8 Things No One Tells You About Marriage By: Ylonda Gault Caviness The surprising, enlightening, and sometimes hard

truths we all face after we walk down the aisle — and how they teach us about what love really means. “…And they lived happily ever after.” You’re smart. You know life is no storybook. But admit it: Somewhere deep in your subconscious lurk romantic visions of Cinderella, or maybe Julia Roberts. The images may be sketchy and a little outdated, but you can still make out the silhouette of the bride and Prince Charming riding off into the sunset. In real life, sometimes your Disney fairy tale ends up feeling more like a Wes Craven horror flick — and you’re the chick who keeps falling down and screaming for her life. I’ve been there. Let’s face it; marriage is not for the faint of heart. You want to believe your pure love for each other will pull you through. And it does. But it ain’t always pretty. That may sound grim. But here’s a secret: Sometimes it’s the least romantic parts of marriage that have the most to teach you about yourself, your partner, and the nature of love. Read on for some simple truths that will unlock the surprising treasures and pleasures in your imperfect, unstorybook, real-life love.

1. You will look at the person lying next to you and wonder, Is this it? Forever? When you get married, you think that as long as you pick the right guy — your soul mate — you’ll be happy together until death do you part. Then you wake up one day and realize that no matter how great he is, he doesn’t make you happy every moment of every day. In fact, some days you might wonder why you were in such a hurry to get married in the first place. You think to yourself, This is so not what I signed up for. Actually, it is. You just didn’t realize it the day you and your guy were cramming wedding cake into each other’s faces, clinking champagne glasses, and dancing the Electric Slide. Back then you had no idea that “for better and for worse” doesn’t kick in only when life hands you a tragedy. Your relationship mettle is, in fact, most tested on a daily basis, when the utter sameness of day-in/day-out togetherness can sometimes make you want to run for the hills. That’s when the disappointment sneaks in, and maybe even a palpable sense of loneliness and grief. It’s not him. It’s just you, letting go of that sugarcoated fantasy of marriage that danced in your eyes the day you and your beloved posed in all those soft-focus wedding photos. You’re learning that marriage isn’t a destination; it’s a journey filled with equal parts excitement and tedium. Waking up from a good dream to face the harsh morning daylight may not seem like a reason to celebrate. But trust me, it is. Because once you let go of all the hokey stories of eternal bliss, you find that the reality of marriage is far richer and more rewarding than you ever could have

I’ve seen women checking him out when they think I’m not . sometimes a perfectly good argument can turn into an endless round of silly back-and-forth. Taking a break will help you see that. and let go.” 4. You will sometimes go to bed mad (and maybe even wake up madder). I’ve found that an argument of any quality. And so will you. Your man has mysterious. he’ll change a bit. Hard.” says Andrea. hurt. NY. “It’s like losing weight. A break in the action will help you figure out whether you’re angry. “This was a huge lesson for me.” says Andrea Harden. like a fine wine. too. unplumbed depths — and from where he sits. Now I wait a while to get hold of myself — let the emotions settle a bit — and state my position. your marriage will surely be the worse for it. 2. The effort is a forever thing. I’ve got three words for you: Sleep on it. when people say. yes. you think that you will struggle to accommodate some annoying habit. And if you stifle your real feelings just to meet some arbitrary deadline. If this scenario sounds familiar. Maybe the fight that seemed to erupt over the overflowing garbage can is really about feeling underappreciated. I’d let things build up inside me until I just exploded. the real work of marriage is finding a way to relate to and nurture each other in the process. If only it were that easy. needs to breathe. You need to just give it a rest. You have to learn each other the same way that you once learned earth science or world geography. rehashing old and irrelevant transgressions as you get more and more wound up. and then pinpoint the exact source. You’ll work harder than you ever imagined.” So don’t be too hard on yourself — or him — on those days when you feel like you’re struggling through remedial math. yes. But the whole kiss-and-make-up thing just to keep the peace was eating me up inside. Could be you’re both stressed out at work and just needed to unload on someone. there are some fights that stubbornly refuse to die by bedtime. “As women we’ve been trained to make nice. You need to calm down. There are few men in the Western world sexier than my husband. Whoever decided to tell newlyweds “Never go to bed angry” doesn’t know what it’s like inside a bedroom where tears and accusations fly as one spouse talks the other into a woozy stupor until night meets the dawn. But then you learn it’s a lifestyle.guessed. and that’s better than any fairy tale. You will go without sex — sometimes for a long time — and that’s okay. Without a time-out. “Marriage takes work. In your naiveté. Or maybe you really do have a legitimate disagreement to work out. Even when you do manage to stay focused and on topic. “You want it to be a one-time deal. That’s because every time you think you’ve mastered the material. 45. And I don’t say this because I know he may read this article. But full of its own powerful. Frustrating.” you assume “work” means being patient when he forgets to put down the toilet seat. And getting married doesn’t mean you’re done — it just means you’ve advanced to graduate-level studies. As two people grow and evolve. of Buffalo. quiet enchantments just the same. You lost it. are not simple creatures. you may have noticed. you’re pretty complicated. 3. now just live. Early on. Human beings. Even if that means reopening the fight the next day. like persistent knuckle cracking or flatulence. You need to gain perspective. That’s marriage. or both.

