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Person Asks What Married People Want All Unmarried People To Know About Married Life, 60 Deliver

Some couples are so focused on getting things ready for their amazing wedding that they don’t spend enough time thinking about what happens after saying, “I do.” The post Person Asks What Married People Want All Unmarried People To Know About Married Life, 60 Deliver first appeared on Bored Panda....

Some couples are so focused on getting things ready for their amazing wedding that they don’t spend enough time thinking about what happens after saying, “I do.” The realities of married life might clash with their expectations (if any) about what it would all be like, and it might lead to some resentment, fiery arguments, and overall bitterness. Fortunately, not all hope is lost!

There’s a lot of wisdom hidden on the internet—you just need to know where to look. And handy tips and tricks about married life are no exception. Married internet users, tried-and-tested veterans of long-term relationships, took to the r/AskReddit subreddit to share their best bits of advice that they think every non-married couple should know before tying the proverbial knot.

We’ve collected their best insights into married life, so scroll down and have a read, dear Pandas. From how vital it is to support one another to keeping date nights alive and well and beyond, you’ll find a wealth of heartfelt relationship guidance below.

I reached out to dating and relationship expert Dan Bacon, the founder of The Modern Man project, for his insights on marriage and married life. “In my experience, marriage has been completely different to just being in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. Since both my wife and I take the vow of marriage seriously and have sincerely married each other, we treat each other as though we really are going to be together for life,” Dan, who has been together with his wife for 9 years, told Bored Panda.

“When you’re in a marriage for real, you approach the relationship in a way where you are in it for life and therefore, you sincerely care about how you make the other person feel and their experience in the relationship on a daily basis. They are literally the most important person to you and you act accordingly.” Scroll down to take a peek at the expert’s other thoughts on married life, dear Readers.

When you’re done reading, you might want to check out this Bored Panda article right here about married life. And if you’re in a healthy, happy relationship, why not share your own married life tips in the comments? We’re sure you’ve got some great ideas, Pandas.

#1

If you’re more interested in the Wedding itself than the idea of being married, you’re not ready to be married

Image credits: smack1700

Dan, the founder of The Modern Man, explained to Bored Panda that dating and marriage are very different ball games entirely. “Dating is for now and marriage is for life, so people’s behavior and treatment of each other usually adjusts to suit that,” he said.

“I say ‘usually’ because some people make the mistake of treating a marriage more like a dating relationship,” the relationship expert noted that some people don’t think about how their behavior will affect the other person in the long run, they keep an eye open for other relationship opportunities, and they become emotionally detached. “As a result, the marriage falls apart over time.”

#2

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.

Image credits: DrFrankSays

#3

Marriage is rarely two strong people, it’s about taking turns being strong for each other.

I know it sounds cliche but it’s true. You will both have days when your relationship feels invincible, and there can be months where one of you is depressed or hurting. You both have to be willing to support each other no matter the circumstances.

Don’t sweep problems under the rug. Fight it out & make up.

Your partner has to be your number one priority, over your career & extended family.

Image credits: sdub99

I was interested to get to grips about whether things change drastically after marriage for a couple or if most long-term relationships inevitably change over time. Relationship expert Dan said that a lot depends on a couple’s perspective on marriage. How a couple thinks about marriage, what it means to them, and how sincere they are about spending the rest of their lives together shapes their relationship.

In his experience, marriage is vastly different from dating. He and his wife view marriage very seriously, as though it really is for life, like in everyone’s vows. “Having that kind of attitude, or using that kind of approach in a marriage, results in both people behaving a lot better in the relationship,” Dan said. This way, neither person takes the other for granted, they truly care about each other, they don’t become annoying to the other. What’s more, healthy married couples honestly want the best for each other and continue to make long terms plans with one another. In contrast, relationships might seem less serious, “where one or both people might not really care if it breaks up one day.”

#4

Kids make everything more complicated, harder, and infinitely more stressful. Your entire world will be turned upside down. Or at least it should be. Please don’t procreate unless you’re absolutely sure you’re able to handle it.

Image credits: madathedestroyer

#5

Just because people have always told you that marriage and kids go hand in hand, it doesn’t mean that has to be true for you.

