Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On married life - so far

Well, husband and I have been married just over a month now. In some ways, it has all felt totally normal and natural – we’re best friends so what’s weird about now living together and being with each other every day? Nothing. At the same time, it still feels like the wedding was yesterday and everything is completely new. (I guess I need to mention before I continue: Both husband and I are Christians – real disciples of Jesus – so we chose to not live or sleep together until we were married.)
The 38 days that we have been husband and wife have been new, exciting, so fun, transitional (is that even a word?), an adjustment, wonderful, and happy.

Things I have instantly loved about being married (especially to Gordon):
-          We’re with each other all the time! Now that the holidays are over and life is getting back to normal, we, unfortunately, cannot sit around all day and bask in each other’s presence. But getting to see each other first thing in the morning (and yes we both wake up with breath that smells like fresh mint and the perfect bedhead) and the second before we fall asleep and coming home to each other, really is a blessing.
-          We have so much fun! Not that we didn’t have fun before we were married, but when we were single, our time together was planned – even if it was just going to sit in a coffee shop. Still planned. Now that we’re married, the humour and fun also comes from the unplanned – from the late night humour while getting ready for bed; from the unknown habits and preferences each other has that you’re just learning about; or from watching new TV series you discover together. (COMMUNITY. I know we’re jumping on the bandwagon REALLY late, but better late than never. How did I not see this sooner?!)
-          It brings me closer to God; whether naturally or by force. What I mean is this: marriage, as designed by God, brings two people together in a covenant before God, that is supposed to be a reflection of Jesus's relationship with the church.  The constant building and growing towards this, just naturally brings each of you closer in relationship to God. Marriage is also new territory, something we have zero experience in, and a bit uncomfortable at times in the beginning, so I am compelled to turn to God for direction, encouragement, and instruction. I honestly don’t know how we could be married without the bible as our standard. It settles everything.
-          No more late night drives home. Yay! When we were dating (and especially the last few months of our engagement), life was so busy that we were exhausted from trying to juggle everything (work, university, exams, ministry, dance lessons…those are important, you know) and still spend time with each other. And since we lived about 20 minutes apart, someone was always driving home after 9:30pm. (I know that doesn’t sound late but when you leave your house at 6am and don’t come home till 10pm every day, one does get tired that early; plus, driving in Joburg anywhere past that time is not ideal.)
-          Making traditions. This is something I’ve had to remember to embrace because I find myself wanting to make it feel just like my parents’ home. (See Christmas post) But it actually is really fun realizing what we already are making into weekly or daily traditions. (Friday [or Saturday…part of the tradition is being flexible] night homemade pizza and movie night; kisses before bed or before you leave the house, even if the other one is still sleeping [which is usually me] :) )
-          Our little house! It is becoming more and more a home and the place that we love to retreat to and feel safe in. We love having people over for dinner and braais (South African barbeques) and coffee. And I can finally start putting my Pinteresting into practice!

Things that I am adjusting to:
-          My husband is a tall, handsome, and muscular guy who eats a lot more than me. I have to work on by dinner portions; they still keep coming out a bit too small.
-          No internet. This actually has nothing to do with being married, but not having internet at a time when I extra want to stay in touch with my family and friends is challenging. (We actually signed a contract in November for internet, but the internet company comes from the same family as sloths, so we have yet to receive it.)
-          It’s just an adjustment. I know that’s not anything specific, but sometimes I can’t pinpoint what exactly is the adjustment. As my husband said, “It’s just different”. (We love marriage and each other, it’s just different.) Embarrassingly, I think I make it more of an adjustment when I get overly emotional about something; but nonetheless, extreme emotions in tight quarters are an adjustment that come with the territory – and that no one really warns you about. (I have to mention that Gordon has been extremely kind and patient throughout this.)

If you are newly married, from the wisdom I have gathered in one month, my advice is the following:
-          Relax. It’s not a big. What’s not a big deal, you may ask. Whatever you’re freaking out about. And it’s only been a month. I remind myself of these things often.
-          Have fun. When in doubt, when I start getting emotional, just do something fun.
-          Kiss a lot. (That pretty much always helps everything.) :)
-          Watch Community often.
-          Spend lots of time with other people too. This keeps you from the potential new married bubble of selfishness and is a lot of fun.
-          Pray LOTS! (This is a constant point of improvement.) Pray by yourself, pray together. Pray.
-          A weekly pizza and movie night is a must.

I mostly wrote all those to remind myself. Maybe you were reminded of something too?

Young marrieds out there: thoughts? Shared experiences? What have you learned? What advice can you share? If you are newly married, I hope you are feeling more in love than ever before and learning to enjoy every moment!

Love, from the southern hemisphere,

Ellie Fulton 


  1. "It(marriage) brings me closer to God; whether naturally or by force." THAT is very insightful...and true. So happy to hear everything you are learning. As life gets busier the word 'intentional' has become a key concept for us. What helps us be close to God has to be intentionally scheduled into the mayhem or or mayhem will reign. Quiet times, discipling times, hospitality, serving...making those an integral part of your life now (as it seems you are doing) will make them good spiritual habits that will not be compromised later. I highly recommend (when the internet slots finally arrive at the shire) watching together Sam and Geri Laing's latest series on marriage and family at the Miami school of missions website. Pearls of wisdom about these things...link: http://miamischoolofmissions.com/
    So happy for you both :)

  2. So much fun to see you grow in your young wife role. While reading your post, you have reminded me of a few things that I need to apply in my marriage. So you see my dear sister, you can also teach the older women, to have fun, to kiss a lot, and to not make a big deal out of everything. Thank you Ellie. I miss you.

  3. I would only add to the newly married reminders to enjoy because this is the least hectic time in your married life, believe it or not. As you add to your family, there are more people to consider and think about. Right now, you only have to consider your spose. Enjoy this time as it goes so quickly, even if you wait a while to have kids, which are a joy in themselves. :) Love you.

  4. This made me so very happy to read. There is so little written about what happens after the wedding and you nailed it. Miss you, Elizabeth :)

  5. Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions!
    Megan - hope you're doing well! :)


Talk to me. :)