I did a poll on Instagram about what I’d post for mine and Tyler’s two-year anniversary and a lot of people wanted to know what I’ve learned. I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there that probably don’t expect there’s a lot to learn in the second year because you learn so much the first year, but that’s not true. The first year is all about learning how to adjust to the changes. Learning how to be a wife and a husband and overcoming the stubbornness that comes when things change. Sharing every inch of your home. Knowing it’s no longer “my money” it’s “ours”. It’s a whole new chapter and we don’t go into marriage being instant pros. HOWEVER, what you learn and conquer in the first year, makes the second year even more magical. So here’s what I’ve learned and discovered this second, magical, year of marriage.
HONEYMOON PHASE. I don’t really know why people always talk about the honeymoon phase being over and “oh, that won’t last” and such. I can personally tell you, it doesn’t have to end. Two years later and I can promise you I still get giddy in the mornings when I roll over and see Tyler’s ring on his finger, I still get excited when he writes me notes, and I have a strong desire to respect and love him each and every day. That in return makes him want to do the same and to love continuously. I found this article that defines the honeymoon stage as: “At the beginning of a good relationship, everything seems perfect. You and your partner agree on everything, you want to do the same activities on the weekends and you always look great and shiny and happy.” This same article was titled, “15 Relationship Things That Happen Once the Honeymoon stage ends”. The #1 thing it said: “You know your love is real”. Sorry to burst that person's bubble but Jesus is what gives us real love, not fighting and "showing your dark side" as it said on #4. Almost sounds depressing? With what they are saying, you can’t look forward to real love until that stage ends? I’m not saying our relationship is shiny and perfect 24/7, but on a regular basis I feel so joyful to be Tyler’s wife. It truly is the simplest, yet sometimes hardest things, like respect, patience, vulnerability, and PRESENCE that keeps it alive. We spend our weekends doing what we want together (unless I’m photographing an epic wedding), we have date nights, and we don’t let the stereotypes of being married stop us from booking an Air BnB with our closest friends and spending time away with them. I don’t know about you, but when I see my marriage, it feels like a honeymoon and I’m not going to let earthly definitions stop that.
PURSUE EACH OTHER. How to keep that honeymoon feeling… Just because you’ve been married for over a year doesn’t mean you have to stop trying. Yes, you don’t have to keep trying to get their attention and make them realize you are the best woman he will ever find, BUT that also doesn’t mean you stop doing sweet gestures, get dolled up, and find ways to show him that you are still crazy about him. This is something I slipped into the first year. There was a period of time where I didn’t really try and Tyler voiced it to me. Ngina Otiende said it right to me that first year, “having it good” in marriage comes from being deliberate, purposeful, willful in our thoughts, actions and habits. It comes from being intentional in living out God’s blue print for marriage.” Amen to that you guys. Two words there changed everything, INTENTIONAL and GOD. Brings me to the next thing.
PURSUE GOD. Yes, we have already been doing this since we met, but this past year there was just something so different and so rewarding. Our second year of marriage, we pursued and came closer to God in a way like never before. There were times where we ran to Him, not walked, in those moments where all we needed to do was pray. On the topic of prayer, we made it a habit to ask each other before bed “What are your prayer requests”. I’m telling you now, that going to bed knowing your spouse is praying over you and your current request feels so good, but it makes you feel even better knowing that for a fact he is talking to God. Inside of this little segment, I also want to mention another thing that kept the second year strong. PRIORITIES. God is first. Your husband is not first. I said it and Tyler knows it and I know that in Tyler’s life, I am not first and I’m glad. There’s reason for this. God leads Tyler, Tyler leads me, and through that I grow closer to God. It’s deep and intense but it’s one of the most important things about a godly marriage. Tyler can’t lead God and if he did, how would I ever get to see the true joys and fruits of God. This is why pursuing God daily is important and really opened our eyes this second year when we dove deeper, surrounded ourselves by more intentional and godly friendships, and opened our home and hearts to serve in a way we never could before.
THE “OKAY” WORD. I fear as though I might have made our marriage look like a dream in the above points. Let me first say, no. Just because we follow the Lord, love Him, and pursue Him and each other daily doesn’t mean we don’t argue. I don’t want to say “fight” because we have FINALLY figured out how to not let disagreements turn into those vicious fights like you had in high school. Leave that all behind. What we learned to do to keep arguments/disagreements at bay is just be humble. Yes, I know, it’s hard to do, but it’s SO rewarding. We humble ourselves, see each other’s sides and in the end, if we still disagree, we just say “okay”. Pick your battles. I can remember when I just simply said “okay” for the first time. We were in the car, where most disagreements come about, and talking about something, I wish I could remember that part, but I remembered the most important part. We both said our sides, with tone going up and down, and then eventually I just swallowed my pride and said “okay”... without any eye roll. In that moment Tyler’s eyes widened and he just goes “wow”. It hurt me for a second to say that easy 4-letter-word, but to see how relieving it was for Tyler to hear me say it, mean it, and just to basically say “even if we disagree, I love you”, it meant so much to him. It goes back to the respect thing. But witnessing all that has made me say “okay” a few more times and has made a world of difference in how we handle disagreements.
COMMUNICATION. Ohhhhh yeah. The one thing that everyone tells us, how does it go? “COMMUNICATION IS KEY”. The first year of marriage was all about learning how to communicate as a husband and wife. It’s completely different from the dating stages of life and definitely has a curve. The second year is implementing everything you’ve learned (and are still learning). This year I can say we have never been more open and accountable. Instead of letting things fester inside, I straight up say it… lovingly. If there’s a day where I may not be feeling loved, I tell Tyler. A day where there’s something bothering me that he did that morning, I tell him. It may seem easy-ish, but the biggest thing is the tone you use. Tone is everything. You can say “okay” but if you add in an eye roll or doing it loudly, how can you see love and acceptance from that? That applies to everything. We had a successful second year building our communication and trust. Trust that if we are open and communicate our worries, annoyances, downfalls, etc. that in return we will receive love, respect, and advice. It’s crazy how a sentence with love can change your entire day.
We have been so crazy blessed this past year and we give all the glory to God. Not only do we want to PRAISE THE LORD for all He has done, we also want to give a shout out to all of our friends and family who have supported us, loved us, and provided relationships that will last a life time.
Here’s to the next adventure God has planned <3
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 8:37-39
OH!! AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF OUR DEAREST FRIENDS (SHE'S EVEN PICTURED ABOVE), ONE OF MY FIRST BRIDES, MY BRIDESMAID, AND TWIN, DIANA <3