Learning from the Unexpected | Enduring All Things

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Learning from the Unexpected

Today is the third installment of the From one Year to Beyond newlywed linkup.
Newlywed Bloggers Linkup
You can read my thoughts on funny moments from the first year and hardest moments from the first year from the last two Wednesdays. Today's topic is "What have you learned from the unexpected and how have you grown as a couple during the first year?"

Kinda like I mentioned in the hardest moments post, we haven't really had many things happen unexpectedly in this first year. I mean it was hard at times, but I expected it. We were going to be living together and sharing everything from a bed and toothpaste to a checking account and rental agreement. Not only that, but we were moving 600 miles away where we hardly new anybody. I expected it to be hard, but I had full confidence in us as a couple to get through it together.
The unexpected in the first year of marriage
What I didn't expect going into this was how much of a tole this whole chnage thing would have on me/us emotionally. First there was the fact that I wasn't planning a wedding anymore. I wasn't counting down. I wasn't finding good deals on decorations or sending out schedules to my bridesmaids. There was nothing definitive in the future with a tangible date to look forward to. A graduation, a wedding, and a move across 3 states were all pretty big things to count down to and then I had nothing. My life seemed almost empty. I was working from home (aka never leaving the house) and making dinner for us but that was about it.

I always work better under pressure. This was true growing up playing sports and in my procrastination all through school. So, I thrived when planning a wedding. And sure it was nice at first to not have homework all the time and not running around every day setting things up, but I soaked it up a little too much and as a result, I got lazy, gained weight, got bored and a little depressed and caught up on a bunch of TV shows that don't really matter.
couch potato making
I didn't know what was wrong or how to express how I felt. It basically just turned into Pearson and I getting on each other's nerves with almost everything we said or did. This is when we started really doing more things outside of the house. We got involved more at church. We had people over (planning things helped). We did new things around Columbus. We were in a new place for goodness' sake. We needed to explore!
Buckeye's game
Us at the OSU game when they beat Perdue in overtime.
All of this helped, but I think the most important thing was learning what the other needed. Pearson was used to sitting at home and watching TV a lot. I was used to going out and doing whatever. There have been Saturdays where we literally did nothing all day and it drove me crazy, but that was normal for him. We had to learn to find a balance.
The unexpected in the first year of marriage

Also, we are two very different people who handle every situation very differently. We have had to learn to put each other's reactions in perspective with what we had learned about each other. I now know that if Pearson gets mad and yells at the TV when playing video games, that is normal and he is not going to have a terrible night because he lost. He knows if I get quiet after something is said or done, it is just because I am thinking, not because I am mad at him and not going to talk the rest of the night. Along with having different reactions, we also have different needs. We need to be comforted differently. We thrive off of different praises and affirmations. We are still learning what the other one needs and this will be a long process but we are improving every day.

Here are some other more specific (and for the most part, less drastic) unexpected events...

  1. Disagreeing on little things that I assumed we were on the same page with. (I.E. how to hang ornaments on our Christmas tree, whether or not we will help our kids pay for college, visiting family during the holidays, leaving the washer/dryer and dishwasher on while we are out of the house, how to fold towels, washing dishes)
  2. Grandaddy Harris (Pearson's grandfather) passed away somewhat unexpectedly last month. We dropped everything and drove the 13 hours to Valdosta, GA. It was certainly tough on Pearson as a man to be able to show his emotion, but it was good to see family and to be there to celebrate this man's life. Pearson spoke at the funeral when they opened it up and that was good for him too. Grandaddy was a great man and this is just the beginning of a lot of heartache we will go though as a couple. I learned a lot about how Pearson deals with grief through this and I feel I will be able to help him more in the future.
  3. Being a grown up and having to deal with things like moving, changing my name, paying bills, setting up the internet, decorating our apartment (we are so not getting our damage deposit back on this apartment). I knew these things would be hard but sometimes it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong does. But because I have a fantastic partner by my side through all of it, I have extra confidence, a reason to keep trying, and someone to laugh at myself with. This makes everything better and worth it.
Us with a stubborn gorilla at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
I am still 120% positive that I am married to the most fantastic man in the world. I know that there will be unexpected or hard things that continue to come up in our life after this first year of marriage, but I am ready to tackle the challenges with my best friend!

Thanks for reading!
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