When people learn I was married six months ago, the first question I often hear is, “So, are you still in the honeymoon stage?”
This question has irked me from the beginning, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. Then one day at our married couples’ Sunday school class, a man asked us, “Do you feel like you were ever able to experience ‘a honeymoon phase,’ given your situation?”
This question didn’t bother me. This question told me he understood. He got it.
A Different Kind of Newlywed
My husband and I aren’t your typical newlywed couple. With my husband’s two nine-year-old twin daughters and ongoing tension with his ex-wife, we haven’t been able to enjoy the blissful, relaxing post-wedding existence of living in a newlywed bubble.
The first week when we returned from our actual honeymoon, reality hit—big time. We had two sick children. My husband went back to work. As a teacher on summer break, I was home with the kids all day long. I’d never folded so much laundry, cleaned the kitchen so many times, or prepared so many meals—specifically meals I’d never cook for myself.
After 15 years of being a single adult in Los Angeles; making healthy, organic salads; keeping a tidy apartment; dealing with very little personal drama; and only having to take care of myself, I had no idea how different my life would become after the wedding. Learning to clean other people’s messes, serving children who are oblivious to my efforts, and making lots of boxed mac ‘n’ cheese made me wonder what the heck I had gotten myself into.1