::What I Learned During Our First Year Of Marriage ::

Recently Austin and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. This past year flew by. I feel like I was in Aruba on our honeymoon two weeks ago. Although I am still trying to wrap my mind around how time can pass so quickly, there are a few things I have learned during our first year of marriage.

There is something magical about having two bathrooms.

After living together in a one bedroom one bathroom apartment for seven years we moved into a two bedroom two bathroom apartment a month before our wedding. Life is different.

I seriously believe some marriages fail due to lack of personal bathroom space.

Changing my last name was the most simple yet complicated experience of my life.

The legal experience was simple.

I went to the Social Security office and showed my marriage license, waited a few weeks and my new Social Security card arrived in the mail. I went to the DMV and showed my new Social Security card, waited another couple of weeks and my new drivers license arrived in the mail.

It became complicated when I began to change my name on my bank account, credit cards, and student loans. My bank did not mark that I was a US citizen, it took my credit card company three tries to get my name right (meanwhile transactions were denied), and my student loan company did not update my name in their computer system which resulted in me being locked out of my account for two weeks.

Be prepared.

Just a few months passed before people wanted to know when the baby was arriving.

Austin and I barely returned from our honeymoon before people started asking about kids. Granted we were together for eight years before we got married, but the pressure to have children after we said I Do increased ten fold.

I find the pressure from family and society extremely selfish and annoying.

Yes, I am aware that I am 31. Yes, I am aware that I am married. Yes, I am aware that I have a vagina. None of the before mentioned criteria are sufficient for having a child.

I remain unapologetic for figuring myself, my career, and my relationship out before I decide if I want a child.

I am constantly be asked, “How’s married life.”

EVERYONE asks me this question and my response is, “The same as before.”

I am a firm believer that if your relationship changes just because you are married you should not have gotten married. Marriage is an act of commitment and should not elicit negative change.

Its been difficult for me to set goals as a couple.

Although Austin and I were together for a substantial amount of time before we got married I still find it difficult to set goals as a couple. I tend to set goals according to what I can achieve in a certain amount of time but now I have a partner.

We can eliminate debt together. We can save for a house together.

Admitting when I am wrong is more important than before.

This was the hardest change for me.

Swallowing my pride after an argument rarely happened before marriage. I usually just waited for enough time to pass and returned to life as usual. Now, I see all the possible problems a marriage can encounter and the small arguments are no longer relevant.

Furthermore, its okay to go to bed angry. Not every problem can be solved in the heat of the moment.

I am constantly reminding myself that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage.

After our first couple of fights as a married couple I would analyze everything.

Were we suppose to be married?

Why did it seem like we fought more as a married couple compared to when we were just boyfriend/girlfriend?

How we were suppose to get through life together if we cannot even make it through a pub crawl?

The truth is every couple has arguments, especially if a few shots of Jamo are involved. In the heat of the moment I try to remember to fight fair and apologize once I have cooled off.

Arguments are normal.

The most important thing I learned: He picked me.

I think by now it is very clear that I am a realist. I did not spend my childhood planning my wedding and dreaming of prince charming. I do not believe in happily ever after.

I believe marriage is an act of commitment, not love.

Austin decided after eight years he wanted to spend his life with me. He wants to build a future with me.

Think about the magnitude of that statement.

He picked me.

The past is no longer of importance. No matter what happens in the future we promised to support each other.

He is my best friend.

He is my teammate in this game of life-now let’s have some fun!