I answered these questions to help my friend Kelsey from Stories of Kel out with a homework assignment last week. It was a lot of fun and it made me think of some things that I hadn't really considered before. After I e-mailed her my response, she suggested that I use the questions and answers in a blog post. Since it's our anniversary month and I'm trying to focus a lot on marriage, I decided to do that, and then I made my husband answer them as well. It was a great way to keep him awake during one of our drives over the crazy weekend!
1- What are some of the issues you had to deal with during the first year or so of marriage (particularly right after the wedding?)
A- Adjusting to each other's way of doing things and the fact that we are both too stubborn and prideful to compromise or do it the other person's way.
J- Trying to get over mine and yours. (Meaning possessions, things (ie car, tv, money, etc.) no longer being his or mine, they were ours.)
2- What are some good ways of dividing responsibilities?
A- We both have the chores that we like or the things that we're good at, so we stick with it. I make dinner, he cleans it up. I clean the kitchen, he cleans the toilets. It's become kind of routine over the past two years, that way we don't step on each other's toes or do things the "wrong" way like mentioned above.
J- "I just have to do everything you won't. You won't make the bed, you don't clean the bathroom, you won't fold the clothes...What else do you not like to do? That's what I do" (That's actually pretty much how it goes, oops...)
3- How should you best prepare for the first few years of marriage and to have a good marriage?
A- I think being able to function on your own and not needing someone there to constantly validate you or make you feel worth something is super important. It's great to have a partner to lean on and go through life with, but before you do that, you need to know who you are as an individual, do things for you and only you and be confident in your abilities and personality. Think 'Runaway Bride', I think that movie shows this perfectly.
J- (Husband had a hard time with this question, but we had the following conversation.) Me: "When we have kids, what advice will you give them when they're old enough to think about marriage?" Him: "I won't tell them anything." Me: "There's nothing that you think helped prepare you to be married and live with a woman?" Him: "There's nothing that could prepare you for that."
4- What makes a successful marriage?
A- Being able to compromise, discuss and plan together, even if you don't agree. And being able to laugh at the stupid things! And spending lots of quality time together.
J- Being on the same page with religion and money.
*FOR THE RECORD, THE REST OF HUSBAND'S ANSWERS WERE WRITTEN LATE AT NIGHT WHEN HE WAS APPARENTLY HYPER. THEY'RE FUNNY, BUT NOT 100% SERIOUS, SO DON'T JUDGE US TOO HARSHLY*
5- What are some pitfalls to avoid in the transition to marriage?
A- Realize that once you are married, you've committed to be in a partnership, and you can no longer be selfish. There are a lot of times when I have to remind myself that I can't pick our date night/dinner every time, my husband needs a turn. And when you make a decision, you should make it with your husband in mind, and how it might affect him as well. This is the premise to my Monthly Marriage Goal right now.
J- "Never call each other fat, it can hurt a sensitive husband's feel bads." (For the record, I never call him fat, I'm not sure where this came from, maybe he has a fear that I will???)
6- What are some red flags to watch out for?
A- Resentment. If you have a problem, talk about it and move on. Holding onto that forever will slowly damage your relationship.
7- What were some of the boundary issues you had to work through? (Balancing togetherness and individuality)
A- The boundaries that we've had to work through have been where homework/the blog/work/social media ends and our relationship begins. I am the type of person who likes to go go go and it's really hard for me to put the "to do" list aside and just spend time with my husband doing nothing.
J- "Boundaries in the bathroom. Some of us like the door shut, others in the relationship don't care."
8- What are some of the changes you noticed in your life before marriage vs. after marriage?
A- I became less social, even though I'm still a very social person. I don't feel as much pressure to have something planned every single night. If I don't have somewhere to be or something to do, I can just hang out with my husband.
J- "I could sleep more when we were married." (We didn't ever get to see each other until later at night when we were dating so we were usually up a little bit later as well.)
9- What are some of the positive things about marriage?
A- Your best friend gets to go with you to most everything, you don't have to go to bed alone, endless cuddling when you're in the mood, someone to care for all the time, etc.
J- "Hanging out all day long... and all night long ahh yeah." (I'm sorry..... I don't know what to do about him sometimes...)
10- What do you like about marriage?
A- I love everything about marriage! I love having my own little family, I love having a husband to cook for, go on dates with, plan surprises for, etc. I like having that one person that I can always count on and who can make me feel better in any situation.
J- "Having someone to support you all the freaking time!"
11- Would you do it again? :)
A - Of course!!!
J- "After this marriage, I think I might try it again." (I'm really not sure how to take this answer. Either our marriage is so awesome that he'd do it over again or our marriage is so crappy that he'd like a do over?)
What are some of your suggestions when it comes to transitioning to marriage?