Married Life 101: Things to Expect and Accept

By  The Groom Club Editors 
Updated on 09/23/22
Groom Hacks

Part of the Groom Hacks

Married Life 101: Things to Expect and Accept

By  The Groom Club Editors 
Updated on 09/23/22

As grooms look forward to their wedding, they’re often bombarded with a lot of negative messages about married life. People will tell you how much work it is and how you’ll lose your independence.

But that’s not at all what marriage is about. Sure, your love will require nurturing and flexibility, but having a partnership that will endure through good times and bad is worth it.

If you’re ready to wed, there are some things you should know about marriage. We will share some of the best information we have about married life based on research and expert advice.

Don’t worry – it won’t give you cold feet. But it will allow you to walk down the aisle prepared to be a great husband.

1. You Need to Do it For the Right Reasons

Marriage is wonderful, as long as you enter into it for the right reasons. Society may view weddings as a rite of passage, and it can be tempting to rush into the celebration. But after the fanfare has died down, you’re left with a relationship that will either cultivate emotional and physical health or carry perpetual conflict.

It’s normal to feel the clock ticking and desire companionship, but it’s wrong to marry just because you think it’s time to settle down. Marriage also doesn’t solve any relationship problems.

So what are the right reasons to marry? Ultimately you are ready to wed when you love someone and want to build a lifetime partnership based on respect and support. You should also marry someone because you trust that they’re equally committed to the union.

Norbert Soski, writer, provides some sage advice on a lifelong commitment and stresses, “ “I DO” is not a one-time event or commitment statement. Each morning you wake up, look over at your partner and you declare again “I DO” with a kiss and a “good morning.” Each new day is a recommitment to the love and relationship you share with your lifelong partner, with no straying and while being the best husband you can be.”

Marriage Is Fun

2. Marriage Is Fun

Sure, marriage isn’t endless happiness. Neither is life. But the repeated messaging about how much work marriage is can make it sound like no fun at all. While relationships do require work to grow and flourish, marriages should also be fun. And yours will be if you strive to find excitement and joy whenever possible.

Sometimes the happiness and fun will come naturally, and sometimes you will have to find it amid difficulties or the mundane. But finding pleasure in your marriage is one of the best ways to ensure it’s fulfilling and lasting.

There’s the oft-repeated metaphor that a marriage is like a garden – it takes nurturing and care to thrive. And that’s definitely true. But it shouldn’t feel like non-stop labor, and you should have time to relax and play in your metaphorical garden.

You-May-Become-More-Attracted-to-Your-Spouse

3. You May Become More Attracted to Your Spouse

You may be marrying in your prime of life, and you assume this is the most attractive you and your fiance will ever be. But what if we tell you that you could become more attracted to each other?

Sure, you may not get the same butterflies you got when you first began dating, and the honeymoon phase does eventually end. But you’re left with a deep understanding and connection, both physically and emotionally.

Attraction comes in so many shapes and sizes, and you may eventually discover new desires and feelings that only a long-term relationship can reveal.

Your spouse may even become your standard of beauty. As their looks evolve and change, your idea of beauty will evolve and change with it. It’s an incredible process that might need some nurturing, but you’ll be surprised how attractive your spouse is decades into your marriage.

Marriage Won’t Be 50-50

4. Marriage Won’t Be 50/50

Many couples begin their marriage with the hope that they’ll split responsibilities, chores, and finances right down the middle. Sure, nobody expects everything to be perfectly fair, but they do expect each partner to pull their weight.

Blissful newlyweds may divvy up chores, declaring that one partner will cook dinner and the other will do the dishes. You may claim cleaning the bathrooms if your spouse vacuums and dusts. Or, your spouse can work fewer hours if they do more work around the house.

But this can set up many grooms for disappointment and a sense of failure. Society, workloads, and waves of fatigue can cause us to fall short of our responsibilities in our homes and relationships.

Instead of always aiming for a 50/50 split, aim to bring your best to each moment of marriage. Sometimes that will be more or less than your partner, and that’s ok. Support is one of the most essential parts of a relationship.

So while idealizing a 50/50 marriage is normal (and beneficial), the flexibility and support will make your union thrive.