My husband and I have been married for 5 years and are never having kids. We just want to focus on each other and our individual/couple goals in life.

Image credits: LyingKitty

#6

Live together before getting married. You can only really know a person if you go through all kinds of situations with him/her.

Image credits: felipemfarias

Dan stressed the fact that when you “marry for real,” you don’t view it as a temporary thing. The decision changes your life. “It’s a huge part of your life experience because the other person is literally going to be there the whole way, so you don’t want to mess up the happy, in love dynamic that you’re experiencing together. You want the love and good times to last for life, so it encourages you to be a better person in the relationship.”

Back in July, I interviewed Anna and Sarah from The Wedding Society about healthy married life. They told Bored Panda that some people are far too focused on the wedding than the marriage.

“In the image-conscious, social media-driven world we currently live in, it’s so easy to get caught up in the visual aesthetics of how your wedding looks. So much focus goes into planning the day that the actual reason for the day can get lost,” they revealed to me earlier.

“Thankfully, there’s a big trend now to go back to what’s authentic, meaningful, and significant. That means focusing your day around highlighting what your relationship means to you rather than how the public think it should look. It’s an amazing trend and we’re 100% here for it,” Anna and Sarah said that things are changing somewhat.

#7

Love evolves. It’s not always fireworks.

Image credits: MockingYourPain

#8

Make sure you both are 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.

Image credits: fknez

#9

Marriage isn’t really about romance; its about finances. Seriously. If you are not talking finances with someone, you are not thinking about the future enough to even be considering marriage.

Marriage is for when you love someone in the kind of way where you think about how they will be taken care of when you die. When you look at them and think “I am glad she has health insurance because I don’t want to lose her”.

I have been married 8 years now, and I never wanted to get married. I wasn’t looking for a wife. However, I found myself a life partner and… within a year found I couldn’t bear the thought of her not having health insurance. I found myself looking down the road and realized, I was afraid of losing her to something I could prevent.

You don’t need to be married to live with someone, to have sex with them, whatever. Marriage is for when the thought of death leaves you so conflicted that death is far less frightening than not being there for her when it happens. When you find yourself hoping that she goes first, because you could never wish the pain of loss on her.

Death no longer means blackness and nothingness to me. It means me not being there to soothe her pain. Any person who doesn’t know that conflict has no business getting married.

Image credits: kerbaal

“We do find that couples who set some time after the day for a honeymoon to spend with each other and celebrate what’s just happened in your relationship together (rather than jumping straight back into day-to-day life) can be hugely beneficial,” they told Bored Panda.

“You’ll never get this time back so it’s important to relish it. That said, it really doesn’t matter how amazing your wedding is. If it’s not formalizing a relationship that has a good foundation, it ain’t gonna make the relationship last. That much we know for sure.”

I also have a lovely chat about long term relationships with expert Alex Scot. She stressed the fact that we need alone time, that we need to take care of our individual needs, and that we can’t do absolutely everything as a couple.

“When we take time to ourselves, we are meeting our own needs, feeling autonomous, and it allows us time to miss our partner. Without regular alone time within our relationships, we can become drained and even resentful,” Alex told Bored Panda.

#10

Marry your absolute best friend.

Keep dating. Just because you’re married doesn’t give either of you the right to stop trying to woo each other. There’s no shame in scheduling a regular are night. Take turns planning.

Always try harder than each other, to make each other smile, or to settle the argument.

Grudges and entitlement are death.

Take your time to formulate your thoughts, but don’t let stuff that bothers you sit for long. If at all possible, resolve before going to bed.

Don’t go to bed angry. Even if it’s not resolved, try to find a place of neutrality or objectivity in your own mind before passing out.

There are no contests. You either win together, or everyone loses. (Except in Carcassonne)

Learn to argue well. It’s going to happen. 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 relational workout. It’s hard, it’s tough, or sucks, but you can grow stronger from it. (Just don’t get addicted to it)

The only thing you should EVER hide is presents.

Image credits: AwwwSnack

#11

Talk. Schedule dates and time where you disconnect from kids, work and other responsibilities.

Do not be afraid to “hurt each others feelings”. If your spouse is doing something that annoys you, let them know. If you don’t voice it, it can’t be addressed.

