I got married at 23....yes, I know what you are thinking- what does a person know about marriage at 23?
Not much at all. Here are some things I wished someone had shared with me... even though it probably wouldn't have changed my decision at all.
1. You Will Change To Some Degree
Whether it's what you eat, how you dress, how you talk, or what you watch on TV, change in some marriages is inevitable because you can absorb your spouses habits...and it's okay. A person once told me that she didn't want to get married because she didn't want to sacrifice who she was. Hmmm....I don't think that is what marriage ultimately is. Not sacrifice, rather compromise. A truely secure person who knows who they are is okay with a little compromise. You don't have to do a complete 180 turnaround in order to make your spouse content. Just your willingness to give a new idea a try goes a super long way. You may hear "you've changed since getting married" or "you're not the same person anymore" from family and friends. Wait, don't let them have it just yet because they may be telling the truth. Sometimes it is harder for the people closest to us to see us any differently than how they always have. Now that you are married, your perspective on life is different, so are your goals and obligations. They'll come around. Change is not always a bad thing, especially if it makes you a better person.
2. It's Not Necessary To Share Everything About Your Past
It's so incredibly nice being able to share everything with your spouse. Afterall, you two are supposed to be best friends, right? Uh...that's not entirely true. Some details may actually hurt than help. If you are sure that you have a loving spouse who is completely confident in your marriage and that no matter what you tell him or her they will not see you in a different light or judge you in any way, I say, why not share details of your past. On the other hand, if your spouse is of a delicate nature, you may want to leave out some details of that Vegas trip ten years ago because it may burn an image into their brain that they can't get rid of. If the details are not pertinent to your future together, then they are probably not worth mentioning. Save all of the nostalgic trips down memory lane of your pre-marital past for friends night out.
3. You Do Marry The Entire Family
Oh my, oh my, oh my. Some of you may be familiar with the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. Well, whether your in-laws live in the same house, next door, states away, or countries away, try your best to get along because you are connected to them forever. Every family has that one person who tries to manipulate everyone else or stir up drama. Some people live and breathe misery and would love for you to join them. Don't. My advice to you is the same as my friend told me, "don't let 'em steal your joy." If that person won't bend, you have to. I'm sorry but that's the way it is. You don't have to give in to everything, but choose your battles wisely. Be flexible whenever possible. Look at it this way, you are not saying "yes" to them, you are saying "yes" to peace.
4. There Will Come A Day of Regret
Yes, I said it. So what? Now don't misunderstand me. Everyone has a moment in which they think back and ask, "what if I hadn't gotten married, where would I be now?" It's okay. It's a perfectly reasonable question. After all, the question is not the issue. It's the answer to the question that you should look into. If you are constantly have feelings of regret and wishing you could turn back the hands of time, my heart saddens for you, but know that it isn't the end of the world and it doesn't mean that your future is doomed. On the contrary, if you are having a "what if" moment because your spouse was late or he/she constantly complains during your favorite TV show, then that's okay. During these moments that your tolerance level is pushed to its limit, allow me to give you this overused advice: just remember all the great things about him/her and why you wanted to marry this person in the first place and ask yourself can you imagine living the rest of your life without him/her. It has worked for me so far.
So what are some things you wish someone had told you before getting married?