15 People Share the One Thing They Wish They Knew Before Getting Married

Kathleen Wong | Dec 7, 2017 Love & Sex


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Marriage is a big decision. After all, we're pretty much committing to someone for (hopefully) life. When stating our vows, we're pledging to stick by this person's side through ups and downs, and basically throughout whatever life is going to throw at us. We're talking about growing old with someone, having our lives intertwined, and maybe having kids, or purchasing a house. Whew, talk about ch-ch-changes! 

So this makes marriage a pretty intimidating topic, and can bring about lots of questions in people who have never been married before, such as, "How do I know when I'm ready?" to "How do I know they're the one?" The list goes on.

As much as we see those stories of couples who are 100 years old and die holding hands, we also see those news stories that tell us divorce rates are higher now more than ever before. Then, tack on all those clichés about our sex lives dying once we tie the knot, or how the wife or one partner is always going to be cleaning up after the next, and our heads are now spinning at an unsafe rate. 

So, we decided to get down to the real and dirty truth about marriage. We asked 15 married folks about the one thing they wish they knew before saying, "I do." Wise words!

  • Fam time

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    "I wish I knew that marriage is a partner of one another and an extended family. I guess most know this, just my partner has a huge family. It, of course, has amazing benefits, but it's definitely intense at some points." -Nicole B.

  • Knowing yourself first

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    "Before I got married, I wish I had a better understanding of my own wounds and the healing I needed. I wish I had spent more time understanding my family dynamics so that I could see how they would impact my marriage." -John C.

  • Prioritize sex

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    "[I wish I'd known] that sex will change and needs to be made a priority. Married sex is just different and it can become rote and familiar. It is crucial to keep the spark alive to keep the marriage strong." -Mitzi B.

    More from CafeMom: Couples Who Have a Baby Before Getting Married Are Actually Better Off

  • Money, money, money

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    "It's really important for partners to be on the same page about money when they're dating, way before they get married." -April D.

  • Unexpected expectations

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    "We had been married for a couple months when my husband came to me saying he had something he needed to tell me. Hesitating, he blurted out, 'I'm addicted to ... pound cake.' It seems his mother had been touted 'Queen of Pound Cake,' and as his wife, this task now appeared to have fallen to me. Right then and there, I realized that there were going to be a lot of things in our marriage that I would be expected to know and do." -Carol G. 

  • Daddy issues

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    "I was in my early 20s, insecure, impressionable. He was in his early 30s, tall, dark, and handsome, multimillionaire. He chose me. I thought I would never do 'better.' ... I was looking for Daddy's love, security and attention. No regrets because of all I learned." -Allana P.

  • It's not 50-50.

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    "Marriage is not 50-50; it's 100 percent-100 percent!" -Stephanie M.

  • Quality time

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    "[I wish I'd known] how crucial six-month check-ins (vacation weekends every six months to get and stay on the same page as a couple) and taking 15 minutes a day to connect through talking and spending time together [are]." -John D. 

    More from CafeMom: Married Couples Reveal How Many Times a Week They Have Sex
  • The roles of marriage

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    "I wish I knew what his perceptions really were in terms of how he views a wife." -Jeanine W.

  • Compromise is key

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    "[One thing that is] different is my willingness to compromise has increased. Frankly, it's because any unhappiness I cause my wife will ultimately become my own unhappiness as we are in it for the long haul." -Prince B.

  • Love vs. compatibility

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    "I wish I knew that it wasn’t about 'love' … what’s love got to do with it? It has everything to do with compatibility." -Zondra W.

  • Opening up

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    "I wish I understood the extent of vulnerability I would need on a daily basis to have a truly authentic experience in my marriage." -Belkis C.

  • Honest communication

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    "Everyone thinks that if you truly love someone, marriage should be easy. It’s not. Melding two people into one has its bumps and wrinkles. You need to be completely honest. Example: most people don’t discuss their views on discipline of children. This was the hardest thing for me and hubby to agree on in the beginning. But we talked through every aspect of it. We worked together to come up with a game plan we both agreed on." -Kandi M.

  • Be wary of jealousy

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    "If they are jealous of your accomplishments in the early stages of your relationship, they have insecurities about their own accomplishments, which often results in their continually squashing your dreams or goals. You want a supportive partner in all aspects of your life together." -Susan M.

    More from CafeMom: 5 Reasons Marriage Engagements Should Be Longer Than One Year

  • Having your own space

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    "[I wish I'd known] how important it is to take personal space even when you're combining lives. You need to retain a part of your individual self even when you are sharing everything. Otherwise, you lose track of things you (and just you) love to do and stop doing them." -Gauri S.

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