Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Forum: What do you wish you'd known...



Today we're asking:

What do you wish you'd known on your wedding day?


Anne says:

I wish I knew then what I know now about proper communication. There were several times in the beginning of our marriage when I'd give my husband the silent treatment all day because something he said or did offended me and I thought he should just know why I was upset. He helped me understand how futile that was and just to be totally up front about feelings. Now I say things like "I'm sad because..." or "I know you think you're right and I'm wrong but really all I want to hear is that you're sorry you hurt my feelings." And then he says "I'm sorry" and I get over it. It's the greatest thing ever.


Emily says:

Funny. One of the things I wish I'd known is exactly what Anne said above. I gave a mean silent treatment until I realized how utterly ineffective it is. I wish we'd been a little more present in that time when it was just us - I wish we'd really savored it more. But how can you know to do that when you don't know how drastically life will change?


What do you say?

17 comments:

Abbie said...

Amen! Yeesh, I did the same thing.

I wish I would have know that birth control makes me sick and turns me into a psycho. And that was one of the reasons our first year was so freaking hard. I wasn't crazy, I was just packed full of hormones.

karis stapley said...

Amen. Amen. & Amen!
I used to think I was a pretty good communicator - til I got married! My husband graduated in Family Sciences & taught Life Skills Coaching, so needless to say, he was much better at communicating at the beginning of our marriage than I was. I would shut down, big time.
Therefore, after much frustration, I've since read, learned, & studied so very much about communicating in relationships.
That one thing alone makes a Huge impact on your everyday life in relation to dealing with others.

Tia said...

I love my husband dearly, but I think I wish I would have known how hard marriage is. When you're engaged everyone makes marriage seem like sunshine and roses all the time, so you're wholey unprepared when you hit a bumpy patch. It feels like you're different than everyone else when that happens, until a few years in people start admitting that some days it's hard for them too. It's just part of the process.

Melissa said...

Dr. Laura's book, The Proper Care and Feeding of A Husband, would have been good for me. I didn't understand how men communicated and how truly simple it is to communicate with them if we know what to expect. People think that book is about cow-towing to your mate when the title is really a play on words. It simply means that men are very simple creatures and it doesn't take a whole lot to do right by them. There is so much more I could say, but I didn't come from a functional home, so I spent the first 10 years trying to heal and figure out how relationships were supposed to work in all the aspects. I am fortunate to have a loyal, devoted spouse who stuck around while I did my growing. :D

Rae. said...

Oh gosh, what a good question!

This is weird, and I hope I explain it properly, but one of the things I've told all of my friends who are on the verge of getting married is to not be freaked out by what I call the rule of "anti-climatic".

Your entire life, you visualize in one way or another what meeting someone will be like, what your wedding day will be like, what sex for the first time will be like, what having babies will be like. And the reality NEVER matches those visualizations or expectations, but it doesn't mean they aren't good. My biggest lesson has been that NOTHING is ever like I expected it to be, but it has all be so GOOD. So, so good.

So, on their wedding day, when everything feels strangely normal and going-through-the-motions and all of that: I say don't worry! When you don't feel like a magical princess or everything doesn't feel exactly how you imagined it would feel in that first year, that is okay. The glow of it all is there. You're just finally LIVING it. Reality and fantasy are meshing into one, and it is a strange but very cool process. And often it is hard to see that in the present.

So far, six years in, I look back with rosy feelings and tons of sentimentality of my marriage thus far - but never necessarily in the areas I thought I would!

I hope that makes sense.

:)

rae

Rae. said...

Oh yeah, and AMEN TO ABBIE!

Hormonal changes = psychotic.

Astyn said...

I wish I would have understood how hectic our lives would become once we had children. I knew this fact mentally, but didn't really understand its functional aspect in our lives. I wouldn't have changed any timing about when we had any of our children....but I certainly would have taken more advantage of our flexibility that first year of marriage. Meaning, more weekend trips and spontaneous excursions just together to really have fun.

bethanne said...

