Commemorating One Year of the Thermostat War

So it's kind of hard for me to believe it, but the Gentleman Husband and I passed our 1st wedding anniversary on Sunday.

To celebrate we went up to L**** for a little getaway, which was relaxing and lovely and full of good foods, as any self-respecting getaway must be. More to come on that.

A lot of people's first year of marriage, while great, grand, and wonderful, is also a very difficult one. This makes sense because if you think about it, it's kind of a big year.

It's the year you learn to live with this other person who, as it turns out, believes that the inside of the toilet bowl is really only a loose sort of goal rather than an ironclad, electric-current-bordered target. (Seriously, can someone please make an electrified toilet rim? And maybe do the floor, too? I would appreciate it. You know, for a friend of mine. Who you don't know.)

In turn, they learn how to deal with the fact that sometimes you're just going to cry and be a rage beast for no (real) reason, and how to navigate that without losing an arm or other valuable body part.

It's the year you begin learning to balance loyalty and responsibility to each other and your own new family with all of the events, traditions, and expectations of the families you grew up in. (Note: Good luck with that.)

You're learning how to have a good physical relationship, which comes with a significant learning curve and the potential for unrealistic expectations, frustration, and hurt feelings.

If one or both of you are moving to a new town or starting new jobs, there's the stress of those transitions.

You have to deal with things like January. And February. You know--awful, awful cold things.

So yeah. When I think about this, it's not hard to understand why someone would say that their first year of marriage was the hardest. And when I report that for us this has not so much been the case, I am fully aware that this is because it's going to be some other year--maybe even this coming one, that will deliver the real pimp slaps.

But as far as this year goes, it really has been great and fast and surprisingly smooth. GH has been more patient and understanding and kitchen-cleany than I expected or deserve. I like to believe that I have been more silly and less the Enemy of Fun that he was prepared for. (I mean hi, I played Rock Band last night. And I ruled at it.) Our families have been great as we've tried to get our act together and balance our time between them. Rather than pestering us about when we are going to reproduce, our ward members have for the most part ignored us. (Except I will say that whoever reported that they home-taught us for the last two months is going DOWN, because no way is that true. Ignore us all you want but don't pretend otherwise, friend.)

And now this is the part where you can look away because I am going to thank GH for what has been the best year so far of my life. And that's INCLUDING that one time when I lived in England. So, you know, this is serious.

But now I'd like to hear from you, gentle readers. If you are married, what has been your hardest year so far? Which transitions have been the most difficult--and was it something you could have foreseen or did it come as a complete suckerpunch? If you're not married (or you just don't want to talk about your own relationship because you have standards like that), feel free to pass on what you've heard or observed, because I know you know stuff too.


Jenny said... [reply]

Electric toilet rim. I need that for my 3 year old. Only I bet it might be construed as child abuse by some lame-a people.

My hardest year being married was the year we had a screaming baby (seriously, from Jan to Dec was rough), I got PPD, we moved across the country, moved back across the country and began the process of starting a company.

Don't do those things simultaneously if you think it will overwhelm you. Not so much fun. Know your limits.

jeri said... [reply]

Our hardest year was probably the second, when we both lost our jobs, lived on a $70-per-week unemployment check, tried to finish school, were shunted from one relatives' basement to another and still had to learn that 'positive communication' does not mean 'throw a box of Wheat Thins at your husband's head'.

Second place was definitely the Year of the First Child. So go you for putting that off a little longer.

Emily said... [reply]

This is a very good post.

LIke the posters before me it was more what happened that year and less the year itself. It was the past one where we moved across country had our "Surprise!" baby, had the rental house we were living in foreclosed on, had to move with a 2 week old, and worried all those months about our house still up for sale in VA. I still get why the first year is considered hard for all the reasons you explained and alluded to.

I also agree that the first year with first child is a doozy.

Azúcar said... [reply]

Our first year was easy as pie. Our second year, peachy.

