- Gender and Relationships»
What They Don't Tell You About Marriage
Does the honeymoon really last?
The first year of marriage....
"The first year is the hardest to get through", I have heard that statement so many times it isn't even funny. My husband and I have been married for a little over a year now, we had our problems and I would have appreciated if people who offered me "advice" would have warned me what I was getting into.
If you live with your spouse before getting married, you think you really know who they are. People don't change, their attitudes and the way they do things may change, but no one actually changes who they are. There are people who conceal who they really are because of the fear of not being wanted or loved. I personally am not an insecure person, I have a huge ego and a lot of confidence. For some reason though none of that matters anymore. Life has changed.
We all have those friends that are married or in serious relationships that give hints and tips, more so when you don't want any hints or tips. My friends and family loved to give me hints and tips on how to keep my relationship alive, but no one told me that the little piece of paper I signed would change everything.
Are you really happy?
Have you cheated on your spouse?
The problems with the first year of marriage...
There are some websites out there that say 50% of marriages will end in divorce within the first year. There are people that say once you get married everything about the person you love changes, you change. Or my personal favorite line from men is, once you get married expect your sex life to change. One thing shouldn't change, the love you have for the person you married. The problems don't change, people don't change, and the sex only changes if you change it.
The problems are the same problems every couple faces. Every couple fights about money, sex, emotions, and a good bit of petty disagreements. If you are going to say "well, we don't fight", you're in denial. Everyone has fights, arguments, disagreements, what ever you want to call them. It is natural, you will fight, you will get aggravated with the small things your husband or wife does. You may not have noticed it before, and blame it on your spouse changing. Truth is, we see what we want to see. If you are looking for the negative, you will find it. If you are looking for the good, then you won't see so much negative. I will be the first to admit that I picked fights with my husband during our first year over the smallest and pettiest thing I could find. When you do that though, it does make it seem like you are pushing the other person away. When you push them away it makes it look like you have changed.
Relationships take two people to make it work and two people to make them fail. Life happens, things get in the way of your relationship and that is normal. I have discovered the key to keeping my relationship alive, dating. I don't mean dating someone that is not your spouse, date your spouse! Find new things to do and new things to try, and it doesn't hurt to bring that into the bedroom. Spend time with them, it is hard to fall out of love with someone when you know who they are. It is even harder to love somebody when you don't spend time together and forget why you were together to begin with. We forget that people need that attention, and we neglect other people's needs to fulfill our own. That is one way to make sure your marriage fails, neglecting your spouse both emotionally and physically.
Drink it up, while you can.
So you had a fight
That is all it is, a fight, if you are willing to give up after one fight, maybe you shouldn't have gotten married in the first place. "We never used to fight", well did you live with the person before you got married? No one is perfect, people make mistakes and they sometimes fail. The problem is, when we fight adrenaline is rushing through our bodies, and we aren't thinking clearly. You may say or do something that you regret. Or even worse, you may say or do something the other person won't forget. Holding on to anger or resenting the person who hurt you, is not going to help your marriage succeed. Let it go, unless it is something that you honestly cannot forgive and forget. In that case, talk it out, don't give up on your relationship because you are mad and don't want to talk.
The only time I can honestly say walk away is when your fights turn abusive. If you find yourself in an abusive situation, get out before you or someone else gets seriously hurt. There is no acceptable excuse for abuse, both mentally and physically, if you find yourself doing the abusing time to say goodbye. People who abuse their spouses regardless of the situation are not showing that they love or care. If you are being abused it is time to seek help and leave, I do not care how much you love that person, no love is worth being abused over.
Communication is key to making any relationship work. My husband hates talking about his feelings, and I love talking about mine. We are so different in many ways but, we are also the same in many ways. Why did you marry her/him? Do you love them? Are you willing to work through your problems because you can't live without them? Are you willing to look past the small things they do that drives you insane (like leaving socks every where)? Compromise, learn it, it will take you far in your relationships. You can't always be right, and you can't always win. The sooner you accept that, the less your relationship will suffer. Sometimes your spouse just needs to hear "you're right baby" or "I'm sorry".
The sooner you learn how to walk away from a fight or even control what you say during a fight, the happier you will be in your relationship. Relationships are a full-time job, that require work. You can't just get married and live happily ever after. Life is not a fairy tale where everything ends up perfectly and no one ever fights.
What about you?
What is the best way you work through your relationship problems?
Sex! Sex! Sex!
I'm sure if you are married you had tons of sex on your honeymoon. Don't be shy, it's a honeymoon, that is what married couples do! Ladies and gentlemen, sex will help keep your marriage alive! Let me break this down for you, sex is both mental and physical, and in a relationship, required!
Men, just because you got married does not mean your sex life is going to disappear forever. First of all, one problem that I have noticed, you stop wooing us. You don't chase us like you did when we were dating, it is almost like since we are married you expect it. Well don't, we fell in love with you for a reason. Chances are we liked the effort you put into trying to have sex. When you start expecting it because you are married, we get bored. We want to feel pretty, sexy; wanted but, we can't if you stop making us feel that way. Stop expecting sex just because you are married and "deserve" it, chase us and make us feel wanted.
