5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Got Married


A big part of my story is that I got engaged when I was 20 years old and got married when I was 22. While I have several friends who got married when they were several years younger than I was, to most, I was pretty young. Because we were so young, people had ALL THE ADVICE. Seriously, it came from errrybody.  Don't get me wrong, we really appreciated all of the wisdom and have seen its effectiveness in the several years we've been married. Even so, the advice we received was missing several important truths that I wish we would have known. Whether you're married, engaged, dating or someday hope to be, I think these ideas are an important addition to any of the advice you receive. 


1. It's Fun!


This one may seem a little silly but bear with me. So many people told us how hard marriage is. And they were 100% correct. People told us that the newlywed phase would wear off and it did. But they didn't tell us that in spite of those things being true, being married is fun! Isaac and I have more fun together now than we ever have. Are there challenges? Sure are! Is everything rainbows and butterflies? Absolutely not. But boy, being married can be an absolute blast. Don't let the Negative Neds discourage you! Marriage is hard but it's also so fun! You have so much to look forward to. 



2. Widen Your Circle

It is fairly easy to find friends in a similar phase of life. By joining a life group (read: bible study, connect group, Sunday school class, etc. ) at our church, we met several incredible couples who are similar in age and life stage which has been such a gift to us. We also have stayed relatively close to the college we attended so several of our college friends are still nearby. We made sure to build a support system around us because that's what so much of the advice said. What no one told us was to widen our circle to include those who have been married 5, 10, or 30 years longer than we have. Yes, we have our parents. But there's something about having friends who are also mentors and have traveled a bit further down the road than you have. They are able recognize some of the bumps along the way before we are and they know how to effectively overcome them when we hit them!



3.  Make Sure You're Aiming At The Same Target

Typically, once you decide to marry someone, you have a clear idea of their goals and the direction each of you would like your relationship and life to head. You are fairly certain of the fact that you've communicated these things effectively and are on the same page. But communication in dating and communication in marriage are very different things. In dating, even in the heart to heart moments, generalities are acceptable and plenty clear. But in marriage, clearer & more specific communication is 100% necessary. The advice we got was to make sure we were on the same page. Check! We had all of the important conversations. But once we got married, we quickly realized that while we had a general understanding of where we were headed, we weren't always aiming at the same target and a more specific form of communication needed to be developed. In dating, your life is only minimally impacted by the goals and direction of the other. In marriage, your life is shared and therefore, intimately impacted by the decisions of your spouse. While the advice to make sure you're on the same page still stands, I would simply add that you should know it's only part one. You communication skills will need to grow with your relationship. 




4. Don't Settle For A Roommate

We heard time and time again to enjoy our time now because once we have kids, we will have to work really hard to find time to invest specifically into our marriage. While we know this will be true in the future, we have found it to be true now, as well. We both have demanding jobs that require us to care for and serve others directly on a daily basis. We can each work crazy hours and it can be hard to really connect with one another day to day. In short, it's easy to quickly turn into roommates, rather than spouses. Plan with intentionality. Make your marriage a priority, now, even if you don't have kids and it doesn't seem like its necessary. Do the hard work on the front end so that it's not such a dramatic change when your family and life grow.



5. It's Okay That You're Different 

Before we got married, we heard so many jokes and anecdotes about the differences between men and women as though they were a bad thing. But as we've grown, we've learned that there are so many positives to this. Sure, it lends itself to some silly comments but it's your differences that make your marriage work. Whether personality or gender or interests, the differences make life more interesting! Differentiation is good. You don't have to like the same things or think the same way. If your spouse is wired a bit differently than you are, you're forced to grow and learn with each new conversation and experience. If you let every difference be a hindrance or a frustration, you're going to be pretty miserable. Embrace the differences and allow them to make your marriage richer. That's why Isaac, a quiet-natured man, is so thrilled with my chatty tendencies ;)


What is the best marriage advice you received? What advice would you add?


All of our wedding photos were taken by Susan Stefko Photography!




16 comments

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    1. Thank you so much, Allison! And thank you for reading!

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  2. Such a great post! Thanks for sharing your heart. Every point felt so applicable to my own experiences, but I can definitely relate to your first point. Marriage is an amazing adventure :)

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    1. Thank you, Kristin! Yes! You are so right, it's an incredible journey!

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  3. All of this is good, we have been married for 35 years. The journey has been very incredible.

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    1. That's amazing! I'm sure the advice you would have is invaluable! Would love to hear it!

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  4. HAHA chatty tendencies--maybe that's why the 4 of us are friends. Devin needs a friend who understands the DELIGHT it is to have a talkative wife. Also #3 for real! No friendship (and thus obviously no marriage) can survive if you don't do things together!!

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    1. HA! I imagine they sit in mutually agreed upon silence when together. hahahaah

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  5. Agreed with every tip, Courtney. It can be fun, frustrating, rewarding and everything in between. The beauty of marriage is the journey and aleven though it's been 5 years for me, I can say I've learned SOOO much about myself.
    Remember to value yourself, your spouse and your marriage. I don't know where we'd be without our third wheel, the good Lord above :)

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    1. Highlighting Jesus is SO IMPORTANT. He is what drives and sustains this whole mess of our life and gives such deep purpose to our marriage. Thank you for highlighting that!

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  6. Great post, I love how positive this article is about marriage and coming from such a young person. People always say negative things about marriage but I've always believed that mine will be as perfect as I make it . I'm excited

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    1. Dee, thanks for stopping by! You're so right! Marriage takes work but it produces so much fruit! Marriage is a blast. Hard work? Sure! But I absolutely love it.

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  7. So much wisdom in this article.I love what you said about embracing your differences as a couple. I completely agree and this allows you have more strengths as a couple than you would have had if you were both the same.

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    1. That's such a great way to word it, Jessica! You absolutely have more strengths when you embrace your differences!

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  8. Great tips! I especially like the fact you brought up widening your circle. I used to think we could only be friends with newlyweds with no children, but some of our dearest friends are in different life stages.

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    1. Exactly, Lindsey! People in different life stages can teach us so much!

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