To the single/newly married:
I can’t stress the importance of that first year enough. It’s a time to get to know each other all over again, to develop healthy marital boundaries and to figure out what it means for two individual personalities to become one. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is fill your first year of marriage with constant social activity. Take it slow. Spend every moment you can with your spouse while you have the chance. Life gets busy and before you know it there’s more than just the two of you in the house (although I guess that tends to come from time with your spouse).
![Heather and I at the engagement shoot](/content/images/2015/02/sean-and-heather-engagement.JPG)
Talk with each other. A lot. I highly recommend picking up a copy of the book “Marriage on the Rock” by Jimmy Evans. My wife and I went through the book together as part of our pre-marital counseling and had quite a few great conversations over the questions presented. One of the most important discussion points was to talk through your expectations for the marriage. What is your role as the husband? What is your spouses role? Who’s responsibility is it to cook? Clean? Do the laundry? Do the yard work? Unspoken expectations like that can breed a lot of conflict in those crucial first years so talk through them now before they become a stumbling block.
There is no rush to have kids. You’ll get there eventually whether it be through traditional means or adoption/fostering (all three can be equally rewarding!). We waited 2-3 years before wanting to try to have kids and look back at those few years with great joy. I’m very glad we took that time to prepare ourselves as a family unit before adding more members to it. That said everyone has their own unique circumstances. For some, having children right away makes sense, for others having kids isn’t even in the picture. The important thing is to sit down, talk through it together and be on the same page.
![Heather and I at the Tyler Rose Garden](/content/images/2015/02/sean-and-heather-wedding.jpg)
Marriage is amazing. When you and your spouse respect and love each other it feels like you can take on the world. Take your time. Don’t rush it. Enjoy getting to know each other and cherish those first years. You’ll never look back and wish you had spent less time together.