Friday, January 15, 2010

Guest Post Friday!!!

Good morning friends!  So I asked one of my favorite bloggers Katie F at The Life of an Army Wife to do a guest post for me today.  She returned the favor and I've posted a little something over at her place - so go check out her blog and read what I have to say as her guest!  Now for Katie's post.....
Hello to Amber's reader's. Amber asked me last week if I would do a guest post on her blog. I jumped at the chance and asked Amber to do the same on my blog. Amber as must of her follower's and myself included are newlyweds. I always wander what people find the most challenging as a newlywed and decided to share some of the issues I have faced in my marriage.
Marriage in and of itself is a big committment. Something that we lose track of as we are planning our big day, looking for a dress, ordering the perfect flowers and planning the honeymoon. What happens however when the dress is put away, the wedding pictures are framed and hung on the wall and your honeymoon tan has started to fade. What happens when the realities of life start to get in the way of everything you want for you and your spouse.
My hubby and I started off our married life apart. He deployed a month after we were married and came home 10 months later. It wasn't till about a week before our one year wedding anniversary that I was able to finally be with him. I stayed in Wisconsin when my hubby was deployed so we started our first actual year together as a married couple, moving me down to North Carolina where he is stationed. Right of the get go my hubby had to deal with a sad and homesick wife. Don't get me wrong, I was excited to finally be together but it was still a shock to the system to get adjusted to this new town where I knew no one. I soon put my feelings aside and got over it. After all M and I were finally together. I imagined all the things we would do on the weekends, the places we would go, and so forth. We would never be that couple that fell into a rut. Every day after work we would enjoy spending time together and not fall into the pattern of watching tv before bed. Boy was I wrong. Something always seemed to come up. I was looking for a job and then starting a new job, trying to find my way around a new town, trying to meet people and I also started school about 4 months after moving. M had also started a new job within the military and was preparing for another job prospect in which he was going to have to leave for three months. Most days by the time we each got home we were too tired to do much of anything but lay on the couch and watch tv. For awhile we finally seemed to adjust to working and balancing time for each other and ourselves but soon my work hours picked up and M left for training. When he came back I was now working on Saturday's and had school on the weekends. Life was busy. We also moved to a new apartment, went home for the holidays and now all of a sudden, here we are. January 2010 and I don't know where this past year has gone. Nor do I feel like our first year of marriage was the one I wanted us to have. Before leaving for the holiday's I started feeling overwhelmed. I felt like a bad wife, that school or work was constantly getting in the way of our marriage. I wanted us to have more alone time together but it never seemed to fit in our schedule. Then when we were able to squeeze it in, this was the way our night went. Me-What do you want to do tonight? M-I don't know. Me-Do you want to see a movie? M-Sure, check what's playing Me-I read off the suggestions M-Nah, nothing looks good. Me-Well do you want to rent a movie M-I don't feel like leaving the house, let's see what's on demand Me- I again read off the play list M-Nothing sounds good to me, pick what you want. It's times like these I want to scream. I know marriage isn't all about flowers, romance and passion but this. This is what I vowed to never become. So I ask all of you how do you create time for your marriage in relation to balancing school, work, kids, etc. How do you strengthen your bond as husband and wife and get out of the rut it is so easy to fall into?
Another issue we faced this year was having time for ourselves. I left a big group of friends back home and moved to a town where I knew no one. At first M was supportive of my going out and meeting new friends. He had just been deployed with his friends for the last 10 months, but he still saw them every day so he wasn't looking for any social activities with the guys. He just wanted to relax. I on the other hand was looking to meet people. I worked with kid's everyday and some days just wanted to go shopping and have adult conversation with a girl friend. Still I always asked M if it was ok that I go and hang out with the girl's for a few hours before actually making plans. Now however, we both make plans without consulting with the other, though we never make plans for the weekends since that is time for us. Even though M doesn't mind when I make plans, I still always feel guilty if I'm not spending every second with him. I know that in a healthy relationship it is best for for everyone if you still have your own interests and friends but how much is to much? Most of M's friends now are deployed or are stationed at a different base so I feel even worse hanging out with the girls while he is at home with the dogs. Now don't get me wrong, I never go to the bar's without him. A girl's night for me is dinner and a movie not partying it up at some club, but I still feel guilty when I walk out the door and he is sitting playing x-box. How do you all balance your time between spouse and friends. Or how do you balance your spouse and time spent just for yourself?
Many people say the first year of marriage is the hardest. I agree and disagree with that. This first year actually together did have a lot of challenges that we had to overcome. However these challenges just made us stronger as a couple. I look back and see how much we've changed and grown, both as individuals and as a couple. I would never change anything about this past year and I look forward to what this next year may bring. It takes two to sustain a relationship and what I learned this year is that you can't control everything. When you plan something, something will probably come up to change your plans. In the end all you can do is learn from it and grow. What you do after the wedding is up to you!
(It's me, Amber, again!) Don't you agree with everything she says?  There is a fine line that newlyweds walk when learning to spend time together but keep an identity unto themselves.  Thanks for sharing so freely Katie!

