What I learned after 1 year of marriage

Hi everyone,

My close friends and readers know that I have been spending the past few weeks doing brain work / mental workouts. I did and have been doing a lot of self-reflection and realized so much.

If you read my previous post, Things I Need To Improve On As A Wife, you would know by now that the first year of our marriage was the most difficult year my partner and I have embarked on since being together in 2012. The things I listed that I needed to improve on played a huge part in it being rocky. Don’t get me wrong, most days were good and peaceful but I will be honest, throughout the year, I was such a big brat– bringing so many things of the past, worrying the way I did as if  I was still single, and forgetting what I was made to be: HIS PARTNER, HIS HELPER, HIS HEAVEN on Earth. Because of my own selfishness and insecurities, I forgot my sole duty as a wife is to LOVE my husband UNCONDITIONALLY AS HE IS and PRAY for him TIRELESSLY. God has the rest handled.

(Photo from @JermaineGreen_ on Instagram)

Honestly wish I did sooo much better during this first year but I will not be too hard on myself because I am still young (24) and this is the first time I’ve ever been married and WILL be the only time I am.

I want to be as open as I am about this because we get so many notions from society/books/movies of what LOVE/marriage is or should be–when really, there is no one size fits all. Marriage isn’t a fairytale. There are moments that you could probably put in a book or movie but overall, it requires a lot of hard work and requires you to be FULLY present in the moment. Below are 5 things I’ve learned (the hard way) and I am sharing these with you guys in hopes that it will help your current or maybe future relationship. Also writing this, for my own sake so I have something to look at as a reminder when I need it.

  1. Marriage/companionship is NOT for the weak
    – Contrary to popular belief, companionship is actually for strong people. It requires you to work hand-in-hand with someone at all times. It requires two minds working together and sometimes, even requires you to put them before you. By ourselves, we only need to worry and think about 1. With a partner, we always have to think for 2.  Our world today praises independence so much and although this can be a good thing, it’s not the way to be if you want to enjoy life with someone. If this isn’t something you care for, (I understand marriage and relationships are not for everyone) then by all means, be as happily independent as you can be.
  2. You have to keep loving yourself the way you did before your partner was around.
    – This is something I struggled with in my first year of marriage. I wish I had a better situation that allowed me to do more for myself–but I will just take this as a lesson I need to learn: to love myself even when I have nothing. (See my Self-Care Sundays for the little things I do for myself)
  3. You cannot trip on someone not being perfect because you aren’t perfect, too.
    – I know this is a pretty basic thing to understand; but as humans, we tend to overlook these things especially when we are wronged. I wish I was able to fully grasp this in a much earlier time. I am guilty for badgering my husband for a mistake he has done in the past–when the act of pestering him itself is very harsh–something a very imperfect person would do.
    2013-06-29 21.08.07
  4. Just because they love you unconditionally doesn’t mean they will stay through the worst of the worst. At the end of the day, they are ONLY human, too.
    – I have always believed that we are a direct reflection of our partner/people we surround ourselves with most. Greatness cannot be matched with mediocrity and deserves to be given the best (of us). Any person who knows his/her self worth won’t tolerate being treated unfairly/poorly for a long period of time and will leave if we keep putting them in hell.
  5. Everyday is a NEW day. Leave the past where it is.
    – This is something I am trying to master not only in relationships but in life as a whole. So many unnecessary stresses and hurt from yesterday (and yesteryear) accumulates the space in our minds and hearts. As we dive deep in ourselves we will learn that these things do not need to be in our life and we can do so if we only let go (and let God)

    *Quote pictures are from pinterest and personal edits. Featured photo is a stock from pexels.com*

    I am certainly not a perfect person nor am I a perfect wife. But to be a GOOD person and a GOOD wife is something I aim to be.

