Im getting married

7 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Getting Married


Melanie Pinola

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No matter how much advice you get before getting married, nothing can quite prepare you for what it’s really like. Over the years I’ve been married, I’ve learned a few things I didn’t expect about what life after the wedding would be like. Here are the things I think everyone should consider before they get married.

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Most of the things I’ve learned apply to both cohabitation and marriage, except this one: Getting married really is different than living together unmarried even for many years. It’s not just the many legal and financial benefits of marriage, though. There’s a psychological difference.

My husband and I lived together for several years before getting engaged, and dated several years before that, so it’s not like there was much to adjust to after getting married. But maybe it’s the months of preparing for a wedding (and investing thousands in it) or the knowledge of how difficult (and also expensive) divorce can be that makes the commitment more ironclad, for both you and those around you. This is it. 

As soon as the wedding vows are exchanged, you’re on a different, accelerated life path. Before, you were being nagged about when you were going to get married. Now friends and family will be asking when you’re going to have a baby (a relationship- and life-changer on its own). If you have that baby, you’ll be asked when you’re going to give the kid a brother or sister. Everyone’s in such a hurry.

Even if you’re really ready for marriage and can picture the entire rest of your lives together, it’s normal to wake up some days and think, “Holy shit, I’m married forever and ever?”

Everyone knows marriage is a big commitment, of course, but even when getting married is a natural step in your happy relationship, years later when you’re more appreciative of the decades you have ahead of yourselves, you can be floored by how extraordinary it is to commit the remainder of your life to one person.

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You know the saying “We’re not losing a daughter, we’re gaining a son-in-law”? Well, it works in the reverse, too: You’re inheriting the obligations, stresses, and, yes, benefits, of a whole new family. You might get along superbly with your significant other’s family now, but once you’re married, they could transform into the in-laws from hell, because now you’re cemented to your partner and they claim you as one of their own.

I’m the quiet sort of person who needs her space, but my husband’s family is full of extroverts who don’t really understand that perspective. That’s caused a lot more grief over the years than it should have (I wish we had this article back then), but I’m lucky that my husband understands me and mediates when necessary.

Others aren’t so lucky. I’ve seen couples on the brink of divorce over in-law issues rather than problems specifically between the couples themselves, so my advice would be for both sides to imagine each other’s family at their worst and how you two might handle any issues before they got bigger than the both of you. And, to be fair, know that bonding with your partner’s family at a deeper level and becoming the family member they always wanted is another surprising perk of marriage.

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There’s a scene in This Is 40 where Paul Rudd’s character forces his onscreen wife, Leslie Mann, to inspect his naked bottom for hemorrhoids. It might not be as extreme as that for all couples, but after being married for some time, the raw and crude things are no longer, well, raw or crude. In fact, they’re like curiosities and, sometimes, obligations.

You might ask or be asked to evaluate nose hair or pull off a blackened fingernail—things you would never do or ask while dating—because now you two are one and almost nothing is embarrassing anymore. It’s nice to always have someone there to tell you if you have broccoli between your teeth and not feel judged by it.

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I used to think that the best test of whether you could live with someone else forever is to ask yourself if you could put up with their biggest flaw—or the worst version of this person—for the rest of your life. I still think that’s a good exercise, since people become more themselves as they age—their desires, strengths, and flaws get sharper. If your partner is somewhat of a curmudgeon now, he or she will probably only become crankier and more stubborn as the years go by. Conversely, the best things you love about a person could hold you steady through the inevitable tough times.

But now I think that it’s the little things you have to look for, because in the day-in/day-out of marriage, the little things add up. Little annoyances like a nail biting habit or leaving filled water glasses everywhere are really easy to overlook during a relationship when the bigger things—the way your partner makes you laugh or how beautiful you feel around him or her—attract your attention more. When we’re “in love” we tend not to notice the small things that could drive you crazy months later, like hanging the toilet paper the wrong way.