Talk about finances and long term goals early on.

Kids do not fix marital problems.

Edited to add…I believe marriage is a life-long commitment and that most problems are fixable. I think a lot of marriages fail because couples aren’t prepared to do the work. 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 s***ting on the rug.

Image credits: FreshDougy

#12

Things will change so try to grow together rather than grow apart. You have to communicate with your partner. Don’t hurt them on purpose. Do the dishes even after you worked all day because it’s nice sometimes.

Image credits: Trust_No_Won

The relationship expert detailed that we shouldn’t obsess over the idea of finding ‘the one’ who perfectly matches us. What’s more important is being grounded and finding a partner whose core values align with ours. They also need to have healthy relationship skills or at least the willingness to work to develop them.

“When we get hung up on this concept of ‘the one,’ we are less present with whoever we are dating at any specific moment because of this fear or curiosity that something out there is better—which leads to serial dating,” she said.

“For some reason, we step into adulthood, get into long-term relationships and believe we must ‘adult’ now and get serious, which leads us to denying ourselves of playtime. To get that spark back, go do something new together, play a game together, or revisit a nostalgic spot or activity,” Alex suggested that being playful can help reignite our feelings for our spouse if we feel things have gotten cold, grey, and mundane.

#13

Never let it be you against them. Always make it the two of you against the problem.

Image credits: John_Q_Deist

#14

I got some super cheesy advice (I forget where, it could have come out of a fortune cookie):

“The work of keeping a marriage solid should be split 80/20 with both sides doing 80%.”

Super cheesy right? Totally works.

Image credits: squizzix

#15

Marriage isn’t always a 50/50 partnership. Sometimes, it’s 70/30. Sometimes it’s 80/20. Sometimes it’s 100/0.

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. Ex. If one becomes sick, then the other must pick up the slack. Maybe I’m oversimplifying it, but the married folk will understand what I am saying.

Image credits: LiquidSoapEnthusiast

#16

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 a-hole.

Image credits: [deleted]

#17

I tied the knot with my wife 2.5 years after first meeting her. (really, really fast)

I’ve dated girls longer than I’ve known my wife. Don’t get married because you have to, don’t get married because “Well, 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, and get married when you’re ready.

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. Basically double your current amount of time you need to spend with relatives.

Your partner comes first, and as long as you both think this you’ll be fine. When you have kids remember that you loved your partner first.

You guys are a TEAM. “The one who cares least controls the relationships” is terrible advice because that’s not a relationship, that’s a competition. It’s not you vs them, it’s both of you vs everyone else. Have their back, and they’ll have yours. In other words, don’t worry about wearing the pants in the relationship.

Image credits: Trigger93

#18

Marriages thrive on kindness. It’s all encompassing, covering all aspects of a life. When you are kind to your spouse above all others, it’s exponential.

Image credits: AMHousewife

#19

The initial, intense feelings of love and lust are fleeting, marry someone you want to grow old with, that you want to spend boring nights at home with. Things will get hard at times, but if you are as kind as you can be, you’ll come out the other side with an even stronger foundation. Laugh as much as you can.

Image credits: [deleted]

#20

Know what each others ‘Love Language’ is. There are 5: Physical touch, words of affirmation, gift giving, act of service, and quality time. One of these is your major love language and the other is your minor. These are what your partner can do for you to make you feel loved. Once you know how to make your partner feel loved and visa-versa it makes for such a wonderful relationship.

It’s good to know these because, for example, you may think that showering your partner with gifts is a way to show love because that is how you feel loved. When, in fact, making them a cup of coffee in the morning means a lot more because ‘act of service’ is their love language.

Take the quiz at: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

Trust me….take it!!!!

Image credits: Sulaco1978

#21

Me and my wife were friends with a Astrophysicist, super chill guy always had a philosopher at his side to “help ground” him. Anyways we told him we planned on marrying and he asked us if he could give us two words of advice. He said “stay friends” and at first we felt his advice went against the whole idea of stepping it up to marriage, we were wrong. After a year of separation we started dating again and took his advice, 12 years of friendship.

