes, you're right. You are. but the thing I have come to realize in the last 365 days of being a Wife, is that if I myself am not healthy in the mind, body, and spirit...how the hell am I supposed to be a good Wife to my Husband? When we get married, our whole life changes, even if you don't think so. Yes, there are a lot of things that haven't changed and for the most part your routines will stay the same. But as people, you become different. You are now a Wife. or a Husband. and you must learn how to be all those things that you vowed to be on our wedding day. And sometimes, that's difficult. and that's perfectly okay. So during this time, take time to focus on yourself and make sure you're doing everything possible to not only love yourself, but be focused on all those things you told your partner you would be. It's okay to be selfish sometimes. I promise. Especially if you are working for a better outcome.

5. Make time for each other. 
For the love of God, Make time for each other. I think that we all have this 50's Housewife mentality that it's okay that our significant other is out at work, the gym, or the bar because come dinner time they will be home and we will get to see each other. And while that's all fine and dandy. It's not realistic if you want your marriage to be successful. I constantly remind my Speedracer that I support him going to hang out with friends (or my dad) and going on race weekends without me, But for every "freedom," I give him...I would love it if the next day or the next weekend we could spend quality Husband and Wife time. And he is great at giving me that respect back. It's all about the give and take. We can't just be okay with eating a late dinner with each other and than going to bed. That's not spending time together, well maybe it is, but that routine gets tiring. Get up and get out of your house. Go enjoy the day together and do something you both love doing. Whatever you do, just make time for each other...like you did when you started dating and were falling head over heels in love.

Just Remember: Never stop dating your Wife and Never stop flirting with Your Husband.

6. Always say I Love You.

7. You don't always have to have your shit together.
I swear that people think just because you're married means you have to have your shit together and live this perfectly routined life. Wrong. It's totally okay to NOT have your shit together. Because the best part about being a hot mess, is you're a hot mess together. You are learning and Growing with each other, every day. Together, you are working towards the top of that mountain - you don't always have to get to the top right away. It's about the Climb. #miley 

8. Make sure to say Thank You.
We get so caught up in our daily routines that we forget to compliment each other, and to say Thank You for the things we do for one another. This took me a while to understand. I would get so angry at the fact that Speedracer wasn't bringing me home a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the end of the day or week. And although a nice bouquet of Sunflowers would be nice every once in a while (*hint, hint*), I realized that's probably not ideal with how busy his work schedule can be. The point of this is, I felt like he needed to bust through the door with some huge sign of affection for me to be Thankful for him. But the truth is, My Husband works his ass off to support us. His long, back breaking work days may suck at times, but when he gets home and i see his grease stained shirt and dirty face. I have never been so thankful for someone. I am constantly telling him how Thankful I am for him and all he does for us. and I'm sure it's nice to hear. especially when his long days don't go as planned. It's nice to be appreciated, am I right?

9. Laundry still sucks. 
I'm just letting you all know. And yes, sometimes I want to call my mom and ask if she can come do it for me. It's a real struggle being an adult.

10. It's okay to be mad, just don't let it last. 
To all you hungry ego's out there. Simmer down. My Speedracer and I both come from families where everyone has to be right and everyones super opinionated. This is probably why when we bump heads, we bump heads HARD. and I am definitely a female so of course I take everything personal and I can never just let shit go. I hold on to my anger so that 6 months later I can remind Speedracer of that one tuesday back in october when he pissed me off. True Facts. But what SR and I have come to realize and truly communicate with each other about is, It's okay to be mad: but never go to bed angry, never leave, and never bring up the past. The moment you took those vows, the moment your slate becomes clean and together you are working towards a better and brighter future. I promise to all you newlyweds or soon-to-be's, that being angry is natural and sometimes healthy, but if you continue to hold a grudge against your significant other, you are setting yourself up for failure. It's like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It truly is. Be angry, take time for yourself, come back together and figure it out.

Just Remember: You HAVE to make up. You're Married. There is no "I'm done, I'm finished. I'm out." That is no longer an option. Go all Notebook on your spouse and be like "It's not going to be easy. It's going to be really hard. And we're going to have to work on this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me." *Drops Mic*

Happy 1 Year, My Speedracer.
Let's see what we learn in Year 2. 

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