Happy Friday Ladies!

My one-year anniversary was on June 19th!!! It doesn’t feel like I have been married a year already, which I take as a good sign.

I am proud to wear his grandmother's ring!

There have been ups and downs for sure, as is any new endeavor, but overall, it has been a wonderful first year and I love my husband more than ever! I should note that I did not know my husband long. We had a whirlwind romance and met, engaged and married within a year!!! So his total history, his family, his idiosyncrasies, etc. were not that well known to me. Here are some tips I have for surviving the first year:

LITTLE THINGS – This is so important because it is the little things that can drive you over the edge. You have to let the little things that bother you go and only gripe about the ones that you just can’t stand. Nit-picking every little thing will drive you both nuts. My husband for some reason, leaves drawers open after he takes something out. He will grab some underwear and not close the drawer. Same with shorts, shirts, sometimes a cup in the kitchen cupboard. It drive me NUTS. But I can deal with it. What I can’t deal with is him leaving the toilet seat up (which he rarely does) or him not walking the dog at night. I am also respectful of his wishes. We have a shower that is all glass and he has a squeegee in there, which he wipes down with after every shower. This is to avoid streaks. I am expected to do the same. I hate doing it and if it were just me, I would never do it. But I am respectful of this request and use the damn squeegee every day. And remember – you’re not perfect either. There are probably many little quirks you have that drive him up a tree and he doesn’t say a word and lives with it!

My big strong man snowshoeing

NESTING – You have probably, like me, already had the big arguments over décor and style and where things go. Oh yeah THAT was fun. But still, we often argue over what we will buy, and how to do things. I really want to wallpaper one of the guest rooms. He doesn’t. We’ll see. We will probably have his grandparent’s wicker furniture forever. I do not like this furniture. But I have given up the fight. It is not worth it. You will learn where you have wiggle room. For me, it is the front guest bedroom. I moved into his house so I already felt like I was in foreign territory. I had a hard time trying to have it feel like our space, and not me a visitor in his. I put all of my bedroom furniture and girly stuff in the front guest room. I bought some pictures for that room. I love decorating it and I don’t have to ask his opinion. It is agreed that my husband has no say on what goes in that room and how it looks. I love that I have my own space! I also got to decide where things go in the kitchen since I do most of the cooking. I recommend you allow each of you to have your own “space” – areas that are really important to you. For some guys, it’s the front lawn or the garage. For others, it might be a den. As long as you can agree enough, then you both can have your way.

FAMILY – There may be members of his family that you don’t like. Life is not a fairy-tale (well maybe Cinderella with her evil step-sisters in my case…) but you need to learn to deal with it. This past Christmas was brutal. There is no sugarcoating it. I was completely depressed. I love Christmas with my family, but since we did Thanksgiving with my family, it was only fair to spend Christmas with his. We only had to go for Christmas day – they live in San Francisco and we are in L.A. so thank god it was only that because it was the longest day ever. It was the first time in my 41 years of life that I was not with my sisters. It was the first Christmas without my niece since she was born. That is hard to do. I sat there and was quiet and tried to be social but really just wanted to get the day over with. Plus, there are two women in his family that I just don’t like. I feel it’s okay for me to mention because it’s no secret. They did some things at my wedding that were unforgiveable and are just plain rude. But they are in my husband’s family.

The advice I have is this – You need to be you, but you also need to be respectful. Do not try to hide your feelings. My husband talked to the 2 women after we got back from our honeymoon about their behavior at our wedding and they know how I feel about them. Life is too short to try to mask your feelings. And you need to stand up for yourself. I knew that if I didn’t tell them now that I thought their behavior was bad, then they would walk all over me forever. That being said, try to be polite and just get it done. If you have a major issue with someone, you probably need to sit them down and try to work it out and not cause a scene in front of the whole family. I held my tongue during the whole Christmas dinner eventhough some things said were appalling. And remember – time will make it better. The first year, you are dealing with all of these new people and realizing that you are tied to them forever and that can be downright hard. But the next year, 5 years from now, 10 – you will hardly even notice a crazy Uncle or overly loud sister-in-law. Just keep reminding yourself that you married your husband, not his family and he is the one who matters. I should also mention that I love my mother-in-law. She is low-key, respectful and lets us live our lives. I am very very thankful that I have a great mother-in-law because I have heard some AWFUL stories. An overbearing mother-in-law is as common as politicians getting into sex scandals. So I thank my lucky stars that I am not one of the statistics!

Trying to figure out the lights – I let him do it!

I know my comments sound harsh but I really wanted to be honest because I know many women who feel the same way. As soon as I admit to someone that I don’t like some of the in-laws, the woman I am saying this to lets out a deep sigh of relief and knows that she is in a safe place to tell me about the potholes in her marital bliss. It’s okay for it not to be perfect.

FIGHTING – There were moments when I truly wasn’t sure if we were going to make it. I’m not sure if that’s normal or me being overly dramatic. Either way, it sucked. It is really important to learn how you fight with one another and not to get nasty. My husband likes to talk it out right then and there. I like a cooling off period for fear that I might go straight for the jugular and say some things I will regret. We have learned how to deal with each other so we are both ready to talk it out at the right time.

STAND ALONE – some couples think that now that they are married, they need to be joined at the hip. I can’t stand those couples! What were they before they got married? An amoeba? A non-personality piece of dust? Nope. Both my husband and me were fully evolved adults with interests and brains before we met. It’s really important that you take some alone time away from the husband so you can be your own person within a relationship. I do girlfriend time a lot. I love my girlfriends and I don’t want them to feel abandoned just because I got married. And I encourage my husband to go do things on his own too. He is taking the IFR rating now. He has his pilot’s license and the time he is away gives me time to do my stuff. It is important. Otherwise, soon enough, you won’t be able to think by yourself, you will be one of the pod people, you won’t have any friends left and you will be fully reliant on your husband for all of your entertainment and social conversation. You will wind up wearing matching Christmas sweaters!! Eeeewwwww. (I joke because we actually did this as a joke for our Xmas card!)

And ladies – DON”T play the smug bride!! No one likes that. Do not talk to your single friends as if you had no life and were miserable before you got married. It’s lame and probably not true. I was a happy person before and I am now. Of COURSE I am happy to have found love. It is wonderful. Just don’t rub it in the faces of your single or divorced friends. They will hate you for it.

Roses he sent me when we were dating – he still buys me flowers

BASE CAMP – REMEMBER that you love him and he loves you and that is the BOTTOM LINE. You can get through anything, survive anything, deal with anything if you feel this way about each other. I remember one fight we had early in our relationship and I said, “Yeah, well, unfortunately, I love you!” It’s so true. I knew I would stick it out and make it work because I love him.

And the #1 RULE of all time– Just because the first year is over doesn’t mean you are not newlyweds. I’m extending it to the first 5!!!! Enjoy lovebirds!

P.S. The above can apply to anyone in a relationship the first year, not just married couples. Go Angelina and Brad!