I was one of those little girls who dreamed of her wedding since she was a kid, so when I got engaged, I had a general idea of how I wanted it to look... and since my future husband and I had been together for more than four years, I thought I knew what our marriage would look like, too. But now that we're coming close to our one year anniversary, I can definitively say I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
Don't get me wrong — I love my husband even more than I did on the day we got married, and I'm excited to spend the rest of my life with him. But even if you've lived with your spouse for years before tying the knot, the first year of marriage is full of surprises and emotion... and not all of it is the good kind.
15 Having That Post-Wedding Financial Regret
I'm probably not breaking any news here, but weddings are expensive. It's stressful while you're planning, because you see all the money that you've saved disappear to pay for things like food for everyone you've ever met, but you're working toward a goal and it all just seems so necessary. After the big day, you just stand there, shell shocked, thinking about all of the things you could have done if those centerpieces hadn't been so damn important.
If I could do it over again, maybe I'd take that money and go on a month long honeymoon instead of a regular one, or buy everything at Target or something. But then again, I wouldn't trade the memories I made at my wedding for anything, so maybe it was the best decision.
14 You Basically Expect Everything To Suck
Before you get married, everyone you know will try to tell you what to expect — even people who have never been married in their life. The general consensus is that it's a negative thing you're jumping into; there are a lot of ball and chain metaphors being thrown around and everyone wants to let you know that it was the worst year of their marriage. Wow, super excited now, aren't you?
The truth is this: Yes, marriage is hard, because molding two lives together under the pressure of being legally tied together is stressful until you get used to it. But anything worth doing takes work, and there's a lot of good stuff in that first year, too. And it'd be a hell of a lot easier to get through the tough stuff if people would quit giving you all that negativity!
13 It's Definitely Not All Sexy
Remember the days when if something didn't get done, you had no one to blame but yourself? Guess what! Now you get to blame your spouse, and isn't that so much more fun? Just this morning, my husband and I got into a mini tiff because he thought I switched his laundry over and I, in fact, had not... so he didn't have the clothes he needed to go to work. It wasn't really either of our faults, but you'd be amazing how many times laundry can come up in an argument.
Be prepared to have a bunch of really stupid, small fights about nothing... at least, until you get all the kinks of your routine together worked out. If you're still working on it, fear not — my husband still hates the way I load the dishwasher, and we are not headed for divorce over it.
12 Your Spouse's Obnoxiousness Will Astound You
You know how some people say that marriage is finding the person you want to annoy for the rest of your life? They're not wrong. Some of it will be totally intentional like the example of this meme, and most of the time, you'll think it's really funny... until he or she catches you in a bad mood and you explode. The good news: You get to annoy your spouse right on back, and it is much more gratifying when you're doing it for revenge.
And of course, there's the unintentional stuff that gets annoying real fast, like when my husband is snoring and will not wake up. Or when he gets way too rowdy playing video games while I'm trying to sleep. Fortunately, I like him anyway... and I hope he feels the same about me when I piss him off.
11 The Questions People Ask You Will Change
Before you get engaged, everyone wants to know if and when you'll get engaged, and once you are, everyone wants to know when you're getting married. But the annoying, incessant questions don't end after the wedding, my friends. Because after you're married, they start asking you about when you're having kids, which is such a personal question. Like, do I need to send out a message announcing when my husband and I are officially having sex off of birth control? That's weird.
Everyone who asks means well, but... when we have a kid, you'll know, because there will be a third person living in our house. We have perfectly valid reasons for waiting, and we have been married for like five minutes, so can everyone please chill?
10 When You Realize Exactly What's At Stake
With marriage, the stakes are so much higher than when you're just dating someone. Before, it was just your feelings that would get hurt if you broke up. Now that you're married, there's a whole legal process you have to go through if you decide to call things off, and chances are it's going to hit you pretty hard financially... especially if there is fun stuff like kids and property (and maybe a dog?) in the equation.
Essentially, you're making a bet with your spouse (and the government) that you're going to love each other forever, or everything you've worked for will get split in the middle, barring any kind of prenup. That's not terrifying at all, right? It's fine. We're all fine.
9 When Other Newlyweds Brag
oh so your first year of marriage went by SO fast and you can't BELIEVE where the time's gone pic.twitter.com/FlAN54HEmD— Emily Wetzel (@emilyswetzel) June 4, 2017
UGH. I don't care who you are or what you say in your sappy Facebook posts: The first year of marriage isn't easy every single moment of every single day, and chances are, at some point or another, you will struggle. And if you're struggling, the last thing you want to hear is how well things are going for your friend who just got married, too. Oh, you guys never fight? Well, that's good for you. What do you want, a freaking trophy?
There's a good way to keep your sanity, though: Be aware that anyone who says things are perfect 100 percent of the time cannot be trusted, and keep a bottle of your favorite wine in your fridge at all times. Both of those things will ensure you survive that first year with your relationship in tact.
