Fairy tales that end in “Happily Ever After” don’t explain what is along the journey of “ever after.” I knew getting married meant for better or for worse, but those fairy tales and pictures of grandparents on their 50th anniversary didn’t paint the whole picture for me. Sure, being married is amazing some days as I spend time with my best friend, but other days I wonder why no one told me all the true secrets of wedded bliss. Here are four things I wish someone had told me about marriage before I figured it out on my own.
1. Marriage Isn’t Always a Party
It’s important to be able to enjoy times of silence with your spouse. Marriage isn’t always filled with parties, candlelit dinners, and strolls along the beach. Often, it’s just watching TV, listening to the rain, and asking one another what’s for dinner. You may never run out of things to talk about—but it’s okay to just enjoy each other’s company and not expect constant entertainment. Some weekends will be filled with friends and festivals while other weekends might be filled with Netflix and online shopping. It’s important to find the excitement in those quiet times because you don’t need to impress one another with all of the fireworks in your life. Marriage is more about the subtle things that create your own fireworks.
2. Everyone Fights About Stupid Things
My husband and I went to marriage classes before our wedding where they tried to make us fight—and we promised we wouldn’t be one of those couples that always fights. News flash: no matter how happy you are, at some point you will fight like cats and dogs. You may fight over who left the garage door open, which sport your kid should play, or why you’ve eaten chicken for dinner two days in a row. The fights may be silly or they may be complex. The simple fact is you’re with a person day in and day out and all of the little quirks you love about them may also get on your nerves. It’s how you handle these fights that matter the most. Marriage is about compromise and love, so a little fighting just means you have to work harder at the other stuff in that moment.
3. You Will Keep Score
There’s been times I want to take out my little tally card and keep score. I want to show my husband that I’ve changed the last 10 diapers and taken the trash out three times in a row. You don’t want to keep score, but somehow there’s this imaginary bright scoreboard shining in the middle of the room. No one told me we would argue about watching football the past three nights when I just wanted to watch Dancing With The Stars once. Try not to keep score so much and just be respectful of each other’s time and work ethic. Sometimes you’ll wash the dishes and other times you’ll throw the dishes in the sink and enjoy a glass of wine on the back porch. Don’t worry—at some point those dishes will get done by one of you whether you keep note or not.
4. You’re Both Crazy
No one told my husband that his wife just might be crazy. Yes, he thinks I’m crazy when I shut the drawers he leaves open or put away the stack of hats that begins to sit by the bathroom sink. No one explained to me that my husband might throw wet towels on the floor, be obsessed about the electric bill, or feel the constant need to use the leaf blower in the backyard. It’s the funny little things about us as humans that make us all a little crazy. In a marriage you just have to embrace the craziness and smile a little. When my husband can’t find his keys because he threw them on the desk and it drove me nuts so I had to move them to my purse, he rolls his eyes and asks where I moved them. We’re all a little crazy, and you just have to love the quirks about one another.