Just Married

No Longer 'Just Married'

By Simi Lichtman

  • Print
  • Share Share
Claudio Papapietro
Simi and Jeremy

Editor’s Note: This is the concluding post in Simi Lichtman’s blog exploring her first year of married life as a young Modern Orthodox woman. Simi will still be writing for the Sisterhood blog and for the Forward. You’ll be able to find Just Married in Forward.com’s archives.

Jeremy and I watched a movie recently in which a couple getting married is told, “If you can make it through the first year, you can make it through anything.” Aside from that being just about the worst thing to tell a couple at their wedding, it just didn’t ring true. Is the first year really the hardest? About 10 months in, Jeremy and I are worried about the coming years, about what the future will hold, whether we will make it through challenges as yet unknown. But this year? We are in our honeymoon phase, aren’t we?

I posed this question to someone who got married about a year before me, and she responded, “We also thought that. But now that our first year is over, we realize just how much happier we are.” She pointed out that the first year is a time of settling in together, learning to live with each other and learning how to fight the right way. After thinking about it, I realized that even over the course of our first year, Jeremy and I have grown more comfortable with each other. We’ve rounded off each other’s sharper edges, or we’ve learned to accept them. We fight less because we know each other better — or because every fight we had at the beginning was resolved so we didn’t have to fight about those things anymore.

We’ve nearly made it through our first year. We’re more of a team now, more so that married couple who know each other so well we can communicate with our eyes across the dining room table (sorry, guests). But we don’t know each other so well that we’re bored. We’ve gotten through the hurdles of figuring each other out, but we haven’t really been faced with an outside challenge, with the bigger problems that life may hold for us. The first year is ending, but that just means there are many more years of relationship building and testing to come. We have decades of happiness and love to look forward to — but also to prepare for.

With the end of this first year also comes the end of our first-year blog. It was a blog that I wrote on my own but that we went through together. I would write, and Jeremy would edit. He would point out when I was smoothing things over or when I wrote something less than fully truthful. The blog was by me, but it was about us, and it was never anything less than a team effort.

This blog gave me an incredible opportunity; not only for my writing career, but for my marriage. It allowed me to reflect on episodes that might otherwise have passed unnoticed. It made me think about what was meaningful in our relationship, and then think about it again when Jeremy read it, think about it some more when my editor read it and then think about it once again when you, the audience, read it. I was comforted when my posts were validated by texts and emails from friends confessing to similar feelings in their own lives, and humbled by the knowledge that my blog post had helped them feel understood. I was challenged by many readers and commenters, and learned to sift through those challenges to find the questions that could teach me lessons.

It was easy enough to view this blog as a mouthpiece for all Modern Orthodox, young married couples. But what was more true, and what was harder, was to see this blog for what it was: An insight into just one marriage that at times represented others, but many times was just about us. As I grew more reconciled with this idea, as I grew to trust you as readers, I let this blog get more personal and sensitive, and I was rewarded for it.

With the blog ending, my hope is that I can remain just as reflective on life’s smaller and bigger lessons, and on the moments in our relationship that hold a deeper meaning. I can’t believe that a year has gone by. I can’t wait for the ones that will come.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: wedding, newlyweds, marriage, first year, Jewish

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.