Image credits: Mr_DuCe

#22

You need to actually sit down and discuss what you view as your future. I had some friends horribly break up; they were of two different religions and it hadn’t been an issue as they didn’t really practice and did Jewish holidays with one, Christian the other, nbd. Apparently the wife thought that even though they were doing both, the kids would be of her religion because the mother is the one who passes the religion along, and he thought they’d continue celebrating both. It ended up being the end of the marriage. How they got that far without realizing that religion was an issue is unknown to me, but I’m also not the only person who knows someone this happened to.

Also: Money. You need to talk about your money expectations for the future.

I was told when I was engaged that the most common things married couples fight about are money and where to spend the holidays, and it seems to be totally accurate.

Image credits: Beachy5313

#23

My dad always told me “Son, don’t marry the girl you can’t live without; marry the girl you can live with”

#24

Regarding the commitment you’re making, you are (or should be) signing up to stick by the person you’re marrying. This means you marry the person they are, but you also marry any version of the person they’ll become. Everyone goes through changes, and by design marriage is supposed to be a commitment to endure those changes whatever the case.

#25

They should both be aware of what each other is bringing to the relationship in terms of their own issues – EVERYBODY HAS ISSUES! And they should go into the marriage with the understanding that each person is going to take responsibility for their own issues. I highly recommend pre-marital counseling – it’s healthy – think of it as getting a mental massage.

#26

You don’t have to like all the same things, but it really helps if you hate the same things.

Source: Me, married 18+ years.

#27

My wife and I have been married for almost 7 years and have had one argument about money. It helps when your partner has the same view on spending money as you do.

Biggest thing I can stress is communication and not being afraid to tell the other how you feel. Also, make sure you are both on the same page about kids and be able to tether your expectations after having one. You may have wanted a big family with 3+ kids but having that first one may change one of your minds. Through thick and thin, make sure you are on the same page about any important decisions.

#28

“The one” does not exist. There are many. Different people from different situations create different relationships. There is not only one way to live your life. There are many paths, many potential partners. Just make sure the one you chose is good for you.

Image credits: StinkyMulder

#29

Find out what “i cleaned” means to your partner. If you’re a clean freak (me) and your partner is a slob (husband), you might have some interesting conversations you NEVER thought you’d have.

#30

My wife and I have a word, when spoken, we have to drop everything, halt hostilities, and go cuddle each other for at least 5 minutes.

And then.. she forgets what she was mad about!

Image credits: man-panda-pig

#31

Touch each other every day.

It’s proven to help maintain your relationship bond, keep the happy bonding chemicals fresh, and it’s good for your health. It’s easy and pleasant, it has huge pay off, and you will be happier.

#32

My Grandpa told me some interesting advice once. He knows he lived in a different time but he said if he had to do it all over again he would do two things:

He wished he hadn’t had kids right away. I mean he loved his kids, and he would have had 10 had my grandma let him. But after they were gone they traveled, and he told me that he saw a lot of things that 25 year old him would have killed to do, but at 60 he was too old. He did not mean waiting 10 years, but he wished instead he and my grams had done a little more traveling in their youth during the first 2 years of their marriage. He was a sailor in the Navy and had seen the world, so he took for granted some of the things he missed out on.

Live with each other. He said the HARDEST adjustment he went through was living with my grandma. Everyone has quirks and trust me some of them are going to drive you absolutely crazy. He definitely did not mean for a long time, but he said he wished he and my grams had moved in during the period in which they were engaged. I mean he and my grams were happily married for 62 years until he passed, but he said that was by far the hardest adjustment.

Now Im not married, but Ill tell you, this seems like good advice from the person who had the happiest marriage I have ever been witness too, and for a WW2 generation he lived the American Dream, had a house 4 kids all graduate college, 5 grand kids… Maybe not everyone’s ideal, but he died a very happy man at 85

#33

Divorcee here. Best thing I ever realized after divorcing is that marriage isn’t 50/50. You both have to give your all and be willing to be wrong sometimes.

Also, don’t get married just because you think you couldn’t find anyone else.

#34

It is generally frowned upon to sleep with someone other than your spouse.

#35

Sit down and figure out your finances. And continue to do that every few months.

