I'm so excited to welcome Espresso and Cream's Madison to the blog to share a peak into her and her husband Joe's marriage (and don't forget about their dog Nutmeg). Aren't they adorable?
You should definitely check out Madison's blog if you haven't already. I love her recipes, her classic style, and her honesty! We actually worked in the same department until she and Joe headed north to Minneapolis last week. Enough from me, here's Madison:
When did you get married?
Joe and I got married in July of 2011.
How long did you date before getting married?
We actually dated for about six months while we were juniors in high school but went our separate ways during college. We started dating again in November of 2009 when we were seniors in college and got engaged a little over a year later, in December of 2010. We were engaged for just over six months, which felt like just enough time but not too long.
What was one of your biggest challenges the first few months of marriage?
Honestly, Joe and I are very similar in so many ways that the first few months of marriage were really wonderful. We dated long distance for quite a while, so it was just so much fun to do all the daily tasks, like grocery shopping and running errands together. It took us until year two (when we started contemplating major life changes like new jobs, buying a house, splitting vacation time between families) to really wade through some of the tougher life issues and joint decision-making on the big stuff.
What was something you wish you’d known before the wedding?
I wish someone would have told me how difficult it is to learn how to make decisions independently as a couple. For so long, I would run to my parents with most of my big questions, as would Joe, but once we got married, I had to learn that Joe was first and foremost, not my parents. Additionally, I'm pretty independent, so it was hard to get used to asking for Joe's input on things I thought I could handle on my own. Marriage is a partnership!
What have you learned since you’ve been married?
I was raised primarily as an only child (my step-sister and half-sister didn't live with me) so I think I have quite a few selfish tendencies. I didn't have to share toys, time or resources with my siblings on a day-to-day basis. And while that did help me develop my social skills with adults and encouraged me to think for myself, it also made me less receptive to sharing my time, resources and energy in a marriage. I learned quickly that if Joe looks out for my best interests and I look out for his, our relationship works much better than if we each looked out for our own.
What's your secret to a happy marriage?
Make time for yourself. It sounds silly, but sometimes I need some "me" time in order to be a better wife to Joe. If I don't get time away to just take a bath, paint my nails, read a book or just be quiet, I get irritated and edgy. At this point in our relationship, Joe knows me well enough to tell me, "Go take a bath and just relax for a while." He can sense when I need some time to be quiet and decompress.
What’s the best part about being married?
The companionship! I love getting to spend so much time with my favorite person. When we go on vacations and get to spend six or seven days together, I always think we will get sick of one another or run out of things to talk about, but that never seems to be the case. In fact, I always miss him when vacation is over and we have to go back to work. Generally, marriage is a lot of fun. I think people do it a disservice when they only say how much work it is. Yes, you have to continually work at your marriage, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun while you work at it.
**Want to share your own Becoming One story? We'd love to hear it. Leave a comment and we'll get in touch!