5 Lessons I Learned in our First Year of Marriage

Today’s post is a little more personal that my average posts, because yesterday was Stephen and my one year wedding anniversary. Holy cow, right?? Did that fly by or what?

The truth is, I love being married. As someone who considers herself pretty independent, I always thought marriage may not be my speed. I had thought about my wedding every day for my entire life, but not necessarily the part that comes after. The actual marriage, ya know?

Check out our wedding video here.

But once I met Stephen, it was like I finally had everything I never knew was missing. I was totally supposed to go through this life with him.  He is the person I chose to be my family and every single second I spend with him makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.

So obviously, it’s been a pretty awesome year. We’ve definitely had some ups and downs, but knowing that we are riding the roller coaster together is SO much better than doing it alone. So today, I thought I would share 5 things I learned in my first year of marriage.

  1. Compromising is not losing. This is one I have to remind myself of daily. You are combining two separate lives so obviously you are going to have some growing pains and give some things up. The first month, we argued a lot about which provider of things like insurance and cable and things we wanted to keep. We both liked whatever we already had and didn’t want to change to whatever the other person had. Honestly, a year later and I couldn’t care less, as long as I am insured and can watch Dancing with the Stars on Monday nights. Compromising is a way of moving forward together, not losing a battle.
  2. Do your chores together. I hate grocery shopping more than anything in the world. I also hate cleaning my house and doing laundry. Basically I would make a terrible wife in the 1950’s.. However, Stephen doesn’t mind these things, and when we do them together I hate them a little less.
  3. Pay attention to the little things. There are thousands of kind little things that Stephen does, and I make sure to make mental notes of all of them. These little things add up and make anything big and stressful that we have to go through so much smaller and smoother.
  4. Support each other’s dreams. Everyone has dreams. Fully investing and supporting one another is a HUGE part of marriage. Stephen learned to take my blog photos this year, and my blog has more than doubled in followers and readers since he started helping me. And he never complains that I make him do crazy things to get the perfect photo. On the flip side, I want him to succeed with his work. I want to be a constant sounding board to bounce ideas and situations off of. Whatever path he takes, I am with him 100%.
  5. Date Always. Dating doesn’t have to be constantly dressing up and going to dinner. I feel like we date every day, even if we are just watching our shows and ordering a pizza. I can’t get him on board with Dancing with the Stars, but other than two hours Monday night if we aren’t at work we are usually together. This isn’t to say we don’t have separate lives and friends that we spend time with, but we genuinely like spending time together. So whether we are dressed up and being fancy, going to the movies, or just chilling at our house, we are constantly making an effort to date.

Check out our wedding photos here.

It’s been a pretty awesome year. What is your best piece of relationship advice?


Hel On Heels is an Atlanta-based life and style blog by Helen Gaillet Bailey. Hel On Heels is intended to be a digital magazine written by your best friend.

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  1. 10.23.17

    awe love these and they are all spot on! I think supporting each other is so key! Nothing feels more crushing i think than having your best friend help you rise up!

  2. 10.24.17
    Valerie said:

    Great tips from your first year. I love doing chores with my partner; he makes them slightly less unpleasant when we’re together!

  3. 10.24.17

    These are such great lessons to have learned in your first year. Being supportive is SO, so important, and so is dating each other. It’s easy to stop setting aside time for dates, but keep doing it!

    Molly // Miss Molly Moon

  4. 10.24.17

    I love these! You are so right about compromising not being a loss. Happy anniversary!

  5. 10.24.17
    Kara said:

    I seriously agree with all five of these!! I’m getting married next September but I literally make it a point to focus on all of these throughout our relationship 🙂

  6. 10.24.17
    Jenny said:

    Love these lessons! They’re all so important and some I have learned myself.

  7. 10.25.17
    Lisa Roe said:

    Sweet post. Always keep these lessons fresh, stay flexible as people change over the years and definitely take time out for dates and fun, no matter how busy you get.

  8. 10.25.17
    Joscelyn | Wifemamafoodie said:

    Yes, after 19 years of marriage, I can tell you implementing some of these tips have definitely helped our marriage grow stronger!! It’s so awesome that you learned these in your first year!

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