Yesterday Alycia and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Compared to couples like my grandparents who were married for 60 years, one year doesn’t seem like that much of an accomplishment. Even though it’s only marks 365 days, a one year anniversary is a great time to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the next 59 years. Here are some lessons that I learned during my first year of marriage.
Marriage is Boring
Marriage is pretty boring and I mean that in the best way possible. A dating relationship is exciting; every week there’s another date, a new experience or a perfectly planned evening for two. Whether that’s dinner and a musical or a romantic picnic on the beach, dating is full of excitement. Marriage is not that exciting. Alycia and I have had some special dates during the past year and we had a nice little trip to Las Vegas after Christmas. But, for the most part, we would wake up, she would go to school, I would go to work and, at the end of the day, we would have dinner at home. Marriage isn’t very exciting but that’s the best part about it. Dating is the peaks of excitement; marriage is finding the rhythm of a new normal. Marriage is the give and take of two lives coming together as one, like two dance partners learning how to move with the other. It may not be the world’s most exciting dance, but it is one of its most fulfilling.
Marriage is More Than Two
Genesis 2 says this about marriage:
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Adam forgot to mention the part where the man and woman go back to visit their fathers and mothers every other weekend. Over the past year, Alycia and I have spent a lot of time together, just the two of us. But marriage is more than just the two of us, marriage also involves our families. Marriage means taking all the birthdays, holidays and other celebrations then multiplying them by two. It can be a difficult transition because it means learning and adjusting to a different set of familial norms. How my family interacts is foreign to Alycia and the same goes for me with her family. Over the past year, through all the gatherings and meals together, we’ve had to learn how to interact with each other’s families because marriage is more than two.
Marriage is Great
I recently spent time in Honduras on a mission trip. I was away from Alycia for 10 days and it was almost unbearable. It was hard for me to be away from her, but I felt even worse because I was the one who had left her behind. That longing to simply be with Alycia, though, helped remind me how great marriage is. Some people don’t want to get married; the desire has to grow within them over time. I wasn’t one of those people; I knew that I wanted to get married. And even though it was difficult being away from Alycia, it reminded me how great marriage is and why I always wanted to get married. I love having someone with whom I can live life, whether that’s doing ministry, folding laundry or celebrating another family birthday. Marriage is great and, after one year, I highly recommend it.
While Alycia and I were engaged, we asked a lot of married couples how their first year of marriage went. The answers varied from tremendously easy to the hardest year of their marriage. I think our first year of marriage has been relatively easy even though it’s taken some stretching, learning and re-learning.
I know in the grand scheme of things one year isn’t that long, but we can’t get to our 60th wedding anniversary without celebrating our first.