On the flip side, it’s also the small acts of everyday kindness, respect and love that keep a marriage going. Romantic gestures like buying flowers or a surprise date out are great, but they don’t hold a candle to mundane things like unclogging a drain or taking over child-bathing duty. Doing chores becomes sexy in a way you would never imagine.

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The old adage that you can’t change someone by marrying them still holds true. You shouldn’t fall prey to “fixer-upper bias,” and you probably don’t want anyone to change you either. The truth is, though, you’re probably both going to have to change or adapt, as a choice, to keep the energy and love alive.

The two biggest things are learning how to fight more productively and how to communicate in ways that might not be natural to you but make more sense to the other person. Gary Chapman, who literally wrote the book on what people should know before they get married, says that people have different “love languages” or ways they express and receive love best.

I’m not naturally a “toucher” but am learning how significant just holding hands can be. It can take a long time to learn what your partner’s silences mean (and don’t mean), that grudges can kill a relationship, and how to adapt to the ups and downs that life is going to throw at you both.

Every couple should go through at least one really tough time together before they get married, just to see how the other person handles such things.

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As it turns out, Paul Reiser’s 1995 book Couplehood explains the idea of going from a singular person to an entity pretty well:

The problem is, when two people live together, there is no more Business of Your Own. Your Own Business is closed. You’ve merged and gone public. You have to run everything by the partners. And if there are too many conflicts of interest, the business may go under, freeing the partners to once again open up smaller concerns by themselves.

Like all businesses, couples engage in endless meetings to discuss areas of management concern and division of labor.

“You know, we really should call the post office and tell them to hold our mail while we’re away.”

“We? You mean me, don’t you?”

“No, I mean we. I didn’t say ‘you.’ I said ‘we.’ You or me.”

“Oh really? Are you ever going to call the post office?”

A moment to think. “No.”

“Then you mean ‘me,’ don’t you?”


Being part of a permanent team has its benefits. You come to rely on the other person to remember and take care of certain information (Psychologists call this transactive memory). I don’t have to worry about making plans with our friends or not getting lost when driving, and he doesn’t have to worry about the bills or after-school activities. (Also, I wish I had known at the start that there were some things he’ll willingly do that I just assumed he hated, because I hate them: things like grocery shopping and getting rid of telemarketers. I would’ve had him do those things sooner.)

On the other hand, now you have to put the marriage above everything else, and might even forget what you were like when you were single and “free.” It’s not a bad thing, necessarily. It’s just a lot of responsibility, being responsible to someone else.

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You might think once you’ve finally settled down you can relax and live happily ever after, but nothing can be farther from the truth. The years jumble together, and if you’re not careful you’ll easily take the marriage for granted.

I didn’t know it over the years, but I think the thing that’s made the most difference for my marriage is our regular vacations and other traditions—things that force us to take stock again in our relationship and reconnect on a deep level. Just “being in love” isn’t enough to make a marriage work.

Even after decades of living together, you’ll be learning things about your partner, bit by bit, that might surprise you—or they’ll suddenly change or have different priorities and needs (“Really, you want to become a scuba diver now?” and “How come you never told me you don’t like olives?”). It’s like a dance, and you both have to keep up with each other. But what a beautiful dance it can be.

This story was originally published in October 2013 and was updated on May 25, 2021 in slideshow format and to meet Lifehacker style guidelines.

15 Signs You're Ready for Marriage

  • Relationships
  • Love & Dating

Here's how to know it's time to take the next step.


Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte Grainger

Charlotte Grainger is a freelance writer in Sheffield, England. Her specialties include lifestyle, relationships, health, and nutrition.

Brides's Editorial Guidelines

Updated on 09/15/22

Reviewed by

Minaa B.

Reviewed by Minaa B.

Minaa B. is a writer, mental health professional, and founder of Minaa B. Consulting.

