It’s not by accident that I’ve become a better wife over the past year. To the contrary, I’ve acquired the skills needed for my most important role through much hard work and reflection.
As you’ve probably heard, the first year of marriage is challenging. There’s a great deal of adjustment that comes when you commit to sharing your life with another person, and when you vow to love them through sickness, health and life changes. My husband and I hadn’t lived together before marriage (nor had we lived with roommates), so there was extra adjustment for us, simply learning to be in the same space.
The first year of marriage has strengthened me as a woman, but it has also strengthened me as a partner. Here’s what I’ve learned about being a better wife after a year of marriage.
- Above all, I put my friendship with my husband first. Some days, I am feeling romantic but he’s feeling sick and tired, or vice versa. I try to honor our friendship first, by making sure he’s comfortable and taken care of. He does the same for me. Being friends first has enhanced our relationship as lovers.
- I try to never become complacent. Some days I think to myself, I suck at being married. I’m a bad wife. I think these are important (and normal) thoughts. I strive to keep improving myself because that improves my marriage.
- I say when I need space – and when I need him. After a year of marriage, I’ve become much better at communicating with my husband. Now I tell him exactly what I need, when I need it. Whether I need alone time to take a bath and read magazines, or whether I need to cuddle with him, I’m much more direct about my needs. My husband says he appreciates this approach.
- I go to bed angry. Whoever said, “Never go to bed angry,” was wrong. No couple is rational when they’re dead tired and fighting at the end of a long day. It’s so much better to go to bed, get some sleep, and look at the issue with clearer heads in the morning.
- I get involved with his life. As an introvert, it’s been difficult for me to learn to socialize with my husband’s friends, family and coworkers. I’ve taken time to attend office parties and to meet more of his friends and family members. Pushing myself to socialize in his world has shown him that I care – and it gets easier the more I do it.