Ladies, stop being afraid of telling him what you want. You want to be chased? You have some fantasy you want to act out? Looking to try something new and exciting to spice up the bedroom? Tell him, or better yet just do it, what is he going to say, no? As much as we would like for men to be able to read our minds, they can't. Nine times out of ten, men have no idea what we want. That is not their fault, it is ours, we expect them to know what we want because they are married to us. Well stop that now because it will never happen. Don't be afraid to tell him you want to try something new and sexy, he will probably do it because he wants to have sex with you. Another thing, there is nothing sexy about being insecure, clingy, and needy. You want him to want you? Then you should start by wanting yourself, confidence is hot and chances are if you are confident in bed the sex will be amazing.
Will it work?
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The not so fun parts
We all do it, we all get comfortable and might let certain things slide. Women, you may stop getting your nails done, hair done, working out, or even caring what you wear around him. Men, you may let yourself go physically, start acting like you are the only one in the world for us, or stop making us feel sexy. It is hard to stay attracted to someone if they don't feel attractive. This goes back to the whole, if you are confident people will want you and want to be around you. That isn't cop out, it is very true. If you are confident in yourself and enjoy yourself, then your spouse can enjoy you too. It is hard to love someone if you don't love who you are and what you stand for.
Men, you know women can be emotional. Women, you know that men aren't as emotional. Men meet women, women meet men stop treating your man like he is one of the girls. Chances are he doesn't care that Suzy said something nasty about Mary. Don't get mad at him for not being as emotional as you. If he didn't cry before, he probably won't start crying now. If you wanted a super sensitive guy (that isn't already your husband) who is going to cry with you while you watch The Notebook, why did you marry your current spouse? Men, women are emotional, you know this. We cry at sappy love stories where the guy gets the girl in the end and we get bent out of shape over dumb things, that is what women do. Stop treating women like they are one of the guys, if we are crying to you, we are doing it because you are our emotional support system. Sometimes she just needs a big hug and for someone she loves and trusts to tell her it will be okay. Both women and men need to stop expecting each other to change the hormones in their bodies and accept the fact that they are both very different. Yes, the sensitive guy does exist ladies but, if you wanted him then you probably shouldn't have married a guy who isn't. Men, the woman who thinks like a guy is out there but, if that is what you wanted then you wouldn't have married the woman you did. Stop setting unrealistic expectations and accept the person you married for who they are, it obviously wasn't a problem when you got engaged.
Things to do daily!
- Tell your spouse you love them.
- Ask about his/her day, it shows you care.
- Put off today what could be done tomorrow, if you have to choose between spending an hour with your spouse or running an errand that could be done tomorrow, choose your relationship!
- Kiss each other goodnight.
- Value their company, tomorrow may not come for one of you. Enjoy the time you have while you have it.
Things to avoid!
- Bringing up the past. This is never good for any relationship, even if it has nothing to do with your spouse. By holding on to the past you are not able to enjoy the present. You want to enjoy your life with your spouse, not make it miserable for everyone involved.
- Blame your spouse for the problem(s). When you put the blame on your spouse it is basically saying you are perfect and make no mistakes. No one is perfect, and every problem you have doesn't stem from that one person.
- Fighting first thing in the morning. I honestly believe this is my husband's favorite time to pick a fight with me. I am not a morning person to begin with, I dislike the mornings very much. But, by fighting first thing in the morning it sets a tone for the rest of your day. If you have a bad day you are more likely to keep the fight going.
- Being 100% honest all the time. I am not saying hide things from your spouse. However, there are certain things he/she just does not need to know. Women don't need to know how many people you have slept with, it makes us a little insecure. Men don't want to know about your past relationships, it makes things awkward and looks like you have a hard time moving on.
- Comparing your spouse to another person. Your spouse is unique to you, you married them for a reason. Good or bad, you shouldn't compare them to other people. Especially the bad, you make them feel like they are no longer good enough.
Don't forget why you married that person!
If someone would have sat me down and told me all of this before I got married, it would have saved so much time. It would have prevented so many fights and sleepless nights because we went to bed angry. I am not saying we are the perfect couple, far from it, we have tons of issues. The important thing to remember is, you aren't alone in your marriage. You have someone to work through problems with, and someone you obviously love.
Don't forget all the reasons that you married that person, but most importantly don't let the bad outweigh the good. There is always good in your relationship, you just have to look for it sometimes. If you are honestly unhappy and there is no way you can fix your problems, talk about it before you file for divorce. Chances are your spouse doesn't even know you are feeling that way. You don't have to settle for someone because you feel like that is the only person that will love you, your relationship is doomed if that is why you got married.
Enjoy your time together, enjoy the love you have for each other, enjoy the fights you do have because it is normal. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, and there is no perfect person. But, there are people that are destined to be together, make it an epic love. It always takes two to make things work.
Best of luck!