Oh, folks....I learned a lot.
When my husband and I got married I was 19 years old and incredibly dumb. He was 29 years old and also incredibly dumb. However, he had one up on me - he had been living on his own since he was 17. I went right from living with my momma to living with him. Lemme tell ya, going from a household of only women to living with a man is SHOCKING. He knew how to pay bills, clean a whole house, cook, lock the doors at night, check the oil and do laundry.
I uhm....knew how to balance a checkbook, clean part of a house (with a sister and a mother I'd never had to clean the whole thing), bake chocolate chip cookies, jump at every noise outside and obsess over the thought someone might want to rob us, drive a car ("What's a dipstick?" - I literally said those words) and fold towels. I didn't even really know how to wash dishes well - we'd always had a dishwasher.
I had longed for being married for so long I had a really hard time that first year. I thought that marriage just made everything perfect and couple didn't fight until they were married 20 years and had kids. I had no idea that marriage was hard and that he could be so annoying. Because we all know I wasn't.
Here are a few of the lessons I learned in that first year, that year I wasn't sure I'd survive:
* Yelling, sighing, whining and screaming about the toilet seat being up does absolutely no good whatsoever. After nearly 30 years of living life either with three brothers or by himself he was ruined. I just learned to never go pee in the middle of the night without turning the light on, although I had several nights of wet buns before I learned. After 17 years now I have now switched my efforts fully over to screaming "SERIOUSLY? LIFT THE SEAT! STOP PEEING ALL OVER IT! YOU CAN EVEN LEAVE IT UP IF YOU'D JUST PUT IT UP TO BEGIN WITH!" It's all about compromise.
* Makeup sex is worthless if you don't make up first.
* Unless you were a softball champion in high school you should not throw things at your new husband because, chances are, he can throw harder than you. The first year I stuck to the checkbook and the occasional tea towel. He always threw them back, usually at my head. I should have either stuck to soft, light things or stopped altogether, because in Year Five I threw a bottle of Baby Magic at him and hit him in the small of the back. He threw it back and hit me in the arm and bruised me. I knew as soon as it hit him I should've thrown Sam's burp rag - it was just as close. But nooooooo, I lobbed that nearly full bottle of lotion at him because he was ignoring me and dude, it made me mad. Turns out, getting hit with a bottle of lotion made him just as mad. I haven't thrown anything at him since. He hasn't either. He doesn't ignore me anymore either.
* Making him cookies every time he asks will make you fat. Not him. Just you. So don't. If I had it to do over I'd give him carrot sticks and extra money for the vending machine at work to satisfy the sweet tooth.
* If you "make a deal" early on and really work hard at said deal, chances are it will stick for all of perpetuity, so make sure you think wayyyyyy ahead. Also note that he will find a way to re-work the deal to his liking, so be prepared for that. When I started staying at home full time the deal we made was that he would take care of the outside of the house - he would mow, weed-eat, clean up, take care of the vehicles and pets. I would take care of the inside of the house - I would cook, clean, do laundry, clean up after meals, etc. He got this wild idea that since the trash was technically on the inside of the house it was my job and refused to take it out. So I just started sitting the trash by the front door. He got really tired of having to either step around or over it and saw my point. Of course, I also asked him to cook dinner one night a week and he made peanut butter and jelly. He'd rather not step over stinky trash and I'd rather not eat PB&J for dinner on a regular basis. Our deal is still holding.
* Just because his mother doesn't burst through the door and embrace you every single time she visits doesn't mean she doesn't love you. Maybe that's just not her thing. Maybe she's just not an affectionate person. Maybe she's having a hard time trusting you. Maybe she is afraid you will hurt her son like that last one did. Give her time. It might take 15 or so years, though, but she'll get there.
* Enjoy those early, childless days. I didn't learn that one in the first year - it's a reflection. I love my children with every ounce of my being, and when we had them was the perfect time for us, but I wish I had enjoyed the child-free days a little more.
So now it's your turn - ponder on the lessons you learned and then share it with us!