It’s Better Unplugged

5. It’s Better Unplugged

It’s hard to believe how far society has come since experts told our parents not to have a TV in the bedroom. That’s a minor worry these days, as we carry phones to bed and scroll separately yet side by side.

Of course, you sometimes need time and space to yourself, even if that’s virtually. But we know your marriage will be richer, more fun, and full of connection if you unplug as much as possible.

The connection to our phone leaves us disconnected from our partners, and it also creates unhealthy comparisons that could lead to dissatisfaction. Are your single friends doing more fun things than you are? Is another married couple happier? Should you follow that TikTok relationship advice?

So as you get ready to wed, invest in the time and effort it takes to break your social media or scrolling habit. You’ll be rewarded with conversation, connection, and new experiences.

You’ll-Need-to-Manage-Expectations

6. You’ll Need to Manage Expectations

You want all the best from your partner. Sure, your vows are all about the promises you make to them. But you’re also marrying someone because of what they can provide to you. And it’s probably more than they can ever fulfill.

You want your spouse to be a great lover to you and a great parent to your children. You want them to be your partner in sex and money. You want them to provide you with entertainment and support. And of course you want them to put in the effort and joy it takes for a marriage to work.

That’s a lot riding on one person. The good news is that your needs and expectations will evolve with a healthy relationship. Perhaps you marry someone who brought you endless laughter but later come to depend on their stoic strength. You may be disappointed if your partner doesn’t contribute financially as you hoped, but maybe you appreciate how they serve the community.

If you keep your expectations realistic and are willing to be flexible, you’ll find that your partner provides you with more than you ever thought they could.

Your-Partner-Is-a-Full-and-Separate-Person

7. Your Partner Is a Full and Separate Person

On paper, this seems obvious: Your spouse is a unique individual with ever-changing thoughts, emotions, and desires. But as time goes on and your goals and life intertwine more, you may lose sight of the person as an individual.

They’ll become an extension of you, a half in your partnership, someone you feel intimately close to. That’s a beautiful thing, but it can create conflict.

Throughout your relationship, you may have to recenter and focus on your partner as an individual. As they are tempted to sacrifice their identity for the improvement of your marriage or family, you should encourage them to maintain their identity and discover it even more.

How do you do that? Tamsen Firestone writes, “This involves using your mind as well as your emotions and intuition to perceive and vicariously experience the nature of your loved one.”

Encourage your spouse to maintain friendships or hobbies. Watch them do something they love and see how it brings them alive. As you become drawn to that, you’ll find yourself eager to access that mysterious and magnetic part of them again and again.

The Family Is Part of the Package

8. The Family Is Part of the Package

Most marriage advice urges grooms to ensure that they like their in-laws. While that is a huge blessing in a relationship, you can’t always help who you fall in love with, and you may realize too late that their family dynamic doesn’t work well with your relationship dynamic.

If your partner is unaware or unwilling to support you in a tricky in-law situation, you must address that before marriage. It doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker, but you do need to get help managing this.

If your fiance has family traumas or disappointments, be prepared to support them as they handle it throughout your marriage (yes, for the rest of your life). Generational wounds run deep, and hurt can reappear during challenges and joy. But you both can put in the effort to make your marriage and family healthy.

Counseling Doesn’t Mean the End is Near

9. Counseling Doesn’t Mean the End is Near

We sometimes think counseling is a last-ditch effort to save a failing marriage. But it’s actually beneficial to a healthy marriage as well. Maybe you can find ways to express your love sexually or get insight into how to stay on a positive course.

Counseling is also a great option if you seem to be having the same argument repeatedly or if one partner feels unsupported. It doesn’t mean that you’ve been thinking about a divorce – it just means you want your marriage to be the best it can be.

If you can’t afford counseling, listen to podcasts or read relationship books together. Prioritize this time and speak honestly about what you are discovering. Stay tuned because we will have a blog that will explore this topic later!

Making Your Marriage the Best it Can Be

Making Your Marriage the Best it Can Be

Being a groom is one of the most exciting roles you’ll take on in life. It’s a romantic, fun, and optimistic time. Try to carry this on into your marriage as well. Not every moment will be happiness and sunshine, but your love for your spouse will carry you through the best and worst.

Remember that each marriage is different, so collect all the advice you can and see what works for your relationship.