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What I’ve Learned in One Year of Marriage

Today marks the one year anniversary of the best day of my life. I mean the best day. A day that surpassed every little girl (and big girl) dream I ever had about what my wedding day would be like. Brett and I had been together for almost four years before we got married; I thought I knew all I could know about him. We lived together for roughly 2 years, I thought we had covered what life would be like together. I thought wrong.

I had the perfect wedding. I don’t have a perfect marriage. And I am so thankful for that.

What I’ve Learned in One Year of Marriage

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Garrett Price of .

One. It isn’t easy. I mean it really isn’t easy. It’s only been one year, and we’ve already had rough patches. We’ve had problems to work through and needed time to get away. Putting someone else’s needs before your own doesn’t come natural, unless you’re my mom. I think one of the truest, hardest lessons I’ve learned is that not every day is a good day. And that’s really okay. 

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Charlene Elizabeth of .

Two. Laughter cures a multitude of problems. Brett has always been able to make me laugh amidst the biggest argument. Sometimes it frustrates me all the more, because I just want to stay mad and can’t! If you can’t laugh with your spouse, then what in the world are you doing with your life? I mean that, really. I can’t imagine living life with Brett without laughter. (Exhibit A: every single wedding picture.)

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Charlene Elizabeth of .

Three: You’ve got to give and take. So much of marriage is learning what the other person needs and striving to be that. If it’s upping the cleanliness, then make the intentional effort to declutter the house. If it’s using patience when it isn’t always easy? Then take a few extra breaths to refocus that tone. If it’s making dinner and washing the dishes because the other has a lot on their plate, then doing so without complaint (which I’m not the best at, sorry babe!) I’ve been with Brett for almost five years now, and I still don’t always know what he needs. I don’t know if I ever will, but it’s a must in making this relationship work.

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Garrett Price of .

Four. You can’t stop dating just because you’re married. Brett and I experienced this first hand over winter. We’ve always been so great when it comes to setting aside time for dates, but ironically, when we’re married and building a life together, we struggled. And we both could honestly feel the strain that it put on our relationship. You have to set aside time for one other. You’ll get burnt out if you don’t.

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Garrett Price of .

Five. You’ve got to have separate lives, too. If we did everything together, I think I’d go crazy. I have my friends, he has his. And while we’re both friends with both, we have our own getaways and escapes in which the other is not involved. We both crave that time, we need it to refuel. I think this is one of the things that makes us so content with each other – we don’t need each other to build a life. Our lives are just so much richer thanks to one another.

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Garrett Price of .

Six. Love the other the way they liked to be loved. I’m a big believer in love languages, and know what I consider mine to be. Brett and I are different – we need love differently. Brett craves to hear it, he likes the words of affirmation being given often. Truthfully, I’m not the best at that, because ironically, speaking it isn’t my strength. I’d much rather show it, or invest my time and effort into a gift that displays it. We still have to work on this. I need to be intentional about speaking the words “I love you” more regularly. Brett continues to strive for the romanticism through action that I crave. It isn’t what comes natural to us, but it’s what we adjust to for the other.

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Garrett Price of .

Seven. Learn to share in what the other enjoys. Brett loves golf. He could golf every day (if I let him). He loves NASCAR and football. So following the golfers, knowing what’s going on when the majors are happening and who Speith is? That means something to him. Participating in NASCAR Fantasy Racing? He loves that. Similarly, this blog would not be possible without his investment too. It means the world to me when Brett makes the effort to invest in something I’m passionate about. It shows that he wants to know me more, love me more.

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Charlene Elizabeth of .

Eight. Hold hands often. Get used to being close to each other, and then crave that, need that. If Brett and I are walking just about anywhere together and our hands aren’t full, you can bet we’re holding hands. It’s just the reassurance that this person is beside you, that you’re claiming them for the world to see, that you simply want to be touching them and next to them. The same could be said for sitting on the same couch at home, which is a work in progress for us.

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Charlene Elizabeth of .

Nine. Find a way to recharge together. While we have our own ways to regroup and rest, sometimes that’s just something you need to do together. Brett and I hop in a car and drive to new cities, finding local restaurants and breweries to enjoy. We both are personally energized and relaxed through this, and our relationship is as well. Whether it be hiking together, or having a staycation and watching movies all day, or traveling together, find something that invigorates y’all together.