    For any of my readers who are married or have been in a long (HEALTHY) relationship, please share any success stories/tips you may have. I would love to read them all 🙂


79 thoughts on “What I learned after 1 year of marriage

  1. Not everything on earth is perfect but as we grow, we will realize things and improve ourselves to be better so as marriage. The points you said are vital in maintaining good relationship with your spouse. I am glad that being married and being young at the same time is not a hindrance that you have this maturity on these things. Keep it up. More happy years to come until forever.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is a great list! 🙂 I especially like number 2 – that’s something I’ve always struggled with. In relationships, I can sometimes lose myself. Its crucial to keep the aspects of yourself that were attractive in the first place. It sounds like you’ve carved out a good path to success for yourself – keep taking it day by day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In most cases the the unexpected outcome of mistakes and learning the hard way is the wealth of experience we gain from them. The fact that you know your weaknesses and you’re putting in work to better yourself and marriage says something about the love and value you place on it. I wish you nothing but the best. Happy Anniversary!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your first point is for me, being so independent hurt my last relationship in a way

    And about people having an idea of what marriage is supposed to look like is true and bad for us.

    Great post kat

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, you’ve learned so much valuables lessons and thanks for generously sharing them to us!

    Indeed, there are many adjustments that you have to do when you get married. They say that you will only get to know your real partner when you are already living together under the same roof. Relationships are not static, they change over time for better or worst. Team work is very important to keep it going. I also learned that it is best to look at your partner as your “better whole” and not as your “better half.” 🙂

    May the power of love be with you always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your wonderful comment, Jayson 🙂 I felt the celebratory cheer with the last line.
      Before my husband and I got married, we actually were living together for about 5 months. Before that we were in a LDR but would see each other twice a year for one week each. I thought things weren’t going to be different as a ,married couple since we have lived together but it’s still so different!! (atleast from my experience 🙂 ) I like how you said it changes over time, for better or for worse–the direction it goes just shows the actions taken by both parties. Better whole certainly sounds much better as well. 🙂


  6. Totally agree with you. I was with the same problem and after two years I saw the mirror and said. Marce put a smile in your face, be happy. Love your self first and everything going to be fine

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The first step to take in making your presence felt anywhere is LOVING YOURSELF FIRST… No one is going to that for you, and if you ever feel to be loved by people, then you must take that step. You have to make things happen by yourself.

    Marriage is a blessing and indeed the best institution on earth. The real you comes out with so much lessons to learn and mistake to correct, above all, so much from you to be given to the world..

    Nice post.

    First time here by the way and you have just won over a new visitor.. Am bookmarking your site on my phone

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Brenda, for that wonderful comment! Physically, I don’t have a problem with taking care of myself. Internally, I need a lot of work as I find myself talking very sarcastically and critically with myself at times. Thank you for reminding me what great blessing marriage is and for pointing out that in it we learn so much and that through it, we realize we have so much to GIVE.

      I appreciate it a lot!! I will give your page a view 🙂


  8. Interesting post. I can relate to all five. For me leaving the past behind is hard; sometimes i hear my mother / father speaking through me. And sometimes (not always!) that’s just not fair on my wife.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “So many unnecessary stresses and hurt from yesterday (and yesteryear) accumulates the space in our minds and hearts. As we dive deep in ourselves we will learn that these things do not need to be in our life and we can do so if we only let go (and let God)”
    That one I’m still learning after 10 yrs of marriage and trying to find out where my unwanted and unnecessary negativities come from. Self awarenees is an ongoing process I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t be too hard on yourself 🙂 Healing is not linear and we definitely have our own timelines when it comes to being fully healed. Keep looking deep within you and you will find your answers when the right time comes. Congrats on your 10 years. I’m sure it has been a labor of love. 🙂


  10. Ah I loved this and how sincere you were. The tips were really helpful and true tbh. Lol I’m still a teen but I’ll surely use these from the back of my head one day lol. Thanks so much. Wish you many more blessing filled years even throughout the struggles 👏🏾❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Katrina,

    Good to visit your blog, and congrats on accomplishing your first year of marriage! I say that as many aren’t even lucky enough to come this far 🙂

    Yes, you mentioned some wonderful things learned along the way, and I’d just add one more to it – marriage is a compromise that both partners have to make – a give and take in a way, and that is how the balance is maintained, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂


  12. Hey Katrina, what a great post! I’m glad you’ve been able to pick up some lessons on your journey, and I can rest assure you that implementing those will help your marriage become even stronger.

