No Longer Newlyweds: Takeaways from Two Years of Marriage

 
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Today, we celebrate two! Though Alex and I have spent eight years as a couple since we locked eyes on that sunny day in Utica, Mississippi at Jewish summer camp, the past two of marriage have proven the unfathomable pace of joy and commitment. In a phase of our 20-something lives when consistency is slim, the fact that Alex is my constant is the greatest gift. I know I am no source of traditional “wisdom” here—yes, I am only 26—but Alex and I have learned valuable lessons about early marriage that weren’t necessarily shared with us verbatim. Or, maybe they were, but until they had to be tried and tested, I didn’t take them seriously.

Scroll for what we believe to be the biggest takeaways of two years together.

Photos by Danielle Lozeau

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Create a shared calendar — and honor it. Time is precious, so don’t take advantage of it. We have tried (and are still trying) different methods of a shared schedule to stay on track and identify when we (really, when I) need to slow down or otherwise prepare to go, go, go. Our calendar is not our contract, but it’s our means to make sure quality time is consistent. To clarify, though, quality time should not be scheduled like a board meeting or workout class. To clarify further, I’m very much still working on this.

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Be a team. Make decisions together — or, at least, talk through every decision together. The influence of a choice, small or large, does affect your partner even if it initially feels so insignificant! Plus, it’s such an important reminder and such a gift that someone has your back through every decision, always, no matter what. So treat life like you do.

…But don’t sacrifice your independence. Prioritize a strong relationship with yourself (in order to be a strong partner). Being truthful to and respectful of our own minds and bodies is critical to being truthful to and respectful of the other’s. Find time to focus on what you need to fuel yourself: a workout regimen, a nightly long soak with new bath products, a spa weekend with the girls. Support your own self-care so you can support your partner more fully. Okay, you get it.

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Deal with your disagreements. Don’t walk away from an argument or go to sleep early or change the subject and hope it dissolves. It won’t. Own up to the issue and fix it. You’ll sleep so much better for doing so.

Don’t forget to say thank you, even for the littlest of things. It’s silly, but we can easily take for granted the manners that we always bestow upon strangers, elders, and colleagues. Appreciation in any form should be shared with the person you spend the most time with. When Alex stops to tell me thank you for making dinner after a nonstop Tuesday, it means the world. And when I thank Alex for taking Sawyer outside in the cold and windy rain and wait by the front door with a towel to dry them off, I think it makes the situation just a little better. ;)

What are your biggest pieces of advice? Share them in the comments! And if you’re feeling nostalgic like me today, scroll through our wedding here.

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