Brides's Editorial Guidelines

Licensed Master Social Worker

Unsplash / Design by Michela Buttignol

The dating game can be tough, so when you meet someone and it simply clicks, it's no surprise that you'd want to commit to a lifetime together. Unfortunately, a relationship going well isn't the one and only indicator that you're ready for marriage. So, how can you know? If you had a crystal ball—and you believed that it would work—you’d gaze into its depths and ask but one question: "Should I get married?"

Determining whether you’re ready for marriage is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. To help, we spoke to relationship expert Pareen Sehat, MC, RCC, to learn the 15 signs you’re ready to tie the knot.  

Meet the Expert

Pareen Sehat, MC, RCC, is the clinical director of Well Beings Counseling. She is a registered counselor with the BCACC.

Michela Buttignol/Brides

01 of 15

You trust your partner.

The ability to trust one another is the foundation of any successful relationship. Without it, you may have love, but your marriage will be fraught with tension. "This is so significant," explains Sehat. "Think of any healthy relationship in your life, from significant other to a business partnership. Is there trust there?"

02 of 15

Your goals align.

Our lives rarely follow one straight road —they wind and twist and turn. Do you know where you’re headed? And, more importantly, have you had the talk with your partner. "It's hard to be on the same page when you’re moving in different directions," says Sehat. "You don’t need to have the same goals but if you can support each other for the benefit of the relationship then you're in a good place. Being open and honest about this from the beginning can avoid a lot of frustration down the road." 

03 of 15

You feel safe with them.

Feeling safe and secure in the relationship will save you years of heartache when you’re married. "The foundation of this starts with lack of judgment," says Sehat. "Can you be yourself around this individual? If you are trying your best to be someone else, I would encourage you to imagine what that would feel like for years to come. The influence on your self-esteem and anxiety this could produce."

04 of 15

You have seen hard times.

Chances are, you will face some stumbling blocks in life, so it's important to consider whether or not you and your partner are prepared to battle them hand-in-hand. "Yes, unproblematic love and joy in a relationship can be a beautiful thing," says Sehat. "However, tackling a difficult goal together can build so much strength and trust in a marriage."

05 of 15

You want a marriage not a wedding.

If you’re dreaming of walking down the aisle and sharing those vows, do you ever picture what happens next? The wedding is a celebration, however, your marriage needs to be strong enough to last a lifetime. "Can you see a future with this person past your wedding date?" asks Sehat. "Do you imagine growing old with them?" Be completely honest with yourself here.  

06 of 15

Your family likes your partner.

Introducing a new partner to your family is a huge step. While you don’t want to base your decision on what your family thinks, their opinions may sway whether you marry. "Although we have no control over this factor, it can be very important," says Sehat. "Your family's acceptance of your partner can help facilitate the most healthy version of your marriage. It often takes time to get there. Be patient, they are building trust too!"

07 of 15

You like your partner.

"This may seem like an obvious point, so let’s clarify," says Sehat. Like and love is not the same. You can be entirely infatuated with someone, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t like and respect them. "We have established that you love them but do you like who they are?" she asks. "Do you admire them? Do you enjoy their company?" Take a step back and really think about these questions. 

08 of 15

You can afford to get married.

Saying "I do" is not cheap. "A wedding is most likely your first significant endeavor as a couple," explains Sehat. "If you can’t afford the wedding of your dreams right now, take some time to save for this and avoid financial strain right off the bat."

09 of 15

You talk openly about the future.

Where do you see things heading, honestly? "Are you open to having conversations with your partner about the future?" asks Sehat. "If you are, it means that you see them as a part of that future. It also shows that you’re not afraid to spend your life with them and are ready for marriage. "

10 of 15

You like who you are around them.

Notice how you act and feel when you are around your partner. Is it a version of yourself that you like? "A compatible partner can bring out the best in you," says Sehat. "They push you to become a better version of yourself and can encourage a positive outlook on life."

11 of 15

You both put effort into the relationship.

