We’re delighted to have ‘newly weds’ Tom & Jazz Faulkner guest blog for us this month.
When we got married in September 2019, we did not for a moment think that less than six months later we would be in a national lockdown. We have seen a multitude of blessings as well as difficulties throughout the pandemic—and learnt lots of lessons along the way!
While we didn’t necessarily have a firm idea of what marriage would actually look like, there were still a number of things that perhaps caught us off guard. For example, we didn’t realise that even though you are marrying your husband or wife, you are also marrying into their family—warts and all! This has been a learning curve, knowing that primarily you’re on the same team and learning to put your other half before yourself and your family. However, there will still be expectations and ways of doing things that you each bring from growing up with your family; and just because it’s different, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong!
Marriage isn’t like anything either of us had expected, it’s better!
Despite lockdown taking up the majority of our married life so far, this hasn’t stopped us from beginning to build a life and home together. There are so many great things about being married. Before we got married we were university students, living in separate houses and having to say goodbye every night, maybe not even seeing each other every day. This has made us appreciate not having to say goodbye to each other even more and we absolutely love being around each other every day.
We have been surprised by how many great memories we are making – exploring our hometown, cooking together, exercising together or even looking after our garden. This is definitely one of the surprise blessings of lockdown because times like these have been even more plentiful.
We love marriage, but any honest couple will tell you it isn’t just plain sailing.
A great piece of advice we were both given was to make sure we spent quality time together. We have learnt, especially through lockdown, that this doesn’t mean you have to spend every free waking moment together. Not only is it beneficial to give each other space, it’s actually really important. It’s completely okay to spend time apart with friends.
When you first get married you also have to learn to live with another person, share a bed and put up with all their quirks (good and bad!). Lockdown has only exacerbated this. We have learnt that marriage isn’t just about doing boring life admin, it’s about doing life together and getting to know the other person better and better. On a larger scale you need to learn that any decision you make will impact the other person. Communication is vital, as is being honest about how you feel even though this may differ from each other. Disagreements are completely natural in marriage; the important thing is how you deal with them.
Marriage also isn’t about trying to fix each other’s problems, but sometimes all the other person needs is to be heard. This could be if they are missing family, or friends, or even if friends have started to treat you differently because you are now married. We can both attest to how lockdown has made this even harder.
However patient and selfless you think you may be; marriage will show you that you’re more selfish and less patient than you think. Ha-ha! And apparently acknowledging this fact only gets harder when you have children (no kids for us for a while!). While we joke, we have both grown in patience, learning to give the other person space and grace. Marriage is a team game too, and we have grown in our different roles, learning to completely and wholeheartedly trust and depend on each other, without feeling the need to take over or control the situation.
In the short 17 months we have been married, the learning curve has been exponential, and there’s still lots to learn. While some of this has been learning by doing, we have also found other couples at our church to be a great source of wisdom. Here are our top six pieces of advice:
- Love always
- Laugh lots
- Practise patience
- Have fun
- Forgive frequently
Tom & Jazz Faulkner