Marriage Myths

November 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

As my third anniversary approaches, I’d like to comment on a few things I was told before I got married to Josh.

“Enjoy your skinny figure now. Marriage makes you fat.”

False. Turning 25 makes you fat. Lack of walking around college campuses makes you fat. Eating a 4-person meal between the two of you makes you fat. Not marriage. I got married at age 24. We moved to Milwaukee and had no car and no money, so we walked everywhere and ate very little. [Sound cue: hot model music] We moved to Normal and got a car and a little more money, so we drove everywhere and ate a little more. [Sound cue: blowing up a balloon.] That was me getting chubbier. Josh, on the other hand, started a movement class and trimmed himself down nicely. He turned 25 this year [she said as she rubbed her hands maliciously]. Wait until I start my movement class! I’ll show them!

“You know, you’re never going to have sex after the first few months of marriage. Just give it time.”

Malarkey. I’m sure there comes a time when age affects sex drive, but marriage is not an age. It’s an event. An event that is celebrated by sex. And, you know, if you wait to have sex until after marriage, your sex frequency will always be more after marriage. Think about it.

“Be prepared to be disappointed. You’ll find that a lot of things don’t meet your high expectations.”

I never really knew what anyone meant by this; I wasn’t sure what expectations I had that were destined to be crushed. Was it the expectation of his putting the toilet seat down? Of his clearing his plate after dinner? Of his hanging up his jacket? If so, I’m a step ahead of you – I know he’s going to want to have “guys’ nights;” I know he sometimes gets moody and take it out on me; I know he probably won’t notice my new haircut. I’m laid back enough to take that all in stride.

I’m guessing that the more seasoned advice-givers were telling me that the expectations to watch out for are the ones that are so obvious that you don’t even think of them. Expectations like: He will provide for me (and eventually our family), He will like my apple pie best, He will ask me to sing the harmony with him whenever our song comes on. Well, he won’t always do these things. And that’s OK. Disappointment comes. I hope I have the courage and grace to move on and be better. After all, worse things are happening in this world: Starving children, for instance….

So there. That’s my three-year-old wisdom. Please excuse me, I need to go play house.

“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”  – Beverly Clark, Shall We Dance?

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