Everyone gives that advice "Never go to bed angry." Well I say, "go to bed if you are angry." Take a deep breath, don't day anything that will need a lot of discussion and then put yourself to bed with a good book or other distraction to get you through until you can be logical. I know that I am not alone in saying that I am far more rational after a good night's rest. When I can go to sleep and say I will address this in the morning 9 times out of 10 it is better when I bite my tongue and hold off until the next day.

Also give homemones their due respect and realize is just may be the hormones and not a lot more. They are powerful and can sometimes make you think that the whole world is coming down around you and young husbands don't always get this.

Kate said...

Ya, the communication thing is big. We dated for a while before we got married and the whole time had horrible communication. How'd we get married? But then a few months into marriage, I just started saying, "You're making me really mad, sad, frustrated, right now." He'd ask why and we'd work it out in record time. Amazing! We've had a pretty "easy" marriage since.

I guess what I would tell myself is not to stress about life. 7 years in, I've learned things don't happen how you imagine, but it's still so good. No need stressin' about it! And if you work together as a team, you can get through a lot.

Delia said...

I am glad I didn't know then what I know now. Our marriage has had some bumps that would have definitely scared me away from marriage...but with that said I am now happier than I could have ever imagined. If you work hard enough almost any bad situation can turn into something sublimely beautiful {except abuse of course but luckily that hasn't been my boon}.

Kalli Ko said...

Bottom line, I wish we would have been smarter with my/our spending in those early months/years. I wish that before I got married I had been smarter with my own money, developed good saving and spending habits and the like. Because being married and dealing with finances has been one of the major things we've struggled with which completely takes away from all of the other fantastic things about being married.

Natalie said...

I am still learning so much every day. I loved hearing everyone's input on this topic. A couple things I wish I'd known: Don't set your spouse up to fail. We girls have some unrealistic, sometimes "media generated" ideas of romanticism and idealism. It's just not real life. Well, it's not my real life anyway.

A few months ago it was Mother's Day, Matt and the kids were trying to make it all special, I don't even remember what it was now, but someone threw up, or something major, and Matt felt bad. He apologized and I remember telling him through a few laughs that this wasn't a commercial, this was real life. A few years ago I think I would have been disappointed, but I've just realized that every day life with a family isn't perfect. It's not always pretty or fun, or relaxing or romantic. But I chose this life, and these circumstances. So, I just try to enjoy it all and not set my husband up for some big birthday plan that deep down I know he's not going to do. That's just not him. I married him, and I have realized that I need to love him for who he is. Love him for the ways that he DOES show me that he loves me, cause they're definitely there, just maybe not what I had in mind when I was 16.

At the same time, there are definitely things that we can all learn. If something is really important to me, I let him know, and he comes through. It's all about communication, isn't it!?

The other thing is how important it is to be nice to your in laws. Not just nice, really love them. Your mother in law loves your husband like you love your little boys. Be nice to her. Remember to share your life/her son's life with her. :)

Megan said...

Isn't it fun to ramble about the things we've learned through our marriages, no matter how long they've been? I totally agree with several of these comments...most of them, in fact. Learning to communicate with each other, I totally agree with the finance comment, what life would be like after children, a little anti-climaticness. And while I'm sure I've got some things I'd say too, the one that keeps jumping out at me, is...nothing. The things that I've learned being married to my handsome man has made our marriage what it is and made our relationship what it is. It's with those hard things that the stronger loves "blooms".

Carissa Rasmussen said...

I wish I would've known how long it was going to take us to get pregnant. it was a long hard road and if I could've seen the end from the beginning I think I would've been more appreciative of all the time we spent alone

jordancristine said...

What a good question! I have enjoyed reading the many responses and can relate with quite a few...:)

I wish I'd known how much I would need deep friendships. My family and marriage has really been my priority and I am happy about that - but friendships are so important to have a balanced, healthy, happy life. I need to pour more into other people and not just my husband! Working on that one still...

Rachael said...

I don't know how this all fits in, but one of the things that I'm most grateful for about the early years of our marriage is that my husband let me grow up. I was just barely 19 when we were married, and I definitely had a lot of maturation to do, and he was really good about being patient and understanding--encouraging me to become a better person without ever hinting that I was being immature or childish (and believe me, I was). That set a fantastic foundation for the last 8 years.

Anonymous said...

As a single, never-been