The first few months of our marriage were probably some of the hardest months of my life. We both went from being very independent, on our own kind of people to suddenly having someone else to care for and a whole household to manage.
I would say our biggest challenges surrounded finances and managing household duties. As the wife, I was constantly doing everything at home while my husband was away at work and I found myself frustrated with the lack of help that I would get.
We learned so much about communicating with one another and helping each other. There is a big difference between being a burden and being married. Being married is a team effort, and there is no I in team.
“Expectations are fantasies that we create based off of our own desires.” My Pastor’s wife told me that right before we got married and I have learned that it is so true. When I got married I had so many expectations and dreams about what our life would be like. I never expected every single thing I had imagined to be crushed by reality.
I would have never imagined that within my first year of marriage my husband and I would live in a tiny house that we would hate living in, that we would struggle so much financially that we would have to chose between paying a bill or buying groceries. I never imagined that before our 1st anniversary we would have our first child.
But, here is the reality of it. While my expectations were to have this perfect little life, where my husband is a Marine and we get a great paycheck and lived in a beautiful house, and had everything we ever wanted, the reality is that my expectations left no room for me to learn and grow as a new wife.
We are in the stage of life where all of our friends are newlyweds. Because of the dynamics of our family life there are quite a few things that we do differently. When my husband is not working we are constantly together because we do spend so much time apart.
I grew up in a home with a dad who worked constantly 6 months out of the year and a mom who stayed home and volunteered for everything. In our home, my husband and I both work. One thing that we constantly strive to do, that we really do not see a lot of other couples around us doing, is that we are one another’s biggest supporter.
When my husband has 24-hour duty I bring him breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Recently I started a new job and had 9-5 training during which I had to be on Facetime from 9-5 for two whole weeks. My husband took care of the house, our baby, and me during those whole two weeks! We depend on teamwork to make it through.
Our marriage is very different than most. Why? Well, my husband is a Marine. The story behind our relationship even makes it unique. How often does someone have a best friend through college and then after years of being apart suddenly realize that you have feelings for one another and three weeks later you are engaged? Crazy right? Sure, we have the normal aspects of marriage, we love each other and function as a unit, but there is so much more. We are constantly having to switch between being together and running our home as a couple to me managing it for extended periods of time entirely on my own.
There are times where my husband will be gone for just a few weeks, and other times where he will be gone up to a year. There are easy times and there are very scary times. There are nights where I lay in bed and wonder if I will ever see my husband again. We strive to bathe our marriage in prayer constantly and we value time together more than the average married couple. Every day that we can be together, in –person is so special because we know that all too soon we will be far apart.