#36

People say you should be willing to sacrifice anything for your spouse, but you should have a spouse that isn’t willing to let you sacrifice everything for them.

#37

Talk about money before hand. Know what kind of debt your spouse has. Know how they manage finances. Come up with a plan for how you will pay for things together.

#38

That there’s no rush and that you don’t have to get married if you don’t want to. Relationships work just fine without legally promising to love each other until you die.

#39

After 20 years married (married originally at 23 and 21) 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. Children, careers, aging, you name it! Your priorities today will not be your priories tomorrow. Same likely for your interests, friends, politics.

I like to say that so far I’ve married my wife three times. As your partner changes, you need to learn to appreciate and fall in love with the new person they become. Most simply become resentful and hurt. “You used to….” Avoid any thought that begins with those words. They are poison. Focus on love, appreciation and getting to know your partner over and over. Variety is the spice of life after all…

Image credits: kuzushi_

#40

Sometimes, doing stuff you hate or dislike doing for the sake of the other, and actually doing it with a positive attitude, will bring you closer and you’ll change for the better as a person.

#41

Love is not always a fireworks thing, it’s not always roses or fancy restaurants. It’s standing by someone at their very worst. It’s being there when they’re sick…when they’re very sick. Love is a decision..you choose to love the person you’re with every day. You need to settle the children and money issue BEFORE you get married.

#42

Don’t expect your marriage to automatically be like a couple that has been married for 40 years. They’ve struggled hard to get there and you will too. Don’t put unreasonable expectations on your marriage.

#43

Before you get married ask yourself this, ” If in five years they are exactly the same (specifically the things that bother you) will I still want to be with them?” Do not marry someone for who you think they can be. At the same time don’t assume they will never change. You both will.

#44

No matter how in love and certain you are – you MUST prepare for the marriage to fail.

By this I mean, get a pre-nup to protect your respective assets, make sure to become and/ or remain employed or employable.

In other words, take care of yourself and make sure your partner takes care of themselves financially.

No one wants to be stuck in an awful marriage due to financial reasons. Take all necessary steps to avoid this pitfall, no matter how sure you are because lots of people get it WRONG.

Good luck xx

#45

Really think who you’re having the wedding for. (Not the marriage, the wedding.) If you don’t like big to-dos and you’re having this big affair because of some obligation to your/their mother, just elope.

The biggest regret of my marriage is the wedding. Should have just gone to the court house.

#46

People do NOT change. You can’t marry someone thinking in the future they may be different or aspects of your relationship will get better if you get married. Of course people grow and learn and may even better themselves but their inherent nature will be forever the same. Learn to except this or don’t get married.

#47

In Thailand its £4 to get married and £6 to get divorced. Keep £6 in a savings account.

#48

If/when kids arrive, make sure both of you are on your 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.

Rules are not just for them, it is for your sanity as well.

#49

There’s a book my aunt, who’s a therapist, made me go through and it was amazing. It’s called “The Hard Questions” by Susan Piver and it’s just a list of questions for you to go through as honestly and as in-depth as you can with your partner. I highly recommend everyone go through it.

I’ve given mine away, but some of the questions that I thought were very valuable were:

Would we have a joint account or separate accounts? If it’s a joint account, how much must we contribute to it? Who would pay for what sort of expenses? What kind of purchases require the approval of the other party? What happens if one party can no longer contribute?

What are you open to in the event of infertility? Sperm donation? Egg donation? Adoption? Surrogacy? IVF?

Who can stay over, and how long can someone stay over at our place? Are there any exceptions (eg. siblings going through a messy divorce can stay longer) and if so, what are the exceptions and how much longer can they stay?

What would we do if a family member can no longer live independently?

What counts as infidelity? Actively messaging someone and spending a lot of time with them? Sex? Kissing?

What should we do if one/both of us is no longer in love?

Definitely go through those sorts of questions with each other, especially the finances part. It’s not romantic but so many people divorce over finances.

#50

I would say that it’s better to wait until you are older and have been with your SO for many years. No idea why couples rush into marriage. If you love someone and don’t plan on breaking up, why rush, they aren’t going anywhere?

