9 lessons ive learned in my first 9 months of marriage

9 Lessons I Learned In My First 9 Months Of Marriage

Earlier this month, we celebrated 9 months of marriage! June marked nine months since Mr. NavigatingAdulthood and I said “I Do.” This means that we only have 3 more months to go before we hit our first anniversary. I know what you’re thinking- what could you have possibly learned in such a short amount of time? We’re supposed to be in the honeymoon stage of our marriage where we do nothing but gaze into each other’s eyes in a nauseatingly, romantic way. You know, because we totally don’t have chores and jobs.

Although we lived together before we got married, it turns out that you can still learn a lot about yourself, about your significant other, and your relationship. This isn’t a post to brag about how I have the perfect relationship or the perfect marriage [I literally told Mr. NavigatingAdulthood this morning, “Stop being so happy, it’s too early”].

Here are the 9 biggest lessons I’ve learned from my first 9 months of marriage:

1. Being married  doesn’t feel any different

In the past 9 months of marriage, the question I have gotten asked the most frequently [behind “How was the wedding?”] was:

How does it feel to be married?

The answer? It feels exactly the same as before the wedding. It’s kind of like your birthday- an event has passed [you’re officially a year older], but you don’t feel any different. Other than my last name, my life is pretty much the same before our 9 months of marriage. I feel like some people like to romanticize the idea of marriage and how it can magically make a relationship stronger/better/more amazing. The truth is marriage isn’t going to magically fix any issues you have in your relationship- you’re going to have to work hard and put effort at your relationship to keep it strong and to improve it.

2. If feels weird when people call you Mrs.

I know this is probably just me, I still haven’t gotten used to people calling me “Mrs. NavigatingAdulthood.” It feels weird because I feel like people are referring to my mother-in-law and not me. I don’t know- being referred to as “Mrs” makes me feel like I’m 50 years old, but I think with time, I’ll slowly get used to it.

3. Never stop communicating 

Communicating is something that we’re always actively working on. We have very different personalities- I’m a planner, I’m detail-oriented and I have a “must act now” mentality. On the other hand, Mr. Navigating Adulthood is much more laid-back, and has a “I can wing it” mentality. Because he’s not super detail oriented, I’ve learned that he doesn’t pick up on subtle clues very easily. In our first 9 months of marriage, we’ve bickered a couple of times due to not-so-perfect communication

Example: A couple months ago, we went on a trip. I unpacked my stuff from the suitcase and left the suitcase in front of the bedroom door as a reminder for Mr. NA to unpack his stuff. 3 days went by….and nothing. Every morning, I would strategically move the suitcase in front of the doorway so he would have to move it in order to walk out of the room. And every morning, he would move the suitcase and walk out of the bedroom. After a week, I caved and angrily ranted about how I had to do everything. After tensions died down, I learned that even though he had been moving the suitcase from the doorway every single day, it never connected in his mind. He never realized that it was my way of reminding him that he needed to unpack. Now, I know to just nicely remind him, “Can you unpack tonight?” 

4. Be present when you are together.

If you’re anything like me and Mr. NA, our lives seem to somehow get busier and busier. Sometimes, this means that we don’t get to spend as much time together as we would like. BUT, we’ve learned to make the most of our time together by being full present. This means that when we have date night, we put our phones away and we make eye contact when talking. When we go grocery shopping, we ask each other about how work is doing. It sounds silly, but little things like that help us to make the most of our time together.

5. Support each other’s interests

It’s the little things that count. My husband is a sports car fanatic. He likes reading about them, he watches races online, and he watches Youtube videos about them. When we’re spending the day in Boston, we can usually spot at least 5 super expensive cars [it blows my mind that a car can cost $200,000]. When this happens, I make a point to ask questions about the cars. I now know [barely] enough about luxury sports cars that I can point them out on the highway during road trips! Similarly, Mr. NA asks every evening about how my blog is doing. He patiently listens while I go on ten minute rants about SEO.

