4 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married

4 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married

When I was in high school, I had a checklist of how my life was going to go. I wanted to be married by the age of 21, pregnant by 22, dedicate 20 years to the Air Force then work for the FBI.

I had it all planned out. It seemed so simple.

Every boyfriend I had, I saw as a potential husband. After all, I had a strict time limit. It didn’t really matter how poorly he treated me, or if we truly were right for each other…I would find a way to convince myself that he was the one, or he would change.

My longest boyfriend, of 3 years constantly cheated on me. He and I had absolutely nothing in common besides the fact that we were in the same career field. He was so gorgeous, popular, fit and super clean cut. I dedicated my life to impressing him and constantly searching for his approval. Never did I consider my own needs and desires.

It was through my ex-husband that I saw the light to get out of that toxic relationship. He was a gorgeous, fit, quiet, southern gentleman that drove a beautiful lifted Jeep. I was in heaven. He was a manly man, that wasn’t scared to get dirty. He loved hunting, fishing and just relaxing at home. A couple months after we started dating I got pregnant. 3 months later we were married…I know, fast! Click here if you want to read the full story.

3 years of marriage went by and I was miserable. We had our good moments, but they were very rare. I finally dug up the strength inside of me to stand up for what I wanted and start my journey to find true happiness in life with a compatible partner.

So, here I am at age 26. I am divorced, I have a perfect 3 year old boy…and I plan on getting out of the Air Force next year.

I would never want a do-over. I’m very grateful for everything that’s happened in my life because it made me who I am now. But I want to share some things I learned along the way in regard to choosing a life partner. So, listen up people!

Don’t settle

If there is something missing from the person that you’re with, or you wish they would treat you better…DON’T SETTLE. Don’t be scared to find something else. Just because you are comfortable doesn’t automatically make you happy. If you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you must be able to accept them exactly the way they are now. If you hope they will get more mature, grow out of it, get new friends, dress differently, act differently, or magically understand your needs one day…you are FOOLING yourself.

They MAY change, but there is no guarantee. You should want to be with someone because you love everything about them exactly the way they are right now. Not hope they will be a certain way in the future. If they grow out of old bad habits, then that’s a plus. But you absolutely cannot expect it. It’s not fair to them or you.

Trust your gut

If you suspect something fishy is going on, 99.9% of the time there is. And if there isn’t, you shouldn’t be with someone that would make you doubt them. That’s not healthy at all. It will never get better either. Maybe short term, but those trust issues will ALWAYS arise again. It’s only a matter of time. Once the trust is broken, it’s gone forever. And getting married will NOT make that go away.

You may hear of some stories of couples who overcame it, but you are not getting the full story, I promise you that.

You don’t have to get married if you don’t want to

If you have been with your significant other for a long time and your friends and family are pressuring you to take the next step, or you just expect that the next step should come because a certain period of time has passed…you need to reevaluate your relationship and your happiness.

Why haven’t you moved in together/got married/had kids yet? What’s holding you back? If you could do anything in this world and you had unlimited amount of money, what would it be? Can you imagine your current loved one there by your side every step of the way…cheering you on?

If you can’t imagine them there, or are too embarrassed to even mention it to them…I promise you will not be happy long term in that relationship. You will constantly compromise your own happiness for theirs and you will pretend to be someone you’re not. That act can only hold up for so long before you crack.

You must have mutual respect

If you two can’t have a civilized discussion over a disagreement without name calling or verbal/physical abuse, you will not last. You are not meant to be. No matter how great the sex is, how great you look as a couple to the public…if you two can’t communicate your needs in a healthy way, everything is going to fall apart eventually.

Married couples and every relationship needs to be built off of healthy communication. You do that by mutually respecting each other. You don’t have to agree with the other person to respect them. Respect means treat them the way you want to be treated. If you think your opinion matters, theirs should too. Their happiness should be just as important as yours. You must be able to resolve your problems and find a common ground.

So there’s 4 things to consider before you take a leap to the next level in your relationship. Every relationship is different. If you’re happy with your partner, even though you may break a couple of those topics I just talked about…that’s okay. If you want to move to the next step and move in or get married, that’s okay too.

At the end of the day, you have to make sure that you’re happy. Don’t lie to yourself. It’s YOUR life. YOU have to live with the decisions you make…so make the best choice for you, trust yourself.

4 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married

31 thoughts on “4 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married

  1. Great advice, I really believe you just know if it’s right for you or not. I met my husband when I was 17 so we’ve basically grown up together – I’m so lucky I found him so young and 14 years on and two kids later I still know he’s the right one for me. Life doesn’t always go to plan but trusting your gut is always a great way to live.

    1. OMG how awesome is that!!! That is soooo lucky. That is a beautiful thing to find someone you can share your life with AND enjoy it with! I’m sure you two push each other to be better people also. 14 years is definitely something to be so proud of!!! I bet you had your ups and downs and worked through them with really good communication. Thanks for the advice Alison <3

  2. Great post – I was single all thru my 20’s and focussed on career and who *I* was – and met my wife-to-be at 28. We hd both worked out our SELVES, and could then share that. We now have three boys, and coming up to 13yrs married. Trust is the key, and communication – and laughter. At each silly mistake, or goofy thing we do – it’s working for us !