Are you playing a one-sided game of table tennis? If you’re putting all the work in and getting little in return, you might want to put a hold on the wedding bells. "A successful marriage is never one-sided," says Sehat. "When both parties are willing to put in the work it is a good sign that you are ready for marriage."

12 of 15

You have your own lives.

The best relationships are the ones in which partners can move apart and come back together again. "Marriage is not about losing your individuality," advises Sehat. "You can pursue your own interests, have your own hobbies, have your own friends, and you can have a healthy marriage.

13 of 15

You can talk about finances.

Money is always a big issue. "Probably the least romantic, but most important point," says Sehat. "Both you and your partner should be comfortable discussing finances and coming up with a suitable budget, not just for the wedding but for your life. This shows that you’re ready to manage a household and a marriage." It may not be comfortable but sit down and talk about this pronto. 

14 of 15

You’re doing it for the right reasons.

Before you pop the question, check in with yourself. What is motivating this decision? "Sadly, the most obvious and common reasons are not exactly motivated by the nicest things," says Sehat. "Acquiring wealth, unplanned pregnancies, immigration, or even justification of your commitment after a big mistake." 

15 of 15

You’re in it for the long haul.

Do you see this relationship lasting a lifetime? "Deep and instantaneous infatuation, or a pleasant obsession, is often confused for love," says Sehat. "You may find yourself trying to beat the clock with this fading flame. Marrying quickly may be a desperate act to hold onto this intoxicating feeling."

You Need These 6 Relationship Skills for a Successful Marriage

Why dream of getting married: interpretation of dreams about marriage

A wedding for a girl is one of the most desired events in life. White dress, rings, veil, happy faces of the bride and groom - can there be a more joyful and bright picture that evokes a smile and warm feelings? The marriage seen in a dream may simply be a projection of your desires: perhaps in your soul you have been waiting for a proposal from your chosen one for a long time? Or just dream of a prince on a white horse and a natural ending. But there are other options that explain why you dream of getting married. And not all interpretations are positive. In order to understand what the dream warns about, you need to remember all the details and evaluate your emotions that you experienced at night and after waking up. Remember whether the marriage was forced, whether you are satisfied with your chosen one, how you looked at that moment. Having specified all these details, you can find an interpretation of your dream in one of the popular dream books and find out how your life can change in the near future, what obstacles you should pay attention to and what to fear.

Get married in Miller's dream book

The interpreter believes that such a dream is a sign of the subconscious, which signals internal problems with self-esteem. Most likely, in reality you experience a lack of attention of the opposite sex. To improve your personal life, you need to get rid of complexes and stop signs that prevent you from finding a common language with the opposite sex. Allow yourself to manifest desires, do not hide aspirations, and everything will work out.

It is also worth clarifying how you looked during the marriage ceremony: if you got married with a beautiful haircut, expect a salary increase, good news and a positive resolution of the problem situations that you encountered.

If in a dream you choose an engagement ring, then in reality you will encounter people who will want to deceive you. Be careful in judging others and do not trust them recklessly.

In a dream you may see that you are getting married already pregnant. This only says that you have too high requirements for your gentleman, and this causes inconvenience to both. Be simple and appreciate what the person who happened to be around gives you.

Get married in the dream book of AstroMeridian

For a woman, marriage is a rite of initiation, entry into a new life. In a dream, such a turn of events means that in reality good changes await you, a pleasant surprise, a new job, a move, an unexpected and very profitable offer. For a girl, this can mean a real marriage. For a married woman, such a dream portends the fulfillment of a cherished dream, but then she should be more careful, because she can get into a delicate situation or get burdensome debts.

Get married in Furtsev's dream book

If a girl in a dream sees how she is getting married, then this is a symbol of the fact that she is already tired of loneliness, she really wants to find a soul mate, but does not dare to take the first step. You should listen to the voice of your subconscious and either try to solve your internal problems on your own, or turn to specialists. Perhaps you can discuss your difficulties with loved ones or friends and they will give advice that will help you overcome your fears.

