59 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage

Pew Research Center has recently analyzed government data and found out that millennials are taking a different path in forming, or rather not forming, families. Millennials are less likely to live with a family of their own than previous generations were at the same stage of life.

We can safely say that marriage is not the trendiest thing among 23-38-year-olds right now, and given that, it’s only fair how little we know about what it is like to form a family unit. So when someone asked married folks “What’s something you wish unmarried people knew?” on r/AskReddit, it immediately turned into an illuminating thread.

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The honest answers can seriously change the way you think of marriage, finally showing how incredibly hard, yet rewarding navigating married life can really be. Have some thoughts to share? Hit us in the comments below!


Having kids is NOT REQUIRED.

My wife and I are having loads of fun just being together. Don’t need kids to be happy.

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Liking your partner is just as important if not more than loving them.

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Be honest always! Once you break trust, you never really get it back. Even if that honesty might cause some momentary discomfort, in the long run, you’re better off because your spouse will trust you.

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Decide whether a fight is worth having. If it doesn’t matter tomorrow, does it really matter today?

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Once the butterflies go away, it’s your job to create butterfly moments.

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Getting married doesn’t mean you’re never going to feel lonely again.

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Getting married will NOT help solve any issues in your relationship.

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Only the couple sets the rules of what their marriage is.
Not your mother, not your friends, not tv…just you.
That actually applies to all relationships.

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Have things you enjoy doing with your spouse that don’t involve sex. The most stable marriages are ones where you and your spouse could be friends if you weren’t married. Goes for dating, too, IMO.

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Live together for at least a year before getting married.

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Talk about whether you want kids or not before things get serious.

Finances are something you manage together. It isn’t something you cede to one spouse for whatever reason. I say this as someone who had to teach my dad how to use an ATM and the online banking site after my mom died.

It’s your relationship. It’s something that belongs to you two. No one else.

Adult up. Both partners need to take in the mental load of managing the house.

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Please pay attention to the red flags. The ones you ignore at the beginning are the ones that will tear you up at the end. Don’t marry because you love feeling loved, make sure you love them too

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Go on a road trip together. Travel together before marriage. Close quarters and tough situations will give you insights into who that other person is.

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Communication may be key but comprehension is the entire treasure chest.

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Focus on your marriage and not just on the wedding.

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Love is a choice, not a feeling.

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The ‘dating phase’ of your life never ends, if you’re doing it right.

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Know that whatever the darkest part of your life you’ve previously experienced was, you’re probably going to go through something equally dark, but with your partner. Having someone who will support you rather than leave you in that moment is pivotal.

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You can do everything right and it can still fail.

Being true to yourself throughout the relationship allows you to be kind to yourself regardless of success or failure.

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I would urge people to consider a low-key wedding. My wife and I eloped, and as far as I can tell, all we missed out on was months of stressful planning, spending an obscene amount of money, and the existential nightmare of having to stand up in front of everyone you know and tell your partner how you feel about them. It was intimate, precious, and the best day of my life, and we didn’t even have to bankrupt our parents for it.

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I have been married over 30 years. I would estimate only 25 of those years has been happily married. There will be s**tty times possibly years. Wait it out unless it’s abuse. People are often unhappy at work or something like that and leave their partner instead of dealing with the true problem. Your spouse should be the one you lean on to get through the outside noise not the first one you blame.

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Marry your friend, not your lover. Be friends first, then lovers.

Also – both should put more in than they take.

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Being married 20 years, I’m guilty of it sometimes too, but being in a long-term relationship like that just makes you an expert on your own relationship. Not on relationships in general. We can sometimes forget that just because it works well in our own life doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for others. When you’re a young couple, dozens of older couples are going to tell you what works for them. The best thing to do is understand that it’s coming from a place of caring, and some of it will be good advice, but you’ve got to just find what works for you.

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Do not rush into marriage, and make sure you have multiple serious talks about everything (few examples: religion, family, friends, goals for near future, goals for future, plan for kids, lifestyle, housing, retirement.)

The reason I say multiple talks is because people grow or change the longer they are with each other.

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You have to choose to be with each other every single day. If you don’t, it will fail.

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If you don’t, prepare for the eventual divorce. Communication is key.

Took me a long time to figure that one out, marriage improved enormously. Been married 14 years and counting.

