Choosing to marry someone is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make, which is why we've previously let you in on the 9 secrets a healthy couple shouldn't keep from each other if they plan to commit themselves to a lifelong relationship. These are the things you should share with each other in order to determine compatibility... things like faith, attitudes about money and the desire (or non-desire) to have kids. But what happens after you say "I do"? Do you have any clue what you're in for?
Most of us don't. Not really. Not even with our parents' marriages as an example. Many of us, growing up, didn't have a clue what was going on behind the scenes. Luckily, Gary Chapman has written a book on the subject: Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married. Which Love Language Do You Speak?
Among the lessons he himself learned post-wedding? Being in love is not enough. Apologizing is a sign of strength. You need a financial plan... and one that you're both in on. All very important lessons. What has this particular Love Buzzer learned post-wedding?
- You can go to bed angry, and sometimes you should. It can help to step away from an argument if things are especially heated.
- Your spouse cannot be your everything. Don't rely upon them for all your social interactions. This is a no-duh sort of lesson, but one that's easier to follow if you make an effort to have a life outside of your relationship.
- If you're feeling heated, it can help to sit down and talk to each other about how you're each feeling. Most important, remember to listen. Understanding the stress your partner is under can help you understand and forgive the behavior you found so agita-inducing.
- Sharing a bed (and a living space, for that matter) is hard. Until it isn't.
- Men take it personally if you're not in the mood for sex. Work hard to make it a priority, even if you're exhausted/stressed/disinterested.
- Men are romantic... in their own way. You may not receive surprise candy buttons, but if you pay attention, you'll start realizing that they do a lot for you when you're not looking. Notice this, and let it give you the warm fuzzies.
- Marriage is about compromise, as independent as you are, and as frustrating as that is.
I could go on forever, but I'd rather give you the floor.
What surprised you the most about marriage? What have you learned since you converted from a me to a we?