photo by Beth Morgan
Today marks four years of marriage with Christian, and honestly – I can’t believe how fast we got here! It feels like it was just a year ago we stood in a garden, under bright red and orange fall trees and bistro lights and said “I do.” Similar to last year’s three years post, I wanted to share four questions that we both answered (separately).
1. How is marriage different than what you expected?
Kathleen: This is probably not surprising, but I don’t think I fully understood how much of our “partnership” I would spend solo. My brother is a radiation oncologist, my dad is a gastroenterologist, my brother-in-law is a pediatrician… but with Christian’s head & neck surgery training, my MD relatives agree that his schedule is even more time-consuming (insert thumbs down emoji). And trust – there are other residencies even more intense than his! 11PM to 8:30AM surgeries are not uncommon, and I’m left experiencing dinner parties, events, date nights, movie nights… alone.
Obviously there is hope that this will not always be the way things are, but I also assume that when he’s done with all of his training we might have children – which is an entirely different distraction from our relationship (although a beautiful one). But hey – I also tell myself if he wasn’t busy with this there would be something else. Anyone who works hard (regardless of the profession) has a demanding schedule, and you just have to roll with it.
Christian: I think my expectations of marriage were similar to most people’s perceptions in that they were based on what I saw from my own parents, but what Kathleen and I realized as we read this book together during our engagement is that everyone’s expectations are different because everyone’s families are different. As we build our own marriage we have to reconcile these ideas.
In the first year we would catch ourselves saying “but my dad always takes out the trash, it’s your job” and “but my mom likes doing the dishes” to one another as we projected those expectations on one another. Both of our parents have strong marriages which serve as invaluable examples, but it is no substitute to finding our own path.
We now recognize that we live in a different place, in a different time, and are different people in a different relationship so our marriage is going to be appropriately different. We are still getting the hang of our roles as husband and wife but I wouldn’t trade it for anything (unless you’re reading this Megan Fox, in which case- call me!).
2. What is a habit you love about the other person… and one that you don’t love?
Christian: I’m a big fan of Kathleen’s habit of cleanliness. She has a lower tolerance of mess than I do, so the house stays nice and tidy. I’d say her bad habit is her reality TV addiction. She’s always itching for a fix staying up late into the night to catch people talking about people talking about pointless drama.
Kathleen: Christian is a researcher, and I LOVE it. When we go to a restaurant, he’s already looked up the backstory and fills me in on how it started as a food truck, etc. When we travel together, I rarely even look into where we are going because he’s been reading about it for months and has already memorized a map of the city.
On the flip side, if Christian lived alone, he would stack all of the day’s dishes in the sink and wash them at 11PM. I literally read this out loud to him and he replied with, “it’s actually so much more efficient.” But also dear… it’s gross. And it drives me nuts!
3. What was the relationship highlight of the past year?
Kathleen: I think going to Hawaii in February (travel posts here and here) was probably the highlight of the year for me. I absolutely love all things Hawaii, and exploring this lush island with my adventurous best friend was so much fun.
Christian: This spring we went back to Mississippi to celebrate 2 of our close friends getting married. It was great to see family, catch up with friends, and reflect on our own vows.
4. After four years of marriage, what’s your advice for choosing a partner to someone who might be dating or considering marriage?
Christian: Instead of getting discouraged looking for the finished product, find someone you love and enjoy the journey together.
Kathleen: It feels like Christian and I laugh together every single day. Whether we are laughing at each other, at something else or joking with each other – it creates this happy, loving environment that is almost always fun. Attraction is incredibly important, but for me, genuinely being best buds is next in line.
If you have any of your own marriage tips you’d like to share, I love hearing from you guys! So many great tips in last year’s post.
Thanks so much for reading! XO –