Marriage Matters: One Year

by Ashton Cude

We’re diving back into our Marriage Matters series this week with something to celebrate. Andrew and I celebrated our one year anniversary last month! I am so grateful to have reached that milestone. The year went by so quickly. The cliché is true: the days are long, but the years are short. As I reflected on our first year of marriage, I came up with some truths that have impacted me as a wife and as a young woman. I’m sharing them here with you today in hopes that they will encourage you where you are.

It’s not that hard.

During our engagement and in our newlywed days, I felt like in order to be ready for marriage I had to prepare for battle. The generation before us often went into marriage with idealistic expectations and an alarming number of their marriages failed. As a result of that, most marital advice given to young couples seeks to prepare them for harsh reality. On days when we didn’t have any conflict or even during really easy weeks, I would feel like we might be doing something wrong it if didn’t feel like an uphill battle. The truth is: LIFE is hard. Like any great undertaking in life, your experience depends on your expectations and effort. Going through life with the person you love most is fun, rewarding, and joyful. Of course, deeply difficult days will come, but your spouse is not the cause of that difficulty. Keep that in perspective and you’re golden.

Men are truly from Mars.

I think we’re all aware that men and women think differently. I’ve seen that play out so much over the last year of marriage. Andrew thinks I’m insane for keeping our home décor in a constant state of revision.  I think he’s insane for being in such a hurry all the time. Not only are men and women on different wavelengths at all times, but we also all have our individual quirks. Learning to accept one another as we are has made our marriage more enjoyable, and at times, more humorous. As a spouse, I also get to work with Jesus in helping Andrew to become the best version of himself. Andrew does the same for me. We could spend a lot of energy being frustrated with one another, and every marriage is going to have those days. But when it’s all said and done, you love your spouse for all of them, not just the parts you agree with.

The best is yet to come. 

While it’s true there is nothing quite like the “honeymoon phase,” I look forward to the future with Andrew. Dreaming together has been such a strength builder for our marriage. We know we can’t get preoccupied with what’s to come or put too much stock in our plans. We just enjoy hoping for what the future might hold. So much of the day-to-day nitty gritty of marriage is about forgiving and forgetting—not dwelling on the past—and being willing to start again and again with a clean slate. Andrew has awakened dreams in me that I would never have opened up about before. I know that I’m more capable with him by my side than I would have been on my own. Remaining hopeful and excited for the adventures ahead keeps us sane on those days when it all gets overwhelming.

So there you have it! Obviously with only one year under my belt, I’m far from a marriage expert. However, I hope the truths that stood out to me from my first year of marriage will be an encouragement to you. Happy Wednesday, friends! By the way, the photos in this post were taken by Laura Bodnar Photography. You may recognize her name from our Friday Favorites posts. She’s a former Twirl Girl and a recent UK grad. Check out work on her website.