Here Are Answers To 17 Questions You Secretly Want To Know About Marriage
Like, how do you know if you're with the person you're meant to spend your life with?
Marriage has been around for thousands and thousands of years...but, let's be real, marriage looks a lot different today than it did years ago. And, thankfully, so does bridal style.
So, as a married millennial woman, I decided to answer questions about marriage from the BuzzFeed Community. I am not an expert by any means, I am just answering from personal experience to help people who want to know what marriage is like or those who want advice from someone who has been through it.
So, here are my answers to your questions:
1. Q: "How do you know if you're with the person you're meant to spend your life with?" —minstrels
A: I think some people have a moment where they KNOW they found 'the one' and some don't. I don't think this means one marriage is going to last over the other. I actually never had that moment because I am someone who always has hesitations — no matter what — because I overthink things. Even if someone was scientifically matched to be my perfect person, I would still question it.
My husband always says that looks and attraction will never get you through an entire marriage. And it's true. I think a lot of people hold certain things — like looks — to a higher standard than they should when they look for a partner to marry. That stuff is not going to matter when real-life issues arise. Can your personalities coexist on a daily basis, are you able to rely on this person, and can you truly trust them? These are the types of things that are more important at the end of the day. Also, are you willing to put their needs before your own and make sacrifices in your life for them?
Lastly, another important thing to ask yourself is: Does this person inspire me? Because you eventually start taking on some of the same habits as your partner — even if you don't realize it. So, you really want to be with someone who is going to push you to be better and inspire you to live your fullest life.
2. Q: "People say when you get married, it's different than just living with your S.O. or being with them for a really long time. But, I never understood how. Does marriage really change things?" —a4868cbd7d
A: In some ways yes and in other ways no. I lived with my husband beforehand, so I already knew what to expect as far as day-to-day lifestyle goes. I knew I was still going to argue with him over things, like the thermostat, and I was still going to get annoyed with some of his habits, like not putting the toothpaste lid back on after using it. But, surprisingly, it was different in other ways that I didn't expect. Things felt more concrete. I felt more bonded to my husband. I knew that neither one of us could just end things or walk away because we were bound together by the law now. We had vowed in front of everyone we knew that we would be together forever as well, so that also made it feel very different. In every relationship, you put trust in one another and give yourself to that person, but the act of getting married — for me — gave me a different feeling on a mental and emotional level.
Also, my husband says I got bossier after we got married...but maybe I just got more comfortable. 🤷
3. Q: "How long does it take for you and your partner to be completely open with each other? I believe in sex after marriage and not moving in with the person until you are married to them. It just seems like it would be such an awkward thing for so long."—lennahmassengil
A: I think this is why communication is so important in a relationship! Even though my husband and I dated for a long time before marriage, there were still things we had to learn to consciously communicate about. I used to get mad about things, thinking my husband "knew me well enough" to tell how I was feeling, but I was wrong. It took me a while to truly understand that my husband can't just read my mind 24/7. So, after we established that direct line of communication, I felt so much closer to him. I was scared it would somehow have the opposite effect or cause arguments, but it actually helped us better understand each other. Now that I am over the fear of bluntly telling him my wants and needs, I have less anxiety and he understands my thought process more as well.
Also, things are going to be awkward at times because that is just life, so I have to remind myself that being vulnerable always brings our relationship closer.
4. Q: "I'm personally very neutral on marriage and don't see myself going that route unless there's something very special and different about a relationship and person vs. all the other relationships I've had. So, in what key ways was your relationship with your husband different from your other relationships?" —m4d4e02be6
A: I will preface this by saying that I didn't have a lot of serious relationships prior to meeting my husband. However, I felt different with him because I saw his problems as my problems. I think in other relationships I would offer help and advice because I cared for the person, but how they solved things didn't really affect me. I realized things were different with my husband when I cared more deeply about how his choices would affect not only his life, but mine.
5. Q: "Do you have to shave, like, all the time?" —malloryh46b4c9da3
A: HELL NO. I mean...to each their own in every relationship, but if you don't want to shave, you shouldn't have to! I don't think anyone should ever feel like they have to uphold themselves to a certain standard for their partner in a marriage or a relationship. If you want to for you, or because YOU want to for your partner, then that's great! But, if your partner is giving you shit about hairy legs, then I can almost guarantee that's just going to be the beginning of a whole lot more problems later on.
6. Q: "How do you learn to evolve with someone else without feeling jealous or being unintentionally controlling? How do you grow as individuals without drifting apart?" —eyesofheloise
A: My husband and I got married when I was 24 and he was 27. At that time, after dating for more than six years, we thought we had fully grown as individuals, but we were very wrong, lol. Over time, I realized that the growing and evolving never stops. Every new obstacle life throws our way teaches us something that changes us, even if it is only slightly. If one person is in a different stage in their life or going through something, I feel like the only thing you can do to keep the bond strong is to communicate — and to listen. If your partner is being open and honest, I think it's important to listen to their needs before jumping in with your own thoughts.
7. Q: "What do you really think of your single friends? If your friend is 30 and has never been in a relationship, is she really 'going to find love when it finds her?'" —kashee1390
A: I have so many single friends who are nearly 30 or over 30, and they are living incredible, full lives! Your life should not be centered around finding a perfect partner, it should be centered around you being true to yourself. Besides, some people want to be single and some people enjoy the freedom of not being tied down. Now, if the person is looking for love, then I don't think it is just magically going to appear. I do think they have to search for it to some extent or at least be open to putting themselves out there in some way. When it comes to finding love, though, it can happen at any age.
