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10 Things We Wish We’d Known About Marriage: Year One

Apr 29, 2011 at 4:36 PM Chime in now

by JENNIFER COX

While many of us have long courtships/co-habitations before tying the knot, there are still some surprises that come with saying ‘I do’. My married girlfriends were kind enough to lend these insights:

10. We have different financial goals
“When we got married and combined our once-separate investments and credit cards, I quickly learned that I was a complete ‘no-risk’ investor while my husband liked to gamble with his money more. I liked paying for things in cash while my hubbie was a debit-addict. I wanted to save for one purchase and him another.” 

9. We have different definitions of "clean"

"My version of clean and his version of clean are two completely different things. He does dishes and I dry them…and then I hand him back half of them because they are still dirty."

8. Marriage doesn’t fix what’s broken
"Marriage doesn't magically fix anything - you are the same person before the piece of paper as you will be afterward. Some people go into marriage thinking it'll change or fix things, but a paper just doesn't have the power to do that."

7. What it’s like to live together
"You really need to live together first to make sure that you have the same or compatible cleanliness and living standards."

6. They hog the remote and the programming
Cliché? Yes. But, true. "I had no idea he watched so many political commentary-type shows!" Our advice: get your own flat-screen (and remote) for the bedroom.

5. He's around ALL the time
"Make sure your husband has a hobby outside of the house. You need some time to yourself once in awhile." It's important to have your own life. Maintain the friendships and interests you had before marriage.

4. Getting away can be great

“You don’t need to spend a lot of money – a weekend jaunt to a nearby town, a hotel stay downtown or even an at-home vacation where you order in and unplug the phone(s) can all create fun opportunities to rekindle things with your spouse.”

3. Anniversary milestones start over

"I no longer get to say things like 'we have been together for 10 years now.' I have to say things like 'we've been married for 7 months.' It sounds so new."

2. You get lazy on special occasions
“Most of us were too busy buying for everyone else on our Christmas and Hanukkah lists that we completely scrimped on our husband's presents. My husband and I never went beyond getting each other a card on Valentine's Day.”

1. How wonderful marriage feels

"For all the negative things, I wish someone would have told me that, although nothing has physically changed, there is a feeling of comfort in marriage that is hard to explain to others. There is a feeling that, no matter the day, no matter the season, no matter the ups-and-downs that will come in our relationship, there is a sense of unity that wasn't there when we were just 'boyfriend and girlfriend' or even when we were 'living together.' And it isn't in the piece of paper that is the marriage certificate - it's in the sense of knowing for sure that my husband loves me just as much as I love him."


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