    I’m not married, neither have I been married; but I’m beginning to read books that educates one on the whole process. One I’m currently reading is ‘things I wish I’d known before we got married’ by Gary Chapman. It’s a really good book, even beneficial for married couples.

    It’s so unfortunate that a great number of truths aren’t share with couples before approaching marriage. A successful marriage isn’t based on just love. It’s not the coming together of two perfect people, but the union of imperfect people who aim to make something perfect or worthwhile out of it. It requires daily effort from both individuals, and also the need to be sacrificial and selfless; putting another’s needs before yours. One cannot afford to pick on or analyse every detail, especially things of the past. After all, it was overlooked when making the decision to get married. There has to be a balance between what is given and what is overlooked. And yesss, one needs to maintain their individuality. One needs to encompass so much that you can give out freely with no worries. If you should receive back, which is inevitable, that should be bonus.

    My friend, you’re doing great. I’m certain there are many blissful years ahead of you.

    Funmi xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for this very heartfelt comment. I enjoyed reading it and all of what you shared is true. It’s amazing how these things are really “basics” to everyday life but as humans we tend to get comfortable, going through motions of everyday without fully thinking or being present and just get used to how things are with little to no progression. Consciously being aware of where I am, what I do, and what I am thinking at the present moment allows me to be able to do these things naturally and at ease. Still got a long way to go but happy I am learning.

      Thank you for your wonderful wishes and I wish you the best.

      Much love.


  13. Such a wise, thoughtful post! You do sound very mature, especially for such a young age. I don’t have a perfect answer to all of the relationship questions, as, like you said, we’re only humans but I strongly believe that if people respect each other it’s much easier for them to overcame everyday obstacles that life brings. Of course, love is the crucial thing but I reckon trust and respect come in the same package 😉 Congratulations on your anniversary! Wishing you all the best ❤


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this wonderful comment. Respect and trust are definitely two things I am working on to improve. 🙂 Thank you for reminding me that with it, overcoming obstacles become easier.

      Much love. 🙂


  14. Bleh…. I’m 23 and too immature to even consider having a relationship (I still don’t know how I managed to have a boyfriend for 5 years), so marriage is obviously not an option. Maybe I’ll grow up one day….


      1. Well for me marriage is just a paper that bonds two people together. Personally I don’t need that to “prove” my love. So basically, I’m (or was) in a relationship because I loved and cared for the person, because I wanted to be there for him, sometimes just to make sure he’s okay. Also to have someone who loves and cares for me at least half as much as I do for them. I don’t need marriage for that.


      2. A marriage license is just a paper. As a married woman, there is certainly a huge difference between non-marriage and marriage relationships. I used to think the same way as you but my views are have been changed in this journey or marriage. Also, my partner and I used to live in two different countries. Marriage helped us be together physically and live together.
        Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue for some who were not in a long distance relationship 🙂 Kudos to you, though I am married now I still believe loving without attachments is the best way to love unconditionally.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Those are very good lessons. It’s important to learn to love yourself, it’s not because you’re being selfish, you just have to know your worth. Marriage is also about learning to love imperfections, yours and your husband’s!


  16. Hi, Katrina. I like your post because of the honesty. Marriage is not easy, and whoever says so must be from Mars. And so men are indeed from Mars. 🙂 If I may add one thing and this is for you. It is up to you to find a balance between your own self-identity and that of as a couple. And this self-identity diminishes as your family grows. 🙂 Unfortunately, it takes two to tango. That means that your husband do play a role in the balance too, which means there is more adjustment on your part.


    1. Thank you for the insight! I am surely learning more about finding that balance between own self-identity and family. I like how you say there is more adjustment to my part…I can definitely feel it as of late! Haha. Thank you again!


  17. Hi Katrina, such an honest post. I have been married for almost 10 years now (hehe married too early) and all I can say is, the key to a long lasting relationship is humility. We all have our own struggles but keep in mind that when in marriage, you are working on things as a couple. Your success is your husband’s success.


  18. Marriage is a huge learning curve. I lived with my husband for 10 years before we got married and I would certainly recommend that to anyone before taking the plunge. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I’m sure your husband isn’t perfect either 🙂


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