You think you know a person. You date for a while, tell each other your secrets, and before you know it, it’s nine months later and you’re waking up next to your husband without even bothering to conceal your morning breath. Yup – marriage has happened to me. I mean you. It’s one of the most amazing trips you will ever take, but there is definitely no brochure that sufficiently prepares you for the journey. Joel and I have had four or so glorious months of living, loving, and discovering. Every day presents a blank page for us to create a brand new script, as we realise things about each other and ourselves we didn’t exactly know before. So if you’re dating or planning to be married, here are some secrets about marriage that nobody readily tells you. This stuff was definitely not on the list of topics the marriage counsellor discussed with us.
- Farting is funny
We attended a barbeque at a friend’s house one lovely Sunday evening. While we were there laughing and engaging in good, clean fun, the wonderfully awkward topic of farting came up. My husband proceeded to share that since he’d known me, I had never farted. Not that he had smelled anyway. No, I didn’t retreat in embarrassment. Instead, pretty soon after, I let him pay – in the best possible currency. Yup, I proved him wrong and rubbed his nose in it. I can’t remember what I had eaten, I’m thinking broccoli, but for quite a few hours, you couldn’t light a match in our house, as I let those silent killers fly. Now he knows with great certainty, especially after his near death experience while being under the covers with me, that his wife farts. On his part, he tends to ‘pull chairs’ very loudly, and this really cracks us up.
- Your stuff is no longer yours
Did you grow up in a household where any food in the fridge was fair game no matter who put it there? I didn’t. We were a poor family, but what was yours was yours. So you can imagine my total shock and dismay when my husband kept making the mistake of using things that were mine. It doesn’t matter if he has his, because there is clearly something special about mine. He gets into lotions, moisturizers, hair products, my comb, my headphones, my side of the bed, and the list goes on. At this point, I have pretty much relinquished ownership of all but my clothes, which strangely I would be willing to share if he would but ask. Go figure.
- You don’t groom as much
Before I got married, I would look at those couples who had jumped the broom and come out on the other side with pot bellies, ashy feet, curlers in their hair and unshaved legs, and vow it would never happen to us. We are still resolute about this, for the record. However, after we got married, I realised that the ‘fixing up myself’ space I had while we were living apart has vanished into thin air. And with us spending as much time together as we do (I work from home and he’s a full time student), we are usually around the house in underwear, sporting feet that need lotion and hair that needs to be combed. It seems almost impossible, and at times unnecessary, to attempt to make an effort here, but I do anyway. It’s totally worth it when he gets home and I’ve ditched my usual cut-off shorts and ragged T-shirt for something nicer. For those who don’t bother to, I totally get it now, pot belly excluded.
- Guilt-free sex is ridiculously amazing
This post wouldn’t be complete without some hip-bumping commentary. Wink, wink! You might want to pause for a second and take a quick look at 1 Corinthians 4 and verse 7. I am totally enjoying living this out. Ooooh weeeee!!! Although we are Christians, neither of us entered marriage as a virgin. Said differently, we both knew what it was like to have sex outside of marriage. To make the transition from those kinds of relationships to a space where you are doing what you should is heavenly. Sex minus the guilt is so uninhibited. I feel safe with my husband and can truly open up and give him that booty, knowing the feeling is mutual.
- Men don’t know when clothes are old
Before your stuff is combined, it is a good idea to do some spring cleaning, with the main aim being to get rid of your old crap. Don’t be surprised though, if your new husband brings his favourite power rangers underwear to the party, which had an elasticised waistband when he got them on his eighth birthday. And definitely don’t be alarmed if his clothes have rips and he tried to sew a blue shirt with pink thread, bless his heart. And you shouldn’t be bothered by the fact that all of his socks have holes. Don’t bat an eyelid. Just take your time and toss the abominables, one item at a time. Everyone loves new clothes, so just replace them. Chances are he won’t notice a thing.
- Use the bathroom first
This is perhaps the best piece of advice I can give to aspiring wives. Regardless of the nature of your visit, if your husband needs to go too, lock him out, push him out of the way, trip him, tell him his favourite super hero is at the door, distract him with bacon or basketball, but use the bathroom first. It makes for a happier life for both of you.
- Proof of life
Joel and I are always checking on each other. And I mean while we are in the house, together. Once in separate rooms, there is a constant need to know if the other person is okay. Something else I do is to make sure he is still alive when he’s sleeping. While I hate the sound of him snoring (which he denies that he does), it’s proof that all is well. In the absence of this, I feel around in the dark for an arm, checking if there’s a pulse, or I touch his back for the gentle rising and falling which give proof of life. Inexplicable, but it’s something we do.
Have these secrets shed any light on what marriage is really like? What item on the list has surprised you the most? Leave a comment with your thoughts. I can’t wait to hear from you!