Our third and fourth years? Horrid, terrible, dawn of the realization that you are now completely linked forever and ever and that what you thought would be, won't. Enough about that. We made it through.

When are you guys coming over to play Rock Band?

Azúcar said... [reply]

p.s. Our Year of First Child wasn't bad at all, it was kind of cool, and fun.

Year of Second Child wasn't that great since I had terrible PPD. Then again, you'd have to ask him if it was good or terrible since most of that year is a complete blank. It goes to show that you never know what will be the rough years for your marriage. This fall is 12 for us, yay us!

Sherry said... [reply]

Year two was hard for us. We were both finishing our BAs. Spouse was working 40+ hours per week. I also worked. And we lived in the basement of an elderly lady and had the responsibility of cooking her dinner every night for reduced rent. For us, high stress and hardly ever seeing each other resulted in less happiness.

Then there have been things like joblessness, lack of baby-having, and living with inlaws that have thrown wrenches into otherwise perfectuly suitably years. (We've only been married four, and I'm not ready to classify any years besides Year Two as the hard ones).

Catherine said... [reply]

This is going to sound really sappy, so sorry in advance. Now (after 4 years of marriage) I can say that the first year was our hardest. But at the end of the first year, I, like you, thought that we'd gotten off lucky because we'd had such a wonderful year. What I didn't expect was for it to get so much better as we became more and more comfortable with each other. Sappy, I know; but so true.

East of Eden said... [reply]

I would have to say that our first year of marriage was good, very good. The second, not so much, as I was teaching school at Satan's High school. As the name might imply, that job did not bring out the best in me. Now we are working on year seven...and we have progeny. This has been a hard year for both of us, but not because we're at each other's throat. Having a child after 5 years of being a couple has been a new learning curve, but good. We've learned alot from each other, and about each other, and alot from our child.

Breanne said... [reply]

I remember thinking that my first year was wonderful and smooth, also, and I was surprised like - who are these other people that say the first year is rough? We did fine. But now we've been married for 5 years, and when I look back on it, the first two years really were difficult, I just didn't have anything to compare it to. Our years together since have really been wonderful, our trust and ties are stronger than ever, we've been through trials that show us just how cemented we are together, in ways that I never realized. Hindsight is 20/20.

Amanda said... [reply]

At the end of year one, I could not fathom how people though marriage was hard. The hardest so far has been year 4, with the arrival of child number two, a move across state lines away from family, all accompanied by a change of career and the purchase of our first home. Congratulations and my you never have more than 2 or 3 major life changes in one year.

Bridget said... [reply]

Yeah, I thought Year One was fantastic.

Marriage really gets tough when you have a kid. The way you treat your spouse at 2am when you're both up with a screaming baby really says a lot about your relationship.


The Wixom Zoo said... [reply]

Our hardest year was the seventh, for some reason. We were marveling around our 6th anniversary how smoothly things had gone for us and how lucky we were. Then a couple of months later everything he did annoyed the crap out of me! He smelled funny, he didn't dicipline the kids the 'right' way, he didn't load the dishwasher right, he never said the right thing, etc. I found myself wondering how in the world I could be married to someone for eternity when I was having issues with whether he put his socks in the hamper or not? Anyway, we figured it out and I have to say that it's been pretty good since then. We just celebrated our 10th year of challenges, struggles, laughs and complete joy. Sometimes it sucks but it seems to have worked out for us.
*deep breath*
I guess the thing that's helped us out the most is remembering that we're both learning and that the only way we've been able to figure stuff out is when we actually remember to talk (not scream) about things when they start to bug us instead of letting them build into some ginormous monster of a problem.

Holy Crap! That was a long comment...sorry! :)

Kim said... [reply]

Yes, the toilet bowl should definitely be an iron-clad target. I didn't have brothers so that was definitely an eye opener. What?! What is this yellow stuff on the floor? Is that PEE??? Horrifying.

