What I Learned After a Year of Marriage

This past September, my wife Melanie and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. There’s something to be said about how much marriage can change a relationship. I honestly didn’t believe that our relationship would feel much different after getting married, especially since we had been together for five years and had lived together as well- but it changed. This is hard to put into words, but the gravity of legally being bound in marriage to another person really does impact your relationship. There was almost an unspoken change that occurred in us once we walked down the aisle wife and wife.

The time honestly flew by, but also seemed like a long time coming at some points. They say that the first year of marriage is hard, and let me tell you, it is hard. Everything seemed to keep falling apart and knocking us down…literally our roof collapsed on our bed (in January, in Michigan!). I got my car stuck in snow (and towed) three times, our new puppy got attacked and needed pins put in her leg, Melanie was dealing with an ongoing complicated relationship with her family, we lost power on Christmas Day, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  We  honestly just felt like life was testing us and our new status as a married couple. However through all of this we just kept reminding ourselves of a vow that I said on our wedding day: “When things seem imperfect, remind yourself of all the ways that we are perfect together.” We are in it together, through the good and bad, never alone.

Be patient.

If you’re gay, you will still have to come out constantly as a couple.  You will still have to explain your relationship and people might ask you if its even legal- welcome to the Midwest! Also, if you both now have the same last name, people will assume you’re sisters or cousins. However, saying “that’s my wife” will definitely answer the question much quicker than the short monologue I was used to before.

Play to each other’s strengths. Your decisions, successes, and failures impact two people now, not just one.

Keeping a shared vision or goal for yourselves as a couple will help you not sweat the small things.

I honestly married the most amazing woman. I wouldn’t change this past year for the world, because we grew a ton and it brought us closer together. I can honestly say that I love her more than I did on our wedding day, which I never thought was possible. Marriage is definitely a challenge and you need to work at it everyday, but sharing your life with your best friend is worth all of it.  It is the greatest joy in my life to be married to the person that I love, and I can’t wait for the years to come.

xo, Mackenzie

Thank you to Zaina Mahmoud for taking these photos on our one year anniversary.

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