I've said this before and many have agreed with me: it seems like married women try to scare you when it's your turn to get married. I was constantly being told that the first year was the hardest.
Sean and I had been dating five years when I walked down the aisle and we didn't have any real conflict til 2-3 years in. So on one hand, I was thinking "yeah, right!" On the other, I was wondering "what do they know that I don't? I don't want to be that couple who argues over what cereal to buy!"
|The couple who skips together, stays together|
Thankfully, we weren't. And still aren't. The only food "argument" we've had was this past year when I finally called him out on putting hot sauce on everything I cook. To me, that meant he hates my cooking. To him, that means he just really likes hot sauce. He said something to his boss one day and discovered they have had the exact same conversation!
Off the rabbit trail and back to the topic at hand...the hard moments. Honestly, I came out of our first year deciding that everything sucked EXCEPT our marriage. Here's a little timeline:
- 2-3 weeks before the ceremony: We are on our way to AT Days. We stop for lunch and I check my e-mail on my phone (my LG EnV3- didn't have a smart phone yet!). There is an e-mail from my boss saying my replacement had been hired and my job was up come the end of the month. (I was an intern turned part time employee. They knew I was graduating college and would be seeking a full-time job. One I hadn't found yet despite a whole semester of job fairs and applications)
- Home from the honeymoon: Jamaica was certainly enjoyable, but of course we had to come home to reality. The harsh reality started with living with his mom. Not that we don't like her, but really, what newlywed wants to live with parents? We hadn't found a place because we didn't know where I would be working (I applied in many states), so we spent two months at hers while I continued to look with no success!
- Two months in: Yay! We finally moved in to our own place. Living with Sean's mom had brought up some conflict and I was ready to go (we're fine now). We ended up at an apartment a mile up the road - with still just one income. All our wedding gift money that could have been a down payment for a house ended up going towards the deposit and first month's rent.
- Three months in: Finally! Some interviews! And just in time, because the rent was due in two weeks and we didn't have enough to pay it. I did what I had to do and accepted the first job that was offered to me, knowing full well I didn't want it. I remember hanging up the phone and bursting into tears because I didn't want to work there. The hours were bad, the people were mean and backstabbing, and the job had nothing to do with my field of study. At least the rent would be paid.
- The New Year: I had managed to still use my parent's health benefits to the end of the calendar year. Now it was a new year and I was uninsured. No more birth control and no affording paying a doctor cash to prescribe me some. Obviously if we couldn't afford that, we couldn't afford a pregnancy. A friend slipped me some of her pills to hold me over, and a nurse we knew got someone to write me a refill prescription. We bought a $20/mo discount plan to bring the cost of the pills down some. Oh yeah, my ear surgery that I talk about? I'm pretty sure that's a result of an ear infection we couldn't afford to have treated while I was at said uninsured job.
We worried much, and it's interesting to look back on this now. I haven't for some time. I try to forget it. This is my first time writing all this down and I can see what I didn't see then: God was (and is) good. Things didn't go the way we wanted them to, but he provided all our needs. We have a place to live, we both have jobs, my immediate medication need was met, and now I am at a job that offers insurance. It isn't perfect, but it is better.
And you know what didn't suck during that first year? My husband. He supported me even through conflict with his mother, he encouraged me when I was depressed about being unemployed - he never got angry with me about it. He wanted me to be happy then, just like he does now.
Sorry this isn't your traditional post. We have enough conflict in our lives to bother adding any to our marriage. We celebrated three years of marriage last week and I mentioned, like here, that things aren't perfect in life, but we are still happy and in love. My friend Karla left this comment:
"...Things like that could rip a relationship apart. So, I think it's so encouraging and so awesome that you guys have such a strong loving relationship."
She's right. Things like that could rip a relationship apart. And they do. Many of our trials likely are sources of conflict in relationships. We don't see them that way. We do what we can and move on while loving one another. What good does arguing do over a job search anyway?