17 Lessons from Our First Year of Marriage

Like most newlyweds, Ray and I walked into marriage optimistic, expectant, and pretty friggin’ unprepared. A little over a year in, I think I can speak for both when I say that it’s been the most challenging things we’ve ever done. Despite hardheaded-ness and learning things the hard way, by grace and refusing to give in, we made it through the hardest year of our lives.

Here are some of the lessons we learned along the way:

  1. Trust God.
  2. Find the balance between being independent (caring for self) and being interdependent with your spouse.
  3. Communicate EVERYTHING. You should never be having conversations in your head with yourself that you need to have with your spouse.
  4. Schedule time to connect with each other every day.
  5. We give love differently and we receive love differently and over time, these change. Have this conversation frequently.
  6. Never disrespect your spouse privately or publicly.
  7. You are a TEAM. Remember this during hard discussions and disagreements.
  8. Discuss marriage expectations and let go of most of them.
  9. Communicate your needs frequently. Don’t be afraid to repeat them.
  10. Love your spouse by actions even when you don’t feel like it. Feelings will follow.
  11. Generally, men and women have different sexual needs. If you wait until BOTH of you are in the mood, it’ll rarely happen.
  12. Sacrificial love is more powerful than romantic love and desire.
  13. Your spouse isn’t telepathic. Don’t expect them to read your mind.
  14. What’s natural and easy for you may not be natural and easy for the other.
  15. Marriage isn’t always 50/50. It should USUALLY be 100/100. However, sometimes it’ll be 60/40, 30/70, or 80/20. Be willing to be strong for your spouse when they need you to be.
  16. Don’t do for your spouse so they’ll do for you. Give them what they need because you delight in their happiness.
  17. Your spiritual life effects your spouse’s.

Please leave us a comment on some lessons you’ve learned while married as well. We’d love to know!

3 thoughts on “17 Lessons from Our First Year of Marriage

    1. Both so important!

      Romance – break the routine, date nights, and the element of surprise. We can become so comfortable once married that life gets dull and monotonous. It’s when we get into this cycle just going with the flow that we forget to continue pursuing our spouse. Pursuit can be as simple as sending a text message, surprising them with something they’ve been hinting at for some time or something you know they need, and the oh so powerful date nights. You know what your spouse likes! Be intentional about sprinkling those things into your normal routine.

      Newborn – communicate, communicate, communicate. Babies schedules are all over the place the first few months and that’s enough to drive any parent crazy – especially if, like me, you thrive on routine! Communicate how to approach care for the baby. My biggest piece of advice would be to split up taking care of the baby. Split up night shifts. Split up feedings. Take turns changing diapers. And continue to pursue each other. It may not look the same as when it was just the two of you but schedule time together. Every week. All in all, give each other enough grace to reach an agreement that works for the both of you. Trial and error.


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