The 2nd year was toughest so far, but it was also the year we had our first baby so I don't know if it was the 2nd year or the fact that we had a child but I would be it has the most to do with the child. Now you have to add one more person to the equation and that is not easy.

MommyJ said... [reply]

Okay, so I'm going on ten years. Which makes me feel all kinds of old. Okay... the hardest part was probably from 6 months to 18 months... We had our first baby two weeks after our one year anniversary (yeah. I don't recommend it. But you know. Sometimes it just, um, happens. Get what I'm sayin?)so the whole transition from newly married to newly parents was kinda tough.

But really, it's all been wonderful. We've had to figure some stuff out about how we communicate and what works and what doesn't, but seriously. It's been a party so far. :) He makes me happy. And with baby number 5 on the way... it's important to be happy.

Do you know what I think was important to learn? I'm not sure I should say it because every marriage and family class will tell you otherwise... but I'm gonna say it anyway. Sometimes, it really is okay to go to sleep angry. Dude. I don't there is anything more nonsensical that what arguing couples will say when they are totally exhausted at midnight, but are STILL talking because we shouldn't go to bed angry. Tired arguing is just stupid.

Rachel Sue said... [reply]

The year we lived with the the in laws. Enough said.

Nemesis said... [reply]

MommyJ, I'm with you on the "No, DO go to bed angry" thing. Because hi, a lot of problems shrink quite a bit after some sleep.

FoxyJ said... [reply]

Our first year was really pretty good; it's partially due to the fact that we're both conflict-avoiders and the fact that we didn't have many major life changes. And my husband has five older sisters who beat any propensity to pee on the floor out of him with a stick. Only sligtly joking. He's a real dirt-phobe, which isn't always a good thing in a father.

Anyways, for us the worst time was around year 5. I got really bad PPD with the second kid, exacerbated by the fact that I was trying to write a thesis, we moved to another state, hubby started library school and we had no funds, and he suddenly realized that he'd married quite young and right after his mission without doing much other living. Things got really bad and he even moved out for a while. But it actually worked out and we learned a lot about how much we actually liked each other and were willing to work on it. We're almost up to our 8th anniversary now and doing well.

And I totally agree with the going to sleep angry. Half the time I wake up and can't even remember what the problem was. I've also learned to make sure that I've eaten before deciding if I'm 'really' angry and to check the calendar too :)

nurse graham said... [reply]

Year 7 was a little difficult because of some major post-partum depression. But Year 10...now that one was where things almost ended. We just weren't on the same page with anything, we seemed to be living parallel lives, and just overall not communicating well about anything.

Happy to report that moving to a new city (together, not separate)away from my family and his new job was just the shot in the arm our marriage needed. In one week we will celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary.

brinestone said... [reply]

Thanks for a great, honest post. Like everyone else has been saying, the worst years of our marriage were also the worst years of our life: unemployment, colic, depression, job stress, loneliness, etc. Sometimes I wonder how our marriage would be different if we weren't living in poverty and feeling tense about my husband's job and/or job prospects. But I also figure that if we can make it through these six years, we can make it through anything. Seriously, the only major marriage threatener we haven't experienced yet is losing a child (heaven forbid).

AmyJane said... [reply]

I TOTALLY want an electric toilet rin, but also more for the three year old.
Also, how can the first year even PRETEND to be the hardest? All of the hard stuff comes with the kids. Just saying.
Congratulations. I really can't beleive it's been a whole year already.

MT said... [reply]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole said... [reply]

Before our first anniversary we moved in with my husband's parents. It was supposed to be a short (10 week) stay to allow us to save a little money before dental school, but it turned into a 15 month stay. That was rough.

But Year 7 was hands down worse and it caught me totally off guard. June 2004: Everything was fantastic -- I felt like things were about as good as anyone could hope for. By October 2004, I felt like we had been turned upside down. A big move, a new baby, PPD, entering the army AND residency at the same time -- we barely made it through that year intact.

