Hi everyone - I'm Rebecca and I'm delighted to be guest posting today for the lovely Betsy! I am so excited for her and AJ getting married this month - I've loved following along with their long distance relationship, seeing their sweet engagement story, and I cannot wait to see the wedding photos. It is truly 'wedding' month - the 17th is my anniversary - so in honor of that I thought it might be fun to talk all things wedding and marriage - with both me and my husband, whom I call M.
M and I met in London, where we were both living at the time, back in 2010. We started dating a few months later and within 2.5 years we were married...it was without a doubt a whirlwind romance!
How long did you date before you got engaged?
- Him:1 year and 5 months, is it?
- Her: (counting on fingers…) Yeah that’s right!
- Him: Boom! Husband’s on fire.
When did you realize that you wanted to marry the other person?
- Him: The first date. I was in total shock, that someone that perfect for me was out there.
- Her: Yep. By the end of the first date! I went home and told my flatmate that I thought I would marry him. She (naturally) thought I was a little bonkers.
- Him: Game, set, match!
How did you realize?
- Him: I couldn’t stop smiling. She just kept surprising me all day. And I knew every day since then - I just couldn’t wait to see her, find out more about her, and every day she was more interesting than the day before. And that’s still happening.
- Her: I was just amazed at how comfortable I felt with him. I had never felt so at ease being 100% ME, and certainly not on a first date! It's true what they say - we just 'clicked'. I felt it from the very beginning. After that it just became more and more clear; he was the most fun person I'd ever spent time with. We have had some hilarious moments together!
- Him: The New Forest - still one of the best trips ever. Getting lost in The Deverills which we’ve still never even found on a map. Mountain biking together, staying in weird places, not booking anywhere. Blagging our way into a place to stay because I claimed to know a famous footballer (soccer player). The wild horses in the countryside, the windy roads. Arriving at a fancy place with no reservation and being turned away but not caring. And despite all the things going wrong she was still laughing and having fun and I never felt any pressure to impress her. It was that trip that made me realize she just wanted to be with *me* and that was the happiest moment of my life then. Plus we were having so much fun - I never laughed so much in my life.
- Her: Well the New Forest was our first weekend away together and it was a brilliant trip. But Torquay was our first trip out of London together, so that always comes to mind, even if it was only a day trip. That trip showed me just how much I liked him already. It was only our 2nd or 3rd week dating and he texted me in the middle of a weekday saying he had to go out to Torquay - known as 'the English Riviera' - the following day, and did I fancy joining him. I got the all clear from my boss to take a last minute day off and when we caught the train I had all these flutters in my stomach from nerves and excitement. I couldn't remember the last time I'd done something so spontaneous, simply because I wanted to. It POURED the whole time we were there - but we still had fun.
How did it go meeting the other person’s family for the 1st time?
- Him: I met her family first. Rebecca's parents arrived in Canary Wharf, I popped out while I was working. They were so happy to see her because they hadn’t seen her in a while. Oh yea, I remember that I wanted to impress them and didn’t own a car so I rang up EuRopcar rentals and told them I wanted the biggest car they had so we could take them up to Windsor Castle and they gave me a tiny car and they could barely see out the windows in the backseat. And I got lost! And her parents didn’t care, they were just so happy to see their daughter. I’d never met parents like them. They were really welcoming. And I thought you don’t marry a person, you also marry their family, so that sealed the deal really, a big bonus that her family are awesome.
- Her: I think the story of me meeting M's family requires its own blog post...I met them before we planned a trip back. It was at Christmastime, and I got caught in that horrible snowstorm in London and all the flights had been canceled for days, thousands of people were stranded in the London airports because hotels were all booked for the holidays. Your dad managed to get us both on one of the only planes flying out to Ireland and we planned on me trying to get home from Ireland since they hadn't had the snow London had. That visit was FILLED with mishaps galore - funny things out of all of our control - but I think it was better that way. I didn't have the chance to get nervous because it was so impromptu. His parents were so warm and inviting, and they made me feel completely at home. They knew how badly I wanted to see my family for Christmas and did everything they could to make it happen; and yet they made sure I knew that if I couldn't get out to the US, I would be wholly welcomed at their house too. I really felt that, too. I love his family!
What was your favorite part about your wedding?
- Him: Two things: one was turning and seeing Rebecca at the end of the church. I was completely gobsmacked and overcome with emotion, and had to tell myself to pull it together. And that moment just before she put the ring on my finger because she looked at me nervously with this grin, biting her bottom lip. Like she didn’t believe it was going to happen until that moment.
