I am no marriage expert, and I don’t think anyone is a marriage expert if I am honest. I believe people are good at marriage and provide great advice, but I am skeptical of those that are considered marriage experts without some credentials. Even still…I digress.
I saw this topic circulate on a message board a few months back, and I thought about my response to the topic. After reading other responses on the board, I came up with five personal opinions. I clearly did not know the below points before getting married, who really does, but I did discover them early into my marriage, which has been extremely helpful.
Grace is more important than winning.
You’ll argue in your marriage. It is unavoidable. You will probably argue over simple stuff more than arguing over larger topics. The staple argument in my household is where the dishes go in the kitchen. When you live with someone for the rest of your life, it just comes with the territory. But what you need to learn, early, is to allow for grace over winning an argument.
Who cares where the bowls go in the cabinets. What’s important is that my partner helping out with housework. Sometimes we get caught up in small details and fail to realize that our spouse is doing what we ask but in their way. Are the dishes getting done? Are they getting put back? Yes and Yes. So maybe it’s not in the exact spot you might have put it in, but the fact is it’s there.
Not everything is as simple as an argument over pots and pans, but take a step back and think about the grace you would like to receive if the roles were reversed. Winning in your relationship is far more rewarding than winning an argument.
What you see is not what you get, kinda.
When two people get married, everyone plays their best card. It’s easy to get caught up in the newness of a relationship. But be realistic with yourself and your future spouse. If you got up every Saturday morning while dating to sweep the floors at Bae house, and you don’t even do that at your own house, why the hell are you giving that impression. Btw, this is a real example from one of my besties…haha.
Yes, the dating and courtship phase is to “impress” your partner, but it is not to bamboozle them into thinking that this is how life would be if the two of you made it official. Be yourself, exactly who you are when you enter any relationship. That way, when things do change, it’s not drastic.
Let your biggest changes be residential, last name, and talking about finances, together. Look yourself in the mirror and make sure you and showing up as YOU and not a representative.
Communication is the key to everything.
Nothing, I mean NOTHING, is more important in a marriage than communication. Everything starts and ends with communication. Communicating your wants and needs, your deal-breaker(s), how you spend money, how important your values are to you and your relationship, etc. It all starts with communication.
If you cannot communicate with your partner, marriage will be extremely hard for the two of you. Over-communicate, nothing is too little when you are trying to build a life with someone. Develop great foundational communication skills early; that way, when the big stuff happens, the two of you will know how to talk about it.
Remember your committment to each other.
The newlywed stage of any relationship does not have to end. It will have its moments over the course of your forever, but it does not have to end completely. The newness and getting to know your partner is one of the most exciting times of your relationship. And once you feel like you “know” your partner, that inquisitive trait you once had could become less and less prevalent.
Being madly in love can last a lifetime. But it requires work, and it takes both people honoring the vows you spoke over each other at the beginning. Time does test relationships, but it does not have to destroy them. Your flame can ebb and flow, but it doesn’t have to stop burning.
Learn to fan the flames and fall in love with your spouse over and over.
Sex gets better.
Saved the best for last. The sex gets better and better. Having sex with the same person over and over, year after year, can sound boring on paper, but it is far from it. Sex is one of the most vulnerable acts we do as humans. We open ourselves up to give and receive pleasure that gives an indescribable feeling, if done right.
Having sex with one person allows you to get to know exactly what that person likes. It allows you to learn the curves of their being, the sensitive parts, and the mindblowing moves. And yes, this takes time. You might not reach your sexuality peak with your partner for years, but everything you do in the interim leads up to those moments.
It gets better because, with your spouse, you should be extremely comfortable expressing what you want and when you want to try new things. And then guess what, you have all the time to perfect those moves.
So yes, the sex gets better. Because what is mind-blowing right now might change in a few years, then change again. But you get to go through all of those sexual peaks with your best friend, life partner, and permanent sex buddy.
There is still more to know before getting married, but if you can grasp these five you are well on your way.