4 Ways My Marriage Has Changed in 4 Years
Today my husband and I celebrate our 4 year anniversary. It's crazy how it seems like the time flies by in just a blink of an eye. I still remember our wedding day like it was yesterday! I thought and thought about how I wanted to honor or wedding and, even more, our marriage. I debated posting about the lessons I've learned in our marriage. But in 4 years, we're still learning new things about one another and our marriage every single day. I don't think that will ever end - I hope we're always growing and learning together.
Then I thought about how much our marriage has changed over the years. When I was planning our wedding and how we would celebrate our love together, I was so focused on planning that one special day. But that was just the beginning of our life together. It was just the beginning of many special days together. Now that I realize that, I clearly see all the ways our marriage has changed in the past 4 years.
- We respect ourselves more. Before marriage, it was easy for me to get caught up in going out with friends - dinner, drinks, the works. It was also easy for me to get home late, sleep for maybe 5 hours, and then get up and head to a full day of work. I didn't think about the food I put in my body and was not nearly as active as I should have been. Similarly, my husband didn't do much cooking for himself, either. Since tying the knot, my husband and I are both much more health-conscious. We cook regularly (with plenty of whole, fresh foods) and stay active. A lot of times we do both of these things together. We really want to be healthier - not just for ourselves, but for each other, too. It's also fun to share those moments when we're cooking or hiking together. I have no doubt that I'm a much healthier person than I was before marriage.
- We are more well-rounded. I admit, during the dating period, I probably neglected some of my favorite hobbies, just so my husband and I could spend more time together. Since marrying my soulmate, I've not only picked up my old hobbies, but I've also found new hobbies to dabble in. Some of them we enjoy doing together - like antique shopping, gardening, and traveling or exploring - others I have gotten interested in solo (like floral arranging). We are also both thirsty to learn...and to learn together! We occasionally have our own little private book club. We choose and read a book, just like any other larger book club, and schedule a date night to discuss the book and our thoughts on it. It's a fun twist on date night, while still allowing us the opportunity to learn and grow together.
- We share more of our hidden thoughts. Of course we shared our thoughts before we got married, but since marriage, we share those deep thoughts you sometimes don't want to tell a single soul. My husband is my best friend, so I know if I tell him something completely random, he won't judge me. It took a while for me to learn that, but it's such a freeing feeling to know I can tell him absolutely anything and he'll empathize with me, laugh with me, or console me. But he'll never judge me. And I'll never judge him in return.
- We understand how we each share and handle emotions. I think this is something we knew all along, but after 4 years of marriage, we're much more aware of how to handle the moods and emotions of one another. When I'm upset or under a lot of stress, I bottle it up and try to internalize it until it goes away (haha that's funny because that never happens, right?). My husband knows this about me, and is now able to pick up on other clues that show I'm under stress. He doesn't force me to talk about it, but shows me he cares through his actions and verbalizes that he's ready to listen when I'm ready to let it out. On the other hand, my husband is much more verbose when he is under pressure or has something going on. When he begins letting it all out, I know to make time for him, and just listen, because that's what he needs. We also know how we like to celebrate when we get good news, how to console when dealing with a tragedy, and how to communicate when we're upset. Responding to these emotions, whether verbally or through actions, is something that becomes more and more magnified as the days, weeks, and years pass and we learn more about one another.
I couldn't imagine going on this journey through life with anyone else, and I'm so grateful for the changes in our marriage. The day we got married, I never imagined I could learn more, love more, or be more - but I'm learning every single day that those things will never stop progressing.