Lessons Learned: The Toughest, Hardest Year

When growing up, my neighbor and “other mom” (she wanted a daughter and gave up after six boys so I became her honorary daughter) had said that the toughest year of marriage was the first year. She fought and fought with her husband as they adjusted to life together. Her words stuck with me, for over forty years. Today, I agree that the toughest year is the first year. The toughest, hardest year is when you have yours, mine, and or ours involved.

Mike and I had the yours and mine scenario. We had different opinions and ways of raising our kids. The first year was tough. The first year was hard. And it didn’t end there. If I were to give a little girl advise, like my neighbor, I would have to add that the first year is tough and the hardest year. However, it doesn’t end there. What’s also important is how you adjust from the first year to manage the following years. Too many people give up way too easily. Unless your safety is at risk, you should stay put and work at your marriage. It gets easier. You learn and blend your habits. Make sure to communicate, letting each other know what’s upsetting you. If you’re overwhelmed, let your spouse know. Work on your marriage together. Relationships take time.

After time, when the history starts to build, you’ll feel the stability and the accomplishment. The years will continue to have moments of tough or hard times, you can’t get around it. But knowing you have that rock who will help you in time of need, to comfort you, and laugh with you can be the ultimate reward. Some people fall out of love, and when that happens, remember what you’re beliefs are and how that can affect your future and others. Can you rebuild that joy? You won’t know until you try again.

For my other mother, she lost her husband to leukemia. His life ended way too early. But I do know that if he were alive, they would still be together today.


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