If you’re a fan of love stories, Hollywood romcoms or even classic Disney movies, you know that they all end in a happy, just-married couple riding off into the sunset and happily-ever after. But what about the things no one tells you about marriage after the wedding? What about that first argument, that first discovery of an annoying habit, or seeing a side of the person you married that was not revealed to you, however harmless that may be.
Did you expect your partner to always hold your hand when walking, but then realized window shopping is more fun alone? Did you expect your brand new partner to be as obsessive about putting the cap back on the toothpaste as you are?
All of this sounds exasperating, but after all, it’s the little quirks that make a life and a marriage interesting. As long as the important things are discussed and planned for together, these small things can be worked around. They make a marriage strong as you learn a little give for every take.
They do say a honeymoon does not last forever, and there will be dishes to be done either after or before sex! Holding hands can get sweaty, bed tea may not actually be as romantic as it sounds. So, if you’ve just had another argument with your partner about leaving the toilet seat up, read on! We’ve made you a list about things no one tells you about marriage, after the wedding.
Things No One Tells You About Marriage, Which Couples Discover
Tim and Becky had been married for three months before she realized that he needed the central heating to be turned up high no matter the season. “I would get out of bed in the middle of the night and turn it down. And he would get up an hour later and turn it back up! I could barely sleep most nights,” Becky says.
The reason most stories end with a wedding and not the hard work of marriage is that every marriage is unique, complicated and a many-layered story. It is rare that there is a one-size-fits-all solution to most problems you face. And problems, disagreements, disappointments there will be, plenty of it to navigate together.
1. The good part of marriage – your partner
Let’s face it, you are married to someone you love, someone you enjoy being with and you hope to build a life together. That person may want to hang out with his/her own friends on a Friday, may not be as great a cook as your mother who has known your tastes since forever.
There are things noone tells you about marriage. One of them is a reminder that person you married comes with his/her own baggage and expectations from you, some of which you cannot or do not want to live up to.
The marriage is something new for both of you, and discovering, adapting, changing is a part of the process of learning to live with each other. You are making a life together and things will definitely be different- the Friday date can change into a grocery run, sleeping late on Saturday may be a habit that has reached its end days.
There are ways to cultivate harmony in relationships with constant care and attention. As you discover new things together, some old habits do change, as you learn to be a part of a couple. Change is not a bad thing about being married, you still dream those dreams together, make the house you bought together into the home it is meant to be.
2. How to have the “money talk”
Money is one issue that can be cause for long-term conflict between partners. The thing no one tells you about marriage is the mundane tasks of getting to know details like your partner’s finances and financial liabilities. Talk about mutual finances in your relationship. Learn to understand each other’s financial abilities, learn to share financial goals and understand each other’s financial habits. Decide who pays for what, budget your household expenses and allocate the joint savings now.
There are many post marriage-surprises as you discover your partner enjoys splurging or is paranoid about debt. Some work towards a yearly holiday, others view money with a long-term perspective.
Regularly discuss your savings and long term financial goals. Talk about earning money, not just about spending it. Don’t just focus on the numbers, but the values.
Related Reading: How Money Issues Can Ruin Your Relationship
3. Spell out the deal breakers
Both of you come from a world of different experiences and backgrounds. One of the things no one tells you about marriage is that when you have different life experiences, you have different ways of solving problems. And to discuss the issues that matter to you.
Life changes after marriage, but some things do remain off limits. Sometimes she may just need you to listen and not to solve her problems for her. He may need that run alone early in the morning to be ready for the day ahead, she may want an extra cuddle in bed. Does sharing the same love of books matter in your conversations together or will a book club fill that part of your life? Is time off with friends inclusive or exclusive? What are your feelings about having kids, your parenting styles, your time with your own parents?
Understand what happens to the other outside of their comfort zone, and what does support mean at those times. So that neither of you take the other for granted, and you work together in tandem.
4. Marriage is a constant work-in-progress
Life before and after marriage can be as different as you want it to be. Marriage does take more time and effort than other relationships, and there are no rules. For some, discovering an activity you both enjoy together may be very important, for others, it may be the time apart that refreshes your conversations and time together.
For some, sharing the day may be important, for others silence is comfort. And if you find yourself married to someone who is at the other end of the spectrum from you, do remember, there is a rhythm you are still discovering to your days. The other person is trying to fit into your life, just as you try to fit into theirs. Every day, every year!
A successful marriage is based on respect and that includes respecting that your partner is a whole different person with different needs.
In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce! Instead, you need to be able to find those reasons every day to be thankful, to be together, to discover a new day together. Every day.
