All photos by Ivory Door Studio
If I had to sum up the first year of marriage using one word it would be AMAZING!!! If you’re dating or engaged and you think you love your mate just wait until after you’re married. The love only deepens and intensifies. Some nights before we both fall asleep I’ll look at Anthony and say, “dude, can you believe we’re married?” He usually replies, “Sheena, when are you going to realize this is real? Please go to sleep it’s late lol.” That’s usually how things go around our house, I’m constantly driving him insane, but he continues to stay by my side and enjoy this crazy ride.
As previously stated, I’m a non-traditional wife, and I’ve had to learn to shut out all the white noise and judgement I receive. I know if I’m subjected to this then other wives, fiancés and girlfriends are too. I like to provide you guys with a few things I’ve learned during my first year as a wife.
1. Marriage is NOT one size fits all!
2. I know Wu-Tang said CREAM (Cash Rules Everything Around ME) but I beg to differ and say that Communication rules EVERYTHING in my house.
3. Dating is GREAT for the soul of your marriage.
4. Arguments are normal, but remember to “fight fairly and try to gain a win in the end”.
5. My husband is pretty darn AMAZING!!!
YOUR marriage is YOUR marriage!!! If it works for YOU then that’s all that matters. When Anthony and I first started dating I informed him that I didn’t want to change my last name (say what). He wasn’t too crazy about it at first, but then he realized it was something that made me happy. Our wedding hashtag was HutchStew Say I Do. His last name is Hutchinson and mine is Steward, so everyone has conformed and they call us HutchStew. Our joint Christmas presents said “To HutchStew” (you gotta love when your mom plays along lol). Another clutch your pearls moment, I’m a southern wife and can’t cook (again…say what). Anthony and I dated for 4.5 years before he proposed, so there was no surprised to him that when we got married I wouldn’t cook every night. He loves to cook and I love to eat lol. I’ve let the white noise/judgement get to me on occasions and each time he’s sat me down, looked me in my eyes and said if I wanted someone who took my last name and cooked me meals I would have married her. He lets me know that what people don’t see is all the other valuable things I do for him and us that are needed for this marriage to flourish. I’ve been “the quirky girl” all my life so marriage wasn’t going to change that. I’m thankful to have someone that is open minded and accepts me as I am! So when you feel yourself listening to the white noise PLEASE remember MARRIAGE IS NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL!
Major key alert! Say it with me…C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N is huge in marriage! If your mate says something in a tone or in a way that you don’t like or you think is offensive, first STOP and THINK before you say a word. Most of the time things aren’t what they seem and you’ve simply misinterpreted what was said. Whenever we have any type of miscommunication I like to get to the “root” of it all. Yep, I’m the one that will stretch out a 5 minute conversation to an hour. Outside looking in it may seem annoying (okay I’m 100% sure Anthony finds it annoying sometimes too), but trust me it all works out in the end. When you get to the root then you’re able to find out the real problem and not just the on the surface issue.
Remember when you were a kid and were sick? One of your parents always came through with the chicken noodle soup. It felt warm and soothing to your soul. That’s how dating feels to the soul of marriage. Yep, warm and soothing! Think about all the times your mate has surprised you or asked you out for a date. You’re happy, excited and anxious because of the anticipation. That’s how I feel EVERY week because I know Anthony and I have a date planned. It’s built in weekly quality time and it strengthens our marriage. Depending on what the date is it can teach you a few life lessons and make you see a different side to your mate. I understand that everyone’s schedules are different therefore weekly dates don’t work for some. But I do suggest at least a monthly date. Make sure the soul of your marriage is constantly fed!
Arguments, hey let’s face it they happen! Remember to fight fairly. What does that mean? It means sticking to the topic. Don’t bring up something from 6 months ago. Deal with that another time because it only muddies the waters of the argument at hand. Fighting fairly also means being open and present during the argument. You can’t resolve the issue if one of you isn’t fully there and open! Always try to gain a win in the end. No, that doesn’t mean have a judge come in and hold up the arm of the winner of the argument. The win I’m referring to is making sure you gain something from the argument. Even if it’s a small win. If your communication is on point you’ll be able to identify the “win” at the end of the argument.
Lastly, my husband is pretty darn AMAZING!!! We should ALL think this. Anthony and I balance one another. If it wasn’t for him my house concerts would go on until the wee hours of the morning lol. I’d probably be hurt because I like to climb, jump and have American Ninja Warrior at our house. He turns into a dad and lets me know running full speed trying to jump over the sleigh part of our bed is not a good idea (true story). He is extremely focused and will do anything in his power to make sure I have everything I want and need in life. Anthony is my biggest supporter and keeps me on task. He’s inspiring and very open minded. I’ve asked Anthony to do some dare devil things I knew he wasn’t comfortable with, but he says a prayer, looks at me and says I must really love you to do this (his words before he climbed the trapeze ladder lol). Anthony is eye candy! Seriously, look at him. He’s my biggest supporter, but I’m his as well. Anthony is extremely focused. He sets goals and CRUSHES them!!!
Again, HutchStew’s first year of marriage has been amazing! We’re currently on a beach in Cancun, Mexico celebrating year number one.
Until next time loves…