My husband and I recently celebrated our “6-monthiversary.” With the turbulence of the Spring, I find it impossibly hard to believe that it’s only been six months since the day we said: “I Do.” The world has gone through a lot of changes since our small wedding, and I think we’ve grown more in the past six months than we thought we would.
In addition to the new marriage, we’ve also gone through this amazing, uncertain career transition. I’ve had to adjust in a lot of ways, but it also forced our relationship to change. We continue to learn about each other every day, but the lessons below are the ones that stand out from the first chapter of our marriage.
It’s all about the give-and-take
We all go through seasons in life. I’m not talking about winter-spring-summer-fall. I mean seasons of change. Since our marriage only six short months ago, I’ve gone through several seasons emotionally. I changed careers and settled into a life of permanent remote work. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve leaned heavily on my husband for support.
While I’m relying on him during this period, I know the time will come where he needs to lean on me just as much. And I need to be prepared to be there for him when it does. A relationship is a delicate balancing act of encouraging your partner to fly but being there in case they fall. I have to say my husband has been the most wonderfully supportive human during this time, and I feel incredibly blessed to call him mine.
Find pleasure in the mundane
With the virtual shutdown of everything we used to know, we truly haven’t done a lot over the last six months. The week after we returned from our honeymoon, the days of dining out and meeting friends for drinks were gone. We retreated into our safety net of home and, for the most part, have been here since. (Except for a great road trip with our furbaby.)
This period at home has taught me to celebrate the little moments. We’ve cooked many delicious meals, enjoyed the occasional bottle of wine in the middle of the week just because, and treasured walking the dog together. We don’t need a vacation or excitement to appreciate just being together. And I hope that’s a lesson that never fades.
Discuss the big stuff
The uncertainty of the last six months has put us in the mindset of thinking hard about the type of life we want to live. We’ve had in-depth discussions about moving, children, where we see ourselves five or ten years down the line, careers, and love. Now, of course, these were all conversations we had in some way before our marriage. But the depth and detail of the past few months is unsurpassed. It’s incredible how time allows you that gift.
Make sure to listen and understand why your partner feels the way they do. Then use these conversations to build a bridge together. A few details might change each time you talk about things, but you must be heading in the same direction down the road.
My husband and I both like to read. We decided early in the Spring that we’d throwback to our favorite series, Harry Potter and that we’d both plan to read (him) and listen (me) to the books at the same time. After several months we both finished and are now working our way through the movies (which will never be as good, sad to say.) Sharing the fictional world’s experience gave us something fun to talk about and opened up discussions about some of the more adult themes of the books. It was great fun while it lasted, but we probably should’ve started with another series because now we can’t find one that doesn’t pale in comparison.
Make future plans
While many of the things we planned on and wanted to do this year have been canceled or put on hold, it hasn’t stopped us from making plans for the future. We know the next few years will likely mean changes for our small family, and we desperately want to travel before it happens. It’s important to remember that while things seem stagnant now, you can still keep your dreams big and mentally plan dream vacations and adventures. Having something to look forward to together is a way to keep your bond strong, even when it feels like things will never be normal again.
With so much going wrong in the world right now, it can be more challenging than usual to be thankful. In addition to gratitude for the health of ourselves and our families, we’ve expressed a lot of appreciation for the fact that we were even able to be married in the first place. We’ve also felt an overwhelming empathy for anyone forced to make a change to their wedding plans. Things work out the way they do for a reason, and it’s inspiring to see how people are scaling down their celebrations to find a way to recognize their love.
I’m happy to say we’ve emerged from the first six months unscathed and we’re onto the next step in our relationship. Above all, we’ve remembered to love each other, be kind, and take it all a day at a time. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, and things can change in an instant—cheers to thriving every day and to many more 6-monthiversaries.