Noah and I celebrated one year of marriage this past May and what a whirlwind it has been! The first year of marriage is such a fun time full of firsts and setting the foundation for the rest of our lives together.

So many people are extremely pessimistic and warn engaged couples that the first year of marriage is TOUGH. Obviously our first year was not all rainbows and butterflies, you are just starting to learn how to live life with someone after all, but it was hands down the best year of my life. We have grown tremendously closer and have learned a lot of valuable lessons, here are just a few…

1. Pursue each other’s interests

When you and your spouse have different interests, it can be easy to just set aside “me time” and pursue those things when their spouse is not around. I am so thankful that this past year, Noah and I have been able to share our interests with each other at a level that we never had before. Noah has shared his love for TV shows, comedy podcasts, and bagels with me. I have been able to share my interests in social media marketing, kombucha, and photography (p.s. – he is a great Instagram husband). Not only do you get to spend more quality time together, you both become a more well rounded person!

2. Guys and girls are very different

I could have easily told you this is the case if you had asked me before I got married. However, I have come to find out that you truly don’t understand this until you are married. While our differences balance us out and make us better individuals, it makes communication very difficult in the meantime. I’ve found that it is important to remember that just because my husband is different than me, doesn’t mean he is wrong (in fact, turns out I’m wrong a lotttt of the time).

3. People are really selfish

If marriage exposes anything about yourself, it’s that you are really selfish. It is really easy in the dating stage to put your best self forward, but that all completely changes once you’re married. We get lazy, we let our guard down, and we don’t always choose to put our spouse before ourselves (Philippians 2:4). While it’s still extremely hard, I am learning to recognize when I’m being selfish and to both stop that behavior and apologize.

4. Over communicate and be intentional

There really is no such thing as communicating too much in marriage. To make sure you are both on the same page, take some time every week to just catch up and be intentional about discussing little things like your plans for the week, things you might be struggling with, and future goals. You would think that communication wouldn’t be an issue when you live with someone, but it is very easy to completely get caught up in the business of life and not have intentional conversations

5. Don’t expect your spouse to read your mind

Girls, we are especially guilty of this one. Why are we so stubborn about insisting on dropping hints instead of just communicating to your spouse? Oh yeah, we already covered that in #3, selfishness! It’s important for us to respect and love our spouse enough to communicate our feelings clearly and not leave it up to nonverbal cues.

6. Work as a team

Marriage is awesome because you have a teammate through the highs and lows of life. You make each other better people and are able to accomplish so much more than either of you would alone. Typically most conflicts can be resolved by the simple reminder that you two are a team.

7. Be mindful of how you give love

Have you ever taken a love language test? If you’re anything like me, you naturally express love in the same way that you like to receive it. I cannot stress the importance of knowing how your spouse likes to receive love and be very intentional about loving them in that way. This past year I have learned how terrible I am at words of affirmation, which turns out to be the main way Noah feels loved. Take some time to be open with each other about how you are loving each other well and areas that can be improved.

(Fun fact, both of our rings were our Grandparents)  (Fun fact, both of our rings were our Grandparents)

For all you married ladies out there, what have you learned over the years? Please share in the comments below!

Thank you to Megan Kay Photography for our anniversary photos!