Marriage is a roller coaster of emotions! You will experience highs and lows, good days and not so good days.
I’ve been married…twice (for a total of 14 years). Luckily the second time has worked out much better than the first! I’ve experienced a lot through the ups and downs and trials of marriage!
Here are 12 things I wish I’d known before getting married:
1. Marriage is not easy and it’s not always fun.
Marriage is an every day decision to love and honor your spouse. (Some days will be great and others you’d probably rather forget!) There are times where you might wonder what happened to your love. It’s important to remember what it was that brought you together in the first place! Marriage is a beautiful commitment between two people who love each other enough to work through the hardest times together.
2. Marriage is not unconditional and neither is romance.
There will be days that your spouse will anger you, hurt you, and there will be times you don’t really like him. It happens. You will do the same to him. Don’t take your spouse for granted! Make an effort to earn that love. Not only will the passion and love increase, so will the intimacy!
3. Marriage takes constant work!
You can’t put your marriage on autopilot and expect greatness. Take the time to really learn about your spouse. Pay attention to the small details.
4. Your spouse is not a mind reader! If he asks you where you want to eat, don’t think Olive Garden and not be vocal about it. You will probably end up somewhere else. Don’t expect your spouse to know that you had a bad day at work. He was fighting his own fires at work that you don’t know about. Communicate and you will not only have a more open relationship, but you will have less conflict.
5. Unclear expectations lead to disappointment.
I am the queen of unclear expectations! I am a planner. I have a plan for my weekends and find myself getting irritated if Jason doesn’t follow my plan. The worse is that I never made it clear to him what my plan was to begin with. That’s so unfair of me!
Some marriages experience unclear expectations because of how they grew up in their own family. If your dad was the person who took out the trash, don’t be upset if your husband doesn’t. In his childhood home, maybe his mom took the trash out and it never occurred to him. Open communication is the key. Be clear with what your expectations are and be aware of what your spouses expectations are as well.
6. There is no score in marriage.
Marriage is not 50/50. There is no score. You do not get extra points for doing your husband’s laundry. This is true with extended family as well. Just because your parents do something for you, it doesn’t mean your in-laws should. Every family has good qualities but no family is exactly alike (and that doesn’t make one better than the other).
7. Speaking of in-laws…if you don’t like them when you are dating, it’s probably not going to get better after marriage.
You marry the in-laws when you say, “I do” to your new spouse. Your in-laws are a part of your spouse and they always will be.
8. Being right isn’t always what is best for your marriage.
Some people argue about everything. The need to be right causes disagreements, heartache, and stress on your marriage. No matter what, you won’t win every fight. The sun still comes up the next day. Move on.
9. It’s important to marry someone you enjoy being with but it’s still important to work on your own hobbies.
I love to read, Jason loves to watch television. Jason likes to go golfing, I don’t, but I go with him sometimes anyway because we enjoy spending time together. I also don’t mind when he goes without me because I can spend some time on my own hobbies which makes me happy.
10. Having a child changes your relationship.
I had no idea how much motherhood would change me. The first few years are the hardest. Please, make time for each other as a couple. Your family deserves it. One of the best gifts you can give your child is a mother and father that love each other.
11. Be thankful and focus on your spouses traits that you love, not those you don’t.
This is very self explanatory! I don’t want someone always focusing on my faults, I’m sure you don’t either! If your marriage is in a rut, what was it that you really enjoyed about your spouse when you first met one another?
12. Be kind.
Always. You can’t take back things that you say in anger. This is the person you vowed to spend your life with because you loved him that much. Treat him like he is the special gift that you treasured when you married him.
For those of you who are married, what is something you wish you’d known about marriage before getting married?