Hi! Welcome to our cozy little home and our anniversary/holiday photos! Today marks ONE year of marriage for Shane and I (I wrote my portion on our anniversary). How on earth has it already been a year!? This has been on my mind for the last 6 or so weeks, because I just can’t seem to grasp that we are a whole year down the road! How?! As a culture, we are so obsessed with the perfect love story, prince charming, engagements and that fairytale wedding we’ve been dreaming of since we were little girls. BUT, how often do you see people talk about life after “happily ever after”. Not that often right? So today, Shane and I are going to be sharing our two points of view, and lessons learned along the way, in our very first year of marriage. I’ll start us off!
First of all, our wedding was everything I’ve ever dreamed of. Romantic, intimate, in Charleston, classy, smaller etc. Second, our honeymoon was also everything I’ve ever dreamed of! I kid you not when I say I was on cloud 9 all 10 days we were in Hawaii… well, minus the half an hour we thought an incoming missile was on it’s way to Maui and we were going to die, but I like to forget about that little incident so we’ll skip that part for now. We came home mid January to start our lives as Mr. & Mrs. Dyer and while I was excited about that, I was not excited about going back to work. Shane and I lived together for several years before getting married, so going into this new season of life I felt like we were pretty well prepared in terms of cohabitation, but one of our biggest hurdles prior to marriage was this job of mine. I’ve talked about this in previous blog posts (here), but I just wasn’t happy at work anymore and it was bleeding into life at home. Shane and I did not see eye to eye on me quitting my full time job to pursue my blog, and getting married wasn’t magically fixing that issue. In fact, it may have made it harder. Marriage changes you, all of a sudden you have this lingering thought of “forever” over every big life decision and it isn’t just a “me” game anymore.
LESSON ONE: FIGURE OUT HOW TO MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER
We are both highly independent people, and a little head strong when it comes to each other. We’ve had to really learn the definition of compromise in relation to each others happiness. I needed Shane to support my passion to feel at peace with it, and Shane needed me to understand the logistics and responsibilities that remained job or not. Once we came to this realization, this topic was solved. Of course some days we still struggle with it a little bit, typically out of frustration from another source, but overall the quality of our relationship greatly improved once we figured out how to understand each others needs and move forward as a team. This has truly made such a big difference in our relationship, and his support means more to me than anything.
LESSON TWO: FINANCES
Oh man, the hot topic for all newlywed couples. I would consider myself pretty finance savvy – but if you ask Shane, he would tell you he wins in this category. This was probably our second biggest struggle in year one of marriage. I mentioned above we are highly independent people, so combining our finances after living independently for all 5 years of our relationship was tough. We both had totally different ideas of how this was to be done, and what the “right” way was. Not to mention, it’s so dang taboo to talk about with friends so how are you even supposed to know?! To help both of us understand what our separate obligations were each month financially, we created our own spreadsheets with total expenditures each month and compared. From there we came up with what was reasonable for each person to contribute financially to a shared account each week, and what that account was to be used for. Our finances still aren’t perfect – but we’ve made great progress by just being transparent, coming up with a plan, and communicating effectively on this topic.
LESSON THREE: LEARNING HOW TO FIGHT WELL
I won’t sugarcoat it, we still haven’t figured this one out really well but we are making progress. This was a topic that came up in premarital counseling, and while we don’t really fight that often, when we do fight – we haven’t figured out how to do it well. We are polar opposites in this category. I want to talk it out, feel heard, and ultimately consoled for what I’m upset about, and Shane prefers to walk away from the situation and not talk about it (which drives me nuts). Fighting is part of every relationship (I always say if you don’t have any arguments or quarrels then something is wrong), so this is a topic we will continue to work on and get better at over time.