In retrospect, I can now say that going through Year 7 has given me confidence that we can survive anything, and I really mean that regardless of how cliche' it sounds. It was hell, and we stuck it out.

But then things got better. Really, really better. We had our 11th anniversary in June and things are wonderful. We certainly aren't perfect, but I think we are in a really good place.

norteamericoyajr said... [reply]

Echo the "I don't know how I ran into your blog" comment. Glad I did.

Stats: wife and I are going on 19 years married, and without question the hard years were the ones with new babies. No other up/down compares. It was just tough. Good thing you love 'em, because we were often tempted to put them in a box and sit by the Walmart exit and sell them for $20 (don't flinch, the *did* have all their shots).

Congrats to you and GH. Many happy more.

Stephanie said... [reply]

oh mawage. i thought year one was tricky, for all the awkward transition reasons. then we began year two with a hospital stay and chronic illness(sans insurance,) then a move, then starting a business and a graduate program, and then the discovery that there IS one other person on this planet that is as socially inept and sutbborn as yourself: your spouse. so year two was hard, and made me wish for year one.

but before anyone thinks i loathe being married to spouseman, the first half of year three has been wonderful, and i think we learned a lot about eachother. and i haven't divorced or killed him yet. and even if i had to do year two over again, if it meant staying with spouseman, i'd do it.

especially if i had an electric toliet rim.

MJ said... [reply]

By far, the first year (of 2 1/2, I know, not much experience, but we're significantly older than the usual newlyweds). Not for the reasons specified in this post, but because we had ourselves a "honeymoon surprise". Yeah, I spent the first 4 months looking like I was just letting myself go, then FINALLY got to be noticably pregnant, but didn't feel pretty AT ALL, not to mention my husband going to school full-time, my working full time, and the living with first my parents and then his, and not in our own space...yeah, it wins as the hardest year.

But it was totally worth it. I love my little family, wouldn't trade my son or my hubby for anything.

Giggles said... [reply]

I'm glad you described the good side of that first year because in three months I'll start my own first year of marriage.

Maree said... [reply]

First of all, you should get a Nobel prize for the electric toilet idea. Get someone to make it and be a millionaire! I wasn't expecting problems of the aiming nature from an adult..... Glad I'm not alone.

"Hard/Challenging/Difficult" years are really like comparing apples to oranges.

Our first year was "hard" for all of the reasons you mentioned. For me, it was learning how to sleep with the noise of someone else in the same room.

The next year was HELL, as we were experiencing a great desire to be parents and a physical inability--yeah, Heavenly Father and I are RARELY on the same page as far as timing is concerned. Planned sex sets you up for unrealistic expectations in the future--and the hormone roller coaster of infertility drugs makes PMS look EASY!

The first year of each child was REALLY hard--but for different reasons. PPD the first time around and EVERYTHING being new. The second time it was just lack of sleep and trying to find balance--still haven't managed THAT.

We're going on 12 years now. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday, but at the same time it seems like we've been together forever. I'd do it again in a heartbeat! Trials and all.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Yay, Giggles! Congratulations!

julianne rose said... [reply]

hi there!

a friend linked me to your blog a few months ago - i too studied for a masters in england and she sad you were beyond hilarious. of course she was right! thanks for all your posts, sorry to have not commented before now.

i'm not married, but have been in a 2 year relationship with a wonderful german man (met in england whilst getting said masters degree)... we have had a great deal of ups and downs as we try to negotiate religion, culture, and then the fact that since moving away from the UK the last year has been spent skype-dating between him in berlin to me in new york. not fun.

and i feel kinda lame commenting after all these people with real experience, so i really just wanted to recommend this article from nytimes a few weeks ago:


it's brilliant i find. so much of relationship issues (for us at least) are really just personal issues that we tack on to our partner. we're so intimate it's hard not to, yeah?

anyway. voila my 2 cents. thanks for all your posts. it's such a refreshing blog, truly :)


Lindsay said... [reply]

Happy anniversary!

