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49 Small Truths About Marriage All Couples Understand

#43: The cute little habits you love about your spouse in the beginning will, after a few years together, be the source of madness.

Alexandre Lemieux/Flickr

The first officially recorded marriage was in Mesopotamia in 2350 B.C. Since that first couple said whatever version of “I do” they said, millions have taken oaths to forever pledge their lives to one another. After the vows are said and life settles in, truths emerge. About what it takes to maintain a happy relationship. About the inevitable fights that will occur. About why never having to say you’re sorry is bullshit. About what it truly means to be a partner on good days, bad days, and those days when the sound of your partner’s chewing makes you want to muzzle them.

Marriage is life, bundled together. It contains, as it has been said, multitudes. As such, we wanted to offer some simple truths about marriage to lift the curtain, light the way, and let you know that there are some certainties everyone should keep in mind. Some of these truths are lighthearted; others are serious. All, we think, shed some light on the inner-workings of sharing your life with someone. Because while no marriage is the same, a lot of marriages — and core principals — are similar.

  1. Everyone thinks about leaving. That’s just a part of staying.
  2. Forgiveness is for people you don’t share a bed with. Forgetfulness is for people you do.
  3. Not everything needs to be equal. In fact, nothing ever really is.
  4. It’s important to know what parts of your partner need to be scratched from time to time.
  5. Arguing before coffee is a waste of time.
  6. Talking about your partner behind their back is a good thing. To be married is to be in need of advice.
  7. But there’s certain information that your spouse will consider confidential.
  8. Don’t presume that you have access to your partner’s professional life.
  9. Sometimes sex is tedious and boring and you’re tired and not in the mood and that’s a fact of life.
  10. Having a kid bonds you, sure. You’re doing it together, and learning together. It will also lead to intense power struggles and some of the most bare-knuckled brawls you never imagined you’d have. About things like the best way to burp the baby, or what kind of cheese you should use in that seven-layer dip recipe.
  11. You will absolutely recognize your marriage issues in family sitcoms which means that your marriage is not as special and unique as you probably thought it was.
  12. There will come a time when your most regular texts from your spouse will be “Can you pick up X from the grocery store?”
  13. Anniversaries stop being special around year ten.
  14. If you’re not talking about sex — what makes your eyes rollback, what makes them just roll — chances are it’s not that great.
  15. At some point, you have to stop being “lovers” and start being teammates who fuck occasionally.
  16. Every married couple should probably talk about finances way more often than they are.
  17. A good marriage can survive you being honest about your kink.
  18. You will go to bed angry sometimes.
  19. You will wake up angry sometimes.
  20. Remembering the little things will solve so many issues. And marriage will make you realize that they’re not actually little things. They’re very, very big things.
  21. Sex will be frequent and sometimes mind-blowing. Then, for a period, it will be just fine and not as frequent. Then it will be mind-blowing again.
  22. You will hear your spouse tell the same story for 4587 times throughout the course of your marriage.
  23. Your spouse will freak out over things that you think are wildly irrational. Looking at those irrationalities as rational and treating them as such is critical. You don’t have to agree with them, but you do need to be compassionate. Emotional invalidation is a killer.
  24. There will be times when your partner will say something about a past experience that will shock you and remind you that you don’t know them as well as you thought.
  25. You will go out with other couples and think they are weird or, frankly, the fucking worst. You will go out with couples that think the same of you.
  26. Seemingly inconsequential things — how someone arranges the eggs in the fridge, the amount of paper towels they use, if they leave the cabinet doors open, if they accidentally hog the covers at night — will be the gateway to hour-long arguments.
  27. When your spouse tells you they “accidentally” hogged the covers knows precisely what they’re doing.
  28. Talking shit about other couples will be considered a great date night.
  29. You will, at some point or another, feel like your partner and the kids have a relationship you could never have.
  30. Without independent hobbies, shit will go sideways.
  31. Without regular activities to do together, shit will also go sideways.
  32. There’s some truth to this Ogden Nash quote, “Marriage is the bond between a person who never remembers anniversaries and another who never forgets them.” Understanding how you complement one another is crucial.
  33. Marriages always end poorly. The best-case scenario is that someone dies at the end.
  34. Divorce doesn’t mean that a marriage was a failure. The journey has value beyond the destination.
  35. There’s also truth to this one by Ben Franklin: “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.” In other words, you have to take certain things with a grain of salt.
  36. Love doesn’t simply survive on its own. It is maintained through actions.
  37. Marriage will teach you, more than anything in life, when to shut up.
  38. Comparison, it has been said, is the thief of joy. But you will compare yourselves to others. It’s good to have perspective. It’s also poisonous to be covetous.
  39. Having a sense of humor about things will take you far; knowing when not to make a joke will take you further.
  40. There are many, many roles in a marriage: coach, confidant, cheerleader, chore-handler, locater-of-strange-night-noises, etc. But the most important role to remember is teammate.
  41. Intimacy — both emotional and physical — is the fuel of a marriage.
  42. In most situations, it’s helpful to assume that, not matter what the result was, your partner probably meant the best.
  43. The cute little habits you love about your spouse in the beginning will, after a few years together, be the source of madness.
  44. When you marry your partner, you marry their family and everything that comes with it. Act accordingly.
  45. It’s not enough to take care of your spouse. You also have to look after yourself.
  46. You can — and will — talk shit about your partner to others. But when others talk shit about them, it will fill you with rage.
  47. If you’re not trying to improve yourself, you’re not trying to improve your marriage.
  48. At some point, you’ll talk to your single friends and think Man, that’s the life.
  49. Equally as often, you’ll talk to your single friends and think They don’t know what they’re missing.