Monday, December 5, 2016

The Best Thing for Our Marriage


There’s a lot of marriage myths out there. “The first years the hardest,” "never go to bed angry," "the seven year itch" etc. etc...honestly I don't think there's one absolute truth that applies to every marriage because we're all so different and our relationships are so different. But I know for me, those first six months were hands down the toughest. I think we hurt each other's feelings more, cried more, and disagreed the most. For the majority of the time we were happy, but we definitely struggled more then than we do now. I pinpoint this shift in our marriage to one little thing.

The best thing for our marriage was moving 2,000 miles away from our families. Not because our families don’t get along or one family was overinvolved or any messy family dynamics like that. In fact, we often talk about how lucky we are to have each others families, and what good people they are.

But those first six months with them close by were hard. It wasn't their physical presence that made things hard, but the mental escape they provided. Tayler and I were still getting used to each other, figuring out our patterns, learning to live with each other’s quirks. And every time we disagreed, argued, or misunderstood each other I defaulted to home. 

Home, a mere 10 minutes away, where my family knew my behaviors; where my role was clear and acknowledged, where I could so easily shrink back into my adolescent shell while my mom made dinner, my dad took care of the bills, and my responsibilities were minor. Home was close, and home was easy. I think when either of us felt hurt, we would compare our current home situation to what the situation would be just a few miles down the road. 

A year ago today we made the decision to move across the country. Moving to Virginia created a span of miles that broke the mental bridge I had to my parent’s house. When we arrived in a place where the only person we knew was each other, we became a real team. Once we got here and our intended house was abandoned and water damaged, we relied on each other to search online ads, call realtors, and hunt for rental signs for a place to sleep that night. When I heard of the death of a sweet friend back home, Tayler was my comfort. Sunday dinners were no longer passed off to parents; it became our day to spend quality time together. On the weekends our free time didn’t go to visiting family but to being with each other, discovering new hobbies, and starting new traditions. 

Obviously this isn’t our preferred permanent solution-in 10 years I want to be in Utah and have all my family living within a 30 mile radius. We miss our families and we hate missing all the milestones in our nieces' and nephews' lives. But for your first year when your building your identity as couple, I believe that isolating yourself on a little island of a new life, learning to swim and survive with each other, is the best foundation for your marriage. At least it has been for ours. 


2 comments:

  1. Totally agree. As the scriptures say, we are to cleave to our spouse. You two are awesome! Thanks for another amazing blog post!

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