I write this column as a newlywed, and by the way, our wedding was gorgeous. Nothing was lit on fire by our several candles and only one person left in an ambulance.
Because we recently reached our one-month anniversary, I am inspired to dedicate this column to the lessons I’ve learned in 30-plus days of married life:
1. Marriage makes the ordinary wonderfully familiar. The idea of curling up on a couch with my one special person and accidentally smearing Cheeto dust on the fabric is so comforting. And Saturday mornings are the absolute best, rivaled only by the weeknights when I get to hand my husband a glass of red and say, “Today I folded three shirts from that heap of laundry on the guest room bed. Tell me all about your day!”
2. If you ask enough times, and then eventually stop, three weeks later your spouse will remember to take out the trash.
3. You are allowed to fight. You are in it for the long haul, so you’re bound to be annoyed by your spouse at least once in 60 years. Speak with intent to improve communication and don’t argue under the influence of anger and frustration.
4. I offer this next lesson using a quotation: “If you think women are the weaker sex, try pulling the blankets back to your side.” Side lesson, don’t ever try to pull the blankets back to your side.
5. Legally, you are bonded; therefore, when you eat half his food without his knowledge, you can dart into another room shouting, “What’s yours is half mine! The law says!” Since you are newlyweds, he will think this is cute, but that will not last forever, so milk it up.
6. It has been said not to go to bed angry, so make sure to stay up really late and win the argument just as he’s falling asleep.
7. Partners don’t have to be the same person and agree on every single thing, but we do have to respect each other’s different points of view. This allows us to see life through another’s eyes. Marriage teaches you valuable pearls of wisdom on perspective.
8. Do not book a honeymoon cruise in the midst of hurricane season, especially if you firmly state, “Well, this year nothing will happen.” Sure enough, the Caribbean will see one of the harshest hurricane seasons in its history and you will end up having to cancel your trip.
9. There may be some internal struggles with spouses changing a last name or keeping their pre-married surname. Identity is an important value, especially in young people still learning who they are and where they have been, so it should not be assumed that brides will change their names. Asking what her plans are regarding her last name will make her feel like she’s in control and not just following a rule dictated by society. She will appreciate it.
10. Finally, wives and mothers always know where everything is because they’re the only ones who clean the house.
At the end of the day, yes, marriage is hard, but the best part is that you get to know who is coming home to you today and every day. You get to make plans and build a future because of a commitment you made to each other to always be around and to have fun during it.
I have promised to share a life with someone whose opinions and desires I cherish most. It’s an artful dance to build a life with another person who brings in a whole different set of experiences and values.
Carving him into my life and branching into one of our own is the exact way I want marriage to unfold.
Katie Madison of Spanaway is a soon-to-be-military wife and one of six new reader columnists writing for this page in 2017. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog kmadsblog.wordpress.com