I have several friends getting married soon! This is so exciting to me because at 22, I was the first of my friends to get married. It has been a lonely couple of years in that regard. Don’t get me wrong, I love my unmarried friends dearly, but it will be so much fun to have married friends to relate to.
Anyways, with these weddings coming up, I’ve had a topic on my heart that I feel is important to share. And it’s this issue of leave & cleave.
It’s the natural order of things to, when you get married, establish your own way of being as a married couple. The two become one and all that. Marriage is the merging of two separate lives into one shared life! That process is both beautiful and painful.
When I got married, I chose to take my husband’s name because I wanted it to be a symbol of the new household the two of us were building. No longer would we represent separate, individual lives or even the household in which we were raised. Marriage would set us apart and the two of us would become a (new) family.
That being said, my best advice for newly married couples would be this: take some time to figure out who the two of you are. The point is not to replicate exactly the household you grew up in or to keep the same patterns from before you got married. Everything is new, and you need time to establish yourselves.
I think that this probably looks different for everyone, but for us it looked like staying in. We did not see or talk to our families or friends much. Our daily lives were busy, so we spent evenings at home eating dinner, watching movies, drinking wine and talking. We invested in one another and our fresh relationship. We put each other first over everything and everyone. [Note: Maybe you’d rather go out and explore art museums or amusement parks. That’s great! You have to feel out what works for you].
I’m not going to say that it is always easy. Loved ones may take it personally. Just assure them that it is not personal, but that it is just space that the two of you need. And then stick firmly to your established boundaries. And you don’t need to take on any guilt.
We’ve been married for two years and feel that the space we gave our early married selves was such an important foundation. Just this past fourth of July, we decided to go to a park rather than join our families in a cookout. Again, not personal. Just necessary to the well-being of our relationship!
So remember to invest in one another as you build your new life. Learn who you are as a family. What are ways that you have done this? Comment below with your thoughts!