RELATIONSHIPS / Setting Up Home & Letting Go Of The One You Grew Up In

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Now I do realise this post isn't for everyone. In todays 'modern age' not many go straight from their childhood home to their marital one. 
Some would see that as traditional, for me it was only a series of coincidental factors:

A) I didn't go to University 
B) Money 
C) Getting married at 21 

I'm an unusual case, privileged to have met my future husband at the age of 13, and beginning the relationship that we knew early on would result in marriage at the age of 18. 

So here's my story - 

At the beginning of our relationship, I took myself off to do a DTS with YWAM in January 2013, where I stayed in Florida for 3 months and Indonesia for 2. 

This was the only experience I had before marriage, of living away from the house I grew up in. 

When I returned from YWAM, Aaron and I pretty much knew we were going to get married, it was just a case of when not if -

and so in an effort to avoid unnecessary costs, both of us lived with our parents for two years before tying the knot. 
(...hate that phrase, so cheese and over-used but hey my brain is mush so I can't be bothered to think of something else!) 

When I returned from YWAM, I also knew clearly, specific training that I wanted to pursue - counselling (again unusual for a then 19 year old!) and I was committed to starting this process of becoming a counsellor. 
Over those two years living at home with my parents, I completed a Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. 

However, I know I'm not the only one, many newly young married couples do go straight from their childhood home to setting up a whole new home and life with their new spouse. 

This is BIG. It's not something to be underestimated. 

And it's definitely not something I could ever prepare myself for completely, it's a 'ride it out' kinda thing. 

On Wednesday I chatted to a friend who is due to get married on Monday, she also is saying goodbye to her childhood home and beginning to move into her new one with her soon-to-be hubby. She was describing all the similar feelings I felt when I did this back in August 2015. 

It feels weird. 
It also feels exciting. 
I got sad sometimes. 
I even got 'homesick' in my own apartment
It took time. 

Now when I go back 'home', it's like going back to my 'old home'
My home now, is here in Belfast in my little apartment with my husband. 

But that didn't happen overnight. 

I have to admit that right up until around Christmas last year, going to Finnebrogue on visits often brought up emotion & when I had to leave again, I held back tears on the bus (yea I know crazy!). 

I hadn't fully settled into home here in Apartment 710, it still felt like this strange unknown place which I was trying so desperately to call 'home'

So what did I learn from this? 


There was a big part of me that felt that hiding this from Aaron was the way to go. 
I was scared my struggle would hurt his feelings, when it was in no way a reflection on how I felt for him. 
I took the plunge, and as a new wifey trying to get to grips with marriage, I knew hiding something was never going to be good - so I expressed all of these emotions to him from the outset, and though at first he was probably confused, he was patient, and he eventually got it. 
Without his understanding, I don't know if I would be in this place today. 
I don't know if I would have ever fully settled into life here, with him, in Belfast. 

His understanding allowed me to journey the challenge. 

Secondly, 'Riding it out' 

Slowly but surely I began to forget these emotions and embrace this new home, city living and apartment life. 
I realised I had the ability to adjust my own thinking, adjust my mentality, that would eventually allow me to start embracing and loving this new life in Belfast. 

As a counsellor, I am aware of how our thought processes in our minds can be worked with, thankfully our brains aren't rigid. The plasticity of our brains is my favourite thing about how God designed us - negative habitual thinking (causing neural pathways to from) can be replaced with a more healthy perspective, in turn creating new pathways in our brain. 

It's the renewing of our minds. 

And all of this is scientifically proven through neuroscience. It's real.  

Now it's not to say my thinking and attachment towards my childhood home, was negative per say, but it resulted in some negative emotions and automatic reactions. 
I didn't want to freeze or avoid it - I wanted to grow. 
I wanted to settle into my new life. I wanted to try to be the best wife I could be for Aaron. 

So I stopped thinking of Finnebrogue as 'home' and trained my mind to think of here as 'home', to treat it as home and anytime I got those niggling emotions of missing Finnebrogue and feeling 'homesick' in my own apartment, I would ride it out, realising these emotions were only going to be temporary and I'd begin investing in making this new apartment our home. 

Bringing me onto my last point - 

Setting up home MY WAY. 

This may have meant buying cutsie candles and accessories for it, or it might of meant going through special possessions and giving them a new place on our shelves, rearranging things, having friends round, dinner dates, trips to IKEA and spending quality time and making memories with Aaron here in this apartment and in this city. 

Investing in life here.
And praying throughout it all. 

To tell you the truth I can't give you a formula of how I settled into this life here in apartment 710, 
but I did. 
If you are also juggling this, it won't be the same formula for you. 

However, I can tell you it will happen.
Your new life will begin to take shape. 

I can also tell you that honesty with your husband is the best policy. 
'Riding it out' will allow you to process these emotions which are only temporary 
and most importantly because it's ok to not be ok
 Doing home YOUR WAY, will make all the difference. 

So as a special tribute to my childhood home, and in an effort to show you exactly where I get my passion for those 'home details' I always go on about, here are some photos which Richard Lavery ( took. 
They were taken because my parents have actually put it up for sale! 
(thank goodness I'm not still 'riding out' the emotion hey! haha...) 

(below is my old room - it looks super different now, and wasn't ever this tidy.)

(and this is my old bathroom, again it wasn't ever this tidy.)

(and the best view...)

(see that Orla Kiely sugar bowl in the middle, that was a present from me *daughter brownie points)

Stay tuned tomorrow from the second instalment of this Relationship's series - it's going to be a good one, featuring the hottest guy ever. ;)

H x

1 comment:

  1. So honest, thankyou, I just moved up the road from Southern Ireland 17 years ago. I remember all those emotions and honesty. Where I live now with my hubby and beautiful 11 year old son is truly home.