Yeah, they say the first year of marriage is the hardest, and yeah, it can be challenging, but I think that it gets much harder during the years of big transition -- children, cross-country moves, new jobs, etc. My husband and I have only been married for 4 years, and we've done each of those things twice now. It definitely has gotten easier the second time around, after we've learned how to work together to make things more go more smoothly, but at the first go, sometimes all we wanted to do was pull each other's hair out.

Kelly said... [reply]

I never knew I should be so grateful for my husband's good aim.

We're almost to the 2-year mark and for us year 1 was definitely the harder of the two. We have hit a good groove now. I've learned better how to communicate my needs without letting them all bottle up until I explode like a shrieking harpy. He has become more helpful around the house. I think our big problems that first year were more about roommates issues. We're still working on some of those, but I definitely think our communication has improved a lot. Year 2 has been very nice.

Anonymous said... [reply]
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Anonymous said... [reply]

Let's see...hardest year....um, first - no second, no third, probably fourth, maybe fifth? wait - sixth - no for sure seventh - uhhh eighth was pretty tough, ninth - that was good - tenth - so far - yeah....

Anyway - I guess marriage isn't meant to be easy - but mostly - it's life that's not easy - that's why I love that you have such a great sense of humor about it - we have to to survive it all and all the craziness - and that's what I'm figuring out about my hubby - after these 10 years.

Just laugh it off man.

8:39 AM

emandtrev said... [reply]

What a great post! Happy Anniversary!

We are into our eighth year of marriage, and I think perhaps our most difficult year was the seventh! There were just a LOT of changes and transitions, not to mention my second pregnancy (wherein I was much more sick than the first). It was just rough, but you know...by the time the holidays rolled around, I felt like we had weathered the storms and were that much stronger for it. I like what the previous poster said: "Laugh it off, man." As much as you can, anyway...

Elsha said... [reply]

Although we're only 2 months into our third year, I think I can safely say that this year is the hardest. Since our anniversary in June: I (the sole income earner) was laid off, we moved back in with my parents in another state, we're trying to sell our house, one of our dogs died, one of our cars died (a permanent death), my husband is working full time and going to school full time, and I'm 21 weeks pregnant with insurance that runs out at the end of next month. It's really been a SUPER year so far.

Amy said... [reply]

Our hardest year has been 2008 when we had our first child. It throws your life into such disarray and you are dealing with lots of change and new roles while facing severe sleep shortages. It was an extremely tough year. But we made it through!!! (barely!)

(Life by Candlelight)

mj said... [reply]

What? There's another mj? Okay, so I don't have the most unique initials in the world...

Anyway, since we are only on year two, and year three is going to be year of the first baby and very steep reduction in income, I'm thinking we probably haven't gotten to the hardest year. There have been plenty of hard bits sprinkled here and there along the way, but the pattern has been hard stuff followed by us growing closer and learning to love more.

Okay, the truth is the hardest year was the year before we got married. We dated for two years and knew each other for a couple years before that, so we didn't exactly go into the thing expecting non-stop bliss. We already knew where the disconnect between our personalities and understanding was likely to happen b/c it had already happened many times. The hardest part for us was deciding to be okay with all the challenges of merging lives. Since making that decision, it has simply been a matter of letting it play out. Of course this is only so far, but so far I really like it.

Kip said... [reply]

Ditto to the previous comment. Dating Year 2 was definitely our rockiest year so far. Also, learning the merge finances and make major decisions as a married couple was a challenge I hadn't really anticipated. Years 2 & 3 of marriage have been relatively smooth but I'm sure we'll experience some more drama along the way.

After reading all of the other comments I'm a little apprehensive about this next year being the year of the first baby...