LESSON FOUR: JUGGLING FAMILY
Our families live on opposite ends of the country, so holidays aren’t easy! In addition to that, our families are also territorial about whose spending what holiday where, which has made this a topic of conversation in our relationship. How do we juggle keeping both families happy, without spending an arm and a leg on flights for the both of us? Unfortunately, this isn’t seamless yet either. Flights to the small town of Syracuse, NY are upwards of $500 this time of year and multi-city flights to both New York and Seattle are an unspeakable price. So, Shane went to New York a few days before Christmas and spent time with family, and then came home on Christmas Eve to be with mine who traveled to us this year. Ultimately, we would love for both sides to be together as one so we don’t have to split up since we already spend so much time apart, but it just wasn’t in the cards this year. One of my goals for 2019 is to move into a house that can hold both families at the same time.
Honestly, we have been really blessed in this first year. We are both happy, healthy, continue to learn about each other daily and grow as a team, and we have great jobs that will give us the future we desire. Those are the main pillars of a relationship, the rest can be learned. We are not perfect, and would never claim to be – but I’m so proud of our relationship together, our growth over time, and our passion to be better. I know it sounds sappy, but I fall more in love with Shane each day. He is my best friend, and life is simply way more fun with him in it.
SHANE’S POINT OF VIEW
2018 is in the books and it will go down as one of the best years yet. Over the years when you’re growing up, marriage begins to creep into a lot of peoples thoughts about how it would be and what the experiences would be like. For me, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I consider myself very blessed and the luckiest man alive to be able to spend my life along side Vanessa. There are a lot of experiences and things that have come up in our first year of marriage, so I figured I would break it down into 3 different areas.
LESSON ONE: BE PATIENT
First, I’ve learned that you need to be patient. In both good and bad ways, this year I believe I’ve learned to become much more patient. With my wife, with my life, and ultimately on the things that we can control. Often times, I feel like we take for granted the little things, the experiences, the daily interactions, etc. in life because we get so caught up in a lot of the “bigger” things. Things like “where are we going to go next on vacation or a trip”, “when are we going to upgrade from our current home and move into something bigger, nicer, or in a better neighborhood”, “when am I going to get that job I’ve been looking for”, etc. etc. Those things are all great, but I’ve realized a lot this year that those things take patience and not to overlook all of the blessings and things that you have in your life currently.
LESSON TWO: COMMUNICATION
The second is communication. This is something that I’m still working on if you asked Been, but I’m trying to get better!! Ha 😊 In all seriousness, communication is critical in almost everything that we do, most importantly marriage. Communicating not only your day to day plans, activities, or ideas, but also communicating about your feelings to one another. The toughest part about communication for me has been being able to take a step back and put myself in her shoes rather than think about myself. During pre-marital counseling, our good friend Aaron used to always talk about always thinking and almost forcing yourself to have a servant mentality. Instead of thinking about how communicating or not communicating certain things will impact you, think about how they’ll impact your wife. That means good, bad, or indifferent. We’ve come along way on this subject and it’s something that’s made our relationship stronger.
LESSON THREE: BE SUPPORTIVE
Finally, the last thing that I’ve really learned is super critical is support. That’s a very cliché boring term, but truly supporting your significant other is much harder to do than a simple word. It’s tough to be supportive sometimes and in our case it was something that I had to trust this first year of marriage. Been and I are both very similar in the fact that we’re very driven to be successful. I would venture to say that it’s probably one of the most important things in our relationship and at the end of the day takes up a large majority of our time. I travel almost every week for work with a demanding schedule and she’s a full time blogger working 50+ hours a week. At first, I’ll admit I wasn’t as supportive as I should have been when she first quit her full time job to take on being a blogger, but I could tell how much she wanted to do it and how passionate she was about being successful with it. Being supportive has proven to be one of, if not the most important things in our relationship and our professional careers. It will take some trust and some self sacrifice, but it’s proven to be very important.
PS: Shane and I wrote our inserts without knowing what each other wrote. I thought it was pretty neat to see our view points are very similar but written differently! This was his first time ever writing anything for the blog, so I would love to know if you guys enjoy these kind of posts, and if you’d like to see more of them!