B and I reached the one year (!) of marriage milestone at the end of July and we celebrated by reflecting on how far we’ve come as a couple and as individuals over the past year. We also spent some time being thankful for all of the people in our lives who have helped make us who we are today. This type of “celebrating” may not be the most traditional thing to do for a first anniversary, but we felt it was important for the type of relationship dynamic we strive to maintain.
Our reflections brought us to a major conclusion that I don’t think many people realize: The person you fall in love with initially and the person you are married to after any significant amount of time are different people. This is an interesting marriage/relationship-related phenomenon.
I can tell you for sure that I have definitely changed since I’ve been in a relationship with B. Some of the changes I attribute to simply growing up a little more along this short journey. Many I attribute to the fact that we have been constantly trying to better ourselves as individuals since we have been together. Take note, however, that I am still me. I may be even more myself than I was before. How could that be, you ask? I’ll tell you.
Since B and I have been close (which is only really about two years), we’ve talked about everything. I mean EVERYTHING. The good, the bad, the easy, and the really really hard things. We make a conscious effort to fully explain ourselves and fully understand each other. We believe this is the best way to have a successful relationship and we’ve tried to follow this method since the beginning. Clear communication is the key to our marriage. This is even more essential for us because we come from two completely different cultures. Like my earlier post says, an intercultural marriage really is a “Lifetime of Explanations“. (Not complaining, just saying…)
Some people, ladies especially, have asked me how we manage to be so happy and have no drama as a couple. This is absolutely my answer. When you are constantly trying to understand yourself so you can explain yourself honestly to another person, you have to really get to know what makes you who you are. Over the time I’ve spent with B, I’ve gotten to know myself so much better than I had before. And, for the most part, I am unapologetic about who I am these days. I have gained loads of confidence that I never had because I am realizing that I am valuable. I have also started being more able to manage my emotions than before. And I’ve learned to be more comfortable confronting people when I need to. I was previously very uncomfortable with confrontation and would bottle everything up inside of me in order to avoid it. I have started learning that this is usually not the best way to handle things.
It is a very big deal for a woman who has struggled with confidence issues to say that she is now realizing her worth. It is amazing the transformation that can take place in someone when he starts to be honest with himself about himself. Because I have started to accept who I am, I am learning how to better function in my partnership with B. My role in our relationship is becoming more and more clear. I am more and more at peace with myself as the time goes by. This is amazing to me. I did not anticipate this much change when we were first married, but I believe it might be one of the best “side-effects” of being married.
I’ve clearly done a good deal of changing since we’ve been together, but B has changed a lot as well. He’s now a much more patient person and less quick to get angry. He is becoming a more mature man who tends to think before he reacts to things. I am very much proud to call this man my husband and to have been married to him for more than a year. I would say we’ve both helped to change each other for the better, even though we were very much in love with each other before all these changes started happening.
People sometimes don’t realize that once you find “the one”, the journey is not over; it’s just begun. Here’s to many more years together, B! Cheers.