Beyond the big white wedding, exchange of vows and gorgeous outfits, there comes the reality of being there for each other through thick and thin, raising a family together and the many challenges that married couples face over the years. So before you don a veil and say “I do”, here are 3 things that might surprise you about marriage, that are difficult to anticipate beforehand.
1) Your Relationship Needs To Outlast The ‘Passionate Phase’
At the beginning of a relationship, or even at the start of a marriage, things tend to be smooth sailing. However, the test of a marriage is whether it can outlast the ‘honeymoon phase’, to face challenges together as a couple in regular life. Rachael Scharrer, founder of online resource, DivorceAnswered.com.au shares her tips on how to do so:
“Keep dating each other. When living together, it is more essential to remind each other of the reason why you are together, why you fell in love and the space to grow together. Make little gestures and demonstrate how much you appreciate your partner.
Lack of communication can lead to failure. When communicating with your partner, ensure that you are speaking clearly, they are focused and paying attention and that you are being respectful. If you have something sensitive to discuss, try coming from a ‘feeling perspective’ rather than a judgemental perspective. Should this be an area that needs additional attention, then seek the assistance of a marriage counsellor or couple’s therapist. It doesn’t mean that anything is ‘wrong’ - these professionals can offer strategy and act as a mediator on more challenging issues.
Friendship is forever, passion is passing. Too often, we hear people say that in a relationship men need an instant spark or connection and for women that connection grows. Make sure that you create and maintain a strong friendship because when we feel recognised, heard and are generally feeling fulfilled, the sexual connection can be more easily re-ignited.
2) The Resulting Safety Net You Feel Around You
Never fear, the surprises aren’t all negative! There are a number of awesome things that come from matrimony, and Jodie Guerrero shares what surprised her most about marriage:
“The safety of a serious marriage union, between one woman and one man, committed to each other, through thick and thin. My husband has stood by me in sickness and in health, regardless of how difficult my circumstances have been. Many men would have left after two disabled daughters alone, but my treasure stuck by me even after a triple cancer survival.”
3) The Conflicts That Arise From Raising Children Together
For many couples who are married, the next step is having children together. As beautiful as this is, there are many potential argument starters that arise from beginning a family together. From everything to balancing careers with having children to deciding on how they are raised to determining how to budget your finances.
There are a couple of things that can help you out, in avoiding heated discussions in the early months of having a newborn. One is to not leave everything to the last minute. Start having important discussions early, as soon as you know you are pregnant - rather than leaving things to the last couple of months when you are likely to feel physically and mentally strained. Even simple things such as getting all the baby equipment ready is essential! Invest in a good quality changing table, and all other essential items that you can think of prior to your baby’s arrival to reduce stress!
Also, ensure that once your little one arrives you make time to do relaxing activities together as a family. Cubby houses are a great option as they allow you spend snuggly afternoons together as a family, playing with your child. It’s important that you don’t just run chores and errands together, but carve out time to truly bond as a family unit.
There you have it - a few surprising facts that you may not have foreseen about marriage to consider before jumping into tying the knot. However, as you can see there are ways to combat each and every problem that arises, so if you want to fight for a successful union, you most definitely can!