Every couple is different; my husband and I were 22 and 23 when we got married, after only 6 weeks of dating. Maybe it was too soon in general, but if I could do it all over, I wish I had learned these things before getting married. These are the lessons I didn’t like learning along the way, but I guess that’s why they say ‘for better or for worse’!
1. Date nights disappear. Men aren’t planners so when they’ve landed the prize, it’s harder for them to be motivated to take you out on a date since a night at home would be easier- and cheaper.
2. Money disappears, too. Really, where does it all go even before kids come into the picture?
3. There’s a lot to discuss. Besides kids and where to live, there are things we have had to discuss as they come up. For instance, where to spend holidays, how much to save, boundaries for friends of the opposite sex, religion, health directives, and more.
4. Men have the worst memory. My husband always claims that he forgot to call the water company, return the light bulbs or even take out the trash. But it drives me completely crazy because for every item on his list, I have five times more and still manage to get it all done. Do I really have to stay on top of him to get simple tasks done? I thought this was a partnership. Get used to repeating yourself over and over, too.
5. If you expect your husband to share the covers, you better write it in your wedding vows. My husband and I have our own blankets at bedtime because we can’t compromise on just one.
6. You’ll be picking up used socks and dirty plates for the rest of your life. My husband says he intends to pick up after himself at the end of the day but I might pull all my hair out if I actually waited that long (plus it still rarely happens even at the end of the day).
7. When you have kids, the amount of conversation between you and your husband will dwindle by at least half. Mostly because your baby/kid will be screaming constantly-making it impossible to hear or concentrate- but also because you’ll be too angry with your husband or too frustrated with life to want to talk once your child is down for the night.
8. There are times you’ll want to kill your spouse or leave them, but you won’t. Because you’ll remember that you love them and that marriage isn’t supposed to be easy. And also because you refuse to let him escape the magical misery of raising kids, while you get left behind to take it all on by yourself.
9. Be careful with in-laws. They can be the best or worst friends you’ve ever had, and it all depends on how you pick your battles and how you stand your ground when the time comes. Oh, and don’t expect your husband to back you up either. It’s taken 4 years for my husband to realize that leaving me to the wolves will earn him an earful of nagging.
When all is said and done, nothing could have prepared me for the challenging adventure of sharing my life with someone else. It’s like combining the roommate, sibling, lover, friend, and teammate relationships into one intense rollercoaster ride that they call marriage. But even with the things I’ve already learned, I know there are hundreds more we have yet to encounter! I’ll never be able to master marriage but honestly, who can?