What comes to mind when you think of the term "marriage"? For me, I've always thought of forever.


I pictured my parents, who after over 30 years of marriage, have never had an argument in front of me or my siblings, who stuck by each other's side through things that have may broken other marriages, who were there for each other through the deaths of both of their mothers and grandmothers. I think of cooking competitions, and laying in bed on lazy Sundays. I think of pure, simple, happiness.

So, why didn't I feel that in the months, weeks, and days leading up to my marriage? Why wasn't I walking on a cloud of sunshine and rainbows?

GIPHY

The truth is, in the words of Tamar Braxton, everything was not lingerie and Marvin Gaye in the time leading up to my marriage, or even the beginning of my marriage. My expectations of whatever issues we were facing before we got married suddenly disappearing the moment we said "I do" were obviously never going to happen and the bad habits of mine that I carried from being a girlfriend, to fiancee, to wife were not going anywhere unless I decided to put in the work needed to fix them.

I found myself using the phrases, "Well, as a husband you should..." or "Well, I'm your wife now so..." far too often and felt like I only used the terms "husband" and "wife" to lay out my expectations of what I felt wasn't being done that I wanted them to immediately change.

The beautiful enduring terms of "husband", "wife", and "marriage" became a poison I would spew out to in some way gain leverage during a disagreement or to start one.

GIPHY

It was hard for me to see past what I wanted and take in what he needed in our relationship and marriage. I still found myself holding things from years prior against him and found it hard to let even the simplest offenses go, constantly thinking of what could go wrong, what shouldn't have been going wrong, and the possibility of it going wrong again, as opposed to being happy for all the many things that had continuously went right.

After countless talks, come to Jesus moments, reading (The Four Agreements is amazing if you've never read it) and gut-wrenching, ugly before it became beautiful, simple self-reflection, I was able to start becoming the person, the woman, the wife I've always wanted to be.

Though yes, I was married a year ago, I honestly did not embody what I felt a wife should be nor the person I would have wanted to marry until quite recently.

Neither one of us are perfect in our relationship or marriage, and like most married millennials, are simply trying to figure things out day by day. I can truthfully say I'm in a much better space than I was in last year and am constantly growing to be better.

Now, just a few weeks after our one year anniversary of saying "I do," I can acknowledge how much I've grown, how little I knew, and how arrogant I was to assume just because we had dated for so long that marriage would be a cake walk.

I was lucky enough to marry my best friend, and while most nights feel like an adult sleepover, we still have our hurdles, preconceived notions, and mirrors through which we've been groomed since childhood to see the world, that we are forever breaking and creating anew.

If you too struggled within the first year of your marriage, know that everything gets better but only if you let it. Remember to never base your relationship or marriage on any other couple and acknowledge that all you can do is your best in this game we call life. At least, that's what I'm learning.

Related Stories:

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married - Read More

I Had to Lose My Husband & My Religion to Truly Find God - Read More

Why I No Longer Entertain The Type Of Men My Body Shape Attracts - Read More

I'm Afraid Of Marriage - Read More

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissons@xonecole.com

Sign up today and be the first to get notified on new updates, exclusive events, retreats and giveaways!

More Posts

Brian J. White has been a consistent face in so many of our favorite series and films. I still remember his character's crazy but sexy relationship with Olivia Pope on Scandal. And who can forget him repping the Theta's in the college classic Stomp the Yard

Keep reading... Show less

Skincare isn't just a part of my daily routine, issa sport. Last year, I got hit with some pretty severe cystic acne that dramatically altered my day-to-day life.

Keep reading... Show less

"[A boss is] someone who is creative, innovative, unrelenting in his or her efforts to bring their ideas to life. Being a boss is always about bringing other people along with me; creating space for other people to shine and be great."

Keep reading... Show less

The average person checks their social media at least 17 times a day - which in turn is almost equivalent to every waking hour in the day.

Keep reading... Show less

Most creatives go through a phase of starting really exciting projects and then dropping them before completion. In college, that was my MO. I started writing my first play – never finished it. I took classes towards a minor in French – never made it past sophomore year. I started reading Ulysses in Ireland – made it to page 50. I liked the rush of getting a great idea or starting a fun challenge but never really liked the stuff in the middle.

Keep reading... Show less

I was born on the day following Father's Day at a little after 1 am. My late father always said that I was the best present he had ever received in his life. Well, on June 17, a day that also immediately follows Father's Day, I'll be (what?!) 45 years old. Five years from 50. Wow. Just wow.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts