They Do Exist.

I Really Thought The Honeymoon Phase Would Last Longer Than 2 Weeks

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Lindsey Capperrune. If you are about-to-be-married or in the first year of marriage (CONGRATULATIONSSSSSSS!!!!), there is a list at the bottom of this post of other stories on our site for you! And as always, you can find all posts on marriage at goodwomenproject.com/marriage. Love love. – Lauren

Photo by Branden Harvey / / Design by Lauren Dubinsky

The first year. Holy moly.

No one told me that this year would be one of the hardest years of my life.

Ok, great. Now let’s get back to planning my multi-thousand dollar wedding.

We were way too busy attending showers, opening gifts and registering for the waffle maker to even care that this year was going to be tough. And there was the huge decision between wood or Chiavari chairs for the ceremony. And was it improper to request that children not come to the wedding?

We had dated for 3 years and I knew this guy was the guy who would rock my world. He had it all; he was a Jesus follower, he was great on the eyes, he was smart and he made me laugh about a hundred times a day. We were seriously in love and seriously planning the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to.

We went to the Dominican Republic, on a honeymoon you only see in the magazines, kayaked in the ocean, made love, drank the best coffee ever, came home and life began.

Or did it?

Actually my life had begun 23 years ago, in a Baptist home with 2 sisters my younger. My life in the city with malls and restaurants and in a home where we put the milk on the door in the refrigerator.

And his life had begun 26 years ago. In a Lutheran home with one older sister. In a small town with one stop light and a gas station with sprinkle donuts. In a home where they put the milk on the shelf in the refrigerator.

I played volleyball and Barbie’s and he played guitar and Super Mario Bros. I majored in Communications and he in Worship Ministry.

There’s this problem, and it’s that we think life starts with marriage.

As if marriage is the start of it all. It’s a fallacy that life begins there and everything prior to the vows evaporates suddenly. I’m not sure why exactly; maybe we want it to be that way, or we know it’d be easier that way. Maybe because we want to be the only life our new spouse has ever known, but the truth is life begins before “I do.”

You bring your family, your norms and values, your “we’ve always done it” ways and you marry a person who just happens to have those ways too and you collide. You find yourself wondering, “Why does he do it like that?! Why does the garbage sit there in a bag by the back door? Why does he fold his underwear?”

And things he probably asked of me: Why are we having cupcakes for dinner? And why do you steal the covers every. single. night?

The impact of that collision is so strong that we start to think something is majorly wrong.

Crap. We will never get along.  I really thought this “honeymoon phase” would last a lot longer than 2 weeks. This the 3rd time this week I’m crying because I don’t understand him. How are we going to make time for all 3 family Thanksgiving celebrations? And so the collision goes.

The beauty of the first year is that it’s the first year, and there is only one.

It’s the beginning of a new life together. It’s the start, the take-off of this new thing we call marriage. We can only learn more from here. We can choose to believe that this person we now live with had a life before us. A life that was full of ways we didn’t live, full of different experiences, and different family norms.

It’s true that there’s no single way to operate a home or family. It’s true that it doesn’t really matter where in the fridge the milk sits, or if we fold our underwear. What matters is that we live life together in love and peace. Honoring God with our marriage and not letting the little (yet seemingly so big) things get in the way.

So it’s true. The first year really is a hard year. Not very many people will tell you that, but I will, and my husband will too. When that collision happens and you find yourself wondering if you’re ever going to be able to live under one roof in peace, just wait. It’s okay. Wait for your eyes to be open to your new love and life together and wait for all of the debris to hit the pavement.

Take note of the debris – the things that you want to incorporate into your new family and household , and the things that really don’t matter. And go peacefully walking down that road we call love.

Stories about the wedding/honeymoon: What No One Told Me Before Marriage, What No One Told Me About The Honeymoon, Transitioning From Dating To Marriage
 
Stories about the first year: When The First Month Of Marriage Isn’t Bliss, On Being The Female Breadwinner, What No One Told Me: You’ll Still Be You, Sex Expectations, What No One Told Me: The Best Parts.


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35 Responses

  1. mhm. this is good.
    it's also why i love having different types of girlroommates who i think are truly helping me grow & mature in how i live in close quarters with a human being outside my immediate family =)
    thanks for sharing!!

    January 12, 2013 at 1:16 am

  2. Very sweet post!
    Really insightful about the false idea we have of life starting totally new at marriage. If we believe that, how much we miss of our spouse and who they are!
    Do you think that couples need to do more than just wait it out? The clashes of the first year? I wonder if how we learn to deal with, or not deal with, the differences, will continue to make a huge impact on the rest of the years.
    We had a very hard first year, due to a very hard pregnancy & then losing our son just after his birth. Because of the very hard stuff that he had to learn to deal with together, it became pretty obvious to us how silly our disagreements about socks and towels and boots were. Even the disagreements about dogs. Those weren't worth the loss of our unity.

    January 12, 2013 at 1:33 am

    • I meant to say the hard stuff WE had to learn to deal with together… not just he!!

      January 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    • yes yes yes. our first year of marriage was really hard (really awesome!! but really hard) and we decided to go to marriage counseling about 4 months in, even when we totally couldn't afford it. it has literally laid the entire foundation of our current and future relationship with one another, and it is so.incredibly.important.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    • Lindsey

      Hey Erin- Yes, I think we have to deal with the differences. There's no choice in that. It's the actual dealing with them that I think brought us so much confusion. It was against all the "total bliss" stories we had heard about. And that's when I thought something was maybe wrong with me, or us. Truth is- every marriage has things to work out. Any 2 people from different worlds have lots of things to work out when becoming roommates :)

      January 15, 2013 at 1:09 pm

  3. Lindsey

    I'd always held the opposite view. That marriage ends your free, independent life, and everything before it doesn't matter.

    Kind of sad that I've convinced myself of that, and it's obvious to me that God is trying to change my heart, and I've even let myself believe otherwise, but there's always that doubt in the depths of my heart that marriage could ever be great for me.

    January 12, 2013 at 2:39 am

  4. This is long overdue. I’m not married yet but was blessed to learn this theough other experiences. Sadly so many of my friends are getting married and are focused so much on the wedding day they forget about eachother. Similarly many newly married couples put on that front like everything is ok when you know they are dying inside.

    January 12, 2013 at 7:40 am

  5. Billie Paulus

    Thank you so much. While I am not married, it's not even in sight, a lot of times I have the mindset that my life will feel somehow more complete and be more worthwhile when I am married. I know this is not the mindset God wants me to have, He wants my happiness now and my satisfaction in Him, not just with the man I will eventually be with. Thank you for this reminder that there is preparation, things take time, and there is life before "the one" comes stumbling into my life. Spot on for me… thanks Lindsey.

    January 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm

  6. Great piece Lindsey, thank you!

    When I think about what marriage is – a collision of two people with completely different backgrounds and paths, just as you described it – it sometimes makes me wonder how marriages even function in the first place hahaa.

    But seriously, I really liked this piece and it's super encouraging how much you still love each other and honour God despite the challenges the beginning stages of a marriage brings.

    January 12, 2013 at 5:19 pm

  7. Katy

    I can totally relate. The first year of marriage for hubby and I was not what I had expected or hoped for. I was crying, wondering if we'd ever figure it out and then came the next few years-better but still trying to make sense of everything and all the while wondering if maybe I had made a mistake. It took me 6 years of struggling and still not being truly clear on whether or not I still wanted to be in this marriage to finally decide that I would be all in no matter how hard it was. I decided that I didn't want to live in limbo anymore in my mind-one foot in and one foot out the door. We decided to go forward and begin a family and just accept that we'll always have things about each other that annoy us and make us want to scream sometimes. I'm now newly pregnant and this definitive decision has quieted my mind and heart. I know exactly where we're going and we just accept each other and this imperfect marriage knowing that God put us together for a reason even if weekly we both still wonder what those reasons might be. It gets easier, you can't give up!

    January 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm

  8. So very true! My husband and I are into our 3rd year of marriage, but we barely made it through the first! We got married after only knowing each other for a month, so talk about a big life change! I know that God was with us through it all and without Him we never would have made it! The first six months were great, our "honeymoon phase", but then came family drama, stress, wondering if we did the right thing, and right around our first anniversary I really wasn't sure there was going to be second anniversary. But we stuck with it and I am so glad we did! Two years later and I am so thankful and blessed for the road God lead us down… it all happens for a reason and it's so worth it!

    January 13, 2013 at 11:38 am

  9. This is wonderfully written. My husband & I really didn't have a "honeymoon" phase. He was in the Army, and we lived apart for months during his training and then he left for Iraq for a year. So when we finally *did* live together, we had all sorts of issues to work out. There have been some tough times, but it's so obvious how far we've come and our marriage is such a blessing. I always knew it was worth it, but the growth has really made things easier.

    January 13, 2013 at 8:16 pm

  10. shadowingabigail

    Encouraging to read 6 weeks before getting married. :-) Thanks for this!

    January 14, 2013 at 8:42 am

  11. Erica Boyer

    Lindsey- This is fabulous. I think I read in a Henri Nouwen book, "What is most personal is most universal." And the fallacy of the newlywed bliss is definitely universal! Thank you so much for being open and honest so that the rest of us don't feel so, well…messed up.

