After more than a decade of marriage, I have heard my fair share of sighing friends who say, "Oh don't you just miss the newlywed years?" It's a common joke that a few years into marriage, you are out of the wanting to kiss every second of every day phase and into the I just want to sleep alone for 10 minutes phase of marriage.
But that's not the reality for a lot of us. Sure, it's true that marriage changes. Gone are the carefree days when my husband and I used to order pizza and camp on the couch all night watching bad reality TV, making out, and laughing. But things were generally different back then anyway. We had no kids, no dog, no hectic jobs, and we were 10 years younger.
Marriage now, though different, is far, far better. Here are some of the ways it has changed:
1.) Marriage at 1 year: When he forgets to do the dishes, you think it's worth a long sit-down.
Marriage at 10 years: When he forgets to do the dishes, you breathe deeply and remind yourself that he took out the garbage, put the kids to bed, changed the laundry, and took out the compost. OK. It's not worth the fight.
2.) Marriage at 1 year: Offered a girls' night with friends, you say no. You would MUCH rather snuggle on the couch with your man.
Marriage at 10 years: If a girls' night should be offered (and they rarely are), you would walk over hot coals to get to it.
3.) Marriage at 1 year: You aren't sure what you can ask your new husband for in the bedroom, so the sex, while plentiful, may not be totally off the hook.
Marriage at 10 years: You know each other's bodies in every way, have played a million games, and had sex a million different ways. Sex is more comfortable and much, much better.
4.) Marriage at 1 year: You fight over silly things like grocery shopping and bills.
Marriage at 10 years: Your fights are deeper and the problems often much older. But you also know how to make up better and communicate.
5.) Marriage at 1 year: You feel like you have forever and sometimes that feels overwhelming and scary.
Marriage at 10 years: You feel like you don't have nearly enough time and that thought regularly terrifies you and makes you sad.
6.) Marriage at 1 year: You may have dated a long time, but there is still a new patina on the relationship. Things haven't worn off and you haven't been through a lot together.
Marriage at 10 years: You have been through a lot -- illnesses, familial death, losing pets, huge fights, huge make-ups. The trust has grown exponentially.
How does your marriage look different at 10 years than at 1?
Image via dion gillard/Flickr