What I’ve Learned In My First Eight Months Of Marriage

Hello, hello!

Ever since coming back from my little hiatus, I’ve noticed quite a few new readers popping up in my notifications. First of all, welcome! I hope you’re enjoying my posts!

Since there’s been an influx of new readers, I figured now was a good time to give some updates on myself. I got this idea from a “30 Day Blog Challenge” I found on Pinterest, and while I can’t see myself following the challenge to a T—most of the topics just didn’t resonate with me—a handful did seem like they would fit here. The first idea on the list was to talk about your relationship status, and since Ricky and I are coming up on eight months of marriage, I figured this was the perfect connection!

Ricky and I have been together for five and a half years now. We met in October 2015 when I was in Maryland for my step-uncle’s wedding. Once we started talking, we just never stopped! Since I was still going to school in Rhode Island, and he was still in school in Maryland, we spent the bulk of our relationship long distance. Relocating is hard, and although I wanted to come to Maryland a lot sooner than I did, we just couldn’t swing it financially until last summer.

Being a long distance couple for so long was hard. Seeing your favorite person face to face only two or three times a year—four if you’re lucky—is really difficult to cope with, but I say all the time that in the beginning, it was what made the relationship possible. When Ricky and I met, I was going to school full time, working multiple jobs (I forget just how many, but I think at that point it was two or three), and volunteering a ton. There’s no way I could’ve scheduled in face to face time to give him—and our relationship—the attention he deserved. But we could always rely on those end of the night phone calls, and texts throughout the day, and snapchats, and memes being shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…we kept in touch constantly, but it was in a way that never felt overwhelming or smothering. It was never in a way that I felt I had to sacrifice bits of myself—my studies, my hobbies, my work—to make room for him. From the start, he fit perfectly into my hectic life like a puzzle piece.

I have a hard time remembering what life was like before I knew him now. He’s been such a steady constant for half a decade, sometimes my brain forgets he wasn’t always here. But I’m sure, at some cosmic level, that we were always connected. I mean, what are the odds that he lived in the same town my stepdad’s parents lived in, that he worked at the grocery store I shopped at with my step-grandmother on summer excursions to visit? If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that we were meant to find each other—I just wish I’d found him sooner, really.

But at the same time, sometimes it still hits me that we’re really married, that we’re really living together now. It doesn’t feel completely real. This is what I’ve been waiting years for, and the fact that this is my reality now seems a little surreal. Just the other day, as I was driving home from work I called him to see how his day was and give him an ETA, just like I do every day. But when I told him, “I’ll be home around 8,” I had a quick moment where I said to myself, Whoa, how long have you wished you could say that to him? Is this really happening?

It’s a weird adjustment I’ve had to make, but not a bad one by any means. As silly as it sounds, I still sometimes feel like this is all a dream. But it’s not a dream—this is my reality. I’m living with my best friend and I get to call myself his wife. It feels amazing to say that.

When I moved out of my mom’s house to come to Maryland, I got a lot of well-meaning comments from people saying that our relationship dynamic would change when we started living together, and especially when we got married. Eight months later, and I don’t agree.

Are things different now? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, I really don’t think the dynamic we’ve established with 400 miles between us has changed all that much now that we’re together every day. The way people were talking, I expected to wake up the day after my wedding and feel like a brand-new person. That’s not at all what happened—for me, or for Ricky.

We’re still the same two people. We haven’t given up pieces of ourselves to become “One” like people seem to think. Everything is the same. The only thing that’s changed is that we now live together, and I’ve added his last name to mine. We’re still the same support systems we’ve been for each other since 2015. We’ve still got our own personal interests, and while we spend some time delving into each other’s hobbies, we don’t expect the other to love something just because we love it ourselves. We’ve still never had a real fight—or, come to think of it, real arguments either.

We are still two people, growing and evolving and on our own journeys, but we’ve chosen to go on these journeys with each other. And really, at its core, I think that’s what marriage should be all about.

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