Are you still giddy from the wedding and your reception? Are you home yet from your honeymoon? If not, why are you wasting time checking your email!
Congratulations on getting married! These are exciting times for you. Let me talk to you a bit how things are different now and how they SHOULD be different now, even if you lived together before marriage. Let me talk to you first...
Confession: My husband and I lived together before we were married. We were already engaged when his roommate decided to move in his girlfriend. For us, it was a bit of a tricky situation. Neither one of us were actually thrilled with the idea of "testing out the marriage waters" before committing to each other. We were committed to each other already with a wedding planned for a less than a year into the future. We liked to tell ourselves we did it for cost savings (yes, there were actually some) but we did it because we didn't want to find new roommates or apartments for less than a year (and, to be very honest, we felt like our commitment was already there and had it not been very important to us to be married within the Catholic Church (and being a Sunday), we would have immediately stopped and purchased a marriage license and married right then and there).
Marriage is more than "just a piece of paper." If that was all it was, then everyone would be married.
We treat our marriage differently than when we were engaged. That, I believe is key to success. This is a new phase in your life. You aren't boyfriend/girlfriend or finacees. You are husband and wife and, as such, your relationship and how you treat each other now needs to reflect your new roles in each other lives. This can be hard. Horn and I immediately felt like our relationship was different. We were different. We were now untied, in front of God, family, and friends as one. I have talked to a number of friends who lived together before marriage - some with the intent to "see if it worked" and some with the same purpose as us. For those that lived together after engagement, they also seem to feel that being married is somehow different than just cohabiting.
We have unwavering trust in each other. As I wrote about last week, I take Horn's role as head of our household seriously. I trust him to do what is right and just as much as he knows my intentions and heart and knows that I have entrusted them to him. Am I tested? Absolutely. Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy—heavier than the Law of Moses. (Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1615).
We fight. That is ok! Marriage is an adjustment. Actually, as we are both attorneys, we cross-exam and interrogate. Frequently, Horn has to tell me to just listen and not interrupt. What we do though, is be fair. We finish the argument, come to a resolution, and then it is over and should not be revisited. Unless the spouse repeats the behavior which, in my mind, means the resolution that was decided on previously can be reasserted. Actually, one of the things that Horn accuses me of is that I look for reasons to argue. This is a bit true. It is a personality thing - I want to talk through things and get his opinion and usually, he agrees with me so there is little input, from his perspective, that needs to happen.
Spend time together, alone, each and every day. It is so important to reconnect with your spouse each day. Sometimes the "alone" is sitting in the car in the garage while the toddler is sleeping behind us. When we are lucky, it is a few hours when the toddler actually goes to bed at a decent hour. Sometimes it is just a few minutes before we drift off to sleep or as he is getting ready in the morning and I am still comfortably in bed. Reconnection is so important and so many of our issues are resolved by a hug and a moment of silence together.
Tell each other you love the other, each and every day.
Go, look fondly on your wedding. Remember it as you remember it in your mind and don't let anyone change your perception of how great your day was. Find rules for your marriage that work for both of you. Be happy and remember the purpose of you union.
|3 days camping and hiking in the rain. Loved him more afterwards.|