5. Learn to talk the talk. With words, eyes, and a hug
It is not about what you say about your day, but what you are communicating about what makes you tired, what irritates you about another person, the things you bring to a team, your anxieties etc. Learn to communicate, learn to listen.
It’s all about finding the words to your together-forever story, and this is on the list of things no one tells you about marriage. Communication brings understanding and empathy into a marriage. Conversations allow the other person to get to know you, support your dreams, and belong to other parts of your day.
So that, when experiences change you, you are carrying your partner along with the change, you are changing together instead of growing separately.
And learn to see the love in these times together, even when the three magical words are not expressly mentioned.
Related Reading: 11 Ways To Improve Communication In A Relationship
6. One of you will always want more sex than the other
Yes, in the beginning, every day is a honeymoon. The first two months are supposed to be filled with extra magic and lazy afternoon lovemaking, but what no one tells you about a marriage is what comes after.
But into every life, work, kids, running the house, laundry, noisy neighbors and headaches do creep in! It does not mean your marriage is boring, it is life that churns its eternal churn.
But, there is charm is the non-sexual couple things to do. Reading together, falling asleep together on the couch while watching a movie, cooking together – all of these are rich experiences that make your marriage stronger and deeper.
Sexual connections do fluctuate, so it is important you also learn the value of pillow talk, of conversations, of communicating in more ways than one- instead of making this into a source of conflict.
7. Carry your independence with you
Remember that friend who started dating and had no time left for friends? Remember the pal who dropped out of sight when love happened!
One of the things noone tells you about marriage is to remind you not to be that friend, and don’t be that person to your partner either.
Suki and Anthony were married a year ago. And while they were constantly together for the first few months, they soon realized that it was important to have individual lives as well. Suki was an extrovert and loved meeting friends and going out, while Anthony enjoyed solitary fishing trips or camping with a few close friends. Enjoying these activities also meant they had more to talk about when they came back to each other.
As much as you enjoy your time together, keep your independence too. Keep your friends, or make some new ones if you have moved. Discover your hobbies, spend your me-time, do things with your parents, keep in touch with old friends.
Related Reading: Dating An Independent Women – 15 Things You Should Know
Complete dependency on your partner after your nuptials is a fantasy that can never last. And puts pressure on the partner to live up to.
Don’t try to make it all about your spouse, the marriage and kids – take care of yourself first. Carry your independence with you.
8. You will get bored, being married can get boring
Once you get into a routine, after you have picked up the drapes and the curtains, after kids, after the boss unfairly shouts at you, after a long and tiring commute back home, marriage does get boring. Large chunks of it.
It is difficult to show your best face all the time, and now you are living together and no longer just dating, marriage can get boring.
The daily routine can get boring.
But hey, there is magic in watching a rerun of a favourite movie. Listening to his music while you read your book, there is a certain peace to be found in the silences together. Hearing her potter around while you repair the lightbulbs. There is togetherness in grocery shopping or washing the dishes or doing the laundry. There is comfort in the familiarity, only if you are willing to see it.
Learning how to tackle boredom in a relationship is one of the major things no one tells you about marriage, but it is essential to making things last without losing your mind.
Those lovely photos of your friends having the time of their lives- let them remain on Instagram. Make your own stories together!
9. Attractive people will stay attractive
There will still be great looking people, they just do not disappear because you are now married. Hugh Jackman will have a new movie released and who knows, you might see Priyanka Chopra Jonas crossing the road one day!
It is fine and normal to “look”, as long as you do not do it disrespectfully. There will always be jokes and silly WhatApp forwards, it is now a part of our lives. If certain jokes make you uncomfortable, talk to your partner about why, the reasons are much deeper than the images being passed around.
Harmless flirting in a marriage can even be healthy, as long as you have your boundaries firmly in place. Make sure your partner is not uncomfortable when you’re eyeing up that muscled guy on screen or laughing with some guy at a party. Be honest with them about it, laugh over it together.
10. There will tough times, remember to tango on
Dreams fail, parents get old, retrenchment is real and kids alter reality. There will be days when you don’t feel the love, there are personal and professional setbacks in regular living. Fights, disagreements and ego clashes, sh*t happens, we wish it did not.
When the going gets tough, it is great to know you have someone by your side to share those ups and downs and the fears. Its great to know you both have created coping mechanisms and you know when to say you are sorry.
Talk, don’t bottle your resentments, learn to give your strength, learn to receive a hug. A supportive spouse is what everyone dreams of and most reach their goal together. Be the better half, sometimes just being there is what matters to the other.
Remember, as in every relationship, there will be good times and not so good times. Have the discussions, agree to disagree and don’t expect the honeymoon to last forever. You encourage, support and be there for each other, but misunderstandings will happen. Unless you are in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, give what you have the best you got!