Megs said... [reply]

I've been married for two months. And I'm not going to lie, they've been hard but lovely. I hope we can figure our kinks out soon.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

I'm not sure that we ever had a whole YEAR that was hard, though the first three months of marriage caught me asking every day if I'd made an enormous mistake. I remember when we moved back to Utah as a hard time. Hubby became the stay at home dad while going to grad school, I started a full time job for the first time in five years, we had two kids (one of whom was just six months) and a house in Texas we couldn't sell. I took a "stress test" at a teacher conference I went to. Different stressors were listed with points. I think I scored like 50 points above the level of "stress that will kill you if you don't make some changes." Honestly, if there had been a death in the family that year I would have had to be admitted to a psych ward somewhere.

The thing is, with all of the stress going on, I really loved my job and probably started to feel a bit less than enamored with the whole motherhood thing. I was too tired and distracted for things to work all that well in the intimacy dept and meaningful communication pretty much shut down. We didn't have a dishwasher and so my meal preparation became greatly oversimplified. We lived apart for a month when Plantboy took an internship in another state. When we moved back together, I found a hubby who had just about embraced bachelorhood. So was our state at the start of year seven. Talk about your seven year itch.

I got mad. Then I got weepy. I tried to get manipulative. Then I tried serving him. Guess which one worked? The last three years, even with another baby and another move and a career change, have been the happiest of my life.

Maggie said... [reply]

This year is the hardest by far.

Melissa said... [reply]

Communication is key! My hubby and I have had a rough year and a half. We moved cross country away from everything we knew, including his really nice job. He was unemployed for a bit while looking for new work and after 3 job offers (not locally), accepted a job 70 miles away. We've tried to make the best of seeing each other only on the weekend. Its hard. But we have 6 wonderful years leading up to this rough one and many more happy years planned together.

Heather said... [reply]

Baby One came two months before our first anniversary but things were pretty good. Baby Two came and things were still pretty dang good. By year 5/6 and Baby 3 things unraveled a bit. 4 month bed rest, colic, cerebral palsy, the Hubby finishing his dissertation 600 miles way, with me and three kids living in another state. Multiple times through the year I seriously considered checking myself into the mental ward for a little bit of R&R. I even called a Crisis hotline once.

A relative of ours is a Marriage/Motivational speaker type guy and he told us that your marital satisfaction decreased 20% with every child. That being said, you family satisfaction increases 20% with the addition of a child. So if you're only 80% satisfied with your marriage, adding a child into the mix aint' gunna help much. It's wise to cultivate that marriage before and more vigorously after the kiddos come.

Here's to a satisfying year 2, Miss Nemesis. E

Musings of the Mrs. said... [reply]

We passed the one year mark recently as well. It was not a hard year in the least, notwithstanding our inability to get pregnant and my breaking my knee cap resulting in him having to wait on me for three full months (including driving me to and from work) and not getting any physical relationship in return. Our move-in was smooth, our lifestyles matched, we balanced eachother and had fun. I really feel lucky! I'm glad you do too!

Shannon said... [reply]

Congrats on the anniversary. I can't believe it's been a year for you guys already. We just had our seventh (!!!) anniversary last month.

Our harder times (which thankfully have been few) have come not because of how I am or how he is or how we treat each other--because that's pretty consistently good--but because of outside happenings that affect how we feel about ourselves or how we have to live.

I count this year as a good year of marriage, but a few things have been hard. Unemployment was surprisingly hard for me to adjust to (having two parents in the house, him having a lot more downtime when my schedule as a mom is still full).

Also, having three miscarriages in six months put me through three periods of depression/anxiety. And I just wasn't myself, so our marriage wasn't the same during those times (which was my fault).

But these things pass. What gets us through is that we still love each other and treat each other lovingly. Eventually things normalize and you realize how lucky you actually are.

If you were to ask my husband this same question he'd probably answer differently. I would guess he would cite the year our son was born. Particularly right after the birth, when we were struggling to adjust to new parenthood and especially to the uncertainty of having a son with a disability.

coolmom said... [reply]

Huh? I remember getting married, barely, our first aniversary was in Paris. Started having kids and moving a lot and the rest is a bit blurry. I should've taken more pictures. Years 27 though 32 have been excellent! The onset of grandchildren have been the biggest and the best surprise of all!!! Combined with a few other selfish delights.

chosha said... [reply]

No answer, as I'm not married, but congrats on the anniversary!

