Susie and I started dating on May 21, 2008. We chose to marry on May 21, 2009 so that we wouldn't have to change the day that we celebrate as our anniversary.
We were definitely going to be getting married on the 21st of May ... I just didn't know which year!
There's an adage that any man who gets married is told by one of his friends or family members:
"A woman marries a man expecting that he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does."
Despite a fairly exhaustive web search, I have no idea where that quote comes from, I know I first heard it from my Grandfather. I do know that I heard it from multiple advice-givers over the years. I've been trying to think about different ways that either of us has changed over the past year and I can't come up with any.
I think that we both knew who we were pretty well as individuals entering into a relationship. That's definitely an advantage to getting married a little older. Having that extra time to get to know yourself makes it much easier to know what you want out of a relationship and where you're willing to compromise.
We were very clear with what we expected from each other from the very beginning so I don't think that either of us has been surprised by anything the other has done during our first year. Of course, like any couple, we have our moments of abrasiveness. I know that I am a difficult person to live with for a variety of reasons, the least of which being that I'm as stubborn as a mule.
If I had to find a fault in my wife, it's that she feels a need to get overly involved in peoples lives and that tends to cause her a lot of stress. She can't stand to know that someone is in pain if she can think of a way to make whatever it is any less painful ... and she is very creative.
It makes me think, if the worst thing I ever have to put up with is someone who cares about people more than they maybe should, how bad can things ever get? Sign me up for a lifetime.
I think that the wedding planning and execution process is a great test of a couples resolve. In our case, we really did need a honeymoon after the wedding. There were pre-events, setup tasks, cleanup tasks, drama with guests, post-events, and don't get me started with the intensity of the negotiations for the guest list and seating chart.
The last year, since returning from our honeymoon, we've slipped back into the routine of life. The usual stresses of work, family, friends, finances, apply to us as they do anyone else. One thing that we've learned is that we really need to remember to spend time alone together, particularly when things do get stressful.
Of course, one of the topics that will come up in the first year of marriage for any couple is whether and when to start thinking about expanding the family. We're closer to that step now than we were a year ago. Before we get really serious we need to consider changes to our lifestyle, schedule and home. It's hard to imagine how a child would fit into the busy-ness of our current lifestyle, but I guess that's how everybody feels.
I'm sure that the next year will bring a ton of change for both of us. I already know it will all be great!