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Charlene Elizabeth of .

Ten. Choose to love the other person daily. I love Brett. God placed him in my life to love. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have to wake up every morning and make that decision. Choosing involves an act of control, making a conscious decision to revolve your actions and words around that emotion. This isn’t always easy. But it has to be done, especially when it isn’t easy. That’s when the choice aspect makes all the difference.

Emily & Brett Green's Boone Wedding on 6/27/15 by Garrett Price of .

Marriage is the absolute best adventure. Like any relationship, it is exactly what you make it to be. Our hope? That ours is the fullest, richest of loves. That it glorifies our Lord.

Happy Anniversary, Brett.

I’d love to know what you’ve learned through marriage, too!! Share your wisdom with us (still) newlyweds:)!

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  • Lisa Sell

    Posts like this should be shared with couples getting engaged and planning weddings! My husband and I got married early this year and decided from the moment we got engaged that whilst we wanted a lovely wedding, our focus was on the marriage to follow. A wedding is a day. Marriage should be a lifetime.

    • So, so true Lisa! While a wedding is a beautiful event- it’s just than, an event. Thank you so much for your kind words!

  • This is beautiful. I’m getting married in October of 2017 and I need stuff like this. To know what it’s really going to be like, not the rose-colored stuff about marriage being a fairytale walk in the park. I want to know the realities and the ways to make it work and still feel like a fairytale. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you so much, Alyssa! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Soak up this time- I miss the engagement phase SO much!

  • Happy Anniversary, you two are a beautiful couple! I have been with my boyfriend for three years and we’ve lived together for a year, but I know one day when we truly have to join our lives everything will change again! Cheers to your first year of marriage!

    Laura | Laura Aime Vous

    • Thank you so much, Laura! I was blown away by how much marriage changed, but it was just such a natural transition. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it!

  • Love this beautiful post. Congratulations! It seems like you guys are doing incredibly well.

    Mary
    http://www.marymurnane.com

    • Thank you so much, Mary! I appreciate that:)

  • What a lovely post. Your wedding pictures are amazing! So beautiful! I learned some of these in my first year of marriage as well, and I feel like I am learning even more as we go.

    Floradise: http://www.maretteflora.com

    • Ahhh they make me all warm and fuzzy every time I look at them! Good to know that so much more is yet to come:)

  • Amanda Steelman

    Happy Anniversary!!! It sounds like you are on your way to a happy and fulfilling marriage! I love how you said that you have to CHOOSE to love each other! So many people think that love is a feeling and when those feelings are gone they must not love the person anymore. Feelings are a wonderful benefit to choosing to love someone but ultimately love is a choice. I’m going on 18 years of marriage and yes there are those rough patches but there is a point when you feel so completely connected to this other human being and it gets more intense every day! May God bless your marriage!!!

    • Ahhh Amanda- such wise words!! YES! Love hearing that after 18 years, the choice is still an easy one to make:) Your comment makes a posts like this mean even more to me, thank you!!

  • These photos and your happy faces and smiles are just amazing! Happy Anniversary you two. I think you covered some awesome points that couples often let slip by even when there are kids or not. I agree with everything Amanda said below (however I have only been married close to 6 years).

    Rachel xo
    http://garaytreasures.com

    • I can’t wait to learn and grow even more as the years go by and kids love along. Your family is quite the inspiration, Rachel! The pictures of y’all together always fill me with joy. Thanks for your sweet words!

  • Nicole Leffew

    Happy anniversary! These photos are gorgeous! I completely agree with everything! My husband makes me laugh too when we are in the middle of a fight and I’m like no I want to stay mad at you lol. The best advice I can give so far (I’ve only been married two years) is life is always going to be busy but always make time for each other. We always have a date night every week. Loved this post! 🙂

    • Hahaha I’m so glad that doesn’t just happen to me- I try so hard to stay mad and it just gets more frustrating when I can’t! Love the idea of a weekly date night- that’s definitely something to aspire to! Thanks, Nicole!

  • Mostly Simple Life

    You’ve learned some great stuff in one year! Happy Anniversary! You’re wedding photos are beautiful!