I got married to my wife at 23 after being together since age 18. We were together long enough, but still too young. The older I get, the more I realize that although we had a lot in common at age 18 and age 23, we have less in common at age 30. If we had met later in life, it’s possible that we wouldn’t even be together today.

We are working on salvaging the relationship as we speak…

#51

Finances are tough, especially when there’s not a whole lot of them. Budget together when you’re engaged and make sure you can both live on your combined projected income. Be honest about debt and make a plan to pay it off. Establish dreams together, make financial goals together (buying a house, taking a cruise, whatever) and stick to those goals. It’s a lot easier to stay financially focused when there’s a REASON to stay focused.

Save a bit, but don’t forget to have fun. Give each one of yourselves some spending money – even if it’s $5 – that you can call your own. Agree on all the other purchases outside of your spending money. A couple who dreams together stays together. A couple who can get their financial goals on the same page can get their life goals on the same page.

#52

All of this advice is great, but often neglects that people change – and it’s more commonly the kind of change that comes from the harder parts of life. Your lives may begin together in the same way with the same core ideas, but that doesn’t necessarily mean things will stay that way.

The big advice (from me) is: you can’t fireproof a marriage.

If half of all marriages end in divorce, I find it challenging to believe that many of those people didn’t enter their relationships positively, mindfully, and with a good foundation (and thinking about relationships in the same way we are all doing here).

#53

Once the knot is tied it is extremely expensive to untie it.

#54

Have complete transparency about both of your finances.

#55

First, know what communication is.

Everybody will tell you “communication is key!”

While this is true, nobody ever tells you what communication really is. So a married couple could spend 5 years together, never fight, never argue, just exchange pleasantries, talk about their days, go out on dates, etc. and then suddenly one of them reveals they’re unhappy and want a divorce.

And the other person will be 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 that alone time. They asked each other about their day. They exchanged “I love yous” every night. So how does a marriage fail when you do all the things everybody says you’re supposed to do?

Because people told you what you’re supposed to do, but they never told you how to do it. And this is especially true with communication. Everybody will say “just communicate! just communicate!” But if you don’t know what it is, you can’t “just” communicate.

Talking about your day, discussing the bills, and saying “I love you” is not communication. That’s talking. There is a difference between the communication and talking. Talking is just making noises at each other without any real consequence to what you’re saying. Communication is relaying your inner feelings to your partner, regardless–and this is the important part–regardless of how you think it will make your partner feel.

Communication is talking about the bad stuff. It’s talking about the stuff you don’t want to talk about. You don’t communicate in a marriage because you want to, you communicate in a marriage because you need to. A marriage where you never leave your comfort zone is a doomed marriage.

Now, don’t get me wrong, communication isn’t all negative. I’m just saying communication means you share everything about your emotional state with your partner. If they do something you don’t like, you need to talk to them about it, and likewise them to you. A lot of the time, something will bother you only because you’re keeping it bottled in, and after bouncing that thought off your partner, you could find that it doesn’t even bother you anymore.

How you communicate these things is also important. There’s no need to have angry outbursts and shout at your partner for every slight or wrong. You can calmly tell them about it, and use phrases like “when you X, I feel Y.” It’s important to avoid using blame phrases like “you make me feel Y!” Be calm, clear, and concise about how that activity is making you feel. Make it clear that overall you still love them (if that is the truth), but you’re just informing them of how that action causes you to react emotionally. Maybe they’ll stop doing it. Maybe they’ll argue that it’s unreasonable to expect them not to do it. But like I said, you may even find that just telling your partner about it makes it not seem so bad on its own.

Communication is absolute, unbridled honesty. And it requires you, first and foremost, to have the ability to be honest with yourself. People engage in all kinds of self-deception. They don’t communicate with their partners because they’re not communicating with themselves. They’re not even admitting how they really feel about something.

Fear is what keeps couples from communication and what keeps people deceiving themselves. Fear that they might have made a huge mistake and what that might mean. Imagine, you’ve lived with someone for five years, you’ve tried to make it work. You have kids together, a life. You deceive yourself because admitting the truth means facing a very difficult time in your life. To fight that, you need to realize that self-deception only works for so long, and those difficult times coming up ahead are unavoidable, so you might as well get them over with now before you get yourself into an even worse situation.

