The Most Valuable Lesson from Our First Year of Marriage

When Vj and I got married, we signed up for all sorts of premarital coaching, advisement, retreats, etc. We wanted to be as equipped as possible to have the relationship of our dreams. Every program that we attended has informed our relationship but learning in a classroom is much different from the laboratory of experience.

One relationship coach had told us that the first three years are the most difficult. We were a little wary of that, but understood that it would be a transition into a permanent relationship.

Shortly after we were married, we traveled to India to visit his family and have a reception there. My parents came; so much of the time was spent making sure that their needs were met.

Right after we returned, we each went on individual 10 day silent meditation retreats, which set a nice tone for our very early married life. Within a month of my retreat, we had pulled up stakes in Los Angeles and relocated to Seattle, where we set out to buy our first home.

Vj went to work while I looked at 158 homes. We found our home and had an amazing time during the process. Once we were moved in, we realized we were approaching our first anniversary. We also realized that we had not encountered turbulence in our relationship.

Upon reflection, we saw that we had approached the entire year as a team. This was a far cry from my previous overly–independent self. By relating as a team and solving problems together, we had a very blissful beginning to our marriage.

We have adopted this approach throughout our marriage. We have expanded to encompass problems that we have with each other or the relationship. Our motto is “Go Team Anma!” When we approach all of our obstacles from this perspective, the sting of conflict is significantly reduced.

Going into the first year of marriage, I doubt that we would have been able to identify this importance. We feel very grateful that we had done the necessary work to enable us to show up as true and loving partners in a spirit of WIN/WIN.

What are the things that you were most afraid of going into your marriage? What lessons do you wish you had been taught before then? If you are unmarried or engaged, looking forward, what concerns do you have?


4 Responses to “The Most Valuable Lesson from Our First Year of Marriage”
  1. Dale says:

    Ah, bliss! Having been married going on almost 25 years, I’ve almost forgotten year one. No, not really! Your approach of consciously melding yourselves and your families makes a huge difference. Young (and I suppose old) people’s perception of marriage to ‘change the other’ and ‘your partner will perfectly match you’ gets couples in trouble. The #1 reminder every day: appreciate the good and what you love best about each other. The more you appreciate the best, the more you’ll get! Say it, feel it and show it! Now I’m ‘preaching’ this to my own children and hope they have the long-term (happy, not necessarily perfect) marriages both our parents had (50+ years, our father’s have passed away), our siblings (45 years, 28 years, and on….), cousins, etc. You’re the best Sarah!! Keep up the excellent work.

  2. Deb says:

    Thank you for sharing your insight into working as a team. After reading countless relationship books, Mars Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, etc I feel I have a better understanding on what men are about and listening to Dr Laura Schlessinger I would agree with you on the team effort. You are a team and need to talk about whatever is bothering you about the relationship to avoid conflicts and figure out how to best work with your differences. I have implemented this team atmosphere in a new relationship and it works well. My goal in this relationship is to not be like everyone else that complains about their significant other.

  3. Monica says:

    We just celebrated our 21st anniversary and year one seems just a short time ago. We didn’t pursue any premarital counseling but a 6-year dating time was more than enough preparation! While we don’t particularly focus on the team idea, I believe that we implement it. We approach issues outside our marriage with a united front and work on internal issues together. My advice to young couples is to clearly identify why you married THAT PERSON and hold fast to that. You’ll need that reminder at some point. Of course, you’ll have to be sure that you marry someone who confirms your values otherwise your “why’s” won’t stand the test. Also, remember that together you set the expectations of the relationship – don’t let that come from outside. You are accountable to one another’s expectations and to those dictated by your faith. Buffer your relationship against too many outside influences and seek what you need from within. It’s there!

  4. Wilma says:

    I feel so much happier now I undseartnd all this. Thanks!

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