Happily ever after does exist, but it’s not always easy. When you enter into a marriage you will be introduced to new challenges and feats, and there will be mountains which you and your partner will need to climb and conquer. However, the beauty of marriage is that while you are both working at maintaining a healthy and happy relationship, you have each other to lean on when it gets tough.
Marriage is a wonderful journey which requires adjustment initially, but as long as you are both patient and you communicate with each other, you will be able to enjoy the experience. By giving and taking, learning to compromise and by continually choosing to love your partner, you will grow strong wiser, better, as individuals and as a couple.
You will also discover new things about yourself, as well as your spouse, and be prepared for the possibility that some of your spouse’s quirks might initially drive you crazy, (c’mon, socks all over the floor, and laundry that seems to breed on its own?). Yes, married life will at times test your patience, and although it’s all worth it, there are some things you may want to know to help you prepare for marriage.
Marriage is not a fairy tale
No, you’re not a Disney princess. Maybe on your wedding day perhaps, but real life isn’t always perfect. You will have to expect that marriage will not always be easy and there will be difficult times, but ultimately these bumps in the road will make your bond stronger.
You will argue, sometimes over petty things
It is inevitable that married couples will argue. If you aren’t already living with each other, then when you do it was take some time to adjust. Arguments over small things like housework, dinner or paying bills may sound cliché, but they are reality, and occasionally you and your spouse will disagree or be irritated by one another.
Your picture of each other will change over time
We’re talking about bad breaths, hygiene, uncombed hair, no make-up and everything else that makes us human. Over time both of you will be stripped down to your bare selves; and you will find that you need to adjust to each other’s tendencies and be forgiving of flaws to maintain a happy marriage.
You’ll have to make a conscious effort to maintain romance
As a couple you may find that the passion for romance and intimacy will subside. Both of you will be preoccupied with work and children and other matters, and you may find these factors prevent you from having romantic or intimate time together. You and your spouse will have to make a conscious effort to keep the romance alive, and this means setting aside alone time together as regularly as you can and speaking up when you feel like you need to share some quality time as a couple.
You will both change
By change we mean that over time you will grow together as a couple, but also individually. Certain experiences, life events and other factors will influence your opinions and feelings throughout the course of your marriage. Change is healthy and is not something to be afraid of, as long as you both maintain clear communication.
You will learn how to communicate better
A healthy marriage is founded on good communication. Over time you and your spouse will find communication easier, and honesty is the key to maintaining an open and healthy dialogue about your lives, your emotions, your thoughts, opinions, insecurities and everything in between.
You’ll sometimes go to bed mad
You know how people say ”never go to bed angry”, well, that concept is actually very unrealistic and according to science can even be a bad idea. There will be evenings in which you and your spouse may find yourselves in a heated argument and you will both prefer to go to sleep then step back in the ring.
Your marriage will go through phases
Your relationship will go through phases like on a sliding scale. Sometimes you will be head-over-heels in love, and sometimes your will feel like you are good friends, and other times you will be on auto-pilot trying to juggle work, kids, friends, and commitments. There will be times when you’re physically attracted to each other and times when you’re not – and that’s OK. Embrace the change and embrace the phases.
Things will change after you have children
When you have children there will inevitably be a shift in the dynamic of your lifestyles, but also your relationship too. However, it’s not necessarily bad, and many couples find that they have a new-found respect for each other once they have kids. Expect that things will change, but in most cases this change is embraced as a new level of love and emotions shared in the marriage.
Retirement can refresh your relationship
Divorces can sometimes happen to older couples when they retire as they may feel a loss of purpose once their children have left home and feel a disconnect in the relationship. However, isn’t the case for everyone. In fact, many retirees find that their marriage undergoes a refresh once they no longer have the stress of work or children living at home to worry about. You will have more time for each other and will hopefully be in a more relaxed financial position in your lives – equaling less stress and more quality time.