Marriage is eye-opening. Marriage is constantly an adventure. Marriage is weird.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being married. I love that I found my best friend at age 18, fell in love, and married him at age 23. Marriage, especially newly-weds, is like a rocking boat in the ocean. We are both trying to figure out who wants to steer, who knows where to go, and who knows how to actually sail a boat! We’ve never done this before. Prior to being married, I was in college still eating pizza rolls at 10 pm. I was still learning how a debit card works. I was realizing that I was graduating college and would have to be an actual adult who has to do “real adult things”. But, I gotta say getting married as young as we did meant that we got to learn how to be an “adult” together. We make marriage our adventure. We make our marriage fun. And we definitely make our marriage weird.
Here are some of my reasons why marriage is actually pretty weird:
- Knowing Too Much – We know more about each other than our own parents know about us. We tell each other the weirdest things. “She always cries when she sees Tigers — He had never seen any of the Harry Potter movies before me.” We know each other’s weirdest habits. “He can’t go to bed if he knows there’s dirty dishes — She has to have a fan on to fall asleep.” We know things we did not need to know. I don’t need to give examples for that one. People who are married or living together understand this one. Ha ha! We know a lot about each other and most of it comes when you live with the person. We got married and started living together at the same time. We learned a lot! My favorite moment was when I was moving in. I brought cute wall words and pretty pictures to hang up. He had A LOT of Oklahoma State decor and of course, his movie poster of “Rocky”. Let’s just say we put a lot of each other’s decor in the closet. 🙂
- Being Each Other’s Personal Comedian – I find it so odd (and awesome) that I am married to someone who literally knows what makes me laugh all the time. We are that annoying couple that when he tries to make a funny comment, others around us kind of chuckle, but I will be full on “belly-laughing!!” Most of the time, someone may ask why that was funny or why am I laughing and through breathless laughter, I will say, “I don’t know! It’s just the way he said it!” It goes vice-versa too. He makes me feel like the funniest person alive who could do her own stand-up comedy special on Netflix with the way he laughs at things I say or do. We are each other’s personal comedians and it is awesome.
- 2 Different Lives Under 1 Roof – Don’t you find it weird that you are this independent person at work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day – but then you come home to someone who lived a completely different life that day too? I am a 5th grade teacher who teaches Math, Science, Reading, and Social Studies to a class of 24 ten- and eleven-year olds. While, he works in construction with adults that are much older than him or close to his age building hotels and hospitals. Two totally different lives. Yet, we work. We come home to each other every day and try our best to explain our work day to the other in a way that can make sense. I didn’t go to school for construction so I didn’t know how concrete worked before marrying my man. He didn’t go to school to, well, be a teacher in school – so, he didn’t know how lesson plans worked before marrying me. It’s really odd if you think about it, but it is also necessary. Don’t get me wrong! It would be really cool if we worked in the same field and could have lots of conversations about our jobs each night. But… I think we both enjoy our 2 different jobs and lives outside of our home.
- Don’t “Poke the Bear” – It is so weird that being married means that we know exactly what “buttons” not to push with each other. He knows not to bad mouth Harry Potter or Taylor Swift ever (not that he would because obviously he loves them as much as me)! Ha ha. I know that I can’t leave a mess everywhere! If I can’t pick up my clothes, than I can at least clean the kitchen or vacuum the house. I know that every Oklahoma State game is a BIG DEAL and telling him that “it’s just a game” is pretty much equivalent to me telling him, “I hate your family”. Go Pokes! He knows that the silent treatment just makes “the bear” madder and that tickling me is just asking to be punched or kicked. In the real world, when people hate on things I hate, I have to ignore it or state my opinion and move on. But in your marriage, you get mad. You let it all out, because you know the person will love you no matter what (hopefully, right?) We learn. We know when it’s friendly teasing and “fake anger” compared to when it’s..about..to..go..down. We know not to “poke the bear”.
- Unconditional Love – I am referring to this kind of love in the sense that we would do anything for the other one. You (hopefully) get lucky enough to have this kind of love with your family as well. But when you’ve married the right person, it fits with them as well. I would sacrifice my life for him. I would be like Liam Neeson if he was ever “taken” or trapped somewhere. I am as dramatic as the Bruno Mars’ song, Grenade. Because, I truly love my husband. This is so weird because like I already mentioned, it’s very dramatic. Like, I really get how crazy Romeo & Juliet were and I understand the crazy! Marriage is taking a crazy pill together and hoping that it would never come down to it…but you know you would totally do anything for that person.
- People Watching (Married Version) – I love sitting at dinner with my husband and people watch. It’s like a hobby for us. We love to sit and be like, “I wonder what their story is?” or “Huh, do you think they are a couple or on a really bad date?” Sometimes we make up our own versions of their stories. Or we just narrate what we think we see. “Oooh, she’s mad because she really wanted some Taco Bell but he’s wanting to eat Burger King like a weirdo!” I don’t know, but we come up with weird things to say about other people.
- Loving Each Other As Much As We Do – Overall, marriage is weird because you love this person so much. There is something about him or her that just makes you smile when you look at them. Laugh when they say anything remotely funny. They make you feel 100% comfortable to be yourself every single day. I don’t walk the streets in my weird voices and gush about my love for Harry Potter to random people. I make my husband listen to it because he loves me that much. Just like I let him get mad or emotional when Oklahoma State plays a crappy game. I go along with him because I love him that much. We are two weirdos in love and that will never change!
Marriage isn’t just some word. It doesn’t mean having this over-the-top, “Pinterest Ready” wedding. It doesn’t mean living a perfect life with someone. It means much more than that. This is your companion. Your best friend. You life partner.
Who do you want to “do life” with?
Do they want to “do life” with you?
I’ve seen marriage work for so many different couples throughout my life. I know the couples that like and do the same things and have been married for over 20 years. I know the couples that are polar-opposites of each-other, but are still together after 30 years. Again, I’m only 25. I’m not claiming to have all the answers of how or why some marriages work and others don’t, but I have a few guesses.
- I think marriage truly means a 50/50 relationship. If you’re with someone who constantly treats your relationship as an 80/20 or even a 70/30, I don’t see how it can work. You should be equal partners. Doesn’t matter who makes more money than the other. Or who claims to do the most house-work. Everything is shared and split 50/50. This goes with romance and intimacy as well. You should be equal partners in that as well. One shouldn’t be holding power over the over. Both of us need to give the same amount of love and attention. It doesn’t mean you can’t pour the glass a little more full sometimes and buy your lady 10 dozen roses just because. It doesn’t mean I can’t lavish my man with a nice watch because I felt like it. But the decisions, intimacy, and communication should follow the 50/50 rule.
- I think marriage means taking the time to plan dates or fun activities. It is really easy to get caught up in day-to-day life, jobs, kids, etc. Marriage means putting in the work to plan out fun moments for just you and your man. This is so important! My husband & I don’t have kids right now, but this is one of our fears. We don’t want to completely lose the fun in our marriage. We know it will take extra work when babies come into the picture, but it’s important to both of us (see, 50/50). So, take the time! Whatever that looks like! My husband & I have this plan where we switch off months. Who’s ever month it is, plans a date night. He’s planned fancy dinners, hikes, and movies. I’ve planned sports games, fancy dinners, and game nights. We make it fun and surprise the other. It works because that way we don’t put “date-planning” on just one of us. We both have the opportunity and in a fair way.
- Money. You have to be able to communicate about money. I cannot stress this enough. Most of the fights in our first-year of marriage were about money. It was tough. I was used to a certain way of living and he was used to his way. We had to lay down our arms and realize that neither of our “ways” were the right or only way to “do life”. We had to merge and find our way. For me, it meant staying calm and actually talking about our money. It meant actually checking our bank account weekly. It meant paying attention to ways we can budget. For him, it meant not acting like “the sky was falling” every time we had to pay rent or something. For him, it meant communicating to me in a clear and calm manner. And for both of us, it meant that we actually needed to talk about it. We sit down at least once a month to discuss where our money went or will be going. This was a real turn-around for our marriage. I am currently reading an awesome book by Jen Sincero called “You Are a Badass at Making Money” and it’s making the “money talks” more comfortable for me. 🙂
- Lastly, I think the way a marriage works is by actually loving the person. This sounds like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen couples get married for reasons that don’t involve having an unconditional love for the other. They married because it’s convenient. They married because, well – we’ve been together for 5 years so I guess it’s time. They married because they thought they were in love, but it was more of an infatuation. And I’ve seen people marry because they seriously don’t think they will find anyone better. I also know people marry for money, but I don’t live in that kind of world where I’ve seen those couples first-hand. Marry for friendship and love. You will want to have both. I promise.
As always, thanks for reading.