This month will make one year since Nate and I have gotten engaged and I feel like so much has changed in such a short amount of time. Our traditional wedding will be here in just a few months and a few months after that, we’ll be hosting our American wedding. As exciting as everything can be, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a major adjustment on a day to day basis.
I remember in previous relationships how badly I wanted to show them that I was “wife” material by being able to cook, working hard, listening often, making sure I made them a priority, which probably meant spending more time with them than was necessary. While those are great overall characteristics to have, I’m seeing now they have very little to do with being a wife. Now that I’m on an actual path to become one, I’m realizing what I anticipated isn’t even in the same ballpark with I’d convinced myself being someone’s wife would be.
Thinking More “We” and Less “I”
Before being engaged, I’ve lived my entire life for myself and I loved every second of it. It’s been so easy for me to wake up daily and go forward with whatever I wanted to do that day, whatever my goals or aspirations may be. The things I enjoyed most about being single was being able to book last minute trips wherever I wanted without having to consult with anyone or being able to spend my evenings or weekends whatever way I wished. Even while we were dating, a lot of my current responsibilities were optional. Whether or not I wanted to go to dinner, or even attend a birthday party with him were all depending on how I was feeling and what I wanted to do. As a wife and a partner, it’s crucial to think about “us” more than I think about “me”, which means doing a lot of things I don’t want to or feel like, because the success of our relationship is dependent upon two peoples happiness, not just mine. Being selfish is a great trait when you’re single, I’d actually almost label it a necessity. But it doesn’t work so well when you’re building a life with another person. I still want to keep my identity, but do it in a way to where my partner isn’t suffering because I put myself first all of the time.
Redefining What “Balance” Looks Like
There are so many things that are important to me in my life and I never expected myself to be a woman who was wrapped up entirely in being a fiance or a wife. Outside of that role, I have career goals, I’m a sister, an aunt, a friend, a boss within my own brand, a mentor, and many other things that I want to continue to do and do well. I had a full life doing all those things prior to being engaged and as that role shifts, it’s going to take redefining how that’s all balanced. I always have work to do. It doesn’t matter the day or time. I can wake up and jump on my laptop, or get in bed and get on my phone and it takes a lot of mindfulness to be present in my relationship so that he too understands he’s a priority, not just all these other jobs I’ve created for myself. Setting aside time for work, time for my friends, time for tasks like the gym or work that needs to be done at home and also quality time with Nate, even if it’s a coffee date or episode of one of his favorite shows.
Financially Planning for Two
My money won’t just be for me, which is hard for anyone to accept. I set financial goals much differently prior to being engaged. My goals looked more like “buy a new pair of heels once you save another 3000” or “allow yourself three trips next year if your bonus is over $xxx”. That has changed so much now that I’m contributing to a household and not just living or working for myself. I went from looking for a new pair of Manolo’s to looking for a new entry table for our house. Luckily, I’ve always been really great at managing money, so it hasn’t been too difficult of an adjustment but what plans I make for my money look completely different now. I’m financially planning to make sure we can have the wedding we want, the honeymoon we want, and also so that we get back to enjoying life on our terms once all the wedding stuff is just a memory.
Re-purposing My Why
My success is no longer just about me and my accomplishments. It now looks like a healthy marriage, where we can do what we want, when we want, with each other. From the beginning, Nate’s been incredibly supportive of everything I said I’ve wanted to do. He bought me my first tripod and gifted me before my first speaking engagement. He’s spent hourssss of his own time photographing me so that I can get paid by brands for campaigns. When I think about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, it’s not to just say that I did – it’s to provide opportunities for us that can only be gained with hard work. It’s also to prepare for any obstacles life may throw at us. I want us both comfortable and successful and that’s a good enough reason for me to work hard at it everyday.
There’s so much power in prayer! And you don’t quit praying just because you’ve found your forever and the hard part is done. You’ll encounter new areas of difficulty. It’s going to take a lot of prayer to sustain and even heighten your relationship. There’s no other confidence like the confidence I receive from praying about whatever we’re facing and leaving it in God’s hands. He hasn’t failed me yet!
Becoming a wife and a lifelong partner is such a huge life transition and likely something you’ll have to grow into for a lifetime. Be patient with yourself and with your soon-to-be husband. Don’t let the new levels of responsibility force you to forget to have fun and enjoy one another.