I’m a married man! Just over one month ago, Renée and I stood together at the front of a tiny Catholic church in Tauranga, New Zealand. We vowed to be faithful to each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love and honour each other all the days of our lives. And just like that, we were husband and wife.
With a two-week honeymoon in Bali, followed by two weeks back at work (paying for the two weeks away in Bali!), there hasn’t been much time for blogging. But one month in, I wanted to share some thoughts on the start of married life.
First and foremost…
SHARING A BED IS WEIRD
Having a spouse, I have quickly learnt, is a lot like having a totally non-optional hot water bottle. No matter how warm the evening, I’ve got this human hot water bottle beside me who absolutely radiates heat.
What’s more, my hot water bottle wants me to hold it close. My hot water bottle wants to rest its head against my chest. My hot water bottle has a mane of long hair that constantly gets in my mouth.
Don’t get me wrong, not having to say goodbye to each other when 10pm rolls around is the best thing ever. But when you’ve gone your entire life sleeping by yourself, sharing a bed with someone else takes some getting used to.
IT’S AWESOME NOT HAVING TO PLAN A WEDDING
As I mentioned in a previous post, wedding planning can become all consuming. The closer you get to the big date, the more frantic everything becomes. In the month leading up to our wedding, every shred of free time I had was spent emailing vendors, creating playlists, and communicating with friends and family.
A week later, sitting in our honeymoon villa, I felt more than a little delight deleting every last to-do list and excel spreadsheet we had accumulated.
All of a sudden, we have all this time to just be married. And trust me, you need it. Regardless of how similar you think you both are prior to marriage, living under the same roof quickly highlights the differences. It turns out you believe radically different things about how many pillows should be on the bed (and a few other things besides!).
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MARRIAGE CHANGES EVERYTHING… SORT OF
In the months leading up to our wedding, I lost count of the number of married couples who said some version of “we’re SO excited for you, marriage is AWESOME.” They’re right, marriage is awesome. You get to have sex, you get to sleep over with your best friend every night, you get to eat peanut butter ice-cream on the couch together whenever you want.
But unless you’re marrying into the Royal Family, your life before you get married will still be your life after you get married. Renée and I still have to go to work, we still do chores, we still feel like there aren’t enough hours in each day. The things we fought about before we got married are still the things we fight about now.
I’m not saying anything new here, but I think it’s definitely true that Christians can make an idol out of marriage. Singleness is a unique season to serve the Lord, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, but marriage is the goal. Marriage is where you want to be in 2–5 years’ time. Marriage is what’s going to give you that sense of completeness in your life.
Except that it won’t. When Renée and I exchanged our wedding vows, there wasn’t this moment of wondrous transformation where we suddenly realised that we hadn’t truly been living until this moment.
We’re still the same people. We still struggle with insecurities, still get mad at each other, and still occasionally fart in bed. Marriage is just the next step in learning to love each other and hopefully becoming saints.
YOUR PRIORITIES CHANGE
Just over a month ago, I would read before bed every evening. For around 30 minutes, I would cast off the worries of the day for the latest written masterpiece by Brandon Sanderson.
Not anymore. Now, in the 30 minutes before bed, I pray with my wife and we talk about the day.
The first month of marriage has involved dozens of these little shifts in our priorities. I want to buy a new pair of shoes? I’m going to hold off, so we can spend that money decorating our new home. I want to chill on my laptop all weekend? I’m not going to, because my wife (who works from home) wants to get out of the house.
All of a sudden, there is this other person in every corner of my life, and my vocation is to put her first. Even if it means I don’t get to read my book.
I FREAKING LOVE BEING MARRIED
It’s surreal to be writing this as a married man. The last month has been non-stop changes and we’re still a while away from figuring out what our new “normal” is.
Looking back at everything I’ve shared about our relationship on this blog, from trying to be intentional while dating to our struggles with physical boundaries, all I can say is that it has been so, so worth it.
I freaking love being married. That’s the thought that has crossed my mind again and again these past few weeks. In the weeks, months, and years to come, I’m excited to keep sharing the journey.