My cousin is getting married in November. My fellow PA is getting married next year. Another coworker got married two days ago. With all these weddings happening, I thought I would write what I’ve learned in the past 3 years since I said “I do”.
DISCLAIMER: MARRIAGE IS WORK!!!! What I’m writing, of course, doesn’t apply to every marriage.
Unless your fiance is super involved, the wedding is meant for the woman. Its all the bells and whistles to show everyone “This is who I’m going to marry and how I’m going to do it!”. New brides put tons and tons of cash towards this event and forget there needs to be money later for a new house, children, and just BILLS. Don’t drown yourself in debt for this one event. The marriage is what lasts not the wedding. The day of your wedding will be a distant and hopefully fond memory. (I seriously hated the DJ at my wedding – long story!)
Its been said over and over again, COMMUNICATION is key. Men are not mind readers. They really don’t know what the hell is going on with us UNLESS we say something. Prior to getting married, have a conversation about how you would like to discuss issues that may arise. Whether you write down your issues or just set aside time once or twice a week, form an open ended conversation to address any problems. Without communication, the smallest problem (leaving the toilet seat up for example) will cause a huge argument because of a snowball effect of everything. Holding your anger and slamming down a pot (or whatever) is not a good way to translate you are pissed off about something. Since some men never talk, you might have to find ways to pique his interest in a subject before directing the conversation towards what’s bothering you.
SSDD (Same Sh*t, Different Day)
My cousin referred to her fiance as an “asshole”. LOL. I was shocked and laughed. She has accepted his ways and is moving on knowing he can be a complete “asshole”.
MEN DON’T CHANGE. If you were expecting your then fiance now husband to become this amazingly romantic, sweep you off your feet, always bringing you flowers Superman that he was NEVA before, keep holding your breath. MEN DON’T CHANGE. UNLESS your then fiance was doing ALL of this before you got married, he probably won’t start now. If your then fiance didn’t help around the house or left you to take care of the children by yourself, he’s not going to change. Men reveal who they are little by little. Its a discovery of who he is. My grandmother would always say after 54 years of marriage, she found out new things about my grandfather every day.
Before I got married, I asked both men and women who were married for 5+ years for advice. A member of my church told me one of the big problems in marriage is unrealistic expectations. He mentioned never to have overly great expectations from your spouse. Who your husband is before he married you is who he is after you are married. Also, realistically as women, will we change because we are married? Will our responsibilities change? If I never cooked for my husband before marriage how could he expect me to transform into Martha Stewart?
You must take the good with the bad. There are some things about him you will never like but accept them. As long as his faults are not a danger to you or your family, grow with him. Besides, we usually expect men to accept us as we are. Early in my marriage, I would get so frustrated with trying to get my husband to not procrastinate and be proactive. Almost a year into marriage, I asked a friend who had been married for three years before me about this. “Give up and let it go” was her response. “There are just some battles you can’t win”. Its so true. I can’t change him so why frustrate myself trying. It frustrates him as well and just adds unnecessary stress to our lives.
Its A Date
Date nights should be mandatory in marriages. Its so important to carve out just some time away from work and kids to see each other again. Life can get in the way and force wedges between you. Take one night a week or, even better, a weekend to reconnect. Lock yourself in a hotel room if need be. Fresh air is overrated anyway. Time alone is so important to build intimacy. NOT just sex but intimacy. Plan ahead and occasionally be spontaneous. Spontaneity is the chipotle pepper of marriage. One of my favorite attributes of my husband is that he can be spontaneous and have wonderful ideas. I usually suck at being spontaneous because I’m so type A. I have to plan everything to the T. It usually drives him crazy, but hey I’m a work in progress.
Its OK to say Sorry
Funny enough, this was just a topic of discussion in a women’s Facebook group. Some women just don’t want to say “I’m Sorry”. I was surprised how many don’t, refuse to or appear to say sorry but are not really sorry. It can’t be one sided.
I will admit, I dont like being wrong, but who does? To keep the peace in a marriage you need to know when to say “I’m sorry”. Sometimes, we have to be the bigger person to just get things done and keep it moving.
Keep Your Business, your business
Communication is best between you and your spouse. Yes, there are times you need advice. But limit advice to a very select group of people. I talk to my grandmother about wifely duties because she was married for over 50 years. I talk to a friend and my mom about motherly duties because, well they are moms. Keep your circle small. Don’t discuss your husband with other women or men for that matter. This can open all types of doors and before you know it the person you talked to is more involved than you would like.
Know when to be the “damsel”
“I’m sorry I won’t be here this weekend. My husband planned a trip and I must go.”
“Because when a man plans something, which he almost never does, you have to be supportive. Men have easily shatterable egos. ”
This was a conversation between myself and a Sunday School teacher who was married at least 20 years. I remember because it really stuck out in my mind. My father didn’t teach me this about men.
You are independent and you have your own money. You’ve been taking care of yourself before he came into the picture. You do things in a very timely manner and in a very specific way. Oh wait, that last one is me! -so TYPE A! Anyway, some times you have to let men take the lead. As women we are nurturers by nature but we shouldn’t mother our husbands. It’s ok to take a step back and just let a man be the provider and protector. Our support means so much.
As a former Pastor told me, Marriage is not a bad thing but its important to marry the right person. You don’t always meet the right person immediately but when you do it just clicks.
Share your thoughts with me. I would love to see what you have learned in your marriage.