We were recently asked for advice for newlyweds, which I shared over here. But I wanted to expand on what I said there…
I didn't get any bad, syrupy marriage advice from people I know, but I saw plenty of it floating around in movies, in books, and online. It's sort of infectious. In the pre-wedding fog it can affect your sense of self and your confidence. I would shrug it off as nothing, but I sometimes felt panicked. What is this marriage thing I've gotten myself into? I must be mad, am I going mad? Am I depressed? I don't feel like I married the bestest, sweetest, most kindest man in the world, but I love him, is that enough? AGHHHHH!
We're working on year three and I'm fine now. I realize the cutesy advice, even though I dismissed it, had gotten in my brain because I never saw an article titled, “How To Deal With The Crappy Parts Of Marriage As Well As Unrealistic Expectations Of Society.” So, I came up with my own realistic marriage advice that maybe doesn't make you say, “Awwww!”, but later on down the line, after the wedding high descends, might make you feel stronger.
Sometimes marriage sucks.
It really does. You're individuals who have decided to always be together and at times it is really annoying that you are so different in some ways. Make sure you each have space to just be you and remember to hang out with other people. You are not an island.
“Never go to bed angry.” Bullshit.
Two people who are tired and already upset are not going to make good decisions. They are going to be unreasonable, nonsensical, and cranky. Go to bed, wake up recharged, and figure it out like two well-rested grown ups.
You will change and your spouse will change.
People change, it's sometimes scary, but you'll live and get used to it. Just because he/she decides to take up yoga/go vegan/become a cheese maker/become a power lifter doesn't mean they are some other person. They're evolving. Don't let it divide you — evolve together.
“Two becoming one.” No.
You are not becoming one entity, you're not welded together, you're not one part of a ball and chain. You are two people who even on bad days choose to stay with that person, because even on the bad days you'd rather be there with them than with anyone else. You know that the bad will pass, you'll take it on as a team, and kick the bad's ass.
In my previous point I say you'll get through the bad, but don't become so totally infatuated that you ignore your own well being. We all have bad days where we yell too much or get a little crazy, yes, but don't become a victim.
“Kiss your husband/wife everyday” ….UNLESS they're sick with the flu or a nasty cold, my friend.
There was a time when I thought, “but you HAVE to give me a kiss!” Nuh uh, keep those lips sealed unless it's to swallow zinc and vitamin C supplements. More fluids, chop chop.
Lastly, people are going to ask you, “How's being married?” or “How is married life?” for at least a year after the wedding. It's a nice question, but what does it even mean? I used to answer that it was like life before marriage, except now I live with this guy. My point is that my new answer, if I were asked, is that marriage is like making a better way to do something that's been done a million times before. We are Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison, and Benny Franklin.