Marriage is a beautiful thing. Many people dream of growing up, becoming something, getting a job, AND getting married and having children. Even if you don’t want the last two things, you’ve at least considered it even without expecting to.
I was one of those people who did NOT want to get married, and I definitely didn’t want children. Ever.
Then one day out of the blue, a wave hit me. It overtook me and pulled me under and there was no turning back.I wanted a serious relationship, and I wanted someone very specific. And when he became available, I made myself available.
Four months after we started dating, we got engaged. Then a little over three years after that, we got hitched.
Now, six months after “I- Do,” our first year of marriage is nearly over. There are a few things that I wish others would have told me before we got married.
Your first year is not going to be that bad.
“Upon getting married, your first year will be unbearably difficult. ” Also, “It will make or break you.”
These are things that I was told. These are also things that are lies. If you are smart and prepare yourself for marriage, not just for your wedding, your first year will not excruciating.
Just wait until the honeymoon phase is over.
At least for my husband and I, the honeymoon phase ended far before we got married. I heard a pastor say “Never get married until you’ve weathered at least two seasons together.” I couldn’t agree more. We all go through phases and seasons through our lives, and it’s in times of difficultly when our true character is revealed.
My husband and I faced two car wrecks, some unexpected legal trouble, my battle with chronic depression, watching the health of my beloved grandparents wither, a few different jobs, AND living at least two hours away from each other for over half of our engagement. We were over the honeymoon phase a long time ago. By the time we got married, we knew how the other handled tough situations and we still wanted to marry each other.
Not that the honeymoon phase is bad, you just need to know that marriage is not all daisies and sausages and be sure that you are prepared for when the fire comes.
Expectations. Expectations. Expectations.
I would recommend getting pre marriage counseling. You will be asked questions that you probably haven’t thought of, like “Why are marrying this person?”
“What is your definition of love?”
“How do you know that you can commit to a lifetime with this person?”
“Do you want children?”
“What do you expect from your spouse?” Yes, there are things that you expect from your spouse even if you do not realize it. For instance, “I can’t wait to get married so that we can have sex all of the time.” Expectation here is “I want a lot of sex.” Your spouse may not want that, so there will have to be a compromise. Or “I expect that all dirty clothing makes from the body to the hamper.” You might be marrying someone who is used to piling them on the floor.
Discuss these things no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.
Make New Discoveries
After getting married, continue to get to know each other. Go on dates, ask questions, try new things. My husband and I found out that we love to read together on a trip to Florida. I had just bought The Hunger Games (Spoiler alert, it’s a pretty great series), and we took turns reading it aloud until we finished the series. This is something that we never did pre-marriage and really enjoy doing.
In my wedding vows I told my husband that I would actively love him even when I didn’t like him. There are so many times that we do not like our spouses, but that is usually short lived. In those times, be kind. Your words and actions if hurtful can take years to take back.