I know this is true about me and I am guessing it is true about many others too based on common conversations that I have. As life events come and go, people want to know about them. I’ve caught myself laughing as I’ve asked newly engaged friends how the wedding planning is going because I remember answering that question so many times during our engagement. Now that the wedding is over, I’ve begun to answer “how’s married life?” more than I had imagined. I thought people would move on, but the sweet people I encounter still want to stay in touch and talk about life and I so appreciate that! I am a weird person and if I don’t think through these responses ahead of time, then I end up just saying short, cliché responses (terrible conversationalist alert) like “life is good”, “it’s great”, etc. When enough people ask me the same question multiple times, I get the chance to actually start to formulate a response and engage in conversation. All that to say, married life is so many things: crazy, funny, weird, normal, silly, boring, and sometimes really super-duper insanely hard. Some of those adjectives don’t go together and that is why it is hard to explain in one word. I feel like if I were to answer my question on any one day with just one word then it would change every day and almost never be the same. If you have ever asked me how married life is, then thank you. Thank you for caring to ask about such an interesting and personal topic and for listening to my response (albeit either one worded or too long). If I have answered your question with “crazy, funny, weird, normal, silly, boring, or sometimes really super-duper insanely hard” then here is the background to those answers and the response I wish I could use (also featuring some old and random photos to illustrate).
“Married Life is Crazy”
When I say life if crazy, I probably have had an average day: Alarm goes off. I jump out of bed (after hitting snooze a dangerous number of times), get ready for work, make lunch, get dressed, pile everything we will need for the day by the door, scarf down breakfast, enter freezing car, drop off Xavier at school, drive to work, work for 8 hours, pick Xavier up, go home, make dinner, clean up dinner, do homework, work on photography business, go to bed before I pass out on the floor while Xavier works on grading exams from his TA job. I underestimated the time it would take to do simple things like keep ourselves fed and the time it would take to drive everywhere with only one car. (Don’t get me wrong, driving to and from work with someone to chat with is super wonderful. And splitting the daily tasks is a huge relief. It just feels CRAZY sometimes!) (Also, I know this is far less than many people do in a day, for me it seems like a lot but I am sure I will keep growing in this area).
“Married Life is Funny”
I used to say that the reason I laughed so much was because if I wasn’t laughing, then I’d be crying. There are days that are crazy, but there are so many moments that make those days some of the funniest ones I’ve ever lived. Like when we locked ourselves out of our apartment and car three hours before the office opened (so thankful for neighbors like the Fellers who came to our rescue!). In situations like that, Xavier turns on his inner comedian and makes the situation so much more bearable with laughter.
“Married Life is Weird”
Real talk moment. Sharing a bed with someone is weird. The covers are hard to share… the fitted sheet has double the chances of popping off in the middle of the night… the different body temperatures make the bedroom a Fahrenheit battle… the sleep breath is gross, and if the pillows get switched, I will notice. Most nights Xavier ends the evening by saying, “I’m not mad at you, I just want to roll over to have my face in the fan.” At which point, we both face our respective fans and drift off to our preferred air movement setting.
“Married Life is Normal”
There are a lot of days that it seems like we have been married for years because being married seems so “normal”. I love it. I love that we are comfortable with one another. I love that we don’t rely on texting to communicate. I love that we see each other for most of our meals and experience less goodbyes. I love that we are starting to form little habits (like triple checking to make sure we have the keys every time we leave the apartment).
“Married Life is Silly”
I guess this is kind of like ‘funny’ but in my mind they are different. One of my favorite things about living with my best friend is that we can be total goof balls and not care what anyone else thinks. I don’t know why, but we always have to eat ice cream out of the carton on the floor instead of at the table in bowls. Sometimes we fear for our future children. They will have a strong chance of forming super odd habits.
“Married Life is Boring”
Now I don’t think this is all negative and this probably isn’t the case for a lot of people, but coming from such a big family, there are many times when Xavier is focused on studying and I get bored simply from not having a million options of people to talk to (side note: Xavier is ALWAYS willing to talk to me but I feel bad interrupting him over and over when he is trying to get stuff done). I do admit, the silence can be really nice at times and I usually end up cooking or doing stuff that I should be doing anyway, but it is strange to live with just one person. I wish our puppy could live with us. I can still hear m mom’s response to the classic “I’m bored”. She would say “I bet I can come up with something for you to do”. That small mental dialogue is usually enough to get me to either call home and connect with my siblings or motivate me to work on homework or something that needs to be done.
“Married Life is sometimes Really Super-Duper Insanely Hard”
Growing up, I heard things like “Marriage is so hard and so much work, but so worth it”… After only three months, I am starting to see the truth to that statement. Going into it, it seemed so big and important (and it is!!) but more than that it is still about living each day for God’s glory and being willing to be faithful in the smallest of things. I can spend time complaining about how tired I am, how difficult school is, and how I don’t want to go shopping, or I can choose to look past dirty clothes on the floor, an overflowing trash can and not let the “wrong” toilet paper drive me insane. These seemingly minuscule things be really hard to do when my perspective is so me-focused. Last year I would have been happy to even be in the position I am in right now. Just living everyday life with the person I love. Now, I get grumpy because I am caught up in wanting everything to be perfect and easy. I want my opinions to matter the most and my ideas to always succeed. I don’t want to throw away 5 pounds of ground beef because I forgot to freeze it in time. I want our puppy to be able to live with us – I don’t want to think about how our apartment is too small and cramped. Instead of complaining, I want to trust that God has a plan to sanctify us both through this marriage and the small daily choices. I am so thankful that God is faithful and steadfast. Even when marriage seems to engulf so many different adjectives and emotions, God never changes. I have to trust that He will finish the work He has started in our lives and that He will carry us through to the day of completion. Wild to think that this is just scratching the surface.
I’ve loved the last 107 days so much. I know we have endless things to still learn, but I am thankful for the constant question of “how’s married life” because it has caused me to contemplate and see where God has begun to work.
// And now aren’t you thankful that you didn’t get this response when you asked? \\