A couple laughing and embracing

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that there’s no manual for marriage as a newlywed. Sure, there are plenty of self-help books and great resources to set you up for success like marriage counseling.

After being married for almost two years, I like to think marriage is like jumping into a waterfall. You can try your best to explain it to someone, but they won’t fully understand it until they’ve jumped too. Once their two feet have left the ledge, they are completely immersed into the mystery, the thrill, the fear and all the life-changing emotions that come when you say “I do.” 

Marriage is a daring adventure that exposes every part of a person. It requires courage and vulnerability. It challenges everything you’ve ever known and exchanges comfort for growth. 

Marriage….challenges everything you’ve ever known and exchanges comfort for growth. 

When I first began dating my husband eight years ago, we had so many friends, family members and random strangers offer their round of advice to us. People would love to tell us what marriage was really like and would love to dish on everything they thought we “needed” to know. Yet, all of it couldn’t have prepared me for the big transition.

After marrying someone, you’re not just letting go of your former life. You’re completely starting fresh and building something new with someone else. You’ve invited someone into your most sacred and most personal spaces to dream alongside you and to create a world together.

You transition into shared spaces and shared expenses—shared everythingIf you’re a newlywed and you’ve felt the shift of change within your life, then you’re good company.

Marriage affirms that life is constantly changing and teaches us how to adapt.

Our first year in marriage, we were faced with a reality that no one felt prepared for—a pandemic and time of global unrest. When I say everything changed, I can honestly say nothing felt familiar. That in itself developed into a form of trauma. While I’d known my husband for so many years, I had never known what it was like to truly share a life together—one that required us balancing our finances, selecting what we’d stock our fridge with, deciding what to eat for dinner and understanding each other’s differences.

Coming from a strong Hispanic, independence-driven home life, I had to learn how to lean on my spouse and depend on him, contrary to the self-reliant tendencies I had cultivated early on in my life. Marriage encourages us to let our walls down and learn to depend on the other person in the relationship. 

Marriage encourages us to let our walls down and learn to depend on the other person in the relationship. 

Marriage inspires us to find refuge in our spouse—leaning on each other through the good and bad moments. 

It’s an amazing thing to have a life partner, especially when you have found someone you can trust wholeheartedly. Life is so unpredictable. It’s filled with unexpected moments—both joyful and devastating. It does so much good for your soul when you can come home to the person who will walk by your side through every season. 

Whether you’re reading this and you’re an introvert or extrovert, you need the affirmation of having someone who will carry your days with you. We need each other in order to grow and develop into the best versions of ourselves. That support can be so life-changing when it’s given by the right person!

Marriage brings out the best and worst in you. So it’s important to have as much grace as possible.

Every marriage has its disagreements and flaws. There’s not one marriage that is perfect! There are differences of opinions, differences in preferences and differences in mindsets. When you’re a newlywed, sometimes your pitfalls seem to come to the surface more as you continue to navigate this new season together.

Something I’ve learned alongside my husband is to surround ourselves with healthy accountability—people we can trust to navigate life together. When questions pop up and we need help resolving conflict, these are the people we lean on within our inner circle to help us walk through these differences.

The beauty of marriage is that you both see things differently, even if you married someone who is very similar to you. You both see the world differently. You both interpret things and receive messages differently. And guess what? That’s OK!

You will learn how to embrace your differences and how to leverage them.

When you return from your honeymoon, you are met with the reality that marriage actually requires effort. It’s hard work! It’s a daily choice to love the other person, even when you don’t feel like it. It’s a daily choice to show forgiveness, grace, compassion and determination for the relationship.

Your differences are reminders that you both are unique and bring something fresh to the table. Learn to listen and appreciate your partner’s views so you can both find respect for the way you each process life. Communicate the things that matter most to you and fight to maintain mutual respect at all times.

Communicate the things that matter most to you and fight to maintain mutual respect at all times.

Marriage requires sacrifice, but it is so worth it. Never let petty arguments keep you from fully appreciating the treasure that is your marriage. Dive in deep, stay humble and find ways to show your love through action.

The best way to build a healthy foundation is to let go of your expectations and be present in the moment. Take on every experience you have together as a learning curve. If there’s anything I’ve learned as a newlywed, it’s to choose my battles wisely and to always leap at the opportunity to serve one another. 

Also, always remember goodnight kisses, to order takeout for at-home movie nights and to wash the dishes together. These things go a long way!

What lessons have you learned in marriage? What is some marriage advice that you were given that proved to be true?

Image via Valarie Duran Photography

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