Looking Back: 4 Things I Wish I’d Known as a Newlywed

Looking Back

Today marks the 4th anniversary of marrying my love.

I can’t really remember what it’s like not to be married, yet it seems crazy we’ve been married four whole years already. Some of that time has been incredible and some difficult, but I wouldn’t trade a single piece of it for the world.

We have great role models for parents and got lots of good advice before our wedded bliss began, but there are a few things I wish I would’ve known before our journey into the sunset started.

1. I am selfish and a lot of arguments can be avoided by choosing to be humble and watching my words carefully.

Back in the day, I used to think I was a pretty unselfish person. And then came marriage. I found out I really like my way and I really really like Troy to follow my way. Recognizing that we’re both sinners and live in a broken and messy world is crucial. A lot of arguments go away when I honestly sit before the Lord and make sure my heart and motives are right. When we do disagree, I have the choice to build Troy up or tear him down with my words. Nobody wants to be that wife.

2. Don’t treat your spouse like God or try to be God to them.

Expecting your spouse to give you worth and always do the right thing is ridiculous, but a frequent pit fall of mine. On the flip side, it’s easy to think you know what’s best for them at every turn. Keep your trap shut and pray. Sometimes you should speak, but not as often as you think it’s absolutely vital. Let God do His job {on you, too}.

3. Talk about money and have a plan.

Talk about it before you get married- and on a regular basis after. My parents asked us to take Financial Peace together when we got engaged and it’s guided a lot of our decisions since. On that note, plan a regular date night into the budget. They don’t have to be expensive, but make time for them. They won’t just happen.

4. Study your spouse.

I have a spot I write down things that Troy mentions he likes- meals, a particular outfit, something that would be fun to do, etc. Being intentional about looking for ways to love and respect him with my thoughts, words, and actions has helped me notice things that make him feel valued. In the past, I focused on the things thought would make that happen; but he’s not me- of course the things that matter to him will be different! It sounds simple, but I definitely missed that in the past.

That being said, I am so thankful that I’m married to a man who patiently loves me in spite of my messiness. He leads our little family well, and patiently pushes me to look more like Christ and less like myself. He also makes me laugh so hard I can’t breathe, helps me talk through my thoughts about any and everything, and surprises me with the sweetest notes and the occasional dessert. {Man, does he know his audience!} I love, you Troy! Happy 4 years…I hope you’re ready for the next 94!

Photo by Concannon Photography

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  • Rhonda Kay Ausk June 27, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    What a sweet blog. So happy for you both. Happy Anniversary!!!

    • Caitlin Author July 1, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      Thanks! Love you!

  • Sharon June 27, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Oh my, Caitlin. Even after almost 30 years of marriage I can see myself in your points…especially number 1 where I, too, really really like my way and find it difficult to give that up. Thanks for reminding me of how to respond in the way God wants me to as a wife!

    • Caitlin Author July 1, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Love you, Mom!

  • Selah June 27, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Happy Anniversary! It seems like you’ve learned a lot over the past 4 years.

    I wish I had known how to handle my temper before I got married. Both of my parents are very quick tempered, and I inherited that lovely trait. The first couple of years with my husband were extremely difficult, mostly because of my temper. Thankfully, by the Grace of God and with some counciling, we got through it, and I’ve learned how to better deal with my emotions.

    Along with regular date nights, I think it’s very important to develop common interests / hobbies. Bert and I play European style board games (we have over 100) together, and with our kids. We also geek out together over lots of various Sci Fi / fantasy stuff (Doctor Who and Hunger Games are our current obsessions). Our common interests give us stuff to talk about besides work & kids. :)

    • Caitlin Author July 1, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Thanks, Selah! And thanks for sharing a few more ways to love each other well. :) I agree; it’s so important to have other interets to talk about! What is a European style board game like?

      • Selah July 1, 2013 at 7:10 PM

        Wikipedia actually has a good definition:
        My favorite is Carcassonne, but we have about 100. There is also a Carcassonne app for iPhone & iPad.

        • Caitlin Author July 2, 2013 at 8:23 PM

          Oo! I saw that Settlers of Catan is one of the games. I’ve played that one before. How fun! Thanks for the definition. That’s crazy that y’all have over 100!

          • Selah July 2, 2013 at 9:27 PM

            Bert clarified that we don’t have 100 Euro games (yet). Our game count includes Euro games and other games (kids games, party games, etc.). He’s very particular about our games. :)

            Settlers is a great game! We have both it and Catan Junior, which we play with our son.

  • Audrey @ Putting Me Together June 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Happy annivesrary!!

    • Caitlin Author July 1, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Thanks, Audrey!

  • Amy G June 27, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    I like the idea of having a place to write down little things he mentions he likes. I feel like I should have thought of that sooner!
    Happy 4th Anniversary, Caitlin and Troy!

    • Caitlin Author July 1, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Thank you, Amy!

  • Florica June 28, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Happy Anniversary!! God bless your marriage. Love the picture.
    Great article..

    • Caitlin Author July 1, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Thanks so much, Florica!

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