Hillary said... [reply]

I think the hardest time in our marriage was from 6 months to 19 months. We had both been living on our own before getting married. I was in law school and working. He was working full time and going to school at night. We started getting pressured to reproduce. We started to disagree about how to handle money. All the newlywed feelings and excitement had worn off. It was definitely hard.

But, on the up side, we made it through and are happier and all the more secure for it.

Ginger said... [reply]

You have struck a cord with this question. I think the "hardest" year is relative to what you are expecting. Our first year was tough financially and because we moved four times. We went into it expecting the worst though so it didn't seem so bad.

Years 3 through 5 were tough since we desperately wanted a baby but couldn't. It drew us closer knowing that we both wanted the same thing and that if nothing else we could adopt or foster a child. Year 6 we had a baby and it has been such an amazing gift. Yes it has made our lives busier but I wouldn't call it "harder" necessarily. Now he is part of the family and we couldn't imagine life without him.

We're now at year 7 and I think this may be the toughest year yet. It is more because of the economic downfall, pay cuts, job loss, losing our house, having to move and knowing that even though we worked so hard in the beginning to make good financial decisions our credit is trashed...that is what this year has been about. I hope it doesn't get worse!?! Again, on the marriage side of things, if you stay united and work together you can get through anything that comes your way. (We have to believe that!!)

Ginger said... [reply]

As a side note, it sounds like we have all had it rough. Here's hoping 2010 is a great year!

Laura said... [reply]

I found this blog linked to my sister's, so you don't know me: I just like the way you write.

Anyway, I've been married going on 9 years. I have to say, the first four years or so were all a blur of insanely uncool hardship -- not so much b/c of us, but because of getting pregnant w/in two months of tying the knot. Then there were the inlaw disagreements, quite a few deaths on my side of the family, loss of my husband's job due to injury, buying a house and the house flooding . . . just seemed like bad luck dogged us.

BUT -- having survived all that and we're still together, I do have to say: What doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. And my husband is my best friend in a way I never even understood before. When people say that their spouse is the most important person in the world to them, I never really got it. I always thought, "What about your mom? Your sisters? Your friends?"

Now I get it.

Jenny said... [reply]

Happy Anniversary!
Let me just say that you never know quite when the worst year will be, but it's hard to focus on that when there are so many good things that happen in between. Teenagers throw in an unexpected "spice" to what you thought you had going as the already best recipe to your life. And it can re-affect your marriage like the newborn. Communication, yes, must be perfected. But Amen Mommy J. I've found that a walk around the block after dinner (the day after) works MUCH better than sitting bleary-eyed in bed at midnight. Twenty years this fall! And it's been a GREAT year.

Nells-Bells said... [reply]

i'm lucky that my hubby likes to pee sitting down (TMI maybe but seriously...i'm so LUCKY!!). we are finishing up our seventh year of marriage and it seriously has been one of the hardest thus far. i think mainly because we now have kids, a more "serious" job and the transition of not having as much time together is rough. so the seven year itch may have a little truth to it. ;)

Joy said... [reply]

A month or so ago I had an hour long phone conversation with two of my aunts and my grandma. My sweet, pastor's wife grandma told me, "The first two years of marriage are absolute hell." Um, thanks?

I can't say too much, as we're almost to the 8 month mark. I do know that the past months of living in a parsonage attached to the church (the huge window in our bedroom looks into the sanctuary, and to do laundry I have to walk through the fellowship hall and church kitchen), my husband working from home because his office has no heat/ac, and me having no job has been a learning experience, to say the least.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Holy DANG, everybody. Thank you so much for your comments. This is by no means me closing anyone off. If you happen by and want to add, please do. I just feel like I need to thank everyone who has been so honest about the things that have challenged them.

