Everyone knows that marriage isn’t easy. Yeah, you love each other and want to spend the rest of your lives loving each other and all that crap, but there is always an ugly truth. That ugly truth is that marriage is so hard. You are literally spending 90% of your time with one person: you live with them, sleep next to them, share food, share a bathroom, and basically get on each other’s nerves all the time. But that’s okay, that’s what marriage is supposed to be. If being married was so super awesome and never felt like work, everyone would be married and no one would be divorced. So now that we’ve gotten all that realism out of the way, let’s get down to how you survive being married, and especially how you survive it being young.
Our society has gone through some radical changes in the past 100 years, obviously, concerning marriage and the appropriate age for saying I do. A long, long time ago, people used to get married at 14 years old and we all know that that is just crazy. And then some time went by and a lot of people got married after graduating high school, which still seemed too young but it could still work. Then some more time went by and everyone was against young people getting married, and even though that seemed to be the census, and may still be the census, I have no idea if anyone actually listened. Anyway, here we are in the 21st century and I’m 22 and married (which I used to think was a crazy idea that I would be married so young), and I have quite a few friends my same age getting married or engaged or having babies (which is a whole other dilemma, I might add).
I love being married. I figure I should say that now that I’ve all but called marriage a ho and pinned a scarlet letter to her chest. I love my husband and I’m so incredibly happy that we’re married and living our lives together and all of that. So with that said, I am going to share with you the things that make it hard to be married, specifically at a young age, and how you can survive them!
Okay, this might be a minor thing most of the time, but do not lie to me and say that you never have an issue with having another person in your bed. Yes, I love the feeling of safety and comfort that I get for having my husband in the bed, but I used to get to sleep with pajamas. I can’t sleep with clothes on anymore, even in the winter, because my husband’s body heat is like an overheating furnace that’s going to explode at any minute. He has this habit of keeping the covers tucked up underneath his chin, even when he’s sweating all of his body’s water out because he’s so hot. So if you have this same problem, I did a little research for you, and the solution to this problem is silk sheets. There’s something in the material that makes it more breathable than cotton and it actually helped a lot when we changed to silk. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still hot but a thousand times more bearable!
The other issue I have that concerns sleep that I’m guessing I’m not alone on is waking up. I sleep like a rock. 99% of the time I can fall asleep quickly and stay asleep all night no matter if a train goes through my apartment or if it was as quiet as space. However, my husband is not that lucky. He sometimes has a hard time falling asleep and he usually wakes up through the night and he always wakes up to my earlier alarm. This isn’t as much of an issue now that I only get up about 45 minutes before him, but when I used to get up at 5 AM and he didn’t get up until 7:45, it was a huge problem. I had to buy some heavy duty ear plugs for him to wear, and they actually worked really well, but he wouldn’t put them on until he woke up from my alarm to help him fall back asleep while I got ready for work. These little bad boys helped save us from having the same fight over and over and over and over.
Like I mentioned above, when you’re married, you probably spend 90% of your time with your spouse. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you love spending time with your spouse, but sometimes it can get a little much. Sometimes, I just want an afternoon to myself where I can be lazy and watch TV shows that my husband doesn’t like and listen to my favorite music (country) that my husband isn’t a big fan of, and that’s okay. When you’re with someone so much, you tend to start getting on each other’s nerves more and that can get ugly quick. My solution to this is part of why I get up earlier than I need to every morning. When I wake up in the morning, I spend between a half hour and an hour doing anything I want. I’m kind of a boring person so that normally only includes drinking my coffee by myself and watching tv or reading a book or something where I can just be alone. Sometimes, though, I’ll take an afternoon to go shopping by myself and just have a little “me” time. This works better if you have friends, but when you move around, it’s sometimes hard to make friends that you don’t just socialize with at work. Either way, schedule yourself time to do your own thing and suggest your spouse to do this for themselves, too. If you’re a younger couple, this may even be easier because depending on both of your jobs, you might not even be on the same schedule so there’s room for some leeway.
I almost want to start laughing as I’m thinking about this next hardship of marriage. Josh and I are actually pretty good at communicating, which is part of the reason that we work so well together as a married couple, but every once in awhile, there seems to be a blowup. Whether it’s something I said that he interpreted the wrong way or vice versa, or we get into a fight and just don’t communicate at all. The key to this crazy mishap is pretty simple, but we seem to overlook it sometimes. This is going to sound stupid, but take 10 deep breaths to start. Then try, and I mean actually try, to see the problem from the other person’s point of view. I have this bad habit of just trying to force my opinion down my husband’s throat without even giving him a chance to respond or tell me his opinion, so sometimes you just need to slow it down. Every couple is different so this is a hard thing for me to just tell you how to overcome, but try the breathing. It helps sometimes. If you’re really having problems in this category, check out Amazon and search for some books that might be helpful on this topic.
Another thing that can set a couple back so incredibly far is issues with money. Either they don’t agree with how the other person spends money, or they can’t agree on saving money or the millions of other things that are related to money. Josh and I’s problem is definitely with spending money. We’re young and we want to enjoy the money that we have, but we also need to be practical and know that we need that money in the bank for emergencies and other things that are more expensive. The thing that really helps us as a couple talking about money is listening to Dave Ramsey. Josh listens to his podcast a lot more than I do, but whenever we go on long trips or any sort of drive that’s more than an hour, we plug it into the car and listen to the show. This opens up the communication on the issue and we always end up having some great talks that help resolve our problems relating to finance issues. Dave Ramsey’s book, Total Money Makeover is also a really great thing to read to kind of figure out where you stand as a couple on that issue and that goes along with Dave’s Financial Peace University that is absolutely perfect for couples to do together. We also use Mint.com to budget our money and every once in awhile we have a discussion about where our money is going and whether we need to change it. The site is really awesome for tracking all of your spending and putting it into the categories of your budget when you spend it.
I don’t want to sit here and say that millennials are lazy, spoiled brats that won’t work for anything because I don’t agree with that like a lot of America does right now, but I do believe that our age group in general, has a tendency to quit things a little too prematurely. I particularly have a problem with this, which you can read about in my post about why I started a blog in the first place, so I don’t have room to preach here. I will say, however, that we need to be strong. If you’re young and you’re married I can almost bet that someone close to you at some point before you got married said something to you about how you were too young to be getting married, or that it wouldn’t last, or something along those lines. We know that it all comes from love and wanting us to succeed and be happy, but it’s still annoying. So don’t you want to show them all that it really is going to work. That this truly is the real deal?
Obviously don’t stay in a loveless marriage or in a bad situation, but I get that sometimes you just want to walk away because you get so angry, or frustrated, or sad. Marriage causes many emotions and that’s okay. The biggest thing is sticking it out because it will always get better. I’ll say it again: marriage causes many emotions. Some of them are amazing, which I’m sure you know. My husband and I have this running joke where we say, “Divorce,” in a stupid voice to joke about getting divorced when we disagree. We obviously don’t want to get divorced but being funny is one of the things that we love about each other so it always brings us back to how ridiculous it would be to break up over something silly. Yes, we fight, sometimes we have big, huge, ginormous fights, but we always get through it. Part of that is because we’ve already gotten through a lot worse things that should have broken us up a long time ago but didn’t, and partly because we love each other so freaking much.
So keep going. I know being married can be hard sometimes because it can be a lot more fun to just do what you want and not worry about anyone else, but it’s so worth it to compromise and keep what you have.
Man, I feel like this was just some huge rant, so I’m sorry if it came off a little preachy. I wasn’t trying to get on my high horse. Let me know if any of this relates to you and your marriage or if I forgot something that’s a big issue for you and your spouse.