If in a dream you try on a wedding dress and show it to people around you, it means that you appreciate the beauty of your own body, you know how to properly present yourself and evoke admiring glances of others.

But if you marry the wrong man, although in reality the wedding has already been scheduled and should take place soon, it just means that you made the right and good choice and the newlyweds will be fine.

Get married in Tsvetkov's dream book

The interpreter is sure that for a correct answer it is important to remember the details of the wedding ceremony. If you got married noisily, with a large number of guests, this may indicate that sadness and failure await the dreamer.

If in a dream you talk with guests and discuss your marriage a lot, you may face difficulties in solving business and work issues. You should be prepared for this and think in advance about who will help solve the difficulties that have arisen.

If the dream is focused on the wedding dance, this may indicate that you are experiencing certain difficulties in communicating with your partner and are not sure that you are meant for each other. Analyze your feelings and talk with your soulmate.

If a girl in a dream sees how she is getting married, then this is a symbol of the fact that she is already tired of loneliness. Photo:

Getting married in Freud's dream book

An interesting approach to explaining the plot of this dream in Freud's dream book. The psychologist believes that if you get married in a dream, then in reality you are not satisfied with your personal life and its intimate sphere. Most likely, you are afraid of betrayal and notorious, you cannot afford to follow your desires.

Are you getting married and consider yourself in a wedding dress? Such a dream indicates that you are a rather narcissistic person, obsessed with satisfying your own needs. And if you show a wedding dress to people around you, then this is also a sign that you like yourself, be proud of your body, but in general this is only good for you.

A married lady may have a dream about marriage if she dreams of changes in her personal life or is dissatisfied with her relationship with her husband.

Sad memories are promised by a dream in which a girl marries a former gentleman. Do not regret the past, let it go and boldly step into a new beautiful life.

A dream about marriage can also be dreamed of by a pregnant woman, this will indicate that she is in for tedious chores.

Get married in Loff's dream book

Good luck and a happy marriage are foreshadowed by a dream that a girl had and in which she is not only present at the wedding ceremony, but also receives genuine pleasure from it. It also portends a speedy resolution of exciting issues and problems, good luck in business.

But if a wedding is dreamed of by a young girl who cannot understand in any way where her place is at this ceremony, then the dreamer will have to face the fact that the solution of an important issue for her will be constantly delayed.

Also, inhibition in business portends a dream in which a girl marries fictitiously, but if an unloved man leads the dreamer down the aisle, this indicates that she amuses herself with vain hopes.

Get married in Vanga's dream book

The interpreter believes that, first of all, such a dream portends marriage in real life. If there is already a young man next to you - wait for an offer, but if you are still alone - do not miss your fate, which will appear very soon.

In addition, such a dream may say that in the near future you will begin a new life, and all those problems that tormented you before will sink into oblivion and will no longer worry you.

A wedding that you see as if from the outside is a sign that in real life you will face a serious problem and you will have to look for a solution for it. However, it can completely change your life.

If in a dream you admire someone else's wedding, this may mean that your relationship with your loved one is full of uncertainty and uncertainty. You do not have enough male attention and for this you are even ready to offend the person who is next to you. It is worth reconsidering your behavior and it will only benefit you.

Get married in the Romantic dream book

Interpreters believe that such a dream can develop according to several plot options. If the dreamer herself marries, this means that in reality love awaits her. An unmarried girl may dream that her friends are getting married, and this will mean that she herself will soon have to start a family.

If a married woman dreams of a wedding, then this is a hint that she should take a closer look at her husband's behavior, perhaps he is cheating. But if in a dream she marries her husband, then passion will flare up again between them and a romantic mood will appear.

If you dream that you are getting married while pregnant, the subconscious hints that you are trying to solve your psychological problems through marriage. You should not approach such a serious issue with such expectations.

If a stranger marries in your dream, it means that everything will be fine in your personal life.

