We do not do monthsaries. My husband and I believe that years are worth celebrating so we are big with anniversaries. As we celebrate a milestone in our young marriage, I look back at the times I exuberantly told my friends how well things are going whenever they ask about life after the wedding. At the same time, I realize how I tell the same people how exhausted I am with having to deal with another human being for the rest of eternity!
It’s true what our wise elders say, marriage really is not a walk in the park. While there are a lot more experienced people whom you should listen to when it comes to golden words on how to strengthen a union, allow me to share my two cents on what marriage means for someone who’s new at it.
1. Marriage means learning to cook or at least attempting to.
As young girls, we are taught that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and thus we are encouraged to be handy around the kitchen. But modern society has also empowered us not to be stereotyped. True and true. I agree with both but here’s my honest opinion: At the beginning of the relationship, your man must know you enough to realize if you do not cook and he must accept it. That’s the type of relationship I have with my husband. I know he understands. But at the same time, if this is the case, this also makes your effort of trying to cook for your better half even more appreciated. You see, boys (and girls) are raised by mothers who always cooked for them. So home-cooked meals will always be synonymous to comfort and love. My husband is a food enthusiast who loves to cook but he always expresses gratitude whenever I try to prepare something for him, even the most basic fried meal!
2. Marriage means learning to be a good listener.
Among other things you need to learn in marriage is being a good listener. I often find myself going on and on on just about anything, from my friend’s engagement to my work complaints while my husband patiently listens. But when it’s his turn to talk about how he’s feeling so stressed and exhausted lately, I shake him off by saying he’s only overthinking. I realized one day (only because he told me straight up) that this can turn into bottled up emotions which will eventually be toxic in your relationship. Let him talk. If he wants to talk about the Cavs and Warriors, then so be it. You’ll have your turn to talk about Riverdale later.
3. Marriage means giving your partner time for his/her hobbies.
While we’re in the topic of NBA, always be reminded that boys will always be boys. My husband likes cars, video games, sports, the whole big boy package. I’m actually grateful that he has his interests and hobbies because I understand how men need some release just like how some women resort to pampering and shopping. Plus, I’d really rather have him stay at home playing PS4 all day than having to wonder what time he’d be home after a beer night with friends. A happy wife is a happy life. But you know what can make a happy wife? A happy husband that wants to reciprocate his wife’s tolerance!
4. Marriage means never losing the intimacy.
We’ve heard about this and it’s very true. There will be days that, with all the things that go through your mind while you’re busy #adulting, you will forget about your spouse. Don’t. Don’t forget to hug good bye, kiss good night. Don’t hesitate to give each other back rubs and foot massages. Don’t forget to plan a dinner out. Try your hardest to travel together. Marriage requires effort and the moment you start neglecting each other’s existence, you start questioning your love for each other when in fact, it’s your lack of effort that’s creating the unnecessary issue.
5. Marriage means teamwork.
You call each other life partner so you better treat each other like one. When the in-laws overstep, make sure you have each other’s back. When the baby demands, make sure you don’t compete on who’s a better parent. You’re on each other’s team!
6. Marriage means being wise with money.
You’ve agreed on how much to spend on your wedding, but here comes the real deal. One of the bigger challenges you’ll face is being more financially responsible. First of all, make sure you’re on the same page on how you handle the cash flow. Who takes care of budgeting? What are the things you need to save up for? Should the two of you be working? Who gets to keep the husband’s ATM? LOL. For that one, I’d say agree on how much each of you must contribute for the bills and savings. Let him have his hard earned money, allow him to enjoy it and spend it however he wants. I mean, how else will he ever surprise you with presents if you have 100% of his earnings? Refer to #3.
7. Marriage means you have learned enough about the other person and you are looking forward to learning more.
When you agreed to marry someone, it’s kinda common sense that you must have known each other well enough, not by the longevity of your relationship but how deep it is. I know people who’d opt to live together before tying the knot. That way, they’d see how their partner behaves in his/her natural habitat, dirty laundry and all. If you’ve fully embraced each other’s behaviors then brace yourself to making more adjustments and acceptance. That’s what you signed up for.
8. Marriage means surrounding yourselves with married couples.
Being around people who are in similar situation as you helps you cope. Married friends are more willing to listen to your woes compared to your single friends, simply because they can relate. Sharing marriage tips and advice also come handy this way.
9. Marriage may mean losing friends along the way and that’s okay.
Being married demands time. You go grocery shopping, mattress changing, paying the bills for an entire household, etc. Before you know it, you’ve lost contact with your friends. You don’t mean to do it on purpose but more often than not, you unconsciously start filtering people in your life. For one, your priorities will change. There are things that I might have said in the past when I was still single which I’m now pretty sure my married friends must have hated me for. Now, I actually have friends who tell me they no longer feel in-synced with me as before, and that’s alright. They are not mean, you are not mean. Life just happens.
10. Marriage means not having your life the same as before.
You will not be as independent as you want to, but you won’t ever feel lonely again. You won’t be able to stay out late with your girlfriends anymore, but you will always have a buddy to drink wine with even in your pajamas.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds good to me.