One of my favorite people is getting married soon. She’s smart and wise beyond her years. Her husband-to-be is wonderful, too. And yet, I keep having this feeling like I need to pull her aside and tell her all of THE THINGS.
The things that no one tells you about marriage, the things that no one is prepared for and when we go through them we think we’re all alone and that the world is ending. I’ve tried to reason with myself. She doesn’t need to know all THE THINGS just yet. None of us really knew what we were getting into when we got married, and none of us were really prepared and yet, we made it. Or rather, we are making it, day by day. So instead of raining on her wedding parade, I made a list. Because that’s what every type-A personality does when they can’t do what they really want to do.
Here are the 9 things everyone should know about marriage:
1. You will fight, and some of those fights will be hard and ugly and awful. You’ll say things you never thought you’d say, and you’ll hear things said to you that cut like a knife, mostly because they’re true.
2. During that first year, you aren’t alone if you wonder, “Seriously, but when is this person going to go back home?” And then you realize, they are home and so are you and it’s going to be like that FOREVER and you feel completely overwhelmed by that thought.
3. Remember how you thought you were easygoing and a breeze to live with? Yeah, you’ll realize that was only because you weren’t sharing EVERYTHING with another person. You’ll realize you aren’t as easygoing as you thought you were, and neither is your spouse.
4. Things like toilet seat placement (put it down!!), frequency of dishwashing, laundry expertise, sheet sharing, and air conditioning preferences will become a big deal. Trust me.
5. When you have a hard day at work, you’ll have someone to come home to, a shoulder to cry on, an ally on your side at all times. If you’re lucky, that will also include a warm meal cooked just for you. Doesn’t get much better than that.
6. In the years to come, you will encounter hardships in your marriage. It happens to everyone. It will happen to you, too. The people who act like it doesn’t happen to them are lying.
7. When it does happen, talk to someone about it. It’s the silence and lying and pretending that erode a marriage. Find the right people to be open and honest with. It’s when no one knows what goes on behind your closed doors that you’re in real trouble.
8. Recognize that there is something mysteriously wonderful about having a partner who knows all of the worst things about you but still sees the beauty in you, too. That’s real love.
9. You might think that the goal is to never have disagreements with your spouse. It’s not. The goal is to know each other, love each other and serve each other better every day. You can’t do that without sincerity, honesty and humility. You’ll spend the rest of your lives perfecting those.