Reflections on married life
I cannot believe it has been a year.
My wife and I were married on Aug. 1, 2020. It seems just like yesterday. Mask restrictions were in effect, and we were all trying to get through life in a global pandemic. So much felt uncertain, except for the love we shared for each other.
Our life since has been nothing short of a wonderful adventure. Waking up and ending each day with the woman I love has been a dream come true. I cannot imagine the past year with anyone else. I am more in love with my wife now than I was when I married her a year ago. She is a precious gift to me.
I’ve learned so many lessons over the last year. For me, marriage has proven to be the sweetest of adventures. I’ve found that being married has shifted my perspective, challenged my thinking, and identified areas for continued growth. The joy of marriage is that we get to change and grow together, while defining what we want our marriage to be.
As I reflect on our one-year anniversary of marriage, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned. While everyone’s journey is different, I hope that at least part of what I share resonates with you.
For starters, our emotions and how we communicate them, often affect our partner. If I am having a bad day, that effects the person I share life with. If I’m grumpy, sad, angry, happy or joyful, that effects my spouse, too.
I’ve also learned the importance of communication. Everyone talks about this before getting married—but I understand it’s importance more now. Open and honest conversations with my spouse help illuminate our path forward. It’s not just what we communicate, though. It’s also how we communicate it. When in conflict, addressing each other respectfully while clearly communicating our points of view goes a long way toward building understanding and trust.
Megan and I share almost everything together. She is my greatest advisor and confidant on all matters, both personal and professional. When I need a listening ear for a challenge I’m facing at work, she’s there to help. I do the same for her. She edits much of my writing, including my columns.
We talk about every topic we can think of—current events, psychology, politics, faith, leadership, and management styles. We are each other’s greatest cheerleaders – supporting each other through successes and failures. We share everything together because we enjoy spending time together—but also because it keeps our marriage strong. There is nothing more special to me than looking across the dinner table and sharing my day with the woman of my dreams.
The most important lesson I’ve learned is the importance of boundaries. Marriage is a great opportunity to reassess various aspects of life: what’s working well? What’s not working as well? What do I want or need to change, for my well-being or my partner’s?
As a side note, evaluating one’s life choices is a great idea to do regularly and doesn’t require marriage as an impetus for doing so.
For instance, before meeting Megan, I tended to work long hours. I still work plenty of hours, but I’ve realized that my marriage is more important than logging another hour sending work emails or promoting my book.
My marriage comes first. Sometimes, that might mean changing how I’ve operated in the past. But I’ve learned first-hand how vital it is to fight for my marriage, make changes, and set boundaries when need be.
I believe life is precious. We all know that life is short. I only get to live this exact moment once. Being married to Megan has given me a newfound sense of purpose and reinforced the notion that time is fleeting.
I want to spend every moment I can with Megan, and I want to make every moment count. This means approaching our life together with the intent of prioritizing each other’s needs, learning to love each other better each day, and finding ways to strengthen our relationship. Each day is a gift.
One year later and many things in life remain uncertain. Will this pandemic ever lift? Will life go back to “normal”? What will the next year bring? No matter what happens, I can tell you that there is no one I’d rather spend it with than Megan. Marrying her is the best decision I’ve ever made.