We ran out of cling wrap the other day which struck me as significant. That cling wrap had been part of our family for a little over 5 years and now it is gone. When Meghan and I first got married we took a trip to Costco to set up our first home together. Among other things we bought was cling wrap. Here we are five and a half years later and I am throwing out the empty container.
Meghan and I do not have a perfect marriage, if even such a thing exists. I wouldn’t hold ourselves up as THE example to follow if you want to have a happy, healthy and lasting marriage. But five and a half years later I do think I know more about marriage then I did before.
Here are 4 things I wish I knew before I got married;
1. Disney Lied
Like most of us I grew up in a Disney influenced world. I believed that one day I would find ‘the one’ we would have a whirlwind adventure and then we would live happily ever after. I have to say happily ever after sounds really easy. But marriage is not easy. I no longer believe that there is such as person as ‘the one’. Also I can tell you happiness doesn’t come to our house without both of us putting in the effort. I have had to learn to deliberately set aside some of my own wants and desires to make my wife happy. And she has learned to do the same.
2. Movies Are Terrible Sex Educators
Movies as far as I can tell only describe sex within marriage in two ways. It is either A) Infinitely passionate, remarkably aerobic, and available at a moments notice because your desires burned so bright. OR B) Comically non-existent. Meghan and I were expecting our first child within a month of being married. I really felt robbed. We moved quickly from being newlyweds to expectant parents. Just when I thought we were getting warmed up to option A I felt like I was suddenly thrust into option B. As it turns out neither are really true. While burning desires tends not to pop up at a moments notice, the desire to be intimate sexually and non-sexually continues to develop and take shape. Your love life will likely be different than ours but I think it is fair to say whatever you saw in whatever type of movies you watch has lied to you.
3. The Things You Do During The First Few Weeks Of Marriage Become Your Job For Life
No seriously I think this is true. There were a handful of chores that I did when we first got married and they have become ‘my chores’. For example I took out the trash, washed the dishes and did the laundry. Those by in large are still my jobs. Meghan cleaned the floors, and washed the bathroom. Those still are by in large her jobs. Since we have gotten married we’ve experienced lots of change in employment and family size but still those first few jobs I did are still mine and the first few Meghan did are still hers.
4. Love Is Not A Feeling
I have been crazy head over heels in love a few times in my life. One of those times was when Meghan and I started dating, and again when we got married. I won’t lie some of the stress of wedding planning made me wonder if I even liked her! Still when I said my ‘I Do’ I was sure I was ‘in love.’ And then before I even realized it, I wasn’t anymore. Suddenly it didn’t matter if we spent every waking moment together. Suddenly I didn’t need to text Meghan all day just because. Suddenly I wasn’t leaving love notes in the apartment but reminders to pick up milk. Suddenly I wasn’t ‘in love’ we were ‘in life.’ As time has marched on I have come to love being ‘in life’ far more than being ‘in love.’ Where before I couldn’t imagine not having Meghan in my life because of the way she made me feel. Now I can’t imagine not having her in my life because she is my partner, my friend, and the person who knows my secrets and my hurts. What began 7.5 years ago as a burning passion has become a warm desire. Love is not a feeling, but a decision to be in life with each other everyday, especially on the days you don’t really feel like it.