10 Things I Learned on my First Year of Marriage

If you had told me before coming to the US that I would meet my husband here I would have called you crazy. 365 days ago I got married in St. Augustine, FL, and it still seems like a dream to me.

10 Things I Learned on my First Year of Marriage

My husband and I got married exactly 7 months after we met for the first time. Everything in the relationship went pretty quick but it all flowed smoothly. We talked about it and no one felt like it was “too quick”. It just simply felt like it was the right time for things to happen.

There are a few things that I think I should tell you about Mr. G. For example, he definitely knows how to annoy me. He does it pretty good when he wants to (and sometimes without even trying). But he also knows how to make me smile. And he makes me laugh. And I feel like we can talk about anything and everything. And he’s one of the people that I feel most comfortable with; I can be totally open about everything and I know he will accept me the way I am, as he’s been doing since we met. Do you know that moment in the beginning of a relationship when you smile because you received a text from that person? Yeah, I still do that.

Now, this is not a fairytale and there are bad moments for sure, but at the end of the day we make the decision of being together with that person. And that’s what counts. For better or worse, right?

I was told that the first year of marriage is one of the hardest ones. In this case, it has been. Oh, yes. We had a few “situations” that added a little extra challenge to the mix, but I couldn’t be happier that we made it, and we keep making it every single day.

I do shoes

On a funny note, sometimes it’s still weird for me to call him “husband” when talking to someone. Maybe I have to say it a certain number of times before it’s normal to me? Has anyone felt this way and how long did it take for you to get used to the “title”? It’s not that I’m not comfortable with being married, but I think of him as Mr. G., not as “husband”. Does it make any sense or am I just rambling?

So let’s get to the point. I have been thinking lately about things that I’ve learned during this past year and I have come up with 10 different things. Of course, we are still learning things from each other; I think we will always do. And that’s something that I love.

1. Communication is KEY. Neither my husband or me can read minds, even if sometimes we finish each other phrases, I call him when he’s thinking of calling me or we agree on doing something without really talking about it. I’m still working on this, because, as a woman, I sometimes expect him to know what I want without telling him. Ha!

Also, it is important how we communicate. For example, Mr. G. tends to raise his voice when he’s passionate about something during a conversation or an argument. I learned that he wasn’t shouting at me, but being passionate about the subject. Also, he learned how I felt about him expressing that loud, so he tries not to raise his voice.

 

 

2. My (sometimes) crazy OCD. I knew I was a little too obsessed about some things, but I am really trying to work on this because I understand how annoying it can be. I was going to put an example, but I don’t want you to know exactly how crazy I am LOL

 

3. Everyone needs some “ME” time, and that’s actually great. There has to be a balance between spending time together and having time to yourself. Go with your friends or stay home doing your thing, but dedicate time to yourself every once in a while.

Mai on her wedding day

4. It takes work. If you’ve been in a relationship you know this already. It can take more or less work but it’s nothing like in the movies. Sure, in the beginning everything is going to be perfect like a fairy tale, but reality comes in and you’ll have to wake up. Two different people with two different backgrounds and personalities. If you want it to work you will have to put some effort into it.

 

5. Old habits die hard. The typical story about guys not putting down the toilet seat. We all laugh about that but it’s true (for the record, I explained Mr. G. one of the reasons to put it down and he does it 100% of the times now. If you’re reading this, THANK YOU, I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!). I have changed some of my habits too. It’s called compromise. In any case, there’s no point on trying to change something that he/she doesn’t want to change. If that habit doesn’t annoy you, great. If it does, breath in and out 10 times or get over it (still working on this on both sides). And this comes with…

 

6. You have to choose your battles. This one comes from my mom and she was right (of course!). You can’t fight for everything because the only thing that you’re going to get is to destroy the relationship by getting the other person (and yourself) tired. You have to choose what is worth an argument/fight and what doesn’t.

 

7. Marriage doesn’t mean that your days of fun are over. Come on! Really? I keep hearing this one and I still don’t understand. Just because you’re married you don’t have to stay home every weekend, or stop seeing your friends, or go do whatever you want! If you feel like that maybe you should have a talk with your S.O….

 

8. As always, actions speak louder than words. Don’t say you’ll do something and then not do it. And lead by example. How can you ask him/her to pay attention to whatever you’re saying if you don’t listen when he/she is talking?

Wedding bands

9. Different is good. Mr. G. has a certain way of doing things and traditions and I have my own. Together we can decide the mix that works for us so we can create our own ways and traditions. Not only that, but when we have kids we will speak 3 different languages at home as we want them to be part of each of our cultures. That is something that I really love.

 

10. Marriage is a team. As a team both teammates need to work in the same direction and complement each other to make it work. It’s not about the 50/50 rule, but about finding the balance that makes the relationship succeed.

 

I know I still have a lot to learn and every day that passes by I discover new things about living with another person and being married. And I can’t wait for the new findings!

 

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601 days ago (it’s actually 723 today)

20 Things to do to Bring you Closer to your Love Partner

20 Things to do to Bring you Closer to your Love Partner

Have you felt like your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/partner and you are not as close as you used to be? Go to work, money struggles, family obligations, routine, life… Before you realize, it’s been a while since you had a moment to yourselves without stress or “have to’s”. Also, with all the technology that we have today, it seems difficult to disconnect and leave the phone on a side.

