Mirjam and I just celebrated our one-month wedding anniversary!, and so I thought I'd post about what it's like to be married.
If you've read my previous blog posts then you'll know that Mirjam and I have had a long-distance relationship for a while, and that when we got married it was only our fourth time being in the same physical location together. So in that way, married life is awesome! No more time differences (only being able to talk to one another as one of us was either waking up or going to bed), no more laggy video calls and no more having to type to each other online (now we just do that for fun, or when we're feeling lazy). We wake up next to each other, and fall asleep next to each other. We eat together, go for walks, go to church and bible study together, we play board games after dinner and, one of my favourite things, we hold hands and pray together.
I'm 30 years old and up until the day I got married I lived at home with my parents. This was for two reasons: because I couldn't afford to rent on my own (and didn't want to board with someone else), and because I'd previously tried to move out of home but that didn't go very well (it was only a month later that I moved back home because of homesickness/loneliness). So in getting ready for marriage, a big concern was how I'd cope moving out of home and in with someone else (albeit my wife). A few months before our wedding I visited Mirjam at the Bible college where she was living/studying in Denmark. I stayed there for a month with her (my longest time being away from home to date), and, surprisingly, the only time I got homesick was the first night. After that, I settled in really well and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I later guessed that this was because the college was very structured and organised with schedules and routines (an environment in which I thrive). As I don't handle change very well, Mirjam and I decided to take things slow when we got married and planned to make regular visits back home to see Mum and Dad. Now, one month later, I'm very surprised as to how easy it's been to move out and start this new chapter of my life. We visit Mum and Dad maybe once a week (much less than what we were planning to do), and I rarely, if ever, get homesick. Not to say that I don't miss my parents/family, but I don't have the debilitating loneliness that makes it hard to be away from them. Now there's many reasons why this move might have been easier for me, such as the fact that I live 20 minutes from my parents (instead of in Brisbane, 5 hours away), or that I now live with my wife who does her utmost to make this place feel like our home (instead of living by myself). And while those reasons may all play a part in why this has been easier for me than expected, I like to think that ultimately it's because God has blessed me with Mirjam and has made me realise that my home is now with her, wherever that is.
Other random thoughts about married life:
- Washing dishes by hand everyday is actually not as bad as I thought it'd be (after having had a dishwasher for the last 10 or so years). It's actually quite relaxing (until you run out of hot water and realise you haven't had a shower yet...).
- It's hard to discipline myself to spend time working 9am-5pm each weekday when Mirjam's here with me now (I work from home). It was easy when we were apart and I'd take a break to have a video call with her each afternoon, but now I have to have strict rules (for the both of us) about my work hours just so I'd get stuff done. But what are rules without exceptions, right?
- It takes some getting used to spending all day, every day together. When we were apart I'd be able to do my own thing for most of the day and then focus on and give my attention to Mirjam for an hour or so each day. Now I need to constantly remind myself that I'm not alone and that my wife needs my love and support 24/7. It's also taken us a while to realise that we can still do our own thing and have our own time apart, and that's ok.
- It's a learning experience seeing Mirjam do things differently to how I'm used to having things done; be it the way I did things myself or the way my family did things. We have different personalities and come from different cultures, and so differences in opinion are many and can cause disagreements if not handled with love and respect. I'm learning to let go of some things and trust my wife more.
- We're both still getting used to referring to Mirjam by her new name.
- Lying in bed at night browsing my phone or reading a book while Mirjam falls asleep next to me is one of my favourite times of the day.
- Double beds are quite small when there's two people in them.
- Compromises are a very good thing!
- I love having someone keep me on track and support me in everything.
- Finances are tight, but God provides and we've never been lacking what we need.
- Life is better together.
- God has blessed me more than I could ever ask or imagine!
That's all for now. I look forward to the next few months of marriage and seeing how God continues to bless us, both individually and as a couple.