  • Aretha

    My hubby is a New York Giants fan. I’m a Cowboys fan. So our home is very interesting during football season. Although I very rarely watch the games, I try to stay up on the latest news so I can talk with him about the games. i also think that continuing to “date” your spouse is VERY important. We can’t let the cares of life interrupt the romance!!!!

    Great post!

    • Sometimes, it’s just so fun to root against your husband!! We agree on most sports teams, but sometimes I’ll pick one that’s playing his just to grate his nerves a little:) Thank you, Aretha!:)

  • Tailored and true

    I absolutely love this post! It’s so important to be realistic about what the day to day looks like and embrace all the parts of a lifelong relationship. You two are gorgeous and I loved this food for thought. Happy Anniversary!!

    http://www.tailoredandtrue.com

    • Thank you so much!! Lifelong relationships definitely do have all the parts, messy or not:) I appreciate your kind words!

  • Kelsey H

    SUCH a cute post!! I loved it!

    xo Kelsey | http://www.chasingcinderellablog.com

  • Lauren Browning Neal

    Happy Anniversary! Enjoyed reading about what you’ve learned this year. Always keep growing and putting each other first!!

    -Lauren
    http://www.ivorytowerchic.com

    • Putting each other first is definitely key! Thanks, Lauren!

  • Kait Elizabeth

    This post is so beautiful and true! Congrats babe. Hugs, Kait
    http://www.makeminemaroon.com

  • First of all, your wedding pictures are stunning. And, okay – considering that you’ve only been married for a year, I can’t believe all the lessons and wisdom that you’re teaching the rest of us with this post. I am blown away! Ryan and I have been together for almost eight years and married three years this October, and we’re still figuring things out, too. You definitely have the right attitude about laughter and humor – that usually is my #1 piece of advice to newlyweds! Life is boring without either of those things, and a bit of laughter can take you a long way, even in the midst of a horrible argument. Ryan and I are working on the dating aspect of our marriage, too – just because we’re married now doesn’t mean we have to stop putting in effort to impress one another. I think that’s so important, especially when kids come along!

    • Ha, I’m good at writing down the wisdom, but that doesn’t mean I always use it!:) It’s definitely a work in process, but I LIKE that it’s a work in process. That it isn’t stagnant or lacking growth. LOVE how you said we can’t stop putting in effort to impress one other. So often I don’t do that for Brett, and goodness knows I should, as should he! Thank you for your so sweett words, Karly!

  • Gorgeous wedding photos! I absolutely loved reading this post, not only because of the great tips (LOVE #10, yes, CHOOSE to love your spouse every day, so so true), but also because they are still relevant to someone who will be celebrating her 10th wedding anniversary this Friday. Marriage is not easy, and the challenges continue when you have kids, but at the end of the day I am so thankful I have my husband. I would say that communication has been the key to making our marriage last–when I start making assumptions or expect Aaron to know what I’m thinking, we always have trouble. But when we come to each other and talk things out, we get things resolved.
    Anyway, happy anniversary!! Here’s to many, many more 🙂

    • Ahh Shea, I hope you had a wonderful anniversary!! Congratulations to you as well!!:) Communication is and has always been Brett and my biggest struggle. We know it is, which helps no doubt. But man, that’s a never ending battle! Cheers, friend:)!!

  • Maggie Milhaupt

    This post was such a joy to read! I can only hope that one day the man I end up with will look at me the way Brett looks at you! Happy Anniversary!!

    • Maggie, your comment made my day! Can’t wait to see the guy you end up with someday, I know he will be nothing short of amazing!! I hope you’re having a good summer, sweet girl!

  • I’m two months away from one year of marriage so really loved reading this! Happy Anniversary!

    xo,
    Emily at Style Cubby

    • Ahh happy early anniversary to you, Emily!:) Thank you so much:)

  • Kristen

    What a great post! It’s so great to hear about how you have worked through any issues, even minor ones! It’s so easy to give up these days, and I love that you talk about NOT worrying about perfection in a marriage!

    xoxo, Kristen
    http://www.suburbanreno.com

    • Working through issues definitely isn’t always easy and definitely IS an ongoing process, so worth it! Thank you so much, Kristen, I appreciate your sweet words!

  • Happy anniversary! And YES to continuing dating during marriage!

  • Aizzing

    Happy anniversary to you and your man! Reading stories such as yours is always inspiring. Great great post!

    Aizzing
    http://www.icingandwrite.com