8 When You Realize You No Longer Have A Use For Pinterest
There were some beautiful days I spent on Pinterest at the beginning of my wedding planning days when I didn't realize how much things cost and I blissfully pinned whatever the hell I wanted to. Then, I used it more realistically, only pinning the things I knew I could affordably purchase or recreate. It was fun while it lasted, and now, I've realized I have no real reason to even use the app or the site, and I'm starting to miss it.
The good news? I hear it's chock full of baby shit, so when I do finally get pregnant (and no, do not bother asking me when that's happening) I will finally have a use for it again. Until then, I miss you, beautiful photos of floral arrangements that cost more than my car. It's been real.
7 You Will Feel Like You Have Real Freedom
I remember judging people who got married and put on a few extra pounds, swearing I would never do that after my wedding. Guess what? That was all bullshit, and I was wrong. Not only does nobody really have any business providing commentary on anyone else's weight, but one of the greatest things about being married is finally letting getting go of the responsibility to fit into that expensive wedding dress you bought a year ago.
The first few months after my wedding, I went crazy, and even though I'm getting back into healthy habits now, those months were fun. Want cookies? Go ahead. Bake a dozen and eat the whole thing. You don't have to stand up in front of everyone you know while they look at you in the most expensive article of clothing you own anymore!
6 The End Of Planning Is A Beautiful Thing
My favorite thing so far about being married: Not planning a wedding. Some people love it, and I expected that I would, too, but I was so, so wrong. The first year of marriage lets you return to life without stressing out about how you're going to feed everyone you know, getting to spend your extra money on other things, and feeling satisfied that you will never have to plan another wedding again. You know, unless you get divorced and remarried.
I thought being engaged was fun, because you're The Bride and everyone has to be nice to you, right? Well, when I was The Bride, very few people were actually nice to me and now I get to just LIVE. MY. LIFE. Being married is the bomb, and it's mostly because everyone ignores you.
5 The Never Ending Food Debate
If you thought getting married automatically made those mealtime debates come to an end, think again. Because now, you and your significant other are eating most meals together, and it's not any easier to decide where to eat. So chances are, if you're like me, you'll hand your husband the reigns, and he will fuck it up every time and choose the one place you really don't feel like eating. It's practically a guarantee!
However, I have found a solution: Ask your spouse to give you a suggestion of two or three places they wanna eat, and then choose from those. That way, everyone's happy, and you don't have to go to Taco Bell again if you don't feel like it — although I can't imagine a scenario where anyone would get tired of Taco Bell.
4 Your Dates Get A Lot Less Sexy
When you're married and live with someone, there are Things To Do. When you're dating — and especially before you start living together — when you see each other it's almost strictly to have fun, but if you're together all the time, those chores and errands get done. Sometimes, if you want to have a date night, it has to involve something that's less fun. You grab lunch, but you also grab groceries. You go to a movie, but you probably have to vacuum when you get back.
Fortunately, that boring stuff is usually a lot more fun, because you get to do it with someone you like being around. Even grocery shopping is a good time when you're with your favorite person, right? Except when he keeps trying to sneak Twinkies into the cart.
3 You're Still Not Convinced They Like You
If you're anything like me, you are probably never totally sure that anyone actually likes you for you, so even if someone marries you, that doesn't necessarily mean they like you, right? Well, yeah, it does, so stop waking up your husband in the middle of the night. On a more serious note, though, this is perfectly normal... and it even starts to go away a little bit as that first year gets closer and closer to coming to an end. There's a light at the end of the tunnel!
Actually, marriage makes life pretty sweet: You're stuck with someone you love for life, and that someone will be there to have fun with you, hang out with you when you're sad, and watch Netflix with every Friday night when you're too tired from work to go out. Not a bad deal!
2 And Then There Are The Times You Hate Yourself
Being in close quarters with your spouse and figuring out fun financial stuff and how to live together gets really, really stressful, and it doesn't stop — you come home to it every night. That kind of pressure can be enough to drive you to drink (and hopefully not shoot people...) and it's a lot. At some point, it will bring out the worst in you and your spouse, and that sucks. It will also probably bring out the worst in the people around you, too, because they can get weird when you're married and they aren't.
It's okay to be stressed. Just take a deep breath, go get some fresh air, and try again. Eventually, it all gets easier, and when it does, it's so worth it. Hopefully, you've married someone who loves you at your worst, and at the end of the day, that's what's most important.
1 Holidays Are Totally Different
Now that you're married, it's no longer okay to skip Christmas at your husband's mom's house to hang with your parents all day. You guys are a unit, so you go everywhere together, and that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get to celebrate every holiday the way you want to. Maybe you don't get to see your mom on Christmas Day, because sacrifice is part of this whole arrangement. Eventually, you'll get into a routine, but this first year has a lot of potential for arguments and hurt feelings.
But it's not all bad. Sometimes, it means you get two Thanksgivings! Sure, you won't be able to move for like a week afterward, but it's fun while it's happening. It also means you get to pregame your in law's holiday event at your parents' house, and I'm not about to turn that down.