In multiple ways, I was prepared to do well as a first-time expat leaving my country, family, friends, career, routines, lifestyle, and almost everything that I knew too well.
This one is controversial—and writing this is a bold step that I feel compelled to do.
That one BEST day in our lives was more than what we hoped for.
One month since we got married, and I’m reflecting on my favorite newlywed highs:
Getting introduced or referred to as “wife” by a proud husband.
It’s a new label that sends my stomach fluttering when I hear myself introduced as wife. It may be the novelty, but I’m praying that this lovely giddy feeling stays.
Waking up to a loving pair of eyes and arms you now call your husband’s.
We all need to wake up full of gratitude for another day. And when it comes to seeing reason after reason for giving thanks, nothing compares to the joy of waking up to the man you love. I’m so lucky to have a husband who loves to cuddle and snuggle under the sheets. You can just imagine how beautiful our mornings get when we snooze the alarm and get silly in love when we open our eyes. (Yes, it’s almost like we’re children seeing our crush beside us! If this is how being both in love and married feel, you can’t blame us for wanting this for the rest of our lives.)
The slowness of weeknights and weekends without wedding errands and a million and one wedding things to keep thinking about.
Wedding planning is worth multiple blog posts. I have so much to share; but at this point, I’m simply too happy that we’ve actually accomplished it in the way we envisioned.
It was a yearlong process for us to organize the destination wedding we dreamed of (at a budget!). Finally going past the planning stage, and THE actual wedding, are a major relief.
From the long series of fittings, purchases, meetings, etc., we’re actually surprised at how our personal schedule has become so much lighter. We can focus on bigger things in our life now, or simply just do nothing together and be perfectly content with it.
Planning the honeymoon.
Cory and I didn’t have the time to proceed to a long honeymoon after the wedding. We have spent the entire break (1) prioritizing family time as they traveled miles to celebrate our wedding, (2) entertaining friends and of course, and (3) pulling off the wedding of our lives—all these while staying sane. (Truth be told, the staying sane part had been challenging.)
Now is the time for the real honeymoon planning to begin, and it’s definitely one of my favorite highs as my husband takes over and maps out a dream vacation for 4 weeks around some of the most beautiful places in the world. We can’t wait and I plan to write about it all when it comes!
Discussing dreams: family, new home, savings, travel, retirement.
We all nurture big and small dreams inside of us, and being married allows us to share it all—no matter how crazy. Your spouse sees the deepest recesses of your heart—even your fears. There is no judgment, only fond understanding of the other.
We get to openly and seriously discuss matters to each other, even about the most sensitive conversations about money, having children of our own and adopting children to be our own, our simple dreams for a home, our ideal retirement, etc.
We’ve always been told of the importance of communicating to each other. Cory and I can both say that we communicate openly, but in our recent dinner date, we discussed that it is something that we want to continuously be good at. We can’t be complacent and think that the other person should know or already know what to do.
Cory and I give so much value to “eloquence” of expression. And by this, I don’t mean that we write each other essays or give speeches (we do haikus and love letters a lot though), but we must take pains to express what we feel and make the other person understand our perspective.
When we disagree, perspective is necessary to feel empathy, and eventually acceptance. It is something we continue to try to do. Let’s hope we’ll always remember to do this.
Doing almost everything together.
Apart from working on entirely different fields, we do a lot of things together. Eating, working out, praying, and socials are things we love doing together. We are happy and grateful when we spend a leisurely meals together. We go to our CrossFit gym and work out in the same classes together, cheering each other on. We pour our hearts out when we pray, and we love connecting with friends by hosting or going out with them.
Cory once asked me if we’ll ever get tired of each other. Honestly, that’s possible. But we carry with us the words of wisdom shared with us. Commitment is a choice. Being excited about each other is not always involuntary. We need to keep working for that which is important to us. And for the rest of our lives, we’ll keep trying and working because it is the most worthwhile work we can ever do for ourselves.
Singing, dancing, and laughing a lot at home.
I’m married to a man who loves to make people laugh. His singing is at times unbearable (sorry, my love!), his dancing is still a little too far from the Michael Jackson category, and his jokes are sometimes middle school-corny. But hey, I find all these things he does can crack me up because his heart is right there in his sleeve.
He tries to make people laugh because he genuinely likes seeing people happy. He has the craziest ability to laugh at himself and take himself lightly, and this joy in him simply radiates so much joy and light unto others, too.
Needless to say, for all my important criticism of my husband, I’m not up there at all on my showgirl abilities. My voice puts my Dad’s voice lessons money to waste, and my dancing is pitifully repetitive. But my husband endures and laughs and loves whenever I try. And that’s all that matters.
Home-cooked meals are extra special labors of love.
I find satisfaction from planning the food I’ll make and then actually making it. I know what food makes my husband happy and I deliberately find ways to make food that we’ll enjoy at home, and will be good for our health (most of the time!).
I go to lengths to learn tablescape art and put touches of candles, personalized coasters, matching linens, fresh flowers, etc. I think this part might be for me because my husband couldn’t care less about proper cutlery and charger plates, but I’d like to believe he’s slowly appreciating all the deliberate details for our home.
Many times, my husband who is an intuitively great cook, creates great meals for us and it’s always a treat. When we cook for each other or help with the dishes, we do it for love, and we find yet another reason to thank each other for what we do.
It feels good to appreciate and to be appreciated. I recreate those feel-good moments as much as I can.
Wearing our wedding rings.
It may purely be a newlywed high, but I love seeing my husband wear his ring as much as I love wearing mine. It is such a simple but sure way to physically show our devotion to each other, and somehow, it’s like wearing a badge of honor for us. We wear our commitment for the world to see, and it makes a difference to us.
Feeling more responsible.
We confess: being married somehow validates us as now-responsible adults who took a stand, made a life-altering leap of faith, and committed to love and choose one another for the rest of our days.
Marriage was an idea, an abstract and a concept. And now, it’s our reality. We’re making it a beautiful reality out of it, and we believe realities are something we can create. We’re not strange to stories of marriage that went from sweet to sour, and how it has caused misery to countless of people all over the world.
Being married gives us a higher level of responsibility because now we’re responsible not just for our own lives but for each other’s and our family’s. We accept that responsibility has weight, and we’re happy weight-lifters who are mastering the technique to lift better and to enjoy it day after day.
Source: My Newlywed Highs
This transition has been around too long: from girlfriend to fiance, and then wife.
Before I continue, I must confess that I have for a time expected that the role of wife was not for me. Fiercely independent (to the point of being stubbornly arrogant), I had plotted to be perfectly self-sufficient and defiantly happy even if almost everyone in my world is getting married, having babies, and pompously asking me about my turn.