It's our anniversary! I can't believe it's already been 2 years / I can't believe it's only been 2 years. 

I absolutely love noticing and celebrating milestones, and I always feel inspired to reflect on the time that has passed and begin the new chapter with a fresh start. In honor of our 2 year milestone, I decided to write out 20 lessons I've learned from the first 2 years of marriage.

We always say that the first year of our marriage was harder than we expected in some ways but ALSO way more amazing and fun and rewarding than we expected. The second year was less dramatic and less surprising, but maybe similar in some ways! It was hard sometimes but really really good. Mostly I just feel like it flew by.

I feel like society/media/whatever kind of paints a picture of marriage being super limiting and difficult and something that you hope to be able to make it through, and while I haven't been married long, I have been pleasantly surprised at how wonderful it is to be married. Here are some things that came to mind while reflecting on the first two years:

  1. Most of growing in marriage is just growing in trust: The stronger our trust, the deeper our love, the steadier our peace. (Trust beyond "you won't cheat on me" and more like, "I won't hide myself from you, even at my worst.")

  2. Our differences need to be embraced, not tolerated.

  3. When we're hurt by each other, it's natural to put up self-protective walls and create distance. Fight against that and commit to restoring intimacy every time.

  4. Self-confidence helps with honest communication and clarity during disagreements.

  5. He needs to feel free and I need to feel free. We should tell each other when we don't feel free, and work hard to pay attention to and rejoice in one another's freedom.

  6. Things are usually ok in the end. Don't freak out.

  7. Wake up and think "what does my partner have going on today and how can I make sure they feel empowered, equipped, encouraged, supported, loved?"

  8. Be patient with timing. Things that feel urgent often are actually totally fine or even better if you wait. "We can talk about this next week, since this week is busy for you." or "It's ok that I'm not doing this perfectly yet... it takes time to get to know each other and get better at things."

  9. Always always assume the best.

  10. Communication is everything, but sometimes it's also ok to not talk about it. Usually prayer works better than nagging.

  11. Trust each other's words and make sure your words are trustworthy. Don't be the person that says "I'm fine" with your words and "I hate you" with your mood. Make your heart match your words or your words match your heart -- Whichever one is healthier in that moment.

  12. Notice when your mood is your own mood and when you're just picking up on the other person's mood.

  13. Surprise each other.

  14. Establishing roles and routines for things you do often can help, instead of constantly relying on communication in the moment.

  15. Be interested in each other. Ask lots of questions. Text with emojis. Get on board with each other's passions.

  16. Make out. Hug from behind.

  17. Never be afraid to be the one that loves more, forgives first, gets less.

  18. Be the person you want to be married to. Inspiration works better than criticism.

  19. You can stand up for yourself and still be kind. You can say "I need this from you" and not say "you are terrible at this." If you're both assuming the best about each other, it's super easy to be honest and nice simultaneously.

  20. Don't give up on each other and don't give up on yourself. Lots of people have made it through horrible, scary, stressful, lonely parts of marriage only to be madly in love years later. You can do it!


What lessons would you add to this list?


ps video by Our Westward Hearts!