Before I got married, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting myself into. I looked up tons of marriage advice, people told me everything they knew about marriage (whether I wanted to hear it or not) and I had this expectation in my mind that ended up being somewhat right - but mostly wrong.
You know marriage is hard, you know it takes a lot of work to make a happy marriage and you definitely know that marriage is a huge decision. But there are a few things you don't know about marriage if you haven't been there yet:
1. You lose a little piece of yourself
Some people have a hard time sacrificing parts of themselves when it comes to marriage, but it's necessary for growth. When you lost a little bit of yourself, you gain a little bit of your spouse, and it brings you closer in amazing ways.
2. You have to deal with weird things you never thought of
I got married young and had never lived on my own, so I didn't have any kitchen appliances, furniture, bedding, decor or anything else you need to have a functioning home. I remember adding forks to my registry and getting a serious wake-up call about real life.
You might not have to deal with things like that, but situations will arise and you'll have no idea what you're doing - just roll with it. It's all part of the journey.
3. You'll change over time
People claim to fall out of love or get divorced because their spouse "changed." Of course you're going to change! If you're not changing, you're not growing. Make sure you and your spouse are growing together though. You won't be the same person you are now in five years, but you'll be stronger than ever if you embrace change together.
4. You WILL have problems
People told me marriage would be hard and that my husband and I would have problems, but I didn't really know what that meant until I actually lived with him. We fought about the most ridiculous things because we were raised so differently, and nothing could have prepared me for those discussions. You'll argue, but you'll find a solution. It's not the end of the world.
5. Love isn't just a feeling
I've never felt a lack of love for my husband, but there have been days when I didn't necessarily like him. You'll have days where you show your love through service, kind words and patience even though you're not feeling it. This is totally fine, and you shouldn't feel guilty about it. Everyone goes through rough patches, but at the end of the day, you know you couldn't live without your spouse.
Everyone told me intimacy would be very different than how movies and media portray it, but I didn't realize how different it was. It takes work and communication to have a healthy intimate life, and it's something a lot of couples really have to work through.
7. Apologizing is hard
My husband and I are awesome at apologizing now, but at the beginning of our marriage, it was really hard for both of us. We both always thought we were right, but in reality, neither of us were. Learning to apologize is hard, but it's such an important thing - especially in marriage.
8. You'll know each other so well it's almost scary
I'm to the point where I can give a pretty good guess at what's going to come out of my husband's mouth next or what he's thinking about. We can look at each other and just know what's going on in each other's head. It's weird and hard to explain, but when you spend so much time with a person, you almost merge into one mind.
9. You marry the family
This is probably the piece of advice I heard the most, but I didn't realize how true it was. Everyone has a different family dynamic, so this can mean different things, but you really do marry your spouse's family. You take on traditions (whether you like them or not) and you really get to see how your spouse grew up.
Everyone who told me this presented it as a warning, but it has ended up being a huge blessing for my husband and I. We have tons of fun and fit in well with our in-laws, and it's awesome. So be open-minded about your in-laws ... they're your family too now.
10. It's the best thing in the entire world
I knew marriage would be great, but I didn't know how great. I get to have a sleepover with my best friend every night. We get to do everything together, and I can trust him with my life. He's my person. I struggle to even begin putting it into words, but marriage really is such an incredible journey.
The most important thing to remember is that you'll never be fully prepared for marriage. You can read every article on the internet, and you'll still find yourself in unique situations because you and your spouse are unique. But marriage is awesome, and you can get through anything with a lot of work, forgiveness and love.
Lindsey loves traveling and shopping, and her favorite place in the whole world is Disneyland. She also loves spending time with her family and cute husband. She is studying Professional and Technical Writing and is part of the content team for FamilyShare.