You love him. He loves you. Vows are exchanged. You wear bands of gold on your fingers to symbolize that you belong to one another. You’re going to have a lovely time growing old together, but here are 35 truths about spending the rest of your life with the same man.
1. Marriage is hard. Grandma told you it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, and Grandma was right. It’s not a walk in the park. It’s not even a jet-ski ride across the Gulf of Mexico during an F4 hurricane. It’s hard!
2. Honeymoons come to an end. Receiving flower bouquets and sentimental love notes just because it’s Thursday won’t last forever. By the time Valentine’s Day #3 rolls around, you’re lucky to get a melted Snickers bar he found in the floorboard of his truck.
3. Arguing is inevitable. His horrible dishwasher-loading technique and mounds of belly button lint are going to strike a nerve like lightning strikes the Empire State Building.
4. He’ll never stop farting. House plants may die and vomiting may be induced but this won’t deter him. It’s relentless, y’all. Relentless.
5. He’ll never use a coaster. No, aliens haven’t contacted your coffee table. Those aren’t crop circles; those are drink rings, courtesy of your better half.
6. He’ll always miss the hamper by 2 inches. Men can kill animals from two football field lengths away, but they can’t get a pair of boxer shorts in a big plastic container. Go figure.
7. He’ll pee on the toilet seat. See #6
8. He’ll request sex in awkward places. I know the effect chicken sandwiches have on most men, but he really does think the Arby’s bathroom is a romantic spot for a soirée?
9. Love is not a feeling. Although you really love this man, some days you’ll “feel” like setting him on fire while he sleeps in his recliner.
10. He’s probably not listening to you. What was that? No, he’s really not.
11. He’ll compliment you in awkward ways. “Your breasts are like beach balls” is really a term of endearment. He could’ve said they’re like tic-tacs.
12. You’ll need to hold back the truth sometimes. Never tell him this: “That was fast. The commercial break isn’t even over.”
13. He’s going to grope you relentlessly. Try to be flattered that he finds you irresistible while you make spaghetti in sweat pants and a Turbie Twist.
14. You’ll forget what it’s like to be single. Kind of like you don’t remember life before your pet followed your every move, you won’t remember what it’s like to cook for one and watch Melrose Place on Netflix every night.
15. He’ll question your sanity. That’s okay. You know he’s the reason you went crazy in the first place.
16. He won’t remember most of your stories. You’ve told him about all of the horrible things your high school nemesis did to you, but when you run into her in Hobby Lobby, he’ll assume you’re old pals.
17. Keep private things private. Be a trustworthy spouse. His premature ejaculation should never be conversation at the Thanksgiving table.
18. He’s thinking about sex. Always.
19. He’s thinking about football. Always.
20. He’s thinking about having sex on a football field. Always x 2.
21. Fidelity is important. Please don’t sleep with his friends. If he’s a good man, he won’t sleep with yours.
22. Never compliment another man in front of him. I don’t care if Matthew McConaughey is sitting next to you in McDonald’s. Don’t tell your husband you love the way he handles his Quarter Pounder.
23. You’ll wonder how he walks around with that thing all day. Is it a burden having an appendage that dangles like that? It has to be, right? This will puzzle you for years to come.
24. He’s going to thrust around naked in the bathroom. Just block it out and keep applying your eyeliner.
25. Don’t tell him his manhood is “cute.” “Mighty,” “amazing,” and even “intimidating” are all better choices. Puppies are cute; his penis is not.
26. Don’t forget to make out. Remember the carefree days of courtship when you had a good old make out session? Kissing on the couch is good for the soul.
27. Life is not a Ludacris song. Get your old, married self out of the club and go home to your man every night. The same goes for him.
28. Marriage is not a Harlequin book. If a grandmother was reading your marital bed tales in a waiting room, she probably wouldn’t blush. It’s okay that he’s not Fabio and you aren’t a milkmaid.
29. You’ll miss him when he’s gone. He’ll announce he has to go out of town for a week on business and you’ll be ecstatic. You can sleep in the middle of the bed and live grope-free for seven whole days, but the truth is you’ll miss that beautiful man once he’s gone.
30. He needs sex. Like Wilford Brimley needs diabetic test strips.
31. Feed the man. I know you’re tired, woman. I know the last thing you want to do is slave over a hot stove and make a homemade dish for your significant other but feed him at least one meat and potatoes meal per month. The way to his heart really is through his stomach … and his sperm gun.
32. He’ll go bald and get fat. One day you’ll look at him and wonder when he turned into Burl Ives. Love him anyway.
33. Respect him. If he deserves your respect, freely and frequently give it to him. You have no idea how joyful and fulfilled your admiration makes him.
34. Cut him some slack. He’s going to forget one birthday, one holiday or the anniversary of the first time you held hands in the Everglades on a Tuesday. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. It means he’s thinking about sex. And football. And a home cooked meal.
35. It’s all worth it in the end. After you’ve helped him put new tennis balls on his walker, take a seat in your matching rocking chairs. Look down at your liver-spotted hand in his as your grandchildren frolic on the lawn and remember why you married this man. Then tell him you love him.
Also check out a man’s guide to marriage and being a husband.
Susannah B. Lewis is an author, blogger and podcaster. Her videos and articles have been featured in Reader’s Digest, US Weekly, Yahoo!, Huffington Post, Unilad, The Weather Channel, and more.