With our 1-year anniversary coming up this weekend, there have been several things that I have learned within the past year. Everything from health problems, getting a new puppy, to starting a new business with my husband, I wanted to share a few things that we have learned throughout our first year of marriage.
1. Take loosely the advice of friends, family, elders, and strangers.
This is actually something that Cody and I learned right before we got married, however, this piece of advice should follow the entirety of our marriage because what works for others may not work for you. When Cody and I were getting married, we had just taken over a family business, added a new element to the family business, I was taking a full 15-hour semester, as well as deciding to build our own house last minute. We never sought out marriage counseling, but we did speak with a couple trusted friends and family. A lot of the advice we were given was typical wedding things such as to always love each other. We know that everyone had good intentions but some of the advice we received didn’t reflect our marriage or would work for us and that is okay.
The best piece of advice we had received, though, was from a woman in our church. She told us that despite anything that anybody tells us, the only thing that we need to be focused on was God and each other. If God had big plans for us, we need not worry about what other people may think and to fully allow God to work through our lives.
2. Health problems will allow fear to take over if you let them.
One of the scariest things that Cody and I have ever had to face was as soon as we got back from our Honeymoon, I had become so ill that I had to be hospitalized for three days, as well as going in-and-out of several different hospitals and specialized doctor’s offices for about 5 or 6 months after. When Cody and I got back from Colorado, I was a couple days shy of starting my classes. The night before classes began, I started to feel under the weather. I thought I was getting the onset of the flu because my body showed all the normal signs of getting sick. However, I started feeling a pain that I had never felt before. After staying the night at my parents’ house, the pain worsened and I started second-guessing if it weren’t something more serious. The pain suddenly came on so bad I thought my insides were on fire so we drove to the nearest hospital where I found out that I had a bad kidney infection and had to stay in the hospital for a few days, missing my first week of classes. Fear started to creep up about the severity of the illness if the doctors would actually be able to heal me, if it wasn’t actually something worse, or if my kidneys were failing. But we refused to let fear take over.
Though I spent the next several months getting treated, seeing different specialty doctors, and getting denied of health insurance, we were still rejoicing in knowing that I was going to be healed and that we would be able to share our testimony of how God was able to heal me through the process. The coolest part of what came of my health problems was that we knew several people after the fact that we’re dealing with kidney issues and that we were able to agree in prayer and pray against any sickness or illness that they may face because I had already dealt with similar issues. Any time people with kidney problems arose, we were steadfast in prayer.
3. Prayer is the strongest foundation for a successful relationship.
I think number 2 and 3 go hand-in-hand. Prayer is what I believed saved my kidneys and any other problems I faced after being hospitalized. We were able to pray for other people’s health issues, specifically with the same issues. However, I believe that prayer is the reason why our relationship is so strong and rooted in Christ. Without prayer, I do not know how I would have been able to cope with all of the health struggles, as well as finishing building our house, and go to school all at once. Because of the health issues, I was dealing with, I prayed that God would allow me to have an easy school semester and that I would be able to make up any work that I may have missed and that semester was probably one of my easiest semesters to date. Another way prayer has been the strongest foundation for our successful relationship is that we are able to pray for each other even when things seem to become stressful with our businesses, finances, and even our relationships with others. Prayer is essential to our relationship because we are able to give any issues that we may have with each other up to Christ. We honestly believe that prayer has been the firm foundation for our relationship.
4. The only fight worth fighting is fighting for each other.
Prayer has definitely been worked into our relationship because instead of nagging at each other and fighting with each other, we are able to fight for each other. In all of the 3 years that Cody and I have known each other, we have never been in a fight. I know a lot of people say that within your first year of marriage, it can be hard and that you will fight like cats and dogs. However, we never once had a fight. We hardly ever argue! We know each other well enough that we understand what we agree on and what we don’t agree one. We also realize that the things we don’t agree on are minute compared to the things that we do agree on. We know how to get on each other’s nerves and what buttons to push if we really wanted to. But we don’t fight because we believe that fighting is unnecessary. This may be due to our different personalities, him not liking confrontation and me quickly addressing any issues I may have. Or we may have realized that having to pray for each other during the first few months of health issues was more important than who helped with dishes and folding laundry. Our relationship is pretty balanced and we believe that the only fight worthing fighting is the ability to fight for each other because, in reality, all you have is each other.
5. The honeymoon stage goes by quickly, but that doesn’t mean your passion for each other has to!
Something that I think a lot of young married couples struggle with is the false idea that once you are married, everything is going to be perfect and you will always feel good and always want to be next to your spouse and that nothing bad will ever happen. In all honesty, the honeymoon stage fades so quickly. This was especially true to us because right after we got married, we were unable to enjoy the newness of being married and living in your own home because life happened and we spent most of our first half of marriage in-and-out of hospitals and constantly working towards finishing our home. However, no matter what has happened this past year, our passion never died. If anything else, our passion for each other strengthened through the hard times and good times. It is easy to love someone when you focus on the real reason why you are together in the first place. As long as you keep the mentality of your vows, keep prayer essential in all that you do, and choose to love each other every day, your passion for each other will never die.
What was the best piece of advice you and your spouse received before getting married?
Love to see your comments below!