3 a. He has a long commute. .” says Lindy Vincent. hormonal adolescent longs to cop a feel. But I can see the value in striking a balance that satisfies us both. Instead of worrying about how much you think you “should” be having sex. He may not be anywhere near my G-spot. who lives in Minneapolis. most of the time now. (Honestly. So we’d lock horns — often. Funny how that works. it seems to become easier for him to hear mine.” The key is to make sure that even if you’re not doing “it. 38. There’s more gray in life than I thought. 5. There. (See? Even his name is sexy. and that’s taught me patience and the value of compromise. though. there are times that I just don’t feel like having sex — often for reasons that have nothing to do with Genoveso. there are also plenty of nights when he’s not in the mood. no one in America is doing it. And then a few more. That is. Sexless periods are a natural part of married life. I said it. throughout his life Genoveso has been under the misguided impression that he’s right most of the time (go figure!). But the fact is. at most times.looking. “I used to think. It’s just that a lifetime of experience has taught me that in most areas. Personally. the more discontented my husband and I were as a couple. “I used to be very black-and-white earlier in our marriage. until I learned a few things. That doesn’t mean I always agree with him. oddly enough. soccer. CA. It’s really not my intention to be hurtful or brash with people I love. (I don’t know about you. Life happens. and we have two small children. So maybe a few days go by when we don’t do it. T-ball. ladies.” you’re still doing something-touching. And because I know I’m being heard. A dry spell isn’t a sign that you’ve lost your mojo or that you’ll never have sex again. sleep is more important than sex. feedings.) I can’t lie and say this is always okay with him. “I see your point” or “I hadn’t considered that. but between work. was the realization that the more “right” I was. who’s been married for five years. the more I respect his positions. See. What’s happened to us? We always used to be in the mood. It just means that maybe this week. the PTA. A great marriage doesn’t mean no conflict. I can be a bit of a know-it-all. I don’t even want to prove how right I am anymore. but that little bit of touch and attention keeps us connected even when we’re not having spine-tingling sex. What shocked me several years into my marriage. my heart gets warm and mushy when my husband rubs my feet after a long. And…. I think we’re good.” The more I get to know and appreciate my husband for who he is. I don’t mind if you stare. that when it comes to certain disagreements.m.) That said.) And don’t kid yourself. “Now I see that I’m not all right and my husband is not all wrong. isn’t it? 6.” After I sincerely acknowledge his view. Namely. it simply means a couple keeps trying to get it right. there is no right or wrong — there is simply your way of looking at things and your husband’s. I am right about most things. hugging.” says 35-year-old Kim Henderson of Oakland. kissing. I can usually swallow the verbal vitriol and simply say something like. keep the focus on figuring out your own rhythm. And instead of harping on how wrong he is. you don’t have to sneak a peek. My husband just started a new job. tiring day. “Now I know better. and everything else. as often as popular culture would have you believe. I sometimes crave sleep the way a pimply. Getting your way is usually not as important as finding a way to work together.

