A friend "interviewed" me for a paper she is writing for her Eternal Marriage class. I thought I would share my answers here too since marriage is an important thing and all and so I can keep my answers for future reference and just because it is fun to share some of what I have learned in marriage!
1. What is the best part of married life so far?
Always having someone there to support you, someone to make goals with and achieve them, who shares your same values and outlook on life!
2. What are some of the challenges of marriage so far?
Putting his needs before my own is often a challenge of humility, patience, understanding and sacrifice (but once you do it in the right spirit it doesn't seem like such a sacrifice.) Also, talking things out is a challenge for me. I have a tendency to ignore conflict and just say everything is okay but it is always better to bring it out in the open and say how you are honestly feeling by communicating those things and in turn having him respond and then everything really is okay once you can talk things out and set them right.
3. How realistic were your expectations about marriage prior to being married?
I think they were pretty realistic. I felt prepared for the changes and transitions. I think it is really important to know who you are marrying BEFORE and what kind of relationship you have BEFORE and how you deal with conflict BEFORE getting married so that way there are no big surprises. I think we did a pretty good job of really getting to know each other before by asking a lot of questions and meeting each other's families. Those things really prepared us for what to expect marriage to be like so once we were married it felt like it was just an extension of dating and of what we had already established so not too much changed. The only thing that was a big change for me though, at first, was that I thought we would be together more of the time, maybe even all of the time now that we were married. Except we still had our normal lives of school, work, homework and then chores at home so really in a day we really had to make the extra effort to make time for each other which turned out to be just a few hours in a day...so reality sort of hit that way for me!
4. Prior to marriage, what were some of the things that made you nervous about marriage?
How we would deal with trials together and what those trials would be. This made me really nervous for some reason and it just scared me that we wouldn't be prepared for a big bad thing that would seemingly come in the way of our happy life.
5. Now that you are married, are you still nervous about the same types of things?
Looking back, once we started having trials, we knew exactly how to handle them and because of the relationship we had grown and developed with each other, and with the Lord, it wasn't hard to go about facing the challenges we came across, in the right way. So I guess we were better prepared than I thought. Now I am more nervous about how our relationship will grow and change when we have children and how we will raise them!
6. If you were making a list of things you wish you would have known about marriage before getting married, what would be on your list?
I knew marriage would be hard in some ways but I didn't know how much FUN and WONDERFUL it really would be and how much more you come to love that person you thought you could never love any more than you possibly did! Every day you find more and more to love about them!
7. What advice would you give to a newlywed couple to help them with the transition to being married?
-Forgive fast and first (& don't ever hold grudges or past offenses against them.)
-Don't stay mad at each other for more than 20 minutes...work things out.
-Think of your spouse's needs before your own.
-Tell them you love and appreciate them every day!
-Start saying couple prayers your first night together and every morning and night after that.
-Always stay active in your ward and callings.
-Respect and support the priesthood in your home.
-Make a habit of studying the scriptures together.
-Read your patriarchal blessings together and turn to them often.
-Start having FHE together now so it becomes a habit (Even if it feels awkward at times with just the two of you. haha.)
-Go to the temple together at least once a month!
-Do chores like preparing meals, cleaning the kitchen/dishes and laundry together.
-Shop for groceries together.
-Make a budget together and stick to it! (Mint.com is great!)
-Don't share your conflicts with anyone else and don't complain or speak evil of your spouse to your parents/family/friends. Keep those things between you and your spouse and work them out together.
-Turn to your spouse for advise first, not your parents or friends.
-Make decisions together & openly communicate in all you do.
-Get to know and love your in-laws. (Visit, call and email them every so often! Keep them involved in your lives just as you would your own parents/family...they are your family now!)
-Play games, laugh, have fun, invite people over, have at least 2 inside jokes between the two of you always!
-Keep flirting with each other and go on weekly dates!
-Continue journaling and take lots of pictures to remember this time!
8. How long have you been married?
1 year and 10 months