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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

Paying the Tax Man

Sara: Justin has been working on taxes for the past week or two. Due to circumstances beyond our control, only recently did we have all the documents necessary to complete our taxes. Unfortunately, our taxes were not the easy type I’m used to, so Justin rose to the task of completing them.

Taxes have made for several stressful moments. It hasn’t been easy to figure out “married taxes” for the first time, and Justin has been feeling the pressure. It’s especially difficult as we both realize the tax deadline is looming. And we all know the IRS doesn’t take kindly to mistakes!

Throughout this process, I noticed a change in me. A year ago, if Justin had talked to me with as much frustration as he has on several occasions this past week, I would have been pretty upset. One night, it was actually quite comical as I had asked Justin what he wanted me to make for dinner as he was working on taxes. I gave him two or three different options. After he finished, I asked him if he wanted garlic bread with supper or not. Then he asked me what we were having for dinner – he had forgotten the options I had given him!

Instead of getting upset, we both laughed about his one track mind and went on with our evening. However, it made me realize how much we’ve grown together in the past ten months or so that we’ve been married. In fact, as sweet as our beginning honeymooning days (which I’d like to think we’re still in to some extent) have been, it’s so nice just to grow together and see how our communication and understanding of each other has improved.

And yes, Baby has been part of the change and growth, but that isn’t everything. We’ve bought a house, moved, and simply had time to get to know each other on a daily basis. In fact, one of the things I worried most about before we got married was how we would adjust to living together, as we hadn’t even lived in the same town before we got married.

Justin: Unfortunately, not living together before getting married is not as common as it used to be. Most people even think living together before getting married might be “good practice.” I am so happy that we didn’t live together. New discoveries are some of the biggest joys of marriage. As good as marriage is, there are still difficult moments and I think they would be much harder to endure if they weren’t offset by the great joy of discovery. Regrettably, many people don’t get to experience both the lows and highs together today and I think this would make marriage much more difficult.

Sara: Surprisingly, I can’t say that it has been a difficult adjustment for me, even as pregnancy can make me tired and cranky a lot easier (just ask Justin)! Even dividing up the chores hasn’t been bad, but that too will be interesting to see how Baby will change everything.

In some ways, Baby already has changed our lives. Since my college days, I have enjoyed attending Triduum services wherever I happened to be at the time. However, being pregnant, I get exhausted easily. This year, we opted not to attend Triduum services, and I sure felt funny on Holy Thursday not heading to Mass. In fact, at one point I even irrationally cried because I felt badly not remembering Holy Week as I had in the past. Instead, Justin and I did increased prayer together as a family.

I guess it will probably be several years before we’re able to once again head to Triduum services. I guess it’s time for us to begin new traditions as a family. Hopefully, we’ll also break the tradition of several stressful days as we work on our taxes!