When Josh and I got engaged 2 years a go I wrote this blog post explaining why we had decided to get married so quickly and so young. That post got a lot of attention and many people told me that they’d really enjoyed reading it… so it inspired me to carry on writing about our journey in to marriage in the 12 months between our engagement and our wedding.
I wanted to write a post now, one year on, looking back over the last year, the first year of our marriage and reflecting on whether it was what I expected or hoped it would be. I’ll be honest, this post could get a bit mushy so if you don’t like PDA click away now!
I can’t believe it has already been a year since I walked down the aisle at St Michaels and saw my future standing waiting for me at the other end. I still get teary now thinking back to the emotion of that day and everything that came with it. Weddings are stressful and hard work to organise, at times in the lead up it felt as if we were never going to get married and now I’m looking back on it as a distant memory, it is crazy.
Of course, the wedding was amazing. It was the best day of my life… and somehow, despite all the bumps in the road it all managed to come together to form the perfect day and was everything I had enivisaged it to be and more. But what came next, that was the important part. For Josh and I, marriage was the start of something totally new. Before we got married we’d never lived together, in fact neither of us had ever been in charge of our own bills and our own household. We’d never slept in the same bed, we’d never woken up next to each other or gone to sleep with each other there. We’d spent a lot of time together sure, but we’d never come home every day to each other and shared household chores, set budgets, planned weekly food shops or organised holidays. It was all totally new territory and that made it extra specially exciting.
People always told us that the first year of marriage would be the hardest and yeah its been hard. As I just mentioned, getting used to doing all the things you’re used to someone else being in charge of was pretty hard. As I was in my final year of uni we essentially lived off one relatively small income which had to stretch to pay for our entire life. Honestly, we barely made ends meet and some months we made it through by the skin of our teeth. Our incomings just about covered our outgoings so going out on date nights was out of the question. I’ve written blogs before about my struggles with mental health and that has also caused hardships in our first year of marriage. The first three months of this year were very difficult for me and consequently that affected Josh too.. but I have never known someone more loving and supportive in every emotion and situation I face. Josh always knows the right time to just listen and give me a hug, when to let me vent and say mean things and not take it to heart but he also knows when to tell me to pull myself together and get a grip. He’s pretty good at that tough love thing at the right time!
Of course, an unexpected pregnancy has caused a huge amount of change in our lives especially when that unexpected pregnancy doubled in size at the first scan! Navigating this journey in to parenthood has been difficult and scary and overwhelming at times. We’ve changed our future plans, our car, our house… and who knows how our relationship is going to grow and change once we are parents.
But the first year of marriage has been amazing. Despite all the hard times I wouldn’t describe my first year of marriage as being difficult, only the circumstances we found ourselves in. We’ve laughed together, cried together, listened to each other moan and spurred each other on. We’ve given up a lot for each other and gained so much more back in return. Josh is my soul mate, if I thought that on my wedding day I know it unquestionably now. I’ve never known someone so likeminded as me, we agree on everything from politics, to religion to sport (yeah we’re both not interested). We are incredibly blessed to argue very little… in fact I can only remember one argument that we’ve had that’s lasted more than ten minutes in the whole year. We have learnt the value of saying sorry quickly and forgiving quickly then moving on and letting things go and not holding them over one another. No marriage is perfect of course… and I’m sure the future will bring many trials and difficulties, but I know that I have in Josh the person I am meant to be with. The person who was created with me in mind.
We always said we wanted to keep God at the centre of our marriage and so far that is what we have always aimed to do. When we have problems we pray them through together. We encourage each other in our relationship with God and we keep our marriage as our second priority after Him.
So has marriage been as good as I expected? I can honestly say this first year has been as amazing as I expected and so much more. In a year we have moved house twice, been to four different countries, travelled up and down the M6 countless times, finished uni, watched the entireity of Gossip Girl and How I Met Your Mother and of course created two new lives. What will the next 70 years look like? I don’t know.. but I’m so excited to find out.