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7 Things I Didn’t Expect about My First Year of Marriage

  • Jordan Sok Contributing Writer
  • Updated Mar 04, 2019
7 Things I Didn’t Expect about My First Year of Marriage

Well, the day is finally here—our first anniversary! Year one is officially in the books! 

I’ve thought about this day many times thanks to the classic “We Had the Best Year Ever” anniversary Facebook posts—an expected post of course if you follow the unspoken Facebook protocol. 

But I can’t help but think that many of the reflections I have about this first year are a lot different than what I thought they would be.

Here are 7 things about the first year of marriage that I didn’t expect:

1. To have a child.

Brandon and I swore we wouldn’t even think about children in the first year of our marriage. Three months in and our baby came home to us (that would be our dog, Izzy). 

2. Some things were way easier than I predicted.

Budgeting, cooking, living with a messy man—all things I thought were going to cause a ton of stress actually didn’t cause too much. Don’t get me wrong; there were moments when I burned the chicken or he left his shavings on the bathroom sink that caused me lose my cool a little, but overall I really enjoy living with Brandon. Please don’t tell him I said that.

3. Some things were way harder than I predicted.

I don’t believe the classic line, “The first year is the hardest” is true for everyone but I’d have to say I hope it’s true for us. We have had some rough times and honestly, we still are. Now that’s something not every anniversary post on Facebook will admit. This point leads me to my next one…

4. The struggles you have before you are married remain your struggles after you are married.

We have had to learn this one the hard way. Whatever junk is there before marriage is still there after marriage. Not only is it there, it causes a much bigger mess than when it was just your struggle as a single. This has been my anxiety. I’ve always been a fearful person, but it wasn’t a big deal when it didn’t affect someone else every day. Now it’s an obvious roadblock to our intimacy. BUT the mess it creates leads to a positive…

5. When your junk is exposed in marriage, you can’t ignore it anymore. 

You have two choices when your struggle comes to the light in marriage: decide it’s there to stay or do something about it. Ignoring it isn’t an option. It’s like marriage puts a spotlight on the dark areas of our hearts. I’m thankful that Brandon and I have decided to do something about our junk and not let it eat away at our union. “Doing something about it” can’t be in our power, though. We tried that. Which leads me to my next point…

6. Marriage makes you realize your need for a Savior. 

Not every couple hits rock bottom due to their “junk” during their first year of marriage, but eventually every marriage will. It’s the most painful feeling in the world, but also the best thing that can happen. It’s when our marriage feels like it’s falling apart that we realize our depravity and our need for the Lord. 

Brandon and I have learned that if we want our marriage to be stronger our lives have to be about much more than our marriage—they have to be about walking with the Lord. Which is why we are so thankful we have had hard moments so early in our union. We are praying that we would individually learn to daily make Christ our foundation and not each other. So when the inevitable hard times come, we can stand together as one flesh and face it together. Becoming “one flesh” is not possible in our power. The more I lean into the Lord instead of Brandon, the more I’m able to love Brandon. Which leads me to my next point…

7. What I love most about Brandon now is not what it was a year ago.

A year ago I would have told you I love Brandon because he’s my soul mate, my best friend, someone who always knows how to make me laugh, and someone I want to serve the Lord with together. Those things are still true, but there is so much more depth to my love for Brandon now. 

I love Brandon because God has called us to do life together. I love Brandon because I know hard times are down the road and He is who the Lord has given me to walk through those times with. I love Brandon because he fights for our marriage and he is worth fighting for. I love Brandon because He is seeking the Lord daily and growing in what it means to be a husband—to lead, protect and serve our family. 

I can’t wait to continue growing in my love for Brandon this next year.

Jordan Sok is a 20-something writer, Christian and newlywed. Her personal blog encourages her readers to “embrace the awkward,” because the way she sees it, a lot of “awkwardness” is simply feeling uncomfortable because something is out of the norm. And maybe that is a good thing. Her blog focuses on a mixture of topics surrounding the 20-something Christian life- the good, the bad, and the funny. Oh, and the awkward.

Wedding photo credit: Love the Renauds

Publication date: May 23, 2016