When you see pictures of people’s engagements and weddings on Facebook don’t you just get all warm inside? And doesn’t marriage just look so magical when people post their beautiful black and white wedding photos and post “Date Night with the hubby!!!” and “check-in” to fancy restaurants whenever they are out on a date with their spouse? Yes, I’ve done those things and many of us do! Hopefully you know me by now, so you know that one of my desires for humankind is that we do not base our perceptions of ANYTHING on what people post online of their relationships. Social media is entertaining, yes, and I like to be entertained, but I try my best not to compare or base my perceptions of life off of what people are posting about themselves. I do like to see people happy, but I also know that social media only gives a one-sided picture of everything, so I try to avoid getting caught in the web of Cyber Comparison Complex.
With that being said, I’m a newlywed! I will be for the next year or two (depending on your subjective opinion of how long being a newlywed lasts). So as I was doing some school work and patiently waiting for my love bug to return home, I started thinking about things that no one really told me about being a newlywed and that you’re definitely not going to gather from all of the magical, smiling, engagement, wedding, and date night posts on Facebook. So here goes…
#1: YOU MIGHT GET HOT
It feels great to have a cuddle buddy, but I get hot at night and I realized quickly that we wouldn’t be holding each other all of the time like I see people on tv do. I’m still a very “touchy feely” girl, so I love to cuddle, BUT then I might just get hot. Then we might end up on two different couches. Then we might fall asleep on two different couches until he wakes me up and tells me to go to bed while I look at him with that confused, sleepy face. That’s all. It’s okay, we still love each other immensely and I don’t believe everything I see on tv anymore.
#2: THE BATHROOM AND EXPECTATIONS
Why didn’t anyone tell me that I was going to be the primary bathroom cleaner? He cleaned his own bathroom before we moved in together, but now I clean that joker. This is a work in progress and I’m hoping to build whatever that “bathroom cleaning immunity” is that my mother seemed to have when I was growing up. Unfortunately, my super wife, Susie homemaker, future mommy instincts didn’t kick in immediately after the wedding like I thought they would. In all seriousness though, you and your new spouse should definitely discuss expectations well before the wedding so that you will know who’s going to do what, etc.
#3: COMMUNICATING YOUR FEELINGS
You will probably dislike him sometimes AND he will probably dislike you too. I never thought that I would say that, but he will probably do something that will get on your last nerve and you will have to learn how to communicate your feelings. We like each other 99.9% of the time! We love each other 100% though!
#4: THE COMPLEXITY OF COMMUNICATION
Which brings me to my next point… COMMUNICATION is of the utmost importance. Okay, this one probably isn’t new to you, but until you actually have to experience it in marriage, you will not understand the complexity of miscommunication. Trust me when I say that it was so much easier when I could leave my then fiance’s house, go back to my cozy quiet apartment, and not talk to him for a day or two. Oh no, you still have to cook for this guy, look at him in silence while he’s happily watching sports on tv, and then sleep in the SAME BED with him. Which is why it’s so important to learn communication skills early because you never want to hold things in or go to bed mad at each other. I suggest taking a marriage class and premarital counseling BEFORE you get married. Doing this was a tremendous help when we found ourselves disagreeing not too long after tying the knot. We were able to reference some of the things we learned, and get over the little humps of disagreement.
#5: HE’LL FORGET THE RING…AT FIRST
This one is random, but if you’re too sensitive, you have to know this. He’s probably going to forget to put on his ring in the first couple of weeks (because duh, he didn’t have to wear an engagement ring for a year before the marriage), so just know that he’s probably not trying to cheat. He’s just trying to remember…
If you don’t trust that he really forgot, you may need to check your insecurities.
#6: I’M HIS PRINCESS, BUT IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ME?!
I had to learn that it’s not all about me all the time (most of the time, but not all)…OMG…It’s not all about me. In order for everyone to be happy, you have to make him happy as well. Sure, he will hopefully treat you like his princess for the rest of your life, but after a while, you have to understand that it’s not all about you my friend. He wants to feel special too, and that means doing things for him out of your normal routine, surprising him, cooking something that he really likes. It doesn’t mean cooking food that fits into your own post wedding, post holiday, “ate until I gained 12 lbs and now I have to lose it” diet plan (This didn’t happen to me at all… *wink wink*, ok, yes it did).
Seriously, he’s a man, and if your man is NBA player size like mine, then he probably wants something other than a salad. Really, it doesn’t matter what size he is, he wants some meat and potatoes girlfriend. Yes, I had to learn this. Oh you’ll know he’s still hungry if 30 minutes after dinner he’s in the kitchen trying to make his own food. That only happened once everyone and I learned my lesson. Oh and I can cook, don’t get me wrong, I’m just on a “diet” right now, so I have to stay on track while simultaneously making sure that my husband isn’t hungry. I digress. As a newlywed, you will have to understand that this is a whole new level of love. He will still treat you like his prize, but now you have to do some things too (more than what you were doing before that is). If that means taking the extra time to make two different meals because you’re on a diet, then that’s what you have to do. You better make that man some meatloaf.
So in conclusion…
I don’t like to call marriage work, because I don’t like work (who does?). I like challenges though, and marriage can definitely present challenges that will help to make you and your spouse better if you are willing to learn how to deal with them.
Being a newlywed has been great, and to be honest, it really does get better every day! My husband has become my best friend and greatest supporter and if you ask him, he will say the same thing about me. All of the lessons that you learn as a newlywed, and throughout the marriage, are there to help build a stronger relationship. We have God in the center and have built the foundation of our relationship on the Word of God, so we have a blueprint to live by. The lessons that I am learning may be different from yours, and my experience as a spouse may also be different, but I pray that you experience the same love and happiness that I am enjoying!
I’m still only a few months in, so this story is still unfolding. I bet I’ll learn something new about marriage when he walks in the door from work in about 30 minutes. Until then, let me go make my green smoothie meal replacement for dinner and whip up some chicken for the hubby (because we all know he’s going to look at me like I lost my mind if I try to feed him a green smoothie)…
Candace Sierra Louise