If you’ve seen my Instagram feed lately I’m sure you think my life is pretty much perfect. Married the handsome guy, traveled around, moved to an exciting city, creating a home together, and things of that nature. I have to be honest though, lately I’ve had a hard time posting because moving somewhere new has been kind of hard. People make it seem so glamorous in social media, but now that I’ve had a harder look at such a huge move with someone else isn’t all butterflies and daisies. Reality check! It’s messy, complicated, frustrating, and even sometimes kind of lonely. So yes, it’s a bit hard for me to post on Instagram because life isn’t that glamorous right now, and here’s why.
Your spouse isn’t going to be your everything.
Although rom-com’s and Pinterest make you think that way, it’s completely false. Your significant other, especially a spouse, cannot fill every single role in your life. I write this from absolute experience because it’s a point that Oliver and I had to face this week. Living in NYC is a dream, but leaving our entire Chicago family was not. I can’t be his baes (a.k.a the nickname he tagged for his group of dudes), and he can’t be my girls. We need other relationships in our lives besides each other, because when we rely on each other to be each other’s “everything” it actually adds an insane amount of pressure to our relationship. It causes us to want to perform and be perfect, when in marriage we really should be naked and unashamed.
Having introvert time alone and AWAY from each other is actually HEALTHY.
I plan on writing more about this, but on our honeymoon in San Francisco we decided we just needed some time apart. Not because we had a screaming fiery match or anything (which yes, does happen in marriage), but for the simple fact that we are introverts and need our introvert time. It was a healthy realization for us because we know sometimes we need time apart to just be our individual selves. No, this doesn’t mean sitting there in silence cuddling! I’m talking like, I’m writing this in bed and he’s on the couch reading on the other side of the wall (or bookshelf since we’re in a small studio). We have expressed to each other that this introvert time does not mean rejection, but means that we can be an even better spouse to each other later.
Moving somewhere new together isn’t all that pretty at first.
Here’s some honest truth: I cry every day because I don’t have any friends yet. Sure I meet people at the freelancing gig I have right now, but it’s not the same as having your girls to drink champagne, eat cookie dough, and watch Parenthood with. Being in a new city is exciting but extremely difficult when it’s two against MILLIONS with no idea what you are doing. Tears are shed. Tensions are high. So we tend to hideout in our studio. We’re trying, sure, but it’s not as glamorous as I hoped it would be. Every marriage looks different, but sometimes it may cause one (or even both) to sacrifice community from a different home, and finding new community is super difficult.
Complaining is not communicating.
There are SO many times that I find myself complaining about something small and insignificant because I’m frustrated at something completely different. When I get upset at being somewhere unfamiliar and missing my friends I start complaining about things completely unrelated to these deeper issues, such as the odd way we have to get our toilet to flush or how the stove turns our apartment into an oven. Yet Oliver always seems to know when there’s something more going on and will sit me down on the couch and talk me through it. Although it is tempting to complain about the little things, it’s better to stop hiding the big things and just communicate them. Marriage is through sickness and health, richer and poorer, at our BEST and at our WORST. Letting each other into the mess is what it’s all about.