Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it does not argue about kitchen cabinet organization, or how to load the dishwasher “correctly”. It is not proud, it does not grumble about cleaning hair out of the shower drain or throwing out a full carton of expired Almond milk because someone declared that they were going to “start making smoothies for breakfast” and then forgot about it. (That someone was me – and to be fair, I did make one smoothie before I forgot that I wanted this to be “my new thing”, making a smoothie for breakfast every morning. Do you know how annoying it is to clean the blender? EVERY morning?)
Love is patient. It’s about being patient. The Bible verse – old “love is patient, love is kind” – doesn’t really dig into that, it just assumes that you will know how to be patient with someone you love, and that you won’t get all pissy just because they forgot to clean the lint trap out of the dryer.
The lint trap is a hot button issue in our house. Really, the dryer in general is pretty controversial. I won’t get into the politics of “how often you should clean out the lint trap” or “how many towels you can stuff in there before you’re going to break the dryer”, because I know that not everyone agrees with me (and because I’VE never broken a dryer, so I really wouldn’t know the answer to that, now would I?)
We argued about the lint trap before we got married, among our many classic hits – “how to load the dishwasher”, “why is your hair all over the place?”, and “I don’t want to watch this movie”. We have had full blown heated debates over “I don’t want to watch this movie” – because Kyle will want to watch some gory,action-y,shoot-em-up movie, and I will not, and then he will say something like “Fine, let’s just watch a kids movie, that’s what you’d want to watch” and then I get very offended, because there is obviously a very large gap between “shoot em up” and Dora The Explorer.
Misconceptions about marriage are common. You’ve probably heard – “my wife never wants to have sex”, “we’re each others best friend!” and the old classic, “I don’t get along with my mother-in-law”. Are these true? (No. That’s why they’re called “misconceptions”.)
#1 “If you’re right for each other, marriage should be easy”.
Should it? Should it? I’m not saying our marriage is difficult (even though the intro to this post makes us sound like reluctant roommates), but I wouldn’t go out on a limb and say that it doesn’t take work. Both partners need to make their marriage a priority – and sometimes that isn’t easy to do when you’re arguing about something as stupid as how to load the dishwasher. Instead of being patient and thoughtful in that moment, it’s easier to be snarky and leave the room. That’s the part that takes works – and I don’t care who you are or how happy you are as a couple, you will bicker about the dishwasher, or the dryer, or something equally as stupid. Because you’re two separate people with separate opinions and that’s just marriage – trying to make it all work.
#2 “You won’t get along with your mother-in-law.”
Why is this a trope? The old “evil mother-in-law” thing. My mother-in-law isn’t evil. Granted – my husband is her first and only son, and – yes – they’ve always been close, and of course she has opinions (some I agree with, some I don’t – just like with my husband), but I still respect her as my mother-in-law, and I can see that she respects me as the woman who married her son, and we appreciate each other. She’s the woman who raised my husband and made him who he is today, the person I chose to marry. That counts for something. So if you were gal pals with your mother in law before the wedding – don’t worry, that bond will only grow stronger.
#3 “You will suddenly fit right into his family.”
Nothing really changes with the family stuff. The way that you fit into his family pre-wedding-vows is exactly what your role will be as his wife. If they love you – great, if they simply tolerate you – sorry, but that’s not going to change. Families are tough because – no matter how you slice it, they’re not your own. Not really. They have their own way of doing things, the same way your family has their own way of doing things – and neither of those ways is right or wrong. It all boils down to what you’re used to.
#4 “Unresolved issues will solve themselves once your married.”
Nope. No. No, sir. Any issue that you had pre-marriage will still be their once your married. A wedding ring isn’t a magic cure-all. Whatever you couldn’t agree on before you said “I do” will not magically go away just because you put a ring on it. You need to talk about things – you’re married now, and while this won’t necessarily make talking about things any less uncomfortable, rest assured that if you don’t talk about it, it’s just going to fester in your marriage and likely develop into a bigger issue. Talk to each other. Work things out.
#5 “We never have sex anymore.”
Do you still want to have sex? Does he? Great! Then this shouldn’t be an issue just because you’re married. A wedding ring isn’t a handcuff to your sex drive. (And also, if this is an issue, see #4.)
#6 “It’s your job as his wife to make him happy.”
No it’s not. I mean, you shouldn’t actively try to bring him down – and if he’s having a bad day, it’s always nice to try to cheer him up by making his favorite dinner or watching a funny movie together – but if he’s truly unhappy, that’s not your fault. I repeat – your husbands happiness should not be solely dependent on you. And vice versa. His life mission should not be – how to make his wife happy. This is the making of a toxic relationship. The two of you should try to be happy on your own and come together. That’s what makes a truly happy marriage.
#7 “You’ll want to have kids right away.”
Maybe? But you don’t have to. And you don’t have to want to. The second we got married, everyone started asking us when we were planning to have children. Truthfully – neither of us really know the answer to that, but we can both confidently say “Not right now. Someday. But not today.” As long as you’re on the same page, there’s no need to rush just because you’re married now.
#8 “The wife takes care of the household and the husband brings home the bacon.”
What is this? An episode of I Love Lucy? It’s 2020. Women work. I work. And so does my husband. And together we both take responsibility for the house, dinners, splitting the bills down the middle, etc. Figure out a system that works for you – this is not about “who makes more money”, this is about “we both work 9-5, let’s split the chores and the bills and the cooking in half.”
#9 “You’ll spend all of your free time together.”
Kyle and I spend a lot of time together. We eat dinner together, we watch tv together, we go to sleep together, we wake up together, We’re always together. Except when we’re not. When one of us makes plans to see our friends.Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you should abandon your pre-wedding social life. Go to happy hour with your girlfriends, he can watch the game on Sunday with the guys, it’s important not to lose your friends just because you’re married. Believe it or not, your friends and family are a crucial element to your healthy marriage.