• Melanie Vespestad

Reflections on my first year of marriage

I'm big on countdowns, so as soon as I got married, I started counting each month until we got to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.

Today marks a year. A year of learning and a year of enjoying the amazing man I have the privilege of calling my husband. It’s been all about growth and change and learning how to live with someone permanently, to be all up in their business and to give them space when needed.

So while I was in Mexico, I took some time to reflect on all of the growth this year has brought and the lessons I've learned.

Photo by Shea McGrath Photography

1. We’ve learned to find things to do together, and with this, sometimes it takes sacrifice. I’ve had to try to do things I previously haven’t enjoyed because I knew that it would be fun for Erick. A big example of this is cooking. I used to hate this, mostly because I never helped cook while I was growing up, so I didn’t know how. I’m also not the most patient person, so meals that take time to prepare sometimes discourage me. However, now I’ve learned to enjoy it, not necessarily because of the activity that I am doing, but because of the time I get to spend with my special man.

2. I’ve learned that I need to become much more flexible. Oftentimes, I have too many expectations, and I don’t communicate them well, so I end up being disappointed when things aren’t the way I imagined them. COMMUNICATION IS KEY. We have to let each other know what we want so that we can feel valued and enjoy our time together. Many of our fights have diminished shortly after we’ve communicated how we interpreted a specific situation.

3. It’s important to make sure that I’m building Erick up by meeting his needs and catering to HIS love languages. Just because I’m good at showing love in one way (mainly thoughtful gift giving) doesn’t mean that is the very best way I can show love and truly make him feel loved. If he needs words of encouragement, I need to find ways to motivate and love him in that way. For more information about the five love languages, read here.

4. He is a good-willed person who never intentionally hurts me. Oftentimes when I’m feeling hurt by something that Erick does, I instantly assume that he MEANT to hurt me, when in reality, that’s not the case. He loves me, and doesn’t want to hurt me. When it comes down to it, I’m the one that hurts myself more by thinking poorly of my husband. This is something that we learned in pre-marital counseling that I didn’t truly understand until marriage. Both of us would highly recommend the Love and Respect DVDs, and they’re on major sale right now!

5. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. Things I want to change about him won’t change unless he really wants to. If I have a desire for him, I need to express it in a kind and loving way.

6. Just because it’s the way your parents did it, doesn’t mean that you have to do it that way. I came into marriage with a lot of expectations based on the example of marriage that my parents displayed for me. In the first few months, these expectations KILLED US because he had a completely different set of expectations based off of his own parents’ example. It’s been important to remove all of our previous expectations and build from the ground up, communicating throughout the entire process.

7. Comparison is the thief of joy. There will be no marriage just like ours, and while it is good to have models for your marriage, you’ll only be unhappy if you compare to what people choose to share with you over the Internet.

8. It’s okay and encouraged to be vulnerable. This is the person that you’re sharing your life with, and they are there to encourage you, not judge. The awesome thing about marriage is that your life partner actually wants to hear about and share in all the good AND bad things that this life brings us.

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