4 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married + a Link-Up

The title of this post may sound like I'm demeaning marriage - but I'm not!

Yes, marriage can be hard, but I think one of the reasons it can be difficult is because it's one of the biggest transitions you'll make in life.
 (Second to becoming a parent - or so I've heard)

So, to help make this amazing, wonderful, crazy time a little bit easier, I've come up with a few uncommon pieces of advice that I wish I would have known before I got married. 





1. The "Marriage 15"

Have you ever heard of the "Freshman 15"? 
Ya know, the fifteen pounds most freshmen gain by the time 
they've finished their first year of college? 

Well I'm here to tell you that there is also the "Marriage 15."
It can easily happen if you're not careful, 
but now that you know about it - don't lose sleep over it.

Just have a plan you and loved one can do 
together to help prevent it.
(Because it's easier to prevent weight gain than 
it is to lose it - amiright?) 


2. Birth control alternatives.
(We are talking about marriage, so of course we're going 
to discuss at least one adult topic)

I probably should have written an entire post just about this topic. Because it is the most important piece of knowledge that I wish I would have known before I got married.

Like a large majority of women, when I started taking the pill my doctor warned me that I may experience mood swings and depression, but I didn't really think anything of it.
And besides, even if I did get a little moody or sad, 
I would just have to buck-up and deal with.
Because what other (enjoyable) long term option 
for birth control did I have?

Well guess what happened?
Slowly, over a period of about six months, 
I started having more and more emotional breakdowns.
Until they became a weekly thing.
(my poor husband)

I never put two and two together.
I always blamed my emotional breakdowns on the 
stress I was experiencing from work or school.
I just thought that I couldn't handle the stress 
of our new life together.

It wasn't until I stopped taking the pill that I 
realized just how much it was effecting me.
Within a week of stopping, I felt like my old self again.
 I was even able to handle a more stressful school schedule and more work responsibilities in the following months without having one single emotional breakdown.

Not only that, but my creativity shot through the roof.
I had so many ideas and things that I was excited to be doing.  
Getting out of bed became ten times easier, 
because I was actually excited about life again.
And a-little-side-note that may be tmi, but have you ever heard that the pill can lower your libido? 
Well it's true. (at least it was for me)


Anyways, if any of this sounds familiar to you,
or if you're worried this might happen to you in the future,
then just know that there are alternatives to birth control besides the pill.

Have you ever heard of the Fertility Awareness Method?
I hadn't heard of it until I pick up this book.

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health

It seriously changed my life.



3. Save money while you're single

This is it is the one thing that my husband said he wishes he would have done differently before we got married.

 I also think it's something a lot of people can relate to because usually when you're single you don't have as many expense as you do when you're married.
Which means when you're single, you get accustomed to a certain lifestyle that you may not be able to maintain after you're married.

Maybe, right now, you can afford that huge car payment each month or you can afford to go shopping for new clothes each paycheck - but things change when you get married.

And it can be a really hard adjustment.

 My husband and I were used to going out on 
dates every weekend and being able to take off 
in the car to go where ever we wanted.
 But after we got married our money was spend 
on different expenses and suddenly we didn't
 have the money to drive halfway across the state 
just because we felt like going on a little trip.
 Don't-get-me-wrong, we had tons of fun on all our little adventures and I wouldn't want to trade 
those memories for anything!

It's just when we look back on that time, 
we both wish we would have been a little bit 
better at setting aside some money for the future.


4. You ain't his momma


This is the most obvious tip, but I felt that it was worth mentioning because 
I've seen problems (in my own marriage and others) that stem from one spouse thinking that they have the right to tell the other spouse how to do everything.

Give your spouse the power to make their own decisions.

I've noticed that when I try to tell my husband how to do things, whether its how to make dinner or how he should handle himself in certain social situations, that it's more harmful to our relationship than it is beneficial.

My husband wants to know that I trust 
him to make his own decisions. He wants to know that I feel confident in the man I married.

So, unless he asks for help or advice, 
I try to let him decide for himself.

I'm not perfect at it. (Ask him and he'll tell you. ha!)
But I try to convey to him that I trust him to 
make his own decisions,and our relationship 
has been stronger because of it.




***

Well there they are, the four things I wish I would
have known before I got married.

Can you think of a few things you
wish you would have know before you got married?

I would love to hear the advice you have to share!
If you feel inspired to write your own blog
post on this topic, please feel free to use the link-up below!








The Life of Pi







This book was published back in 2001, so 
I'm sure many of you had the chance to read it.
But I wasn't interested in this book until I saw it 
a couple of months ago at the library, 
and I thought, "Hey, why not?" 

I was about half way through the book and still 
couldn't decide if I really liked it or not.
(Has that ever happened to you?) 
But I had heard so much praise about the story 
that I just kept reading - and I'm so glad I did!