    1. AWWWW What a perfect story Chris!!! It is so rare these days to find the right person the first try. It IS so very important to find yourself before you can completely give yourself to someone else. Congratulations to you two!!!! Laughter is definitely key!!! I appreciate you sharing your inspiring story 🙂

  3. Such good things to consider- things a lot of people overlook, just like you had said you did in the past. I’m glad you got out of that relationship and found happiness again!

  4. Sounds like we’ve been down a similar road…and here I am now at 37 with two kids by two different men and I’ve never been married. I thought I’d get married someday and never wanted kids. Many years down the road I decided I never wanted to get married. Today, I’m engaged to my youngests father. Funny how things work out 🙂

    1. AWwwww Lauren that’s awesome!!! People have a way of helping us see the world a bit differently…it’s amazing when it’s your significant other!! I’m so happy for you! I bet your wedding is going to be BEAUTIFUL!!! <3 Congratulations girlie 🙂

    1. Crystal, I will definitely teach my son these things. I think I just didn’t have a lot of confidence growing up…and I had a delusional naïve sense of how the world works. Trial and error!!! Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

  5. Great advice! I appreciate that you are using your story to help keep other people from potentially painful situations. Thanks for sharing! I wish you all the best! 🙂

    1. Thanks Katie!! Yeah, I’m pretty much an open book lol. I think it helps people connect with everything and makes it easier for them to share their stories! I truly appreciate your support girlie!!!! <3

    1. Catia, first off….BEAUTIFUL NAME!!! I think the gut thing is soooo key. Most people know when something is wrong but we convince ourselves that we are overreacting. But it usually turns out to be true. It’s tough and takes a lot of practice! The voice will get louder as we gain confidence in ourselves. 🙂 Thanks for the love!!!!

  6. I think this is a very well thought out post. It’s clear you have learned a lot from your life experiences and your willingness to share what you’ve learned is awesome! So many people feel pressured to get married for a variety of reasons so I like how you emphasize the importance of trusting yourself and doing what works for you at the end of the day.

    1. Thank you Kristina! I have definitely learned a lot over the years but just recently was able to articulate it to others. The military brings on a whole different pressure when you move around so much and the only way to get stationed together is to be married. Also, a lot of people just think they can’t do any better. It’s sad but we learn eventually! I think listening to ourselves is the most important thing but some people just don’t know how to until they’re older.

      I appreciate your thoughts beautiful!!! <3

  7. This is EXCELLENT advice! I am a Christian, and I think there is so much pressure in Christian circles to get married and staring having babies. I always encourage people that they can wait! It’s ok! I really appreciate your words here!

    1. Suzanne, perfect point! My relatives are very religious and did the same. Did it “the right way.” That’s what I felt I should do because I felt ashamed to be pregnant without being married. But if I’m going to do the deed prior to marriage…then I need to be comfortable with the potential outcome and not rush anything for the sake of the baby. It’s a touchy topic but at the end of the day, I was able to rekindle my relationship with my family even after divorce…which is HUGE!

      <3 Thank you so much for your input! I appreciate it!!

  8. I also had a list in high school. I actually still have it in an old diary, its funny to look back at all the things I thought I wanted. Oh how life changes a person. Great advice! Thanks for sharing.

    1. 🙂 Ah yes! The diary!!!! My little sister read mine to my parents and got me in trouble over boys all the time!!!! I am learning that things that I wanted I still sort of want, just in a more realistic way. Obviously I still want my picture perfect guy…but the qualities are a lot different in what I look for now compared to then 🙂

      Thanks for the love Momma!!!

  9. These are some really great points of advice. I think we are all still very much growing and figuring out who we are at that age and we shouldn’t be trusted with making any massive decisions like that. Everything happens for a reason so obviously you were meant to through that journey to come out the other end stronger and more determined.

    La Belle Sirene 

  10. Your points are all so important!! I’m no expert on love/relationships, but these are the types of wisdom drops my mom would give my sisters and I in high school. Naturally, she met varying levels of success with three teen girls, but I like to think that I’m in such a happy relationship now because of what she shared with us then. I’ll never forget her telling me that if I didn’t love my boyfriend (at the time) the way he was that very minute, then I had no business being with him!

  11. These are some great points. Marriage should be looked with such care and shouldn’t be rushed into. My husband and I were together for 6 years before we got engaged and have been married for 6 years. We don’t take our marriage lightly and I would advise that others do the same.

  12. I really enjoyed reading this post. Even as a person who has been married for almost 12 years now, I can relate. I don’t think divorce is the problem, staying in unhappy relationship or marriage is. I did learn one thing thus far though, and that is respecting my husband’s difference. He doesn’t always dress the way I want him too and is going through this weird style phase but it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I think I learned how to let him br him while I can be me, if that makes any sense. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Awesome advice! I think sometimes we as women feel bad or think we can change a person if we only do this or that. But the truth is, you can’t! They have to want to change. Thanks for these tips– these are great for anyone in a relationship.

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