Takeaway: You don’t have to share the same interests as your spouse. However, showing interest and support in their hobbies shows that you care, and it goes a long way in the relationship. 

6. People have no problems asking if and when you plan on having kids

One thing I didn’t expect after getting married was for people to be so open about asking when we were planning on having kids. Personally, the right answer for us is, “Not right now.” We’re both trying to establish ourselves in our careers and we both work a lot of hours. We also currently live in a 650 sq foot apartment, so there’s not exactly a lot of room for another addition to our family. I mean, at this moment, the baby could sleep in the bathtub? [Totally kidding, I know this is super unsafe] Every marriage is different- if you’re planning on having kids right away after getting married, that’s great! That’s just not for us- we’re not planning on having kids in the immediate future, and that’s ok. Every relationship and every couple is different.

7. You don’t have to give up your friends when you’re married

I feel like the one piece of advice I got before we got married was, “You’ll have less time to hang out with friends once you’re married.” In the past 9 months of marriage, I honestly haven’t noticed a decrease in our social interactions. If anything, our social life has gotten more robust because other married couples invite us to double date nights with them. You don’t have to give up your friends when you get married- just like everything in life, if it’s important to you, make it a priority.

The top 2 lessons I’ve learned from my first 9 months of marriage:

8. Make it a priority to continue dating each other

Even though you’re married now, it’s still important to have date night on a regular basis. This doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant- you can go out for pizza or ice cream! Admittedly, Mr. NA was the one who really pushed for regular date nights when we first got married. Initially, I didn’t really understand why we needed this- I mean, we already see each other every day! However, I’m come to appreciate our regular date nights. It gives us an opportunity to have a conversation and relax outside of our tiny apartment. Making time for each other is what keeps the spark in the marriage alive. 

9. Keep saying ” I love you”

After we got married, Mr. NA and I have a tradition where we say “I love you” to one another before we go to sleep. It’s gotten to the point where if I go to bed later than Mr. NA, I can expect a mumbled “I luh ouuu” from him, which is super sappy and kind of amusing. The reasoning behind this is somewhat morbid: Mr. NA explained to me one day that if I were to die in the middle of the night or sometime during the day, he wants the last words that he says to me to be, “I love you.” In a nutshell: never stop saying “I love you.”

I can’t wait to see what the remainder of our first year of marriage brings us! What about you? What lessons have you learned from your relationship/marriage?

9 Things I've Learned in my first 9 months of marriage

 

 

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63 Comments

  1. Girl, I can so relate to #6! Still — after 7 years of marriage — relatives NEVER miss a chance to ask that question! How about, “when I’m pregnant, you’ll know!”

  2. I absolutely love this post! I need to be better about making a point to ask questions about things that others are interested in.

    Whyyyy do people think it’s okay to ask when someone is going to have children?! I have never understood that. I live in the South, and I have been getting asked for the past four years… I’m 26 and have never been married. Let me learn to take care of myself first! Haha

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass
    Seersucker Sass recently posted…10 Things You Might Not Know About MeMy Profile

  3. This post was so cute! My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years, and we’ve lived together for months at a time. I definitely think that getting married wouldn’t be too much of a change for us! I’m with you… I think being called Mrs. Hill would make me feel SO old and like I’m his mom haha. I love your last two bits of advice. Ryan and I love going to the movies so I know we’d continue doing that forever!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

  4. I love number five! I need to be better about asking questions that I know someone will get excited to answer 🙂

    Why are people so obsessed with when other people are going to have babies?! Haha. I get asked all of the time, and I’m not even engaged.

    LOVED this post, lady!

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  5. Yes yes yes, these are awesome! THB I’m not even in a rush to get married because relationships are still the same, it’s just the legalities that change which aren’t super important to me at the moment. I’m really content in my relationship and want to spend forever with my boyfriend but I’m okay not being married.

    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for reading! I’m in 100% agreement with you- marriage is like a little [voluntary] pit stop in the grand scheme of things. And THAT’s why I’m totally not going to care about how many years we’re married- but I DO care about how many years we’ve been together in total. We dated for four years before we got married…..no way I’m resetting that to 0 just because of marriage!