Happy Friday All!


Anonymous said...

Oh I love Katie! :)
I definitely relate to this post. I too was married, just to have my husband deploy to Iraq a month and a half later. The difference for me, was that I had moved on base, 3000 miles from home before he left. So the whole time he was gone, I was in a new place alone. I'm originally from CA so it wasn't a huge culture shock, but I still had no friends there. Luckily I made very good friends with my neighbor (shes now my BFF) and she kept me busy.

When he came home, I was afraid of how I was going to keep up my friendship and my marriage, which essentially was just starting out. Luckily, because her husband was also military, she understood and gave me all the space I needed. On the flip side, Hubby saw how much my new friend meant to me and so when I did do things with her, he didn't mind.

Now, having been married for four years, I find that it's easiest for my husband and I to hang out with our friends as a group. For instance, me, my husband, my bff and her husband... Or when we host parties, we host them as a couple. I still do things without Hubby but usually it's when he's out of town or something. I know this wouldn't work for everyone but it works for us (so far!).

Stacey said...

Well lets see... I am not the newlywed but after 23 years (WOO HOO) we have been there and done that. Now we didn't get to have that just us relationship to deal with but we are still faced with the "what can we do together" now. It's only been in the past year that we found something we really enjoy together - riding motorcycles! I love watching Amber and Steven, they not only are a married couple they are friends, and that is what it takes to stay together! You will find the balance and don't beat yourself up, you are doing a great job. Oh and when you take up scrapbooking and get so excited about your pages.. just know that he will not be as excited and there are some things he just can't show emotion about, don't get discouraged! Men are different and that is a good thing, we couldn't live with another us anyway! Now over to your site and making myself a follower....

Stephanie Hartman said...

Oh I Love this Post!! My husband and I recently got married in Oct,And he leaves for Boot Camp on the 21st of March I know I'm new this whole Army wIfe thing but were both really excited about this new journey I know were going to have some difficult times but we are very strong and positive people and I have amazing friends to help keep me occupied.I know it's going to be hard when we get stationed somewhere where I don't know anyone but it will also be good to meet new people. my husband and I go everywhere together we perfer to do couples dinner and a movie if we want to hangout with friends but he also doesn't mind if I have a girls night and I hangout with just the girls..He's always very understanding..

hope you have a great day!


LoveCompanion said...

Amber and Katie, this is a lovely post! Thank you for sharing so transparently here.

I appreciate being here today, having divinely stumbled onto both of your pages today ;)

I think it is so helpful to realize the similar challenges we have as couples and grow surrounded with emotional support from a divine sisterhood! ;)

I love this part which was shared:
"It takes two to sustain a relationship and what I learned this year is that you can't control everything. When you plan something, something will probably come up to change your plans. In the end all you can do is learn from it and grow."

Love truly is a journey! ;) It strengthens us and helps us to know who we are on a deeper level. ;)

soft blessings to both of you!
I look forward to further posts!

Leesie said...

Wow Katie, what a year. I have always had so much respect for not only those in the military, but also their wives and families. Everytime I hear a story like this, I can't imagine how hard it must be to cope with your husbands deployment.

This is an amazing first year of marriage story that I think has brought you both that much stronger and closer together. You have started your marriage off comitted to each other and willing to sacrifice so much for each other. I really have a high level of respect for both of you. Thank you so much for posting this.

Amber thanks so much for having Kaite today. What a great idea to do guest posts. I'm off to read Katie's blog next!

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