Beware. Long post.
It’s no secret that Bryton and I dated for a long time before we got married. We met in 2011 when I was 19 years old. Within a couple of months we were dating and I learnt that Bryton was easy to love. About 4 months later (okay, I’m a terrible wife, I don’t actually remember the month) we said “I love you”. A year later I knew that I wanted to marry Bryton.
But he didn’t know what he wanted.
We had several (too many) conversations about marriage and they were always so miserable and uncomfortable. A year and a half after we started dating I told him I didn’t want to wait around anymore and if he still didn’t know what he wanted, I was ending things.
So we broke up.
But the next day he came crawling on his knees begging for my return.
Hahahaha okay maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. But we decided to give things another go because we loved each other so much.
A year and a half later we were still in the same boat and I realized I couldn’t keep doing it. So a few months before the end of the year I gave him an ultimatum. Side note: I’m really not sure how I feel sharing this haha.
I told him that he had until the end of the year and if we weren’t engaged I was done. Three months later, we still weren’t engaged and I wasn’t sure if he would actually make up his mind. We spent new years with my family in Hamilton and a couple of days later I told him it was too late. Well. He literally spun the car around and took me to the temple. He had already prepared everything for the proposal – so I don’t know why he was taking his time. He had bought my engagement ring 2 years earlier and made the cutest story book as a way of proposing. He proposed and we got married blah blah blah.
I don’t want you to think that we only got married because I forced him into it. On our way home after he proposed I asked him if he really wanted to marry me or if he only did it because he was scared about me breaking up with him. He told me, and has convinced me ever since, that he wanted to propose so many times, but always freaked out about it. And he needed the push I gave him to give him the confidence to do it.
Anyway, this post isn’t about my proposal story. We got married 3 years after we started dating. It was definitely the right time for us to get married. When I look back on the early days of our relationship when I thought I was ready to get married, I realize how wrong I was. When I was 20 I was not ready for the life I live now as a wife. I am really happy that we didn’t rush into marriage. Three years prepared me to be a wife.
The blessings of 3 years:
1) I know my husband.
I’m sure it’s true that any good man and woman can get married and have a good marriage. But I personally could not have married someone I did not know. In your first few months of dating, not everyone is comfortable enough to be 100% yourself. When Bryton and I started dating it was so awkward! Honestly. It took us months to even hold each others hands. Our friends witnessed first hand our awkward hug. And don’t even mention kissing. (Embarrassing story: I don’t remember our first kiss because I actually didn’t know it was our first kiss. Bryton remembers it but I couldn’t give you the details of the situation at all because it probably wasn’t even a real kiss hahaha. TMI. Sorry). Bryton reminded me last week about all the things I told him I liked when we were dating but he eventually found out I didn’t really like them at all but I only said that to impress him (don’t judge me. I was an immature 19 year old). About a year after we started dating we finally became comfortable enough with each other that holding hands was second nature and we got better at hugs.
By the time we got married I knew 110% what I was getting into. I knew the kind of man I was marrying and I knew him better than anyone else.
2) We graduated.
7 months before we got married I graduated with my degree. When we got married Bryton had 6 weeks left of his degree. Education is important to the both of us and I am so grateful we weren’t both students when we got married. I admire and have so much respect for those couples who get married while they’re studying. Although, I did end up going back to university a few months after we got married. But if anything were to happen, if I got pregnant unexpectedly, at least I would already have my degree and Bryton has his.
3) Bryton got a really good job.
We were married for 6 months and Bryton got a dream job at an awesome company doing what he loves. This was a huge blessing for us. We were both expecting him to get a graduate role that might not be permanent and wouldn’t pay much. And we would’ve been happy with that. I was working part time in Accounting and he was working part time and we were surviving. But Heavenly Father really did bless us and Bryton got a job as a software developer, which he really enjoys. It’s permanent full time, he is doing so well and the company love him, and the pay is twice as much as we initially expected.
But we’re still poor hahaha.
4) I’m an adult.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am that we didn’t get married when I was 19 years old. There is nothing wrong with getting married so young. My grandparents did it. My parents did it. But it wouldn’t have been right for me. When I look back, I realize that I was not ready to get married when I was 19. I was so young and inexperienced and had nothing to give to my husband. To be honest, when we got married I still had nothing to give to him hahaha. So when we did get married, I was finally ready!
5) I loved my wedding dress.
I know. This is a really silly thing. But I’m being full serious right now. I found this beautiful wedding dress and I was convinced it was the one. This was when we first started dating. It was picture perfect. During the 3 years we were dating we went to so many weddings and most of the brides had similar lace dresses. They were almost identical to the dress I wanted! By the time we were planning our wedding, the lace dress was so overdone. I went to try on a few different lace wedding dresses but none of them suited me. I found a more simple, satin dress that I liked the pattern of. I found a super affordable dress maker and when I went for my final fitting I was absolutely in love. Of course it was not as elaborate or glamorous as the lace dress I originally wanted, but it was sophisticated and elegant and suited me much better. Being in love with my wedding dress was super important to me and I have zero regrets about the dress I chose.
6) I’m in love with my husband and he’s in love with me.
It can take a couple of months for two people to fall in love with each other. For Bryton and I it took much longer. But when we got married, I knew, without a doubt, that Bryton was in love with me. Taking our time made me realize that Bryton really was taking this decision seriously. He couldn’t make a decision simply based on his feelings. To him, it needed to make sense. He needed to analyse every part of our relationship to make sure it was right. Because once he commits to something, he doesn’t back out. So when he finally made his decision, I knew that he knew that it was right. Absolutely. I have since asked him why it took him so long and this was his answer:
“We were so different. I didn’t know if it would work.”
Our personalities are almost complete opposites. Everything about us, the way we act, the way we think, the way we feel about things, our interests, our tastes in music and food and movies, are so different. So on paper, our relationship wouldn’t work because we’re too different. But one thing we absolutely have in common is our love for the gospel and our Heavenly Father. That is the most important thing. And I really believe that that is why we work. Because we put God first.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Marriage might not be hard work for me because it’s hard work for Bryton. I’m sure he makes more comprises than I do and I’m sure he struggles with things more than I do. And I know it’s wrong and I try, so don’t judge me. But I am convinced that our marriage is better for us because we didn’t rush into things and we took our time. Even if it was 3 years. But it wasn’t a wasted 3 years. There was purpose in it.