    There is only one thing that I would disagree with is that there is only one "first year" of marriage. In my experience, there are several "first years" of marriage. The first year married, the first year with a baby, the first year without a job, the first year after a tragedy, etc. Granted, I've only got a few years under my belt, but I have to say that from the moment we found out we were having a baby, our marriage kind of forgot the routine. Change is a scary thing, and that's no exception in a relationship. It seems that every time we experience a drastic shift in our lives, our marriage needs a little time to cushion the blow. We have to figure our how to still be "us" in a new circumstance.

    I hope I'm not the only one who feels this way (if so, please disregard that entire paragraph!) but WOW, marriage with a baby is tough! We are getting the hang of it, but it has taken an exhausting amount of time and commitment! I wouldn't ever go back or change a thing, parenthood is the most fulfilling and rewarding thing I've ever experienced in my life. But just like you said, it's something that we aren't often warned about prior.

    Again, beautiful post. You are so gifted!

    January 15, 2013 at 1:22 am

    • Lindsey

      Hey Erica- Thanks! I love the "We have to figure our how to still be "us" in a new circumstance". Totally true. There are so many firsts, a life full actually. Our whole life is really about becoming "us" each new time.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:03 pm

  12. LA S.C.

    Ok, I would like to offer a different perspective–firsts, thanks for sharing your story! I see it has already touched and encouraged many people. But my first year of marriage wasn't like this at all. In fact IT WAS WONDERFUL! See, I had heard from so many people that "wait till after the honeymoon…then life sets in" or "Wait till you get to your first year… its gonna be tough". But…. it wasn't. Even with graduating college, getting married, and instantly relocating to Florida (from Pennsylvania for me and Maine for him) and finding new jobs, new church, and new friends… it was EASIER than dating ever was! See we dated for a year and were engaged for 2 more, throught college. It was so stressful–now don't get me wrong, I LOVED dating my husband, we had such fun together–but we had arguments too (augmented by college stress) and seemed to disagree plenty of things.
    But we are into our second year of marriage now, and it's still wonderful! Better than I could have hoped or dreamed!!!

    January 15, 2013 at 8:12 am

  13. Mary

    love it!

    February 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm

  14. truly inspiring..will be back often:)

    February 26, 2013 at 11:00 pm

  15. I enjoyed reading this heartfelt post. Rarely does life go as planned and that includes marriage. But don't let that shatter your faith in love my dearest sister.

    March 14, 2013 at 2:24 am

  16. Gema

    it will last longer if you would like to. That's if your partner is willing to be with you in your honeymoon phase much longer than you expected..
    Thanks,
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    March 28, 2013 at 11:37 pm

  17. Wow! You have a really grand post. It’s easy, to the peak and informative. I be thankful for your solid work and enthusiasm. Good luck and stay giving out your views.

    April 4, 2013 at 3:55 am

  18. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. thank you guys.

    April 4, 2013 at 4:34 am

  19. This is an excellent blog post. much informative. it was a pleasure ready thing. Thanks…

    April 15, 2013 at 3:28 am

  20. laiza

    Im thankful for your solid work and enthusiasm of writing this. Now i know that there is no such thing last in this world. all of this are temporary.

    Thanks,
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    April 22, 2013 at 4:31 am

  21. Now a days marriage turn into worst thing because of the feeling that doesn't last. And because the commitment of the person is not sustain..many of them feel exhausted and the worst is blaming their partners for what happen. But indeed this is a valuable information.

    April 22, 2013 at 4:35 am

  22. You have some really good ideas in this article. I am glad I read this. I agree with much of what you state in this article. Your information is thought-provoking, interesting and well-written.

    April 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

  23. I learn a lot from this post. I'll be getting married in 2 years time and it's really helpful to hear from personal experience what to expect on wedding, honeymoon and how life would it be after the wedding, when you actually live under one roof.

    May 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm

  24. It's not my first time to pay attention or visit this website, i am browsing this web page daily and take pleasant data from here all the time.

    May 29, 2013 at 1:54 am

  25. Just enjoyed reading your story about your honeymoon, and how was it?

    May 29, 2013 at 8:51 am

  26. You really have very interesting experienced during your honeymoon. . . thanks for the great share there. I just enjoyed reading it.

    May 29, 2013 at 9:01 am

  27. This is a great post and clearly a lot of time was put into it. Thanks for sharing your views and i look forward to reading more of your posts.

    July 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm

  28. There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.

    July 4, 2013 at 5:53 am

  29. Thank You. Loved the post.

    July 7, 2013 at 9:03 pm

  30. That's what life is before and after marriage. Honeymoon will not last. At first you're very intimate to each other but as the days go by you become not much into it.

    August 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm

  31. ronsumrall

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    November 18, 2013 at 4:11 am

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