I've never read a novel quite like this one. 
It's heavy in beauty and heartbreak. 
The story weaves together themes of: 
life and death, God and man, and enduring against all odds. 
It asks questions like: what does it mean to be human? 
and what is this reality we are experiencing called life?


Needless to say, I am in love with this story.  


This is my favorite quote from the novel:
“I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always ... so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.” 



I think this is a great book to read if you are 
looking for a different perspective on life. 

***  

Have you read "The Life of Pi? 
What did you think? 

Three things I wish I knew at 18 + a Link-Up


Most teenagers look forward to their 18th birthday for years.
It means that they will have freedom-
freedom to start their own lives and make their own decisions.

Big transitions are made during this time, 
which is both exciting and scary.

Looking back on my life, this was one of 
the few times I felt entirely lost.
There seemed to be so many possibilities and choices - 
and I just felt overwhelmed.

Becoming an "adult" can be a difficult. 
I can't tell you what you should do for
 your career or what the answers are to the
 difficult choices you're about to make, 
but I have thought about a few
 things that I've learned sense I turned 
eighteen and I wanted to share them with all of you.


Below are the three things I wish I knew when I was 18:








1. Trust your life's unique time schedule

When I was eighteen I had all my major 
life milestones planned out: 
I would graduate from college at 23, 
be married by 24, travel around the world, 
and then have my first child at 27.

 It was the perfect plan -
except it didn't work out ! 
(surprise, surprise)

Things don't always go according to our plans. And that's ok!

I wish at 18 someone would have told 
me to trust my life's unique time schedule.

Realize that your life probably won't unfold 
the way that you imagined it.
If you don't reach a specific milestone by 
the time you were hoping or 
if life throws you a curve ball, please know 
that there is nothing wrong with you!

Everyone will reach different milestones 
in life at different times. So, try not to compare 
your life to others, and don't stress if you seem
 to be in a different place than everyone else.

Trust that your life's journey will take you to the places
you need to be -when you need to be there.
And try to find joy, no matter what stage of life you are in.


2. Your friendships will change


This was one of the hardest things for me to accept,

but as sad as it is, your friendships will change.

So, don't be afraid of making new friends as 
you transition to this new phase of life.
Some of my closest friends now, are people that
 I didn't know in high school.

But (if you're lucky) you may still have, 
a couple of the same friends you had at eighteen -
 but your actual friendships will probably be different.

What I mean by that is; you may not see each other 
as much or depend on each other as often.

So, try your best not to be hurt when 
some of your friendships aren't 
as close as you always imagined they would be. 
You or your friends may get married or have a baby,
and their new family (usually) takes precedence over their old friendships.

Don't get me wrong - friends are a very important part of life. 

But something that I realized during 
my young adult years is that family really does come first. 
I'm closer to my parents and my sisters 
now than when I was 18, and it's awesome.

I wish someone would have told me
 at eighteen (or 15) that all the fights I had 
with my mom and siblings would stop one day, 
and that I would deeply regret all the disrespectful 
things I said and did during my teen years. 


3. Follow your dreams

As cliche as it sounds, this is one of the things that I wish
 I would have been reminded of more often at 18. 

 As I entered adulthood, I mistakenly believed 
that I would have to let go of 
(what I had been told were) "childish" dreams. 

I heard mocking remarks, from both adults and 
teens, about those who had dreams of being 
photographers, writers, actors, or fashion designers. 

"Well yes - those are fine dreams," 
they would say, "but how are you going to 
make a living doing something like that?"  

So, I convinced myself that I needed to choose 
something traditional to study in school.
Something that would make a logical and lucrative career.

Looking back now, I wish someone would have
 told me not to listen to the naysayers. 
I can think of many individuals who chose to 
follow their dreams at 18 and now, 
6 years later (or less) have already experienced success.

We live in an exciting time! Creative talent is highly valued in 
certain markets, and the internet makes opportunities possible that 
would have been extremely difficult just 15 years ago.      

So if you want to write a novel or design wedding dresses, 
then get on the path that will take you there! 
Don't let other people's opinions dim your confidence. 
Someone gets to do those things for their career - why not you?




***

Well there ya have it, the three things I wish I would 
have know at eighteen. 

Can you think of a few things you 
wish you would have know at 18? 

(Or if you are 18 - then stuff you 
wish you knew 5 years ago?)

I would love to hear the advice you have to share!
If you feel inspired to write your own blog 
post on this topic, please feel free to use the link below! 

Together we can create an amazing online resource for everyone about to adventure into an new phase of life. 

***
P.S.
 This link up has closed, but if you write a post that you would like to link-up
 just message meor comment below and I will reopen the link-up for you.
 Thanks!