Today I come with a list of 20 things that every couple can do to get closer to each other. And do you know what the best thing is? Most of them are FREE!! 😀

20 Things to do to Bring you Closer to your Love Partner

  • Cultivate common interests and try each other’s hobbies. Even if your partner’s hobbies don’t really seem interesting to you, give it a try. The other person will appreciate your effort. Also, you could try a new hobby together, you could find something that you both are passionate about and discovering it at the same time makes it extra special.
  • Trust and forgive. Very important even if sometimes it can seem difficult.
  • Focus more on the things that your partner does right than what he/she does wrong. We should do this with everyone, but it’s extra important with our partner.
  • Hug and kiss when you see each other after work. The best way to be welcomed home!
  • Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” before going to work.
  • Say “Good night” regardless how you feel.
  • Go to bed at the same time. I love the moment before falling asleep, when we’re cuddling next to each other.
  • Show interest on your partner’s day
  • Go on a Road Trip. Spending several hours in a car with each other might be a test for some couples.
  • Work on a puzzle or LEGO construction. Perfect to learn how to solve problems.
  • Be comfortable in silence with each other
  • Leave notes on mirrors/notebooks. Who doesn’t love to see a love note without expecting it?
  • Unplug. It is so important to have some time without cell phones, laptops, TV… Just enjoy each other.
  • Budget. It’s important to be on the same page and to commit to it.
  • Shower together
  • Walk hand in hand or side by side.
  • Help each other shave. I don’t know if I trust myself enough to help him shave LOL
  • Always say thank you. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
  • Date nights. They don’t need to be anything special, just you and him/her enjoying some time together.
  • Cook meals together

 

How many of these things do you do on a regular basis with your partner? Do you have any other ideas? List them down in the comments below

Why is it important to eat together as a family

Why is it important to eat together as a family

As far as I can remember, in my family we have always eaten together at least one meal a day. When my sister and I were little, that was dinner, as we had lunch at school. Then, in high school, we started going home for lunch, so we had dinner together. It didn’t need to be anything fancy; just the four of us having a meal together and enjoying some conversation.

When I moved out and went to live with my sister, we kept sharing at least one meal whenever it was possible.

Then, I came to the US.

For the most part of the year I was alone and I ate whenever I could/wanted. Mostly, alone. Then, husband and I moved in together. And even if I tried, we don’t share as many meals as I’d like to. I want to have a “regular” eating schedule, but he has weird eating habits, which makes it really difficult. I usually end up waiting for him to be hungry/wanting to eat. And that has messed up my schedule too. It’s a work in progress and one of my goals to accomplish during 2016.

In many countries, mealtime is treated as sacred. In France, for instance, while it is acceptable to eat by oneself, one should never rush a meal. A frenzied salad muncher on the métro invites dirty glares, and employees are given at least an hour for lunch. In many Mexican cities, townspeople will eat together with friends and family in central areas like parks or town squares. In Cambodia, villagers spread out colorful mats and bring food to share with loved ones like a potluck
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/07/the-importance-of-eating-together/374256/

Here are some of the reasons why I think it’s very important to eat together:

  • Communication

When a family has busy schedules (work, classes, other commitments) eating together provides some time to talk to each other without distractions like tv, laptops or phones. It gives a chance to share what happened during the day and it’s a moment to give some attention to each other.

  •  Model Manners

Many kids (and adults) don’t know how to behave at the table. Chew with the mouth open, check the phone while eating, shout, sing, dance, play with the food, stretching… I am thankful that my parents taught me table manners. That way I won’t embarrass myself and the people that are around me when going out.

  • Enjoy new kinds of foods

Why not have some theme dinners during the week? Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, American… If you have kids they will grow up knowing to enjoy more types of foods and they will be culturally richer. Also, the more different foods that they like, the easier will be for them to eat out when they’re traveling.

Family dinner

  • Nourish

We all know that eating homemade food is way healthier than eating out, and taking a moment to stop everything that you’re doing to have a meal is as important as what you eat. Take a break. Sit down. Relax and enjoy the food. Eating what you cooked gives a feeling of accomplishment too.

  • Portion control

One of the things that I realized when I came here is that portions are huge in restaurants! I love food and where I come from we get pretty good portions in restaurants, but here are simply huge. Sometimes we just eat all of it instead of getting a to-go box, and that’s when we get the “I ate too much” feeling. When eating at home you can control how much you eat, and you can always save the leftovers for later without giving it too much thought.

  • Save money

Everyone knows that it is cheaper to cook at home than eating out. Make the effort and you’ll save some bucks!

  • Being self-sufficient

Why not making cooking a family thing? Cooking together can be a fun experience and your kids will learn how to prepare their favorite plates. Is it just me or is it sad when an adult doesn’t know how to cook but scrambled eggs?

I have also found some studies that show that eating meals together as a family help kids get better grades at school and say no to drugs and smoking (CASA report).

I think these are pretty powerful reasons to cook and sit down at the table with your family and share a meal and some conversation. What are your thoughts on this?