Marriage is a wonderful thing and everyone knows a real marriage needs work, compassion and compromise to be successful. However, with divorce rates at a record high, how much do we really know when entering into married life?
Without fully knowing what married life entails and the reality that we are faced with once the wedding is over and life carries on, we are often left to face any difficulties without the full knowledge of how marriage affects us and can lead to self-blame and ultimately the break up of the marriage if things don’t quite go according to how we envisioned them to be.
If you’ve just entered into married life or you are just about to, here are 10 honest secrets about marriage that you should know.
1. That First Flush of Love Won’t Always Last
A pretty obvious one that you may have heard countless times. But how many people give up on marriage because they feel the spark has disappeared? It’s often hard to imagine that love you feel for someone will ever go away but sometimes you have to fall out of love to find out what the real meaning of love is which isn’t necessarily infatuation and a Hollywood happily ever after. Be prepared to reach a stage that feels a lot different to the beginning and know that it doesn’t mean your marriage has failed.
2. Love Grows In Different Ways
With that in mind, we need to understand that love grows in different ways and can come in many forms. You don’t need to be infatuated with someone to be in love with them or have a successful marriage.
Real love takes time and effort and needs a lot of cultivation to allow it to flourish. People often believe they are either in love or they’re not, dismissing any of the stages in-between. Let the marriage take its own course and don’t over-analyse bad patches or wonder whether you love your partner enough when things may start to change.
3. The Attraction Won’t Always Be There
Make peace with the fact that you may not always be attracted to your partner. Physical attraction is important in our image-conscious society and often if we don’t find someone attractive then it can’t work out. In a marriage this can bring phases of doubt about whether this means we don’t love them anymore.
Attraction levels can change in long or even short periods of time so don’t panic and question your relationship whenever this comes up.
4. You’ll Need To Show Love Even When You Don’t Want To
Things aren’t always going to go smoothly – that we all expect. However, it’s easy to revert to almost childish ways when our partner is perceived as being difficult or hurtful in some way. When we’re in those sorts of situations, our feelings of love can wane and we are reluctant to show it but for a marriage to survive long-term we need to swallow our pride and still show acts of love even when we don’t want to. So make them that cup of tea after an argument or still do the errand they asked you to do.
5. Married Life Is A Journey
Once you’re married you may feel like you’ve achieved the ultimate goal but marriage is challenging and there to help you grow and flourish, not just as two people but for yourself.
There will be tough times that will be designed to trigger every negative and positive emotion you have within you but those emotions are there to build you up, not knock you down. Done right, you can reap the rewards marriage has to offer and can teach you countless ways to grow as a person.
There may be times when you take every ounce of you not to walk out of the door and give up. But there’s so much we can learn from going right to the edge and bringing ourselves back.
6. Just Because A Marriage Needs Work Doesn’t Mean It’s Doomed
If you grew up with parents who had a loving marriage then you are more likely to carry those expectations into your own marriage but be prepared that not all marriages are the same. If you compare your marriage to others it will only cause stress and disappointment if yours doesn’t match up – but this doesn’t mean your marriage is any less or is failing.
More often than not, other people’s marriages may look perfect from the outside but very rarely are. Try to keep this in mind when it comes a time that you feel your marriage needs work.
7. Having Children Will Cause Stress On The Marriage
We all know having children is a wonderful yet difficult period in a marriage. It will put a strain on even the best of marriages so it’s important to expect this and act accordingly. Make sure you nurture and find time for the marriage outside of having children to remind yourself why marriage was important to you in the first place. Ignoring the marriage is very easy to do when a child is taking up your time and effort so counteract this by making extra effort to spend time together.
8. Physical Love Needs To Be About Connection For It To Last
It’s really important to remember that your sex life is a vital way to show love and appreciation to one another. It’s about learning to give and receive in a loving and connected way and not a way to gain power, security or validation. If connection is the core basis, then sex is less likely to wane throughout the marriage but it’s also something that will change over time and that’s okay. Remember to be honest and open about anything.
9. Successful Married Life Can’t Survive Without Communication
True and honest communication is key to a successful marriage. Secrets and pent-up emotions will only cause destruction in the end. Learning how to put your feelings and emotions to your partner in a constructive and non-blaming way will not only unburden you and make you happier but will eliminate stresses in the marriage and keep it open and honest. This doesn’t always come easy and naturally so be prepared to work on it which may mean doing some work on yourself.
10. Never Believe Marriage Will Make You Happy
The most important point is our belief that being married will somehow complete us. We can put a lot of pressure on married life being the key to our happiness when it should only be looked at as an added bonus to our own already-established happiness. Nothing outside of us can make us happy, it has to come from within.
Marriage can become problematic when we get married and realize it hasn’t made us any happier in the long run and can often lead to marriages being a disappointment and eventually break up. Make sure you are truly happy and release the pressure put on marriage to bring happiness to you.