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The Strange Thing About Marriage…

In this post, I'm sharing a few of my thoughts on newlywed life and how I'm discovering that there’s no “my” in marriage.
I'm Stephanie May Wilson!

I'm an author and podcaster and my specialty is helping women navigate big decisions, life transitions — creating lives they love.

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I looked over at his lunch, instantly offended. I recognized those noodles, they were the noodles I’d stared into, contemplated eating just a few nights before. They were my leftover noodles, my future lunch noodles, the ones I’d planned to eat the very next day.

But there they were, in his bowl, halfway up to his mouth, and then swallowed and out of my life forever.

“Um babe…” I ventured, trying to sound sweet when my insides were all fury, “Are those my Thai leftovers?” The emphasis was so clearly on the word “my,” I might as well have used a skywriter to get my point across.

He paused for a moment, before looking up at me slowly. “Is that really how you want to do things, Steph? Divide our lives between my things and your things?”


I haven’t talked much about marriage, because frankly, I don’t know much about it. With a mere 9 months under our belts, we’re marital babies. We’re infants, not knowing a darn thing about the world, or how to get around in it.

So instead of sharing “how to’s” or any tricks at all, I want to share something with you that I’ve found to be odd about meshing your life with a boy. 

It has to do with that word, “my.”

You see, I’m discovering that there’s no “my” in marriage. And I think that’s one of those things we single gals don’t think about much before we get to the end of the aisle.

Sure, I thought about the romantic part of the “ours.” The fact that this life was now ours seemed like a great excuse to hang out with my favorite human all the time. And in most cases it is.

But there’s also a more unexpected definition to the “ours.” It’s a definition I hadn’t thought about before.

I hadn’t thought about it before because I hadn’t realized how often I thought about the word “my.” That’s my shelf, my bed, my space, my bathroom. Sure, I can share. Anyone who passed pre-school knows how to do that. But I was still keeping a running tally of what belonged to me.

It’s like when you’d combine your DVD collection with that of your roommate. Sure, you can both watch whatever you want. But your name is still Sharpie-d on the back of the case. You don’t want to deal with any shady “mixups” when it’s time to move out.

But that’s what I’m discovering is different about marriage. Your DVD collections—should you still have one—become entirely meshed together.

Mine is yours, yours is mine, they’re all ours. No Sharpie anywhere. 

The worst part is that I have to keep re-learning this lesson. I’m such a natural score-keeper, it turns out. I am a bit of a cheater though, because I tend to have a selective memory weighed heavily in my favor. But either way, the Thai incident was not the first I had to realize how selfish I can be.

A few years ago, Carl and I were heading to lunch at the office where we used to work. There was an internal cafeteria for the staff, and you’d buy tickets ahead of time and then use them to purchase your lunch. Carl rarely had tickets. He just never got around to buying them, and so one day as we were heading to lunch, he asked if he could have one of mine.

This was maybe the third time he’d asked and so I was annoyed. I shot him back a look and said, “Yes, but then you have to buy me more.”

He stopped in his tracks, looked down for a second, and then back at me seriously.

“Steph, do you really want to do things this way?”

He was right. As soon as the words had left my mouth, I remembered just how many meals he’d paid for that week, not to mention in the last year. Carl would usually pick up the tab, whether we were at a nice restaurant or at Chipotle, and here I was insisting that he pay me back $1.50.

The thing I learned that day, and then relearned in the Thai incident is that “my” is overrated.

It can be an easy thing to revert back to—to feeling selfish and writing your name all over your things in Sharpie. But through his generosity and the fact that he totally does not keep score, Carl has been teaching me that there’s a better way.

I’m learning that if I want to be selfish, I’m left with little more than some cold noodles and $1.50, and that when we both bring what we have to the table, 1 + 1 = far more than the sum of its parts.

Are you a newlywed? What have you been learning about marriage thus far?

P.S. For even more of my thoughts on newlywed life, check out this episode: Girls Night #49: Newlywed 101: How to Navigate Newlywed Life 

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In this post, I'm sharing a few of my thoughts on newlywed life and how I'm discovering that there’s no “my” in marriage.