  6. It is still so weird to hear a new last name! You dont realize how much a name is ingrained in you until you get a new one. Such a cute post!

  7. Aww! This is so super cute! I think we all relate to number 3 😛 Sometimes the signals we send just really make no sense to the other person…I’m still working on this one myself! I’m so non confrontational and so is my boyfriend so we both have to work extra hard at even saying the subtle small things that nag each other.

    3,4,5, and 8 resonate so much with me. Even while dating another person, I’ve felt the struggle to do these things and to make them a priority in the relationship! It inspires me to keep working hard on my relationship 🙂

    1. Agree with this! Communication is probably the most important aspect of a relationship. From finances, to kids, to what you want to do on vacation – communicating is king.

    2. Isn’t it weird how communicating sounds so easy in theory “Talk to each other and listen” but in practice it’s something that requires a ton of work?

      I feel like it’s not stressed enough that you have to continue to work hard on a relationship. You can’t just find a boyfriend/husband and expect your relationship to flourish!

    3. Isn’t it weird how communicating sounds so easy in theory “Talk to each other and listen” but in practice it’s something that requires a ton of work?

      I feel like it’s not stressed enough that you have to continue to work hard on a relationship. You can’t just find a boyfriend/husband and expect your relationship to flourish!

  8. Thanks for sharing these tips!!! I love how even after getting married there will still be further questions… right now my questions is when are you getting married 😛 at least my parents aren’t asking me that yet haha

    1. Haha, I feel like the line of questioning never ends. First it starts off with “when are you going to get a boyfriend,” then it’s “When are you getting married,” then it’s “When are you popping out a kid?” then it’s “How about another kid?” Thanks for reading!

  9. This is such a sweet post, I totally agree with everything you said (even though I’m not married)! Congrats on 9 months of marriage and early congrats on your first anniversary! 🙂

  10. Yes to all of these! Definitely doesn’t feel any different and people love to ask how married life is and I always respond “the exact same as it was before” haha

  11. We love dating each other and having that one on one time but since we are young we also love hanging out with our friends! I think marriage is just a balancing act.

  12. I believe communication is the biggest point that you made here. We have been married for a year now and both of us see therapists separately. We are also big into self-help and constantly discuss it together! Both of these have helped us find ways to have difficult conversations, while also figuring out how to talk before something becomes bigger than can be tamed.

  13. This was such a cute post!! I am very, very FAR from being married, but I think you were spot on with all these lessons and y’all are the cutest. I also feel bad for my cousin everytime people ask her when she plans on having kids so I get you on that!! lol
    xo, G
    theswirlblog.com

  14. All excellent lessons! I love that last one about always saying I love you! That’s so sweet and I think I’m going to start doing that with my boyfriend!

  15. Wah #6!!!!!! And I’m very much guilty of #7 which is why people think I’m doing #6. A friend of mine who hasn’t seen me in a few months texted me and asked if I was “hiding a baby from her.” I couldn’t stop laughing, um yeah a blog baby!

    P.S. that picture is soooooooo cute. I thought it was those pinterest stock photos. I looked closer and was like ohhhhhh it’s Mr & Mrs NA!!

    1. Girl, I’m with you! Whenever I eat a little too much, I always feel the need to pat my food belly and proclaim, “Not a baby, just had an extra taco” And thanks! I felt kind of weird using a stock photo because I couldn’t find any mixed race ones, haha.

  16. These are such great tips! Mr. FAF is also not detail-oriented either. It drives me crazy sometimes that he spends a lot of his time every single day trying to find his stuff! We’ve been married for almost 4 years, and I totally agree with you that communication should be in words, not just in actions or expectations. We learned that the hard way. =)

    1. I joke that I spend 30% of my life serving as Mr. NA’s brain. A very common conversation we have is, “Do you know where i put that thing?” We’re just starting out in our marriage, but I agree that conversation is SO important- especially when both people have different personalities. 🙂

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