5 Things I Learned In The First Year of Marriage

The first year of marriage creates many opportunities to learn and grow with your new spouse but also with yourself. No matter how long you've been together or lived together, you will learn new things about life as you grow together and individually... food related, and all.

1. Guys Need Food

Okay I know I'm not giving an earth-shattering statement here and I know we ALL need and like food but my husband truly is always thinking about food. I didn't realize it until that first year when we'd have the dreaded "What's for dinner" conversation every day. I could easily walk through life having eaten Strawberry Mini Wheats for dinner, but that does not fly with my husband. He needs a meal, and by "meal" I mean some variation of meat and potatoes. Call it Beef Burgandy, call it Shepard's Pie... call it Beef Strew... THERE ARE ALWAYS BOTH MEAT AND POTATOES. Ugh, carb overload!

2. Boundaries Are a Must

In the first year of marriage, you and your spouse are becoming one, but both sets of parents and families look at it as, "we're just adding one to OUR family." It's a common thing that can cause tiffs between all parties. When we got married, we wanted our space and had to learn what we were comfortable sharing with our families, and what we weren't comfortable sharing. It's different for everyone, but we had to learn how this new thing worked for us first.

3. Time Management Is Key

We LOVE our families and we found ourselves wanting to visit them often. BUT I will warn you now... when you see one family on a weekend, you want to see the other family the next weekend. This game quickly derails to an endless fest of "keeping things fair." We became drained that first year because we spent too much time running back and forth between our families houses. We were spending more time with family on weekends than we were as a couple. That was not okay with us. We learned that managing our time was important and that we ultimately just have to do what's best for the two of us in our marriage. That's the most important.

4. The Value of Love Languages

Of course, before my husband and I got married, we knew each other's love languages in the 7 years that we had dated. But we didn't fully grasp them and understand the importance of catering to them until that first year of marriage. I'm not the best gift giver, but my husband's love language is giving and receiving gifts. I had to learn to be more aware of his needs even though it was my natural disposition to forget details like that.

5. Wedding Decor Becomes Home Decor

This has to be something everyone experiences to some degree. Our wedding included glasses of sand and succulents, gold mirrored signs, pink roses, and gold mason jars. And as young newlyweds fresh out of college with a decor budget of zero dollars, we embraced the leftover wedding decor as our home decor. All the more reason to select great wedding decor right!?

The first year of marriage brings its challenges, but it is so special because it's new for both of you as you figure out how to do life together. As long as you figure out what's best for the two of you first, the rest will come easy. Oh and mix in a salad once in a while... damn you, meat and potatoes!

Style Me Pretty Contributor - Kylie Thompson is a freelance writer, blogger and marketing professional from Grand Rapids Michigan, where she resides with her husband and golden retriever. When she isn't working, you will find her exploring Grand Rapids' newest culinary establishments with her husband, or traveling up and down Lake Michigan's coast.