You’ve gone googly eyed, bought the ring and bent the knee. Now what? This is a question many of us think about, but doubt we’ll ever need to answer. If that sounds like you (or if you’re a married man looking for some like-minded buddies to relate to), today is your lucky day; Reddit just posed the question, “Dear men of Reddit, what is up with the whole ‘marriage is the end of my life’ deal. Why get married if you aren’t excited for it? Or better yet, why is it a trope?”
Men from all corners of the globe responded, revealing the surprising realities of getting married. From bizarre arguments and conflict resolution strategies to “it’s normal to hit a weird patch 3 years in,” these honest (sometimes too much so) answers provide us bachelors with a peek behind the veil, and may (or may not) help you decide if you are ready to tie the knot.
No Marriage Is Perfect
However perfect your relationship may seem from the outside (or however perfect it may start out); we all have our dirt. In order to deal with this, the consensus was—unless it’s something serious—don’t obsess over it: “When you love someone, you accept their eh, maybe 10%, dirt.” Remember: give and take. Unless your past (and current actions) are spotless, you shouldn’t expect the same from your partner.
Don’t Stay Engaged For Too Long
Another insight that came out of the thread is that staying engaged for too long can add unhealthy pressure to your relationship: “Been in a relationship for three years with my fiance and the idea of marriage is becoming unattractive because of all the issues we’ve been having.” While there is definitely some truth to this, remember: it depends on your relationship. Some people might be quite happy to live in anticipation for 3 years. Others may not…
Counselling Is Always Useful
Whether or not it saves your relationship or leads to divorce, counselling has a way of leading you towards (or at least in the general direction of) the right path. As one man pointed out: “I’m not saying every relationship is worth sticking out; sometimes it is better to move on. But if you had help working through the issues, you may realise it is something you want. Either way the relationship goes, couples counselling could be very helpful.”
It’s Normal To Hit A Weird Patch 3 Years In
“I think it’s normal to hit a weird patch at about 3 years in,” one man said. “It’s when the infatuation phase is truly worn off. If you can work through it (couples therapy!) it could still be a really wonderful relationship. Discuss with your partner, don’t let the issues fester, because they’ll only get worse.”
Living Together Beforehand Doesn’t Always Help
Although most people assume that living together before you get married is a smart approach, one man disagreed: “Statistically couples who live together for longer than two years get married less often.” Whether or not he has cherry picked his statistics, it’s an interesting thought that, “If you’ve already lived out all of the mystery, there’s not a lot of reason to get married. The incentive leaves.” We would argue, however, that whether or not you get married before you move in together, you will face this problem anyway.
You Will Need To Learn The Difference Between ‘Dirt’ & A Serious Issue
All couples have the odd disagreement. But, as many a commenter pointed out, “Their dirt should never harm you the SO, or ever make you feel bad about yourself long-term. You’ll always disagree and nasty things get said in arguments.” But in a healthy relationship, “Genuine understanding and forgiveness should always come (maybe half way happy knowing life is about harmony which may require meeting in the middle).”
Don’t Let Issues Fester
Although most of the responses came from men, one woman added her two cents, explaining how much it helped her to deal with issues as soon as possible: “My hubby asked early in our relationship that we always talk things through, never go to bed angry… You both should always feel set back to right after discord.”
If You Settle, You’ll Regret It
This one is fairly self explanatory: but there are still a lot of people that need to hear it: “If you both aren’t absolutely googley-eyed about each other long past when you are married, please do yourself a favour. Don’t get married. Marry for deep love. You’ll find the person especially if you’re positive and keep looking. Trust your heart (intuition) always. If the little niggle continues, run like hell. Your life belongs to you and no one else.”
Don’t Listen To Everything Your Relatives Say
While your relatives might have some gems of advice for you, don’t feel compelled to trust all of it, especially if it doesn’t feel right. As one unfortunate man discovered—the hard way: “I read some stupid sounding advice on reddit from some random dude’s grandma. She said to never get married unless you’ve already fallen out of love once. For some reason it stuck in my mind despite me finding it stupid.”
“Broke up with my girlfriend. Then 6 months later I wanted her back and she said she’d only come back if we were serious. Married now and due to my time away and subsequently crawling back I’ve realised just how important it is to fight to keep the relationship healthy so we don’t go through that again.”
Marriage Isn’t An Excuse To Stop Being Charming
“People don’t understand that a good marriage takes work,” one guy warned. “You have to continue to date your wife; if not you will just turn into to roommates… then the thoughts of regret come in.”