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  1. Kelsey B. says:

    Thanks for this post Steph! I am a newborn newlywed too- 7 months under our belts. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that it’s better to say how I’ve been offended rather than hold it in. There are times when even little offenses have hurt me, but rather than tell myself I’m silly for feeling a certain way, or holding it against him, just speaking it to him really helps, and I usually get to hear the other side of the story, which usually is “Oh I was trying to do this other nice thing for you” or “I didn’t mean that, I meant this”. Marriage is so cool, and so different.

  2. jennifer says:

    We have been married for 5 years now, and I think this is something we all still struggle with no matter how long we are married. Selfishness – what is “mine” – is a constant struggle in life. I am so thankful to have a husband who is patient with me – I lived by myself for 7 years before we got married – so the “my” mentality still rears its ugly head. He loves me through it and reminds me how to love selflessly in so many ways.

    What else have I learned about marriage? It’s worth it. All the wonderful, all the terrible, all the squabbles, all the stuff…it’s completely worth it. It’s worth fighting for, it’s worth not giving up on, it’s worth the compromise, it’s worth the learning new stuff everyday…it’s completely worth it.

  3. Grey says:

    Thanks for sharing this Stephanie. I would love to read more posts on your insights about marriage. I am not yet married and hearing about how you navigate this new territory is incredibly helpful to me!

  4. Ashley says:

    “I am a bit of a cheater though, because I tend to have a selective memory weighed heavily in my favor.”

    Haha, same here! 5 years in and I’m still re-learning the “my” lesson occasionally. I haven’t found anything that shines light on my selfishness as much as marriage. It’s not always been easy or pretty, but God has certainly used it to make me more loving and gracious! 🙂

  5. Alex and I have been together for almost six years now (married for six months of those six years). The funny thing with us is, we don’t really care about sharing things. I think what has helped us is that we really view each other as being on the same team. What is mine is his and vice versa.

  6. Brianna Farr says:


    Not only are your words encouraging for newlywed babies, but us babies who are still too new to be wed. At 16, your words remind me to share. Period. Thank you for that.

    Grace & Peace,

  7. Sophie says:

    This sounds familiar! I’ve been married for just 5 months and it’s been a huge learning curve about what it means to love him the way God does, putting his needs before my own. My goodness, it’s hard!

    A particular struggle for me has been the fact that my husband got a promotion just after our wedding, whilst I am still stuck in a job that is slowly sucking out my self esteem. I am desperately searching for a new job and struggling with the pain of rejections, whilst he is going from strength to strength in his new role, and loving every minute. I have found it really hard to be happy for him without thinking ‘but it’s not fair!’

    However, what I’ve learnt is that being a married couple means we are a team…and being a team means that his successes are my successes, and my struggles are his struggles too. We’ve decided to be each other’s #1 fan, which means being there to cheer each other on through whatever life throws at us, and it’s ok if we’re not experiencing the same highs at the same time – but we can choose to share in one another’s joy. It’s not always easy, but I know that when I do get a new job, one that I can flourish in, he will be more excited than anyone else, maybe even me!

  8. This is funny though. How dare he eat your noodles? I’m not married but clearly it will be an interesting ride:) It’s been me for so long.

  9. Lauren says:

    Thank you for this, Steph! We’ve been married 3 months and I’ve been struggling with this, too, especially with space. It’s nice to know I’m not alone and helpful to be encouraged not to let frustration take over. 🙂

  10. Jamie jo says:

    I’ve been married a whopping 6 days. It still feels weird to say or think that I’m responsible for being someone’s wife! And, as I float around the infinity pool on my honeymoon in Thailand, I’ve been contemplating this thought about marriage. . . How it doesn’t feel that different. I won’t ever try to say that finding my adventure partner for life isn’t incredible, but this side of paradise, it isn’t the all-encompassing goal that I thought it was. The reason, and beauty, for this is God. His constant love and companionship is still the same, and my God-adored, God-created uniqueness and potential remains. With or without my darling husband, I am whole. I know it’s not groundbreaking, and I know it’s hard for single girls to truly believe sometimes. But, I hope to inspire all my sisters on the other side of paradise with the understanding of it.

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