Today marks the two month date since Drew and I tied the knot back in August. So many things have happened within those 60 days, it’s pretty exhausting just thinking back through it all. While in the grand scheme of things, we’ve just begun to barely scratch the surface on marriage, these past couple months have provided us with some valuable life (and marriage) lessons. For those of you that have been married for years—and thus could write a few books on the topic—I’m sure nothing I’m about to say will be too revolutionary. But for those of you, who, like us, are newlyweds or still in the dating or engagement phase of your relationships, you’re probably discovering these things right along with us. And after all, isn’t learning and growing as a couple one of the best parts?
Lesson 1: Don’t expect perfection. Since this is the first time living with each other, we’re learning new things about one another we couldn’t have possibly known during our dating and engaged years. For instance, I think it’s safe to say Drew was a bit overwhelmed by just how much stuff I brought into our one-bedroom apartment here in Atlanta, even though he always says he loves how low-maintenance I am (did you hear that, Mom and Dad??) When I would visit him in Chicago, I was amazed by the lack of things he had. Granted, this was partly out of necessity as his studio was size-wise the equivalent of a cardboard box. Fast forward to us living together, about 90% of the items in the bathroom are mine. Contrary to male belief, girls do need 5 different types of lotion, 9 tubes of lip gloss and an infinite amount of ponytail holders. Drew’s grown accustomed to finding my bobby pins scattered throughout the apartment. There are at least 2 or 3 fastened to the edge of a blanket (when I need them for later). On the other side of things, I’ve realized that no matter how many times I
ask nag him about it, Drew will frequently leave the toilet seat up. This has resulted in me falling in the toilet at least half a dozen times, most of which have taken place in the middle of the night while I’m still half asleep. Currently, there is a post-it note above the toilet, gently reminding him (and all males that enter our abode) to kindly put the toilet seat down. This visual reminder has benefited both parties involved.
Lesson 2: Be yourself (this includes the good, the bad, and the ugly). While we were dating, I was sure to be on my “best behavior” at all times. I wouldn’t be caught dead letting Drew see me wearing sweatpants, or with no makeup on and glasses. I can still remember one night in particular when I was eating with my friends in the cafeteria at WKU, and Drew was eating with his track teammates. As I was turning away from one of the food lines, I almost ran right into Drew. He’d clearly just come from a run; all sweaty with his hair disheveled, which I found to be extremely cute. I on the other hand, was wearing XL sweatpants with several holes in them and a hoodie that probably should have been washed before wearing. I was so embarrassed and muttered a lame excuse as I scampered away, dodging Drew and his friendly greeting. Years later, I’m in the bathroom taking out my contacts and scrubbing my face…Drew comes up behind me and puts his arms around me, telling me how beautiful I am. It’s one of the single moments where I’ve never felt more special or more loved. Being married has shown me that husbands don’t expect perfection all the time; they appreciate authenticity and realness.
Lesson 3: There’s two people in a relationship for a reason. No one can (or should) do it all. We’ve discovered the past few weeks that when one of us stumbles, the other one is usually there to pick up the slack. We joke about it sometimes but it’s true: either Drew or I will have a brain fart and the other one will come swiftly to the rescue. There’s been countless times where I’m about to walk out the door without my keys, and Drew comes up behind me jingling them in his hand. When he forgets his wallet or phone, I can usually remember where he left it. We balance each other out and more importantly, help each other fill in the cracks. We’ve been at several large get-togethers with our church where I remember peoples’ names; Drew remembers their faces and life stories. On the car ride home we’ll recap and fill each other in. It’s cliché but true: marriage takes teamwork.
There are countless other lessons, some bigger than others, that we’ve learned since our wedding date. Needless to say, there will be hundreds of other things we discover along the way. Most importantly, we’ve come into this union with open hearts and minds. I can easily say that the past two months have marked the most exciting (and eye-opening) time in my life. Every day—or almost every day—I learn something new (or maybe I just needed to be reminded) about Drew, marriage, and/or life in general. It’s a bumpy, curvy, crazy road of life that we’re all on, but I’m so thankful that Drew is the one walking on it beside me.