Mrs. Clark said... [reply]

Our first year was wonderful, but we'd been engaged for a year and worked through a lot of garbage during that. (I do not recommend this course of action. GH had just been baptized and we wanted to get married in the temple. Although I am glad we did it that way.) However, I will say that I would never put him through school again. Good thing we were newlyweds while he was finishing school.

We've had ups and downs, but overall it's been great. 29 years have gone by very fast!

Anonymous said... [reply]

We've just celebrated 25 years. I can't really believe it and am definitely not old enough to have been married that long!

Hardest year? Well the first year after my son was born was tricky (as others have said). Also had a difficult time when he was about 3 and I discovered hubby wasn't always being the person I thought he was. We got through it though. Worst ever night was when hubby was elsewhere, I woke up sick and was throwing up just as the toddler woke too. I had him sitting in his highchair playing with a toy while I had my head down the toilet!

We have though had some fantastic years. Great holidays, family weddings, first days at school, new jobs, nights out......

New challenge for us is that our son (we have just one) is off to university in a few weeks and we will have to learn to be a married couple again. Like a new chance, but scary too.

Congratulations to you both on reaching the most difficult of milestones 1 year (here's to the next 24!)

Audra said... [reply]

My husband and I are going on our 10th year. We have had ups and downs. First year there was the getting used to each other thing, but I think the thing that never makes any of the years stick out as the worst is we truly are the best of friends and there is no one we would rather hang out with than each other. We really do not have many outside interests besides the family. I go to concerts by myself now and then, but that is about it.

That being said, this year has been crazy as far as crazy things going on. Levi having to resign, opening a business, flip house closing falling through, then 2nd closing being delayed. But we ALWAYS make time for each other and that is important. He will come home tonight, we will sit on the couch, and talk about our day while watching a recorded dating in the dark. It is the little things. The traditions so to speak.

The comment that made me laugh is with each kid marital satisfaction goes down 20%! So, Levi and I are at -40%! Haha!

Honestly, as long as you have common goals, keep each other as your best friend (especially after having kids), and laugh at everything and embrace your common insanity... life will be good!

Congrats on 1 year Eugene!

april said... [reply]

i'm late to this party, but since we just celebrated 14 years of wedded bliss on monday, i feel like posting. i don't think i can pick out one year as the most difficult. they all have their ups and downs; and yes, moves, children and deaths take time to recover from. i do feel that some of the hardest times in life have been accompanied by the biggest blessings.

the biggest thought i had in looking back on our marriage is remembering those who are gone. i've lost my grandma, a baby, my father-in-law, a niece and uncle since i was married all those years ago. this has somewhat thinned that veil for me as i strive to have my children remember them. babies have not always come when i wanted or planned. (two i had to wait for and one was a surprise - as much as a surprise as i can claim as i do know how babies are made). looking back it's all worked out well. for me the biggest change is that instead of being anxious and so curious about what the future holds, i find that i want to slow time down and take in the moment. i realize just how short and precious time with children in my home is.

maybe this is more about life than marriage. for me the trick to a happy marriage was marrying a really great guy with a lot of patience which thankfully i did. it doesn't mean that i don't mind swear when i pick up his shoes for the umpteenth time, but we also don't harp on things.

congrats to you!!! thanks again for a great piece of writing.

Greeneyes said... [reply]

Wow. From the reading, it seems that a key concept in maintaining some modicum of marital harmony involves keeping the family count down to just the two of you. I have to say, I have no kids at this point, but my greatest fear {aside from yielding to the temptation to kick their misbehaving bottoms down the stairs} is the change it would wreak on my friendship with my husband.

Then again, maybe this is the start of what I think will be our hardest year yet. At the beginning of married year 4, I've just packed up my entire life to follow Husby {again} to continue his education. Attitude is of huge importance, but so is being able to laugh with your spouse about all the ups and downs.

And that electric toilet device is a damn fine idea.

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