- Her: Absolutely everything. I loved our day so, so much. We both had so much fun celebrating with everyone - we danced all. night. long. The music was wonderful, the food was delicious, the Cathedral looked beautiful, and I LOVED the cake. Seriously - the only thing that could have made the day any better was if my brother and sister could have been there.
- Him: United team forever. That’s the thing for me - it’s forever. Knowing that Rebecca is my wife makes me feel solid as a man. This is what I’m supposed to be in life- her husband. And that gives me the confidence to be good in whatever I do.
- Her: Commitment. Partnership. And Joy. We are fully committed to each other. This is forever, no matter what. And we have to work as partners to support each other in everything - parenting, the household, etc. We work really well together and we will have to do that in everything that comes up in life! And being this team together makes me so happy - I can't imagine how I'd ever have more joy in my life!
What's your favorite thing about being married?
- Him: Trust. I can rely on her no matter what happens.
- Her: Nightly foot rubs! Kidding ;) Knowing that together we can do anything, handle anything that comes our way.
What was the hardest thing to get used to about marriage?
- Him: It’s only been positive. The things that people say they miss about being single, I don’t miss.
- Her: I'd say the need for everything to be communicated clearly. It's not new to marriage exactly, it carries through from dating, but living together and especially parenting now means that we really need to communicate constantly, even about little things that I wouldn't have thought about previously.
How do you resolve disagreements?
- Him: “Happy wife, happy life!” In the times we have had disagreements I can see that I looked to win an argument rather than solve a problem. And that’s the biggest learning - if there’s a problem, it needs solving. It’s not a battle that needs to be won. A successful marriage means me leaving the debating team.
- Her: We don't disagree often, and when we do it's usually about something small or even silly in hindsight. Sometimes it probably wouldn't even become a disagreement except that we both decide to dig in our heels and try and 'win' for whatever reason. Resolving it means that one of us has realized what we're doing and stopped playing tug of war on the topic. A simple "I'm sorry" goes a long way.
- Him: Parenthood. It’s been the most amazing gift. I never knew I wanted to be a dad until I met Rebecca, and then I knew immediately that I wanted to have kids with her.
- Her: How we can be so cohesive as a unit! I know we joke and call ourselves the team, but truly it surprises me how much we have gotten on the same page about nearly everything, and how I know his mind on topics and how he will react to situations. It's wonderfully unexpected to know someone that well.
What are your marriage goals?
- Him: Keep it fresh. Not let it go stale. It happens, people say it’s life, but I’m very conscious of that and want to keep the romance alive. I see my parents, they’re so romantic, and I’d like to aim for that. Go as if to never give up on each other, to always support each other, to always find a way to talk it through. To know when to just shut up - I hope I always know that! And I hope that her writing takes off - I really want to support her in that, no matter what it means, because I can see it makes her happy. I know I joked "happy wife, happy life", but truly "Happy Rebecca; Happy Mike". And I would like to think that I’ll be closer to God at the end of everything. I was close to Him, then I wasn’t, and then we both grew closer to Him together. And I'd like that to be more of a focus in our marriage and our life. The family that prays together stays together.
- Her: To learn how to be the best wife that I can be. I know that parenting has taken the forefront at the moment, but I want to be a great wife too. I want him to be happy with our life and where it takes us. I want to continue to grow as a couple, not just as parents or a family - I want us to continue to learn about each other, continue to show each other how much we love the other. And yes, I want us to grow together in God's love too, to pray together, to teach our children how to pray as a family. And I want more date nights!! :)
What advice do you have to anyone just getting married?
- Him: My advice to a newlywed: remember your vows. It is a promise - in front of friends, and in front of God. To me I’m married forever - until death do us part - and that is my intention. Remember that this is new to the other person too. Talk about things, about your feelings, about any doubts or insecurities. If there’s ever mistrust, talk about it before it becomes something big. If you’re unhappy about anything, talk about it. It sounds so simple but communication is the key! Always remember why you married this person - even in times of upset or frustration. Life is short. Make every day count! Surprise each other. Blog together. ;) Love each other.
- Her: Remember that you're always on the same side! To M's point on the disagreements, you're a team. No matter what happens, you've got to solve the problem together. Always have that in mind. If you haven't done premarital counseling, talk about all the big stuff ahead of time - i.e. joint or separate bank accounts, how you will discipline any potential children, who will handle what chores, even where you will spend Christmas. It sounds pretty simple but you can assume you know the other's answer on little things like that and then be surprised- figure it all out now together! Figure out what makes the other person laugh and do it often. I find that nothing breaks the ice more than laughing together.
Thank you so much Betsy for having me today - wishing you and AJ all the best for a beautiful wedding day and a lifetime of happiness, love, and laughter!!