Married People Want Couples to Know Before They Say, “I Do”
By: Vicki Santillano
Even if you’ve been with someone for a long time, marriage can still seem like a scary endeavor. More than one person will tell you that marriage changes everything that a marriage is “work”, and you won’t understand what that really means. Can a piece of paper and a couple of rings make that much of a difference? For some couples, absolutely; others, not so much. It’s all a matter of expectations and, of course, those delightful curveballs life loves to throw at us.
Whether you’re considering that walk down the aisle, otherwise committing to someone for the long haul, or want to know what to look out for in your next relationship, there’s important advice you need to know. Who better to dish it out than people who’ve been there already?
This old Reddit thread poses the question to married people and people with long-time partners: “What is the best piece of advice you could offer to a couple?” The answers range from heartfelt and encouraging to, well, brutally honest. These are just some of the ones that meant the most to me:
- “Most of the time you spend together is going to be non-sexual, so you better be best friends, or it won’t last.”
- “… I once read that if love can be explained then it isn’t love, it’s an exchange of benefits. You may love her long blonde hair, her perfect smile and her great figure but the body changes over time and life throws curves. If you don’t think you could handle the changes that life will bring then you aren’t in love, you are in lust…”
- “Don’t stop dating your S.O.”
- “[Remember] that they are the same person after the new labels. I’ve seen it all fall apart because the boyfriend’s cute little habits were not something a husband should do. ‘We are married now! You can’t do that!’ It’s easy to get lost in labels (because Wife and Husband are long defined terms. They come with much baggage.). If your girlfriend sucked at dishes, news flash, your wife will too.”
- “[My] advice can be summed up in two words: Don’t lie. Almost every major problem within relationships starts with a lie. If your relationship can handle the truth, then it can handle anything.”
- “When arguing, seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”
- “Frequently express your appreciation and affection for the smallest things even.‘Thank you for taking out the trash.’ ‘I like what you did with the dining room.’ ‘You look really nice today.’ ‘I love you…’”
- “… Find a place/way for you to communicate openly, and be vulnerable. Someone else said they hop in the tub with their SO, my husband and I have difficult/emotional conversations while holding each other in bed…”
- “For a long term partnership to work, abandon any notion you have that responsibility is shared 50/50 between partners. Each is responsible for 100 % — and you always check one another’s back…”
- “Tell each other you love them. Every time you meet or leave, several times a day. Hold hands. Touch. Share everything, thoughts, feelings, jokes, food, drinks. Take care of each other. Both should always put the other first, you will end up compromising from the top down instead of the bottom up, thus avoiding resentment. Never take without giving. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Laugh, Laugh, Laugh, Enjoy life.”