Getting married in Miss Hasse's dream book

If you happen to get married in a dream, this is a good symbol. Such a dream indicates that you are in a positive mood, complete harmony has come in life. Also, such a dream can promise a meeting with a person who in the future may become your husband. And everything will be fine in your personal life.

Who had a dream about marriage: a girl, a woman, an old lady

If a young girl had a dream about getting married, then in reality she worries about her status and either dreams of marriage, or is very afraid of it. If a man whom you really value in reality leads down the aisle, then you have made the right choice and are ready to become his wife for real.

A woman who already has a family can also see a dream in which she is getting married. This will mean that in reality you are unhappy with your relationship with your spouse, you suffer from his inattention. Talk to your husband, discuss your feelings and listen to his arguments. Perhaps the problem is mutual and it can only be solved together. The main thing is to show understanding.

For an elderly woman, a dream in which she gets married portends improvements in health and good mood. In life, joyful events will occur that will cause a smile. Also, for an elderly woman, such a dream may portend a move. If she marries her husband, then this indicates that confidence and peace will come in her life.

Astrologer's comment

Elena Kuznetsova, Vedic astrologer, female psychologist :

Marriage in astrology is associated with Venus. Venus is associated with manifestations of love in our lives, with our ability to feel beautiful, to enjoy life. Perhaps the time has come when changes in this area are very likely for you, you need to recognize some feelings in yourself. For unmarried girls, this may be a sign of a real relationship. In any case, your feelings require attention! The power of Venus is manifested not only in personal relationships. It could be your creative, professional project that has reached the stage of major changes and needs your love and attention!

How I explain to my children why I'm getting married again

Posted at 13:59h on Blogchain by Natalya

I'm getting married in a month. There are many concerns: a restaurant, a limousine. Dress, of course, to the floor. Withered rose shade. Invitations for guests.

My favorite guests are a separate headache. Men sincerely congratulate me. And the girlfriends, as one, roll their eyes: “You again ?!”

Well, yes. I again. And by the way, I didn’t answer a single one: “And you still never?”

Why spoil the party, right?

I'm getting married. Yes, for the fifth time. And I have four children. Yes, from four husbands.

Bet I know your next question? Yes, if God willing, I will give birth to my husband's child.

All envious clucking I know in advance. I easily explain to my children why each of them has their own dad. I can write here too.

First, each of my children was born in love. Just because his mom and dad loved each other and wanted the baby to continue this love.

Secondly, God's blessing has always been with us. I didn’t kill any of my children (yes, I’m talking about the abortions of well-meaning gossips). Unlike many, I gave birth easily and got pregnant as soon as I wanted to. I have never destroyed someone else's family. I never married with a belly - why?

Third, I have always been my husband's favorite woman. And not a hateful home processor “I always do everything myself.” Like you, for example.

And I always had a husband for all problems. In love with me, not with Lenka from the logistics department. Unlike you and Lenka, I also don’t go on diets, but I’m proud of my every kilogram. And I don’t work on the female essence in trainings. They give me jewelry boxes anyway. On all untreated parts of the body.

I can tell each of my daughters a lot of good things about her father.

Karim, father of Venus, very cheerful, easy-going. Electric broom. He brought me to Moscow, for which I thank you. And my daughter sings and dances thanks to him. True, as he began to drink, I kicked him out.

Nikolai, Polina's father, on the contrary: very serious, responsible. Economic. He bought us an apartment, and thanks to him. But boring, of course. I quickly fell in love with him. For a long time I did not give a divorce.

But then his friend Sasha fell in love with me. Well, what was the point of making me jealous of all strangers? Milana was born with Sasha. He did not keep me at home, on the contrary, he took me to work. Then I opened my own online store. And I'm still grateful to him. But his mother was crazy. She disliked me, and poor Sasha jumped between us like a ping-pong ball. I got tired of it, I sent it to my home address.

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