The other thing to know, it’s not your spouse’s job to make you happy.

It’s not your spouse’s job to make you happy be

#56

Something my dad always told me was that you need to be with someone for at least 2 years to really see who they really are. That said, you want to see how your potential partner is in just about every emotional situation and how they handle it before tying the knot. Anyone can put on a charade for a year; only showing their good side. You don’t want to find out after marriage that accidentally shrinking their favorite shirt provokes a similar reaction as if you smacked their mother. Goes without saying, live together to see if you’re even compatible.

Something I learned was don’t be the type of person to set ultimatums; my way or the highway mindset. Be ready to compromise and settle somewhere that makes both of you happy. Your partner should be able to bend as well.

Talk and communicate. From finances to sex. My wife is my best friend and I can talk to her about pretty much anything without worrying if she’ll get mad or upset if I bring up a topic. A lot of issues can be resolved by just talking them out.

** Leave the past in the past…** Obviously, you should be loyal to one another but jealousy will destroy a marriage.

For the love of God, don’t get married just because you feel like you have too much time ‘invested’. It will hurt at first but walk away. I’ve seen too many couples split a year or two after marriage because of this; and the worse part is, they now have kids – they shouldn’t have to suffer because you couldn’t walk away 2 years ago. Also, FYI, if your relationship sucks, having children won’t make the situation magically better….Neither will getting married for that matter.

Be ready to work to make it work.

Don’t ever go to bed mad.

#57

Separate blankets = the key to happiness

#58

From what I understand alot of you love cowboy bebop on this website.

Getting married is like choosing who you’re gonna have as you spaceship riding buddy for the rest of your life. Fights are normal and sometimes you ll be mad. But you always make up to make the team work

#59

Not married, but lived with a partner for about a decade. Here’re my thoughts:

If you notice one day that you aren’t communicating with your partner because you’re afraid of their reaction, that needs to immediately be addressed. I don’t just mean “omg s/he will hit me” I mean “I don’t really want to do that right now” could be met with “You better have a good reason”, even for the benign stuff.

In that vein, know what you consider benign and what your partner considers benign.

It does take a year or two to really know a person. If you don’t like what you see after that time, then it’s not realistic to expect that to change. Protip: depending on what goes on and how long it goes on, you might even find that if it does by some miracle drastically change that you are not in a position to accept that change because you have also changed.

Make sure that you and your partner are on the same page with short and long term goals.

Make sure you and your partner know how to compromise.

Make sure you and your partner know how to recognize patterns. You don’t want to be stuck in a cycle of “This happens all the time” / “No it doesn’t” / “Yes it does” types of conversations.

Be able to talk about the past. Not obsess, but just talk.

If you have to lie about the status of your relationship to others, take a deep breath and make time to think about why this is.

If your partner asks you to lie about the status of your relationship, or things that happen in the relationship, take a deep breath and analyze why. Perhaps get the help of a professional like a therapist, even if only for one session, for an external and neutral set of ears.

This last one may seem obvious but sometimes it can be deceptively insidious. Death by a thousand cuts, where a bunch of little lies come up one day and you realize it drastically alters you perception of what’s been going on.

Realize that rarely are things about blame, but sometimes things happen because they happen. You might have an SO with PTSD, for example, that lashes out. You might find yourself saying, a lot, “hey it’s not their fault they have PTSD, they wouldn’t have done this otherwise”. And that may very well be true. But whatever they did, they did do and it affects you, whether it was intended or not.

To that end, especially in a case where one of the partner’s is chronically ill or has something like PTSD going on, both partners need to have clear boundaries of what is expected of each other. You’re not your partner’s nurse (even if you happen to also be a nurse) – you’re their partner.

More broadly speaking: illness or no illness – partners need to have clear and respectful boundaries.

If you realize that you or your partner are only staying together for “lack of an exit plan” – don’t. Make an exit plan instead. If you can’t trust your partner to do it with you, do it yourself. If you cannot do it yourself, do it with a friend. If you don’t have a friend, find a therapist. Even if only for a few sessions – what you need to figure out how to leave. Just get it done.

#60

You date the girl/boy but you marry the family

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