We recently celebrated our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! If you missed it, hop on over here and get caught up.
A lot of the time when we had time to talk we reflected upon moments and memories but also spent time discussing things we learned in our first year of marriage.
In this post, we’re sharing a few of those things!
I’m so grateful that my husband – who most often reads my blog posts on the train ride home from downtown Dallas – is joining me in this blog post. So because of his willingness to serve and support me in this way, I’m going to have him go first.
WHAT MISTER LEARNED IN OUR FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE
In his words…
I titled the post-it note with my thoughts “lessons learned”. I’m keeping it simple because that helps me hunker down and address these items. There are not many words there, but it’s easier for me to remember these three things from my first year of marriage to Regina.
1 | DO NOT SMOTHER
And that’s because I want her to always be herself. It’s important for us to each maintain our individuality. Regina has told me on more than one occasion that she likes her space. She doesn’t even want a hint of smothering.
I’ve always told her from the beginning: “you be you”.
One of the things that she really likes is downtime to process and work through all of the things working in her mind and she does it well when she has time and space to do that. I try to be respectful of her time and this need.
2 | DO NOT INTERRUPT
We’re empty nesters now so we have a lot of time with just the two of us. Even with all of our extra activities.
I have a tendency to get a little excited at times and need to moderate that a bit – that’s a maturing thing.
This is good not only because of the maturing, but it decreases the amount of stress I put on my wife. That is a win-win for the both of us.
3 | APOLOGIZE AUTHENTICALLY
Recognizing when I’ve done something wrong and not giving a weak apology, but a more authentic apology. A weak apology is a defensive apology. I want to instead apologize by saying I’m sorry and that I’m going to work on not doing that again.
And then, of course, the actions will show me positively addressing the reason I needed to offer an apology.
(As Regina reclaims the keyboard with tears welled up in her eyes…)
Y’all. I am well loved by this man.
In so many years of being married, I’ve never before felt I could be myself and share my heart and mind with the person who’d vowed to love me for me.
There are so many more than three lessons, but these three made the top of my list because they are things I used to believe could not be in a marriage that I was also a part of.
WHAT I LEARNED IN OUR FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE
1 | SURROUND YOURSELF WITH TRUSTWORTHY + SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE
We have lots of people who want to see our marriage succeed and bring glory to God. Both of our parents like the person we’re married to. They counsel us and encourage us and continually love on us.
We do not make margin in our relationship for naysayers, people who are not living the type of life and example we’d like to emulate. There are only two handfuls of couples we open up to about the areas of growth we’re working to strengthen and they are all people who have been invited to speak truth over us and into our relationship.
I’ve always believed in the importance of this and my heart aches when couples don’t prioritize it. But even more, I’m grateful to be married to a man who is willing to be open with people who were technically my friends first and submit himself to the correction and guidance of these trusted folks.
What I’ve learned is that it does work. That this kind of support is real. That it strengthens your marriage. And as a result of experiencing it regularly, we hope to be able to encourage and support other couples put in our path years from now.
2 | IT IS OKAY TO BE ALL OF MY REAL SELF
After the experiences, I’ve had with men – well shoot with people – it’s quite deeply ingrained in me that my whole self is too much. It’s been explicitly told to me and even more subtly expressed that I – when being my raw, real, authentic self is just too much and well also just unlovable.
Mister has taken to repeating himself seven million times to help affirm me in being me. And it’s been fairly effective. I’m not all the way there yet. I don’t always believe him when he says the things and pays the compliments, but he is diligently and lovingly wearing me down and bringing me around to his side.
It’s softening me and helping heal some deep wounds.
3 | HOW TO ALLOW SOMEONE TO REGULARLY CARE FOR ME
I’m not all the way good at this yet and I hope there will be no more need for it, but I’ve learned how to allow someone to take care of me when I’m unable to care for myself.
For most of my adult life, I’ve had to be responsible for all the things. This past year, I’ve had a completely different experience.
Mister handles the majority of the details for dates, travel and even cooks most of our meals. One of my love languages is “acts of service” and it’s one of the ways I feel most taken care of in our relationship.
It’s important for me to remember not to take advantage of this but I think I’m far from that place – I’m often still pinching myself that I am loved this way so regularly. It requires me receiving his care and concern and embracing his willingness to prefer me above himself.
It’s been a stellar first year of marriage – even with the not so wonderful and unpredictable. For more “in between” updates about some of the things happening with us this month, follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram (my handle on both is @reginasather).
Because February is a-hoppin’ month for us – there are so many new and exciting things happening this week alone – I’ll be taking a break from posting in this space for a whole week. Next week, I’ll be back to share some of the new and how I’m tending to my soul while navigating the transitions.