By Neysa Ellery Taylor
Forget all the cliches, there are a few things about marriage that married folk don’t want you to know. But I am going to lift the veil and show you the truth about marriage.
1. Just because you increase from 1 income to 2 doesn’t mean you’re balling.
Unless you are Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman, chances are the minute you merged incomes you’re expenses increased. Why? Because you mistakenly have the mindset of “yea, we can buy it because on paper we make more money.” But guess what? It’s not so. And don’t even think about adding kids to the mix! Tip: Spend the first 3 years of marriage in a 2 bedroom apartment and live off 50-75% of your income and stash the rest in savings. For your first home, buy a duplex. Live in half and rent the other half. Stay there for 2 years. Then buy your dream house and rent out both sides of the duplex. Tada! You’ve just established generational wealth.
2. There will be times you want to bash your spouses head in.
There will literally be days where you will find yourself thinking, “if he/she doesn’t shut up talking to me I am going to Ike and Tina his/her ass.” At that moment it’s best to take a break. Go do something stupid and frivilous. Don’t actually knock the shit out of the person no matter how much you think they deserve it. That will get you locked up. So go get your nails done or your hair “did”. Do something away from your spouse until you calm down.
3. No one has the power to hurt you like your spouse.
When you got married you probably said “for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.” But what you really said was “I am going to trust you with the innermost part of me. I will share my hopes, dreams, and future with you. All that I am and all that I ever will be is now tied to you. I trust you with me.” Pretty weighty stuff, huh? And because you gave yourself to another human being means that one day they will let you down. Why? Sometimes it will be out of malice. Sometimes out of a sheer mistake. Sometimes unwittingly. But because they are a fallible, then 1 day they will make a mistake. That doesn’t mean don’t give all of yourself to your spouse. But that means that if (when) an infraction occurs, you have to give pause and serious thought to if the damage is irreperable or not. Most infractions can be repaired through serious comminication, love, and prayer.
4. Prayer is essential to your marriage.
Before I got married I had a passing relationship with God. I mean we were cool. I’d talk to Him at dinner time and when I needed something, but we didn’t have a relationship. After I became a mother, all that changed. Now I wanted to be a church goer because I wanted my children to be raised in the church. God and I became closer. And after going through marriage trials I learned that I need God all day, every day. And my marriage and family need God all day every day. Believe me. Trust me. Increase your prayer life before something bad happens. It will save you from a lot of headaches.
5. Sex is important. (Yes, I just went from prayer to sex. It’s ok, you’re married.)
Sex is human touch and it’s important. Take it seriously and lightly at the same time. Huh? Taking is seriously means stepping your game up. Why? Let me use an example: I love pizza. But after eating pizza the same way, every day for 10 years. I would probably be fed up with pizza. Are you treating your sex life like the pizza? Same 30 minutes and 2.5 tricks. If so, start stepping your game up. Learn some new tricks. Invest in some lingerie, toys, hotel rooms, and a bit of PDA. Read a book or two on the subject. Keep it hot. Why? Because physical touch is important to rekindling love. But also keep it light. Sex should be fun, not a chore. So try the moves in the Joy of Sex and if you happen to fall of the bed while trying page 36, just laugh it off and jump back on.
6. Priorities change.
Sometimes you are activley pursuing your dreams, other times you are sacrificing for your spouse’s dreams, and at times you are both working to fulfill your child’s wishes. Priorities flucuate. And most of the time you are activily pursuing “D” all of the above. It’s exhausting, but necessary. You don’t want to ever lose sight of your dreams even if in this moment they are not on the forefront. Keep working on your personal development plan and support your spouse in their development. If not, you will breed resentment.
7. Keep being multifaceted.
Don’t fall prey to the “I’m a wife/husband now and that’s all that I can be.” Being a spouse is just 1 of your many titles. If you closed the club down every weekend, then you might not be able to do that anymore, but you could probably swing it once a month. If you played basketball every weekend with the fellas for 5 hours, you really might have to limit it to 2. But keep some sense of who you are. Be multifaceted. As long as your “facets” don’t disrespect your marriage, it’s ok to be authentically you.
BLAM Fam: Marriage is haaard work but it is well worth the effort. The more prepared we are for what marriage really is the better off we will be. What are some other things people don’t tell you about marriage?
Neysa Ellery Taylor lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at www.myriadthatisme.blogspot.com.