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The years from when you have kids until the last one is in school are the absolute toughest. Your marriage will suffer. You are responsible for the most minute details of their existence, plus taking care of yourself, plus work. Marriage, at this point, doesn’t stand a chance. But, don’t give up.

I’m not saying that all marriages are destined to last, but I don’t know anyone who didn’t consider divorce sometime during that period. If you both can stick with it, it likely will get better.


Don’t settle. Marry someone you can love when they’re hard to love. Marry someone who can argue in a healthy way. Marry someone who never makes you feel bad for being the way you are, even if they disagree with what you’re doing or saying.


An issue is expecting your spouse to be your everything. It is a balance. You should be able to talk to your spouse about anything but be careful about using them as a therapist. It puts too much emotional burden on them.


You are planning to be together FOREVER. Let your partner go hang with their friends without you occasionally. I knew a couple who had been together for years and husband wanted to go skateboarding with his friends. Wife wanted to sit at home watching tv and told him he “wasn’t allowed” I thought that was absurd. If he’s doing it every day. Sure. But once in a while?

That being said, if hyper codependency is your bag, go for it. But make sure you know it’s your partners bag too. Yknow?


Choose someone you like as a person and whose company you genuinely enjoy. Don’t just choose them because they are cute, sexy, wealthy, tick all the boxes you have in your head about what a partner should look like.

You will spend a LOT of time with the person you marry. When you come home from a hard day at work, when you are sick, family gatherings, holidays, vacations, down time, I just wanna chill moments, weddings, funerals, dinners, breakfasts, for about 60 years if you are lucky…

That is a long .ss time. You better enjoy their company.

Tldr: if you can’t stand the idea of sharing 5x52x60= 15600 meals with a person, don’t marry them.


Trust is a verb, not a state of being. You have to be mindful of it, to trust each other.
Nobody is right 100% of the time.
True love does not die but it does change shape a lot. And then it changes again.

Today is our 29th anniversary!


My wife is my favorite person in the whole world, even after 17 years of marriage and 5 kids. I like her more than I like you, so don’t expect me to take your side.


Don’t listen to people who simply respond “Don’t do it”. Just because they had a s**tty marriage doesn’t mean you will. Chances are they are the cause of their s**tty marriage but now think the concept of marriage is flawed when really it’s just bc they were a bad spouse.


People still need friendships and other relationships outside of just with their spouse. They can’t take care of every emotional need you have. I’ve known many people who ignore those outside relationships when they get married and later regret it.


Advice my dad (married 32 years at the time) gave to my newlywed cousin: “no matter what, just keep ooooon smilin’!”

Folks, do not, I repeat, DO NOT do this! If your relationship gets to the point where you have to pretend to be happy in order to keep your partner from escalating the bulls**t, you need to get the f**k outta dodge.


Before my wedding, a friend shared this wisdom: When you marry someone, you are not only marrying the person standing before you today, but also every future iteration of who they will become.


Marriage can’t always be 50/50. People have hard days and can’t always manage everything. Some days might be 60/40 and others might be 20/80. Some days you’ll need more help and other days your spouse will need support. Part of being married is being there for the other person when they can’t be there for you on occasion.

If the marriage becomes a permanent state of 80/20 then things need to change, but no marriage involves two perfect people who never have a hard day.


Marriage changes NOTHING, or at least nothing on the surface, yes there are financial and legal hangers but in terms of day to day, nope, nada, nothing. It’s just like things were before.

(I say this because my friends ex wife seemed to think something would change when they got married, was surprised when it didn’t….and then went off the rails till they got a divorce)


It’s totally okay to sleep in separate beds or even separate rooms if that’s what works for you. I am not going to be a good partner if I only get four hours of sleep because I was listening to him snore all night, or if jobs require different sleeping schedules and you take a while to get to sleep.


When you get married it is now you and your partner vs the world. You are vowing to value your partner above everyone and everything else. This doesn’t mean you can’t have friends. It means that if your partner needs you and your friend needs you at the same time you default to your partner. End. Of. Story.

And never stop talking to one another. Schedule time to sit down and talk about important things, goals, finances, plans for the week. Whatever works. Just keep talking.


It requires both to make it work


I wasn’t a good partner until I got my own [stuff] figured out.


Attraction comes and goes, but staying committed through it will really help you feel accepted and loved. Often the attraction differential doesn’t kick in during dating.