8. Q: "As someone who has been incredibly isolated and lonely for a good portion of their life, what are some of the ways you can successfully learn to trust and be codependent?" —mk2264
A: Practice being vulnerable. It's hard and it sucks. I used to be very guarded in my relationship with my husband — and even early on in my marriage — because I was scared of being hurt. But being that way made me feel unfulfilled in the relationship because I wasn't being honest or true to who I was. So, I had to make a conscious effort to get out of my own head. For me, it helped to imagine our roles being reversed. Like, if he was acting how I was acting, how would I react? I feel like that helped to somewhat put things into perspective.
9. Q: "Do you feel excited to come home to your spouse after so long? Or does everything just feel monotonous after a while?" —emilytheit
A: I feel comfort knowing he is going to be there when I get home. It is nice knowing that he will be there to listen to me vent or tell a story about my day and vice versa. Sure, I am happy to see him, but it's not like I'm over-the-moon excited because I know he's going to be there, lol. But, if he is out of town and I'm home alone, I do get a sense of sadness because I don't have him there with me.
I think everyone's lives can get monotonous at times, even if you're not married. When that starts to happen, making a conscious effort to switch things up and do new things together can help.
10. Q: "If you both decide to have children, how much does the dynamic between you as a couple change? How do you keep the spark alive as parents?" —jackie811
A: Kids change every aspect of a relationship — anyone who tells you they don't isn't being fully honest. (Or they have TONS of help, lol.) And, I'm not going to lie, kids will often take precedence over your relationship. For us, the best way to keep the spark alive is to plan time away from our son. Because if he is there, it's a big distraction from our time together. So, we plan to do things just us two to keep the ~romance~ alive, lol. We also make it a point to talk about things other than our parental duties when we do go out!
11. Q: "Do you like being married?" —lilithstormgoddess
A: I actually do more than I thought I would. I feared it would make me old and boring. But being married isn't this daunting "my life is over" sort of thing at all. You can still have fun with your single (and married) friends — I spend time with them a lot. It's kind of nice to be at the point where the 'true love' part of my life is complete.
12. Q: "If you're really independent, how do you decide on big things? I've been single forever, so I've never had to rely on someone to make a decision with — I just do whatever I want. How do you discuss things that are big, like houses, jobs, or kids?" —monikap6
A: Lots of honesty and compromise. Also, your partner should know the things that are important to you already and they should want to help you obtain those things. Before marriage, I would make sure the person at least somewhat values some of the same things you do. Marriage also means a lot of sacrificing your own wants and needs for the other person. Not all the time, but it does happen often. Marriage is all about talking things through and learning to give up control of the way YOU want things to go all the time.
13. Q: "Is marriage really worth it? Like, does it change your relationship with that person in a way meaningful enough to justify it?" —feminista
A: Before I got married, I was totally convinced everything would be the same. I would have been the first person to say that getting married won't really change anything. But now, my viewpoint is the exact opposite. It changes it in ways that you don't think about, like society's perception of you. When you're married by law, things don't just change legally. You will come across times in which you are stereotyped as things, like a "nagging wife" or "ignorant husband," and those parts do suck. But, in my experience, marriage has made my husband and my relationship stronger and deeper, so yes, the positives have outweighed the negatives.
14. Q: "I am in a relationship with this super amazing guy and it just rings my bells when I think of being with him for the rest of my life. But I am worried that I won't feel the same for him in the future. I'm also scared he won't stay the same amazing person he is. How do I get over those fears?" —sumedhasardana1
A: Not all your fears are going to go completely away, so I think you have to learn to trust that you can make the right decision. Maybe your partner will change in the future (or maybe you will), but we all change throughout our lives. And, when we have changed, the people who love us don't stop loving us suddenly because of it — like our parents, for example. It's about having that unconditional mindset for this person. I think some questions to ask yourself are: Am I willing to choose to love this person over and over again no matter what happens? Will I be able to choose to work things out with this person forever? Do I trust this person to do the same indefinitely?
15. Q: "Will I start finding him annoying or will I get bored in the relationship after marriage?" —sumedhasardana1
A: One of my biggest fears about getting married was that one day I would roll over and suddenly fall out of love with my husband. But, luckily, that hasn't happened. At times, you probably will find each other annoying. That's why spending time apart is good, too. Whenever I spend time away from my husband, it makes me appreciate him more. And I don't think the relationship should get boring if you're making a conscious effort to always inspire each other to do and try new things — things that will make you both grow and learn. And, at times when I am mad at my husband, I try to focus on the qualities I love about him and that helps me forgive him, lol.
16. Q: "How do things change after marriage? Like, how do you go from caring about a person to actually taking care of and doing important things for that person?" —crystalf4606f8036
A: I'm not going to lie, at times I feel like my husband's parent — and I'm sure he feels that way about me at times too. Not because either of us is irresponsible, but because we care for one another and want what is best for each other. For example, I have to remind my husband to go to the dentist, but I don't schedule the appointment for him because he's an adult and has his own schedule. When we were dating, I really didn't think about things like this, but after marriage I felt responsible for his well-being in a bigger way.
17. Q: "Why do so many people cheat and why has cheating become 'normalized'?" —alyssapetry
A: I think cheating has always happened, but now that it's more openly talked about, it seems like it happens more frequently. Also, obviously, the internet makes cheating super easy. In my opinion, people cheat because their needs aren't being fulfilled, which stems from a lack of communication. You have to communicate your wants and needs openly to your partner so it doesn't get to the point where cheating happens. I'm not an expert or a therapist, but this is my best educated response.