Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married

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When I got married, I thought I knew enough about love and relationships. Of course, I was in love with my fiancé, so I obviously knew enough about him, and us, that everything was going to be amazing for the rest of our lives.

Boy, was I wrong.

Not that we don’t have an amazing connection, but marriage is full of surprises. Some delightful and some … well, let’s just say they make for great stories later on.

Here are a few things I wish I’d known before we tied the knot.

Communication skills among couples for things I wish I knew before I got married

1. Communication is harder than you think

Obviously while dating and during our engagement, we communicated just fine. Not that we didn’t argue, but we did alright. After all, we were best friends!

But once we were living under the same roof, it became clear that communication needed fine-tuning to be effective.

That takes effort.

Learning to express feelings without turning every discussion into a debate or heated argument is a process.

Trust me, discussing how the dishwasher needs to be loaded or the garden hose needs to be put up can reveal deep-seated communication issues!

2. Fighting doesn’t mean you’re failing

When we had our first big fight, I panicked. I thought it was the beginning of the end.

And sometimes I still get these feelings, even after 15 years.

But guess what?

Disagreements are part of any relationship.

It took me some time to understand that fighting isn’t a sign of failure,; it’s an opportunity to grow together.

Now, our fights can still be intense, but we come out stronger and more understanding of each other.

3. Compromise sometimes but not always

Marriage is often portrayed as a series of compromises.

While that’s true to an extent, it’s also important to stand your ground on things that truly matter to you. And your partner should too!

There’s a balance to be struck, and it’s okay to say, “No, I really need this” or to have boundaries.

We’ve learned that compromising doesn’t mean losing yourself in the process.

4. Put our marriage first, even before the kids

This one took a while to sink in.

When the kids came along, they naturally became the center of my world.

However, putting their needs before my husband regularly caused quite the relationship strain!

It sounds counterintuitive, but putting your marriage first builds a strong foundation for a happy family.

Prioritizing our relationship makes us better parents and partners.

5. In-laws can be the ultimate test

Oh, the in-laws.

TV shows and movies did a good job of warning of the problems with in-laws, but I didn’t think it could be as bad as all that.

Truth is, in-laws can be wonderfully supportive or utterly obnoxious… sometimes even destructive.

The trick is to set boundaries early on and to support each other when the going gets tough.

6. Being “in love” isn’t sustainable

There’s a common misconception that being in love means you’ll always feel those butterflies, excitement, and infatuation.

Reality check!

Those feelings fizzle, but that doesn’t mean you don’t love each other.

Love evolves from that giddy excitement to a deep, enduring connection.

me and hubby having fun at a rallycross event

7. Fun is crucial

In the midst of adulting, it’s easy to forget to have fun together!

Prioritizing fun and sharing an enjoyed hobby has been our secret weapon.

For us, maintaining our involvement in motorsports or trying new things solidifies and continues to build upon our connection.

It doesn’t hurt to laugh at the vision of future racing each other on mobility scooters in a retirement home either.

DALL·E 2024-05-28 10.42.25 - An older couple racing mobility scooters in a lively retirement home setting. The couple looks competitive and joyful, with the woman having a determi

I knew marriage wouldn’t always be easy, but being young and in love, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

If I could go back and tell my pre-married self anything, it would be to work on my communication skills earlier and don’t lose sight of fun and laughter in the midst of all that adulting!


I'm a work-from-home (previously stay-at-home) mom of two beautiful children and married since 2009. Because I prioritize my relationship with my husband, I've seen tremendous benefits in marriage and want to help couples achieve happiness in their relationships. When I'm not busy with work and family, you might find me blogging, out at a race track, or on a Rally course.

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