I’ve been a Pittsburgh based wedding photographer for nearly 7 years. I know weddings. Up until recently I didn’t know marriage.
I know that everyone says that life after marriage is a compromise. Those first months after you say I do, can be tough. But they are also some of the most exciting times in my 30 years here on earth. I married my best friend Kelly on June 21, in a small private ceremony before heading to a small beach in Canada for another intimate immediate family sunrise ceremony just a few short days later. We were married in front of our cottage, my families summer vacation home for 50 years, on the shore of Lake Erie. It was perfect.
Coming home to weddings just a few days later was an adjustment, but incredible none the less. Here we are 10 months later, and I feel like I have learned a few things already. Ive also been given some great advice by friends who have been married decades longer than us. Most of these are cliche, but here is my take on them.
Marriage is give and take. My days as a bachelor are over, and so my life should reflect that. That being said, I married someone who compliments me. But she is not me. Working from home, I like to get out of the house more. She prefers to relax at the end of the day. So we plan a schedule together. I ask her if she has the energy, and sometimes when she doesnt, but knows I need out of the house, she says yes. Some days I am ready to go socialize, but she needs me to just stay low key with her. In those moments, our health is more important than my desire to go grab a beer, or dinner with friends. At times we both compromise, but we see it more as giving what the other needs.
Fights happen. Say your sorry, tell them you love them, and forgive. Forgive means to let it go. Not just in the moment, but to really let it go. Dont throw it back at your partner later, and dont use foul language no matter how angry you are. When you let patterns of anger and language into your relationship, you are effectively saying ” I dont love you, and I dont respect you.” Never go to bed angry, and the first time you sleep on the couch after a fight, the first time you say “You arent worth the effort.”
Sharing a house is easier than you think. Just realize that you both have different ways of storing food, doing dishes, and folding laundry. As a bachelor I liked to shop a couple times a week for food. Planning a meal or two, but also deciding more last minute. My wife hates having to go back to the store, two or more times, so we make a list, plan meals, and if I want to change things up, I run out. Adding stress to your partners life, because its how you do things isnt necessary.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. My wife is super organized, good with a schedule, and always prompt or early with bills. I am none of those things. She takes care of that, I take care of the majority of cooking, and laundry. Together we tackle dishes, cleaning house, and taking care of our new Labrador Retriever Ava.
Changing your name is not as easy as it should be. Seriously, they dont make it easy.
Most important is to show your love daily. Dont just say it, do it. For us, I make Kelly coffee just about every morning. Its my way of showing her that I love her and want to serve her.
Our marriage has been incredible. We have worked on weddings together. Edited projects side by side. Traveled to India, and hosted Easter for both of our families, in our little house. We gathered around the farm tables that I built, and shared about life, love, and adventure over a pretty good meal if I do say so myself. At least pretty good for cooking for 12, even though we had enough left overs to last a family of five a week.
What did you learn in your first year of marriage?
For more information on wedding photography and portrait photography in Pittsburgh or abroad, visit http://www.danspeicherphoto.com