When I got married at 19, I knew my life would change in many ways. I knew things would get more expensive and I knew I’d have to get used to less privacy. I was aware that I would have to start considering my husband in all my decisions and that conflict resolution skills would be become more important than ever.
But there were a lot of changes and new experiences that I never could’ve anticipated. I think with a major change like signing up to spend the rest of your life with someone, is bound to come with more than a few lifestyle alterations. However, I think that when you make a giant leap like this during your youth, there are things you face that others won’t necessarily understand.
My marriage so far has brought me 5 surprises I didn’t realize would come along with my “I do.”
- Self doubt.
When you’re young, you face certain insecurities about who you are and how you’re doing in life. When you’re married, those concerns can grow exponentially. Suddenly, you realize every choice you make and every road you pursue not only affects you, but also the person you’ve chosen to spend your life with.
Questioning the way you’re doing things and ultimately whether you are being the best you can be become a major hurdle you must overcome.
- Space issues.
It’s a given the marriage is about sharing. You share your thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, and unfortunately, your space. I didn’t really know how much joining our lives together would impact the materialistic side of things. I was surprised how hard it was to relinquish some closet space and how passionately I hated his idea of home decor. A one-bedroom apartment simply couldn’t hold all our ideas of “essentials” so working towards a give and take relationship as we downsized was quite an undertaking.
This aspect of our marital bliss will always be a challenge but it’s something I’m happy to face for and with him.
- Passion reignited.
When I was planning my wedding and building my relationship, my personal aspirations sort of inadvertently took a backseat. Once married life began, I found more ability to focus on other things. It’s not that relationship maintenance doesn’t matter anymore, because really it’s more essential than ever. But living together and working through your challenges together means that certain aspects come more naturally now.
For me, this has meant a realization that I have more dreams than just the ones related to my husband. Having a partner by my side who I can be comfortable with means feeling more able to take charge of my other goals.
- A longing to be alone.
You might think that being married is all about togetherness and love. It’s not. Getting married made me realize that as much as I love my husband, my alone time was precious. I sometimes miss the little things like sleeping alone and having the whole bed to myself more than words can explain.You may not even realize how much you need those “you time” things until you don’t have the alone time to do them anymore.
Although I would definitely not trade my marriage to have any of it back, I am inclined to suggest singles try not to underestimate how wonderful it truly is to be solo.
- Money management skills.
Honestly, I’ve always been pretty good with money and financial planning. What I didn’t expect was how much harder it would be with two people involved. The fact is that making money, having money, and knowing what to do with it are all new things in your early years of adulthood. There just happens to be 2 opinions that sometimes clash and very little room for error when you’re married. Your dollar has to stretch farther and your communication needs to be strong.
My husband was way more lax about money but I was strict and made most of our income. This of course caused issues that had to be faced.
Love is a gift but it’s a gift that comes with strings. A relationship, particularly a marriage, is constant effort and compromise. Until you’ve been there, it’s hard to really imagine just how challenging it is to keep choosing the same person every single day despite all the struggles that will come along. My husband is my teammate and even though we’ve made mistakes and had some failures along the way, I couldn’t be luckier to take on the world with him by my side.