I have been married only a couple of months. So I don’t pretend to be an expert on marriage. But for someone who spent her adult life up until this point without any longterm relationships, being married has been a tremendous learning curve. So here’s what I’ve learned:
Being Single Long-term did not Ruin my Shot at a Good Marriage
I had read somewhere that people who wait longer to get married ruin their ability to be in a good marriage because they are so set in their own ways. I have not found that at all. My husband and I have yet to have had a single argument over household stuff.
Now, I am perhaps not the norm because I almost always had a roommate, so I never was out of the practice of living peaceably with another person. But I think it is more about people’s personalities (neither of us are OCD) than being single.
Being Single Long-term did not Make Me Selfish
Related to the above, I had been worried that my years of singleness and always doing whatever I wanted had made me more selfish. I wasn’t used to caring for someone all the time. Maybe it would become grating.
Again, it’s only been a few months, but so far, nope! In fact, I love taking care of my husband. He’s a good man and I get a lot of joy in demonstrating my love for him on a daily basis.
Being Married does not make me Complete or Whole
We’ve all heard the Jerry McGuire phrase: “You complete me.” You probably already knew this was crap. I knew, but I think a part of me still believed. I thought having someone with me all the time would cure my ____(fill in the blank). What has instead struck me is that we were not magically transformed into one person once we took our vows. He is still a stranger to me, just as I am to him. I hope and expect that over the years we will grow together as we share experiences, conversations, and family. But it’s going to be a process, not an immediate quick-fix to my own problems of loneliness, insecurity, and depression.
Being Married does not (necessarily) make you More Physically Intimate
While dating, my husband and I were joined at the hip when we were together. I assumed, based on the trajectory, that this would only be magnified in marriage. After all, we would be even more physical, not less, right? We would just be wrapped around each other in one constant cuddle.
But I was wrong. Once we got married, it seemed like that was permission for everyone to go back to doing what they had been before. We still hang out on the couch together and like being together, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not like we’re giving each other our full, undivided attention like we were before.
And yes, sex has been added to the equation, but if I added up the total amount of time that we spend locked in an embrace, I think it’s actually less in marriage. At least right now.
I could add more and I am continuing to learn. Marriage is a gift. But so was singleness. I am incredibly lucky to be married to an amazing, loving, kind, and generous man. Marriage isn’t what I thought it would be exactly, but then that’s the case for most things that God is involved in, and He’s most definitely in the midst of marriage.
Join the conversation! Does this speak to you? What expectations have you had about marriage?