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It’s your marriage and nobody else’s business. Don’t ever judge the success or failure of your marriage by what other marriages APPEAR to be.


Even though you get married, your relationship will keep evolving. You might not be in that “honeymoon” phase of in love, but you still love and respect the person that you are with.
Both of you will change as people as the relationship gets older, but that’s not a bad thing. Life is change.

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Fights/quarrels will happen, but nowhere near as frequently as media makes it out to be. My wife and I are so tired of shows and movies saying “we’re married so of course we’re going to fight. We have lots of fights ahead.” Fighting is not a norm of being married. If you’re fighting a lot, that’s not good and isn’t a sign to get married just because fighting is “inevitable”, because it’s not.

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Your spouse is going to change. They will not be the same person you married 2, 5, 10, 20 years ago. Then once you’ve learned that, they will change again. Just like you will evolve and change as time goes by.

Don’t be keyed in on the idea of the person you married on your wedding day. You need to understand how to grow with them and love them for who they are at that moment.

Sometimes you need to “break up with them.” My wife and I went through a rut around our 7th year of marriage. We had become completely different people and we needed to find a way to fall in love again.

I had to forget everything I knew about the woman that I married and get to know this “new” woman that was next to me. Our hobbies and interests have changed and so I had to take the time to get to know those things about her. Our spiritual beliefs had changed. I had to open myself up and learn about her new journey to find herself.

Marriage is an ever adapting and evolving relationship. It’s a ton of emotional work but if you can let go of your preconceptions of that person a

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Talk to your partner before you make decisions. I can’t even tell you how much s**t I get from my single friends when I tell them I’ll ‘check with my husband’ before agreeing to do something, but usually it’s just to make sure we don’t have something else going on that I forgot about. It’s not asking permission, it’s being considerate of your partner. It’s especially true if you have kids. No, I don’t ask my husband to ‘babysit,’ but it would be pretty s**tty for me to just say, ‘Oh, hey, I’m going out tonight. Have fun with a couple of toddlers by yourself and with no notice!’ And he treats me with the same respect.

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You marry a family. Even if your partner has mostly severed ties with their biological family and has set clear boundaries, and even if you think you love your partner’s family and they’re amazing. Your spouse’s family is not going to do things the way you and your family do, but now you have a certain amount of responsibility for this extended family. And even when you have an amazing relationship with your partner, their family will sometimes affect your relationship. Pay attention to the family you are marrying into.


Never color your wife poorly to your friends or family ever. What ever frustrations you have with her are yours to sort out with her. If you need to “vent” pick a neutral disposable third party like a therapist some one who you keep in touch with but is completely removed from your daily weekly monthly life. The farther the better. Your Indonesian childhood pen pal is perfect.


It’s okay to use separate blankets. No one likes to wake up with cold ass cheeks because the other person “stole” the blanket!


Marry someone with a kind heart, don’t marry anyone with a bad temper. I married both types in separate marriages so I know.


It’s normal to be home at the same time and not interact. There are plenty of times where I’m in one room watching a show and my husband is in another room watching a different show.


Never stop working at it. Just because you’re married means you can go on autopilot. People get bored and when they’re bored and dealing with finances and children is when they consider opting out.

Doesn’t need to constantly be one ups or new toys. Small notes if your first up and out to work. Flowers or chocolates. Small acts of service have always gotten my partner’s engine going.


Marriage is not for the faint of heart. There will be times when you think it’s over, but if you’re strong, honest and willing to work on yourselves, it can last. But it’s a lot of really, deeply wanting to make it work and be willing to leave each of your comfort zones in favor of growth.


This is from my mom, she said that she wished that she knew my dad and his parents more before she married him, and that if she did she wouldn’t have married him 100%. Getting married to my [jerk] of a dad was one of her worst life decisions ever.


It’s not really that hard to compromise if you actually love the other person because their happiness fuels yours.


I saw something the other day that reinforced one of my core beliefs about marriage. It was some anecdote about a guy explaining why he goes after married women … “when you go after a single woman it’s you vs. every man that woman meets. When you go after a married woman it’s you vs one guy.” Which is kinda funny but also disturbingly true. Anyway, my core belief about marriage is to never stop dating your spouse. Neve stop flirting, never take your relationship with them for granted.
It’s a lesson that I had to learn the hard way at a young age but has helped me build an incredible marriage with a gorgeous woman way the hell out of my league.
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