“I’ll call you at 8. because I know in the end they won’t break us. I’ve got issues. and your relationship. is closer to the truth. There were clues when Genoveso and I were dating. Except occasionally he would actually mess up. Not to get all Dr. and willing to listen. Phil about it. Control issues. I’d like to be able to say that this irrational behavior lasted only a few months and I eventually worked it out. Early on. sort of. Because when you fight. He used to say things like. they’ll only make us stronger. I seethed for days and even let thoughts of divorce creep into my head. I’m sure. of Bay Shore. make him just a little bit closer to perfect. especially with the trust thing. played by Ann Magnuson. 36. I just couldn’t figure out what. “It got me nowhere. you don’t just raise your voices. Genoveso and I never fight anymore. I’ve come to recognize certain things about myself. 7. Whether he teased me about a new haircut or came home late. But in more than a decade of marriage. I wouldn’t give up our fights for anything in the world. but with dogged conviction we take on this huge responsibility. he’d call at 8. Ha! As important as it is to strike a balance. Right? When the stylish heroine. my rants only made him resentful. I’m like. And you will come to realize. if he loved me — really and truly — this stuff wouldn’t happen. sooner than later if you’re lucky. is hired to teach a robot how to act like a human. everything was a major violation. We may use support and empathy or shouts and ultimatums.’” 8. you raise real — sometimes buried — issues that challenge you to come to a clearer understanding of you. Now I come home and when the kitchen looks clean. After years of looking deeply into my soul and talking to good friends and the best sister a girl could ever have. beliefs. A hotshot commercial whiz. There is a bit of that makeover fantasy in all of us — something that makes us believe we can change the person we love. fat fight every now and then. ‘Cool. The same kinds of experiences followed after the wedding. she seizes the chance to create a perfect guy. Kind of. I’ve been smacked upside the head with the cold. You’ll realize that you can only change yourself. eager to please. NY. but I’ve had to examine my history . convinced we’re doing the right thing. I figured. and idiosyncrasies — is truly an impossible task. Whatever our motives. I knew he was up to something. that I’ve yet to fully discover. I was supersuspicious of him.” says Kimberly Seals Allers. As you face your fears and insecurities. And I had no sense of scale when it came to rating his offenses. that it is far easier to change the way you respond to him. Transforming a full-grown man — stripping him of decades-old habits. your man. Here’s a perfect case in point: “I used to go off on my husband because he didn’t empty the sink trap when he cleaned the kitchen. she uses her marketing prowess to shape John Malkovich’s android character into her personal version of the ideal man — sensitive. the effort is exhausting.Maybe you think that because of my newfound wisdom. And others.” Then. I guess I’ve always known I wasn’t perfect. it’s also important to have a big. hard evidence. Trust issues. just to try to trip me up. you will find out what you’re really made of. Ever seen the ’80s sci-fi cult classic Making Mr. now all I have to do is empty the sink trap.

with an emotionally distant dad and a strong-willed mom and face up to all the ways. those are the things that give richness to your life together — and make your love even deeper and stronger than when it began.msn. That can be difficult to accept — after all. just as you’re learning to do with him. But I am completely clear in the knowledge that many of the deepest frustrations in your relationship are an opportunity for you to confront yourself. Source: http://lifestyle.aspx?cpdocumentid=5352157&page=2 . both good and bad. That’s the strange beauty of marriage: It’s full of hard times and hard lessons that no one can ever prepare you for. this bumpy journey toward self-awareness can be one of the more fulfilling rewards of a committed. it’s so much more comforting to keep a running tab of your hubby’s deficits and tell yourself that his failings are the only thing standing between you and a better marriage. that those relationships have affected how I approach my marriage. long-term relationship — you’ll learn to love your quirks and be compassionate toward yourself. But in the end. I still struggle as a work in progress.com/relationships/couplesandmarriage/articlerb. But if you let it.

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