Chase and I are in Fort Wayne, IN for a wedding this weekend. My niece is getting married. I was 12 when she was born and it is hard to believe that
she and her fiancé will be starting their lives together. When Ryan and I got married, she had just graduated high school!
I have attended two other weddings this year. Each time I attend a wedding, I think back to day of our wedding and how we as a couple have faced each new experience and challenge since exchanging our vows. Three of the best pieces of advice I was given prior to our wedding are the following:
- You’re a team
- You’re still an individual
- The wedding is just the beginning
The first two ideas are broad and, on the surface, contradictory. I tell the couple at whose wedding I’m attending to remember: You’re Team “Insert Last Name Here” now. I think our society often pits husbands and wives against each other. So I think it is of paramount importance that we remember we are on the same team as our spouse or partner. Though you may have different personal goals, you as a couple want the same thing: to share a home, life, have pets and/or kids, travel, etc. or at least you should and if you haven’t discussed these things, you need to before inviting 300 of your nearest and dearest friends to witness your nuptials. In the course of your marriage, you should remember that it is not about winning. It is about making your partner feel respected and heard, while also getting what you need. And remember, you need to have team meetings every once in awhile to be sure that your needs are met and that you are presenting a united front.
Ryan and I don’t have a lot of disagreements or fights about things because we address our concerns right away when we have them and we choose our battles. Oh, and we know when to just walk away from the other person if they are in a not so lovely mood and address the issue later. Ryan is very good at that.
That being said, though you are uniting with the love of your life, you are still and always will be an individual. Your partner married you for a reason…that reason is because he or she loves you for you. “You” encompass a lot of things. Be sure to remember who you are as individual. Your personal goals are still important. Any partner will honor and encourage that.
Thank goodness for Ryan. He knows me well and understands that though I am enjoying being a married mom of two boys, most of the time, I still have both educational and professional goals. These things lie outside of the realm of marriage and motherhood. Though I will be tackling these challenges from the perspective of wife and mom, they are still my goals.
The wedding is just the first day of the rest of your life. Though the wedding day is a blast, it is one day. All of the planning and stress and worry of how that day is going to play out is for nothing if you are not prepared to put that much energy into your marriage. If you don’t have a plan for how you and your spouse are going to confront the issues you’ll face, get one started. I had a bridal binder that was by my side for a good 18 months. Now, I work each day to approach my marriage with the same organization and clarity. I don’t carry around a binder but I am mindful of each decision I make as it relates to our family. TEAM FRIEDER!
So now that we have those important things established, it’s on to the fun of the weekend. Chase gets to see his cousins and I get to have dinner and drinks with an old boss, to whom I will now be related to through marriage! Pretty cool if you ask me!