On July 23, 2016, I married my best friend. At 20-years-old, Marissa and I were pretty young to be getting married. But after 6 years of dating, we felt we were ready... we were in for a fun surprise.
Here are Ten Things I wish I had known before Marriage:
1) Love Languages CAN and DO change: If you aren't familiar with the five love languages or haven't taken the test in a while, I highly recommend going online and taking the free test. . Before we got married, my top two love languages were physical touch and words of affirmation and Marissa's top two were the same. As we have learned more about each other and ourselves, my top two changed. My top two are now Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation. It took me three years of being married to realize my top love language was something new because I didn't think they could change. Imagine all of the arguments and tension that could've been saved if I had known this going into marriage.
2) Lust Still Exists: Yep, I was that guy who thought once I was having sex that my lust and temptation to look at other women and watch pornography would go away. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. The temptation to lust over others and fall back into old habits has only grown stronger. It is a daily battle to bounce my eyes and honor my wife with how I view
her and others.
3) The things that Drive You Crazy Become More Evident: Whoever thinks they are going to love everything or even close to everything about their significant other is dead wrong. I absolutely love my wife, but some of the things she does drive me crazy and vice versa. I wish I was prepared for the amount of grace I would need on reserve for her going into marriage.
4) Your Wedding Day Should NOT be the Best Day of Your Life: You may disagree with me on this one, but I wish I had spent more energy preparing for life after July 23rd than the day itself. I am willing to take it as far as to say that my wedding day was the worst day of our marriage. It was "day one" of the rest of my life with my best friend. I have enjoyed growing with her each and every day and never want my"best day" with her to be something of the past.
5) Life is Expensive: Part of this is because we were young and did not fully live on our own and pay for all of our bills until we were married, but we had no idea how expensive life was. Health insurance, car insurance, groceries, gas, taxes, and so many more things caught us off guard. Make sure you have a proper budget in place before you get married and build a solid savings for when things go south!
6) Cars DON'T Last Forever: You may be thinking, "well, duh..." but I was completely clueless on anything car-related before getting married. I learned three months after it's expiration that license plates needed to be renewed every year... not something I am proud of. Since we've been married, we have had two different cars blow a transmission and spent thousands of dollars on repairs. Cars are not cheap, and they don't last forever. So for anyone who also knows nothing about cars, be prepared!
7) Your Laundry and Dishes Triple Even though the Number of People Doubles: The amount of laundry and dishes you will be doing is indescribable. It is absolutely insane how much we have to clean to keep our tiny apartment in order. If you can afford your own dishwasher it will be game-changing for your marriage.
8) Introvert vs. Extrovert: If you aren't sure what these two words mean, please learn before you get married! An introvert is someone who regains energy by being alone. An extrovert is someone who regains their energy by being around people. I had no idea I was an introvert until I got married. Marissa is a hardcore extrovert. Finding the balance is key for any marriage, so make sure you know how you are wired before you get married.
9) Bedtimes: Do you know when you like to go to bed? Do you know when you like to get up in the morning? Make sure you communicate those times with your significant other before you get married. Also, understand that you will probably go to bed and wake up at different times.
10) Holiday Traditions and Expectations: Marissa and I had different traditions and expectations that we brought to the table. Which family are we going to visit on which day? When will we open presents? What will we eat for dinner? How will we decorate the apartment? I cannot stress enough how important it is for you and your significant other to talk about this before you get married! It will save so many headaches.
Marriage is a beautiful thing! Don't expect to have it all figured out before you tie the knot. Enjoy every single moment with your best friend and give plenty of grace when things don't go your way.