Hey Hey! Happy Wednesday Folks!! Can you believe I am getting married in a week and a half?? WHAT?!? In honor of that, I am bringing back Wedding Wednesdays on the blog! Actually, TBH, there are a whole lot of relationship-y and wedding posts coming to the blog these next two weeks!
Today's post is a guest post from the fabulous Anna Mullikin Freeman of LifeandLattes.com
When you've been with someone a while, people like to give you advice and forewarn you about the “realities” of married life. It's honestly really sweet and I appreciate people passing on good tidbits about how to handle finances, how to navigate serious arguments and how to plan for the future, but at the same time, it's incredibly misleading. Just as much as you'll hear lots of good things about marriage and tons of wishes for good luck… you'll also hear negative things.
In fact, I can think of 6 things people told be about marriage that didn't turn out to be true…
1. You're too young to get married.
A lot of my younger, single friends really questioned me getting married so early. So many of them were just starting their careers, casually dating boys and always going out on the town with the girls. On the other hand, I grew up always being the youngest in my grade, so a few things happened a little earlier in my life. I graduated from high school at 17 and college at 21. When I got engaged at age 24, I had already been working in the real world for 3 years and had taken that time to do some major adulting. I bought my own car, paid off some debt and got myself in a better financial situation overall. I had been promoted once and taken a new, higher paying job with another company. Not to mention, my husband and I had been dating since I was 14. It's not like I met a guy, dated him for 6 months and jumped into marriage… I was ready. I think it's hard for people to understand, but the “right age” to get married is different for everyone and you just have to do it when the time is right for you. Sitting here now at age 25, I think it's the best decision I ever made. As cliché as it sounds, I get to live and do life with my best friend, and at the same time I'm still rocking out my career and experiencing life.
2. You better get married soon or someone else will snatch him/her up!
Yes… #1 & #2 literally contradict each other. Hence why other people's opinions can be so burdensome sometimes. Generally people age 40+ hold this stance in my experience. They couldn't understand why I wasn't ready to get engaged and why my career was my first priority at the time. My husband had a similar experience. People would always ask him when he was going to pop the question and why he hadn't asked yet. I could tell “they” pitied me, thinking how sad I must be considering how long we'd dated and he still wasn't ready to marry me yet. Most adults (other than our parents… they're totally cool) couldn't fathom that he and I had mature, adult conversations about getting engaged. We realized being engaged didn't just mean fun showers and a beautiful wedding, but that it meant a serious commitment that didn't have to happen right away. They were certain someone else would “snatch us up”, as if we were both pretty flowers just waiting to be picked by someone who wanted to marry us. At age 21… graduating from college, I wasn't ready and I'm glad we didn't allow those people to push us into something too early. Now, I realize I needed that time to learn more about myself, to build a life I could be proud of, before I could be all I needed to be for someone else.
3. Having a husband is like taking care of a child.
This couldn't be further from the truth. I would constantly hear this and worry… Oh no, am I going to have learn to cook? Will he be a total slob and leave a huge mess for me to clean up? Is he going to expect me to be domestic? Thank God, none of the above are true. We live in a really equal household and I love that. I can't tell you how great it is to come home from work some days and to find dinner ready and waiting for me. Not to mention, chores are so much more fun when you have someone to help you and to cuddle and nap with you when you're done. He knew long before he married me that I wasn't made to be domestic and he's totally okay with that. So, soon to be married ladies, you do NOT have to cook the meals, clean the house and take care of your husband (unless of course you want to – more power to you). Most husbands don't expect that and are happy to help out, so treat him like your roommate that has equal responsibility.
4. Once you get married, you'll never have sex.
I never heard this one, but my husband heard it ALL of the time. Jokes on them, haha! Let me tell you a little secret single people… turns out wives have sex too… and it's great because you can do it whenever and wherever (almost) you want! Plus, it's the most full-of-love, happy, comfortable experience you'll ever have.
5. Waiting until marriage to move in together is a bad idea.
I can't count how many times I heard this one. People were constantly asking me, “how do you know you can live with him?” or “how do you know you'll still like him?” After dating the man for 10 years, I'm pretty sure I like him. Plus, there's plenty of couples out there who have waited to move into together until they were married and they seem to be doing just fine. I ended up being really glad we waited. We had been together so long that it didn't seem like very much would be different about marriage, but finally moving in together and having our own place was really new, different, and special.
6. Marriage is going to be really hard and take a lot of work.
I hesitate before saying this one is completely untrue. I haven't been married that long and I don't want to be naive. I'm sure throughout our lives, there will be many trials and tribulations that will make marriage more difficult and we will have to work at it, but not in the way I thought. Between everyone telling me this, the 50% divorce rate. and the things I heard in my pre-marital counseling, I was pretty scared.
My life was fun and easy before marriage and I didn't want it to suddenly become really hard, where I had to come home and work on it every day instead of just living and being happy in my home. I was petrified of defeat and figured between the bills or work or differing opinions, we were going to struggle. Marriage doesn't feel like that at all though. It is the happiest feeling… I love coming home to my husband and even when we fight, it's different now. Figuring out bills is stressful, but there is someone to chill you out and bring you ice cream once you start getting overwhelmed. We are opposites in a lot of ways and that can cause friction sometimes, but our heated discussions and debates truly make us better people. We've been together a long time, so the issue of worrying about cheating or untrustworthiness really isn't there.
Couples shouldn't be scared to get married! Marriage is such a great thing and society should stop making it out to be so bad. You can't always listen to what people say. Marriage is different for everyone and it can be a really beautiful thing.
What have you found to be different in marriage than you expected? I'd LOVE to hear from some couples who've been together longer than my meager 4 1/2 months. 🙂
Self love is so important in a relationship! Grab TCM's Guide to Positive Self Talk!
Anna is the founder of Life & Lattes: A Twenty-Something's Ramblings on Life. IRL, she's an Account Manager at a marketing agency in Augusta, GA. She loves traveling, writing, lying in the sun and her 2 pups, Bailey & Champ. Check her out on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter.