Married Couples Are Sharing The Things Every Unmarried Couple Should Know Before Tying The Knot, And These Are Really, Really Good
"Marriage is rarely two strong people — it's about taking turns being strong for each other."
1. "Marriage is rarely two strong people — it’s about taking turns being strong for each other. You will both have days when your relationship feels invincible, and there can be months where one of you is depressed or hurting. But you both have to be willing to support each other no matter the circumstances."
2. "Learn to argue well. It’s going to happen, so learn to voice your concerns and opinions in a constructive way. Learn to listen to theirs, learn to compromise, and then put it behind you. Leave everything in the discussion. It’s OK to be uncomfortable; it’s not OK to carry that with you permanently."
"Think of it as a relational workout. It’s hard, it’s tough, and it sucks, but you can grow stronger from it. Just don’t get addicted to it!"
3. "Keep dating. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you should stop trying to woo each other. There’s no shame in scheduling a regular date night. Take turns planning it!"
4. "After being married 20 years, the most important thing I've learned is that you need to be ready to marry your partner several times in your lifetime. We all change, sometimes drastically. With children, careers, and aging, your priorities today will not be your priorities tomorrow, and neither will your interests, friends, or politics. But as your partner changes, you need to learn to appreciate and fall in love with the new person they become instead of becoming resentful and hurt."
"Avoid any thought that begins with, 'You used to...' Those words are poison. Instead, focus on love, appreciation, and getting to know your partner over and over. I like to say that so far I've married my wife three times!"
5. "Everybody will tell you, 'Communication is key!' But nobody ever tells you what communication really is. A married couple could spend five years together and never fight, never argue, but just exchange pleasantries and talk about their days. And then suddenly, one of them reveals they're unhappy and wants a divorce, leaving the other person very hurt and especially very confused, because they did everything people told them to do in order to have a healthy marriage. They went on dates, they had alone time, they asked each other about their day, and they said 'I love you' every night. So how does a marriage fail when you do all the things everybody says you're supposed to do?"
6. "You are about to gain an entirely new side to your family — all their drama, all their family events, all their everything, and it's the most shocking part."
7. "Marriage isn't always a 50-50 partnership — sometimes it's 70-30, sometimes it's 80-20, and sometimes it's 100-0. But this isn't a reflection on effort or commitment — that should always be 100%. What this means is that you will sometimes have to work harder than the other for one reason or another."
8. "When kids arrive, make sure both of you are on the same page with everything. Kids are the greatest manipulators in the world, and they will break you to pieces if you can’t work together."
9. "It's not your spouse's job to make you happy — it's nobody's job to make you happy."
"If you're a depressed person who doesn't get help, and you marry someone because a part of you thinks that you will be happy if you get married, that rush of endorphins and the newness of the situation might give you enough to be happy in the short term, but eventually the depression will come back once things have settled in, and you'll see your partner as a failure because you're married and you're still not happy. You need to know that nobody in this world is responsible for your happiness but you. Even when you're married."
10. "The best thing about marriage is that there is always someone there when you come home. The worst part of marriage is that there is always someone there when you come home."
11. "If you're more interested in the wedding than the idea of being married, you're not ready to be married."
12. "Make sure you're both on the same page when it comes to priorities and core values that affect your daily lives. If you aren’t now, you probably won’t be after getting married, either."
13. "Sit down and figure out your finances. And continue to do that every few months."
14. "Talk, and don't be afraid to hurt each other's feelings. If your spouse is doing something that annoys you, let them know. If you don't voice it, it can't be addressed."
"Marriages fall apart because couples aren't prepared to do the work. But marriage isn't fire-and-forget; you have to take care of it. If you leave your dog at home all day, don't be upset at it for shitting on the rug."
15. "Things will change, so try to grow together rather than grow apart. And do the dishes even after you worked all day, because it’s nice sometimes."
16. "Find out what 'I cleaned' means to your partner. If you’re a clean freak and your partner is a slob, you might have some interesting conversations you never thought you’d have."
18. "Don't get married because you 'have to,' or because 'it's been long enough, we should probably do the thing.' Get married because you know you can live with their quirks for the rest of your life. Get married when you're ready."
19. "You're going to get annoyed with each other and get mad over silly things, and sometimes you have to realize that you — yes, you — were the asshole."
20. "My wife and I were friends with an astrophysicist, and when we told him we planned on getting married and that we'd love some advice, he said, 'Stay friends.' At first we felt like that went against the whole idea of stepping things up to marriage, but we were wrong. After a yearlong separation, we started dating again and took his advice — 12 years of friendship."
21. "The only thing you should ever hide is presents."
What about you? What's your biggest piece of all-the-way-real marriage advice for unmarried couples? Tell us in the comments section, and you could be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post!
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.