I have been married for a little more than five years. Husband is my best friend and I love him very much and I have never regretted getting married.
On the other hand, marriage is not always easy or simple. Just as anytime you’re living with another person, you’re going to disagree on things – what to watch on TV, where the mugs should be kept and the cleaning schedule. The big difference is you are going to be living with that person forever. They’re not going to leave when uni is over or when they earn enough money to live alone. Of course, this is mostly a lovely thing. You get to spend forever with someone you love.
But I guarantee that there are things about your significant other that you do not love. It might be that they have a minor tea obsession and have filled an entire cupboard with every variety known to man. Or that they regularly play music that you don’t like. Or that they think it’s hilarious to do a Tarzan impression when you yawn, because they know that it makes you giggle and then you don’t have a proper yawn and feel really weird afterwards. (Or as the Other Half adds when they regularly drop things and by things, he means all things, or when they put their cold feet against you in bed and Twilight. Just Twilight) You know, little things. Things that wouldn’t really matter until you’re living together full time forever and ever and ever.
Because of the permanence of the arrangement, you really need to discuss any of these little issues to avoid arguments. So then you end up having really tedious yet completely necessary conversations about things like how you’re going to divide the stuff you got in a geeky subscription box, even though its all going to end up on a shelf in the living room.
And of course there are bigger things that need discussion. Where you’re going to live, how you’re going to spend your money and when you’re going to start or enlarge a family. For example, I really like going on holidays – the time to relax and get out of our normal routine – whereas Husband doesn’t really enjoy them much and finds them stressful.
Of course, it doesn’t really prevent arguments. In fact, the biggest piece of marriage advice I can really give is that you will argue. It is inevitable. If you accept this, life will be much easier. I spent far too much time early on in our relationship worrying if a minor argument we had meant that our relationship was doomed. Of course it wasn’t. We argue because we care and because we want this relationship to work and it’s frustrating when it’s not perfect. In my experience, it’s when couples stop arguing and instead just go ‘Whatever, do what you want’ that they’re in trouble because at that point, they don’t care anymore.
Another piece of advice would be to talk about those big issues before you get married. If only one of you wants children or if one of you wants to move to Tahiti and the other doesn’t, those are pretty massive problems.
As I began with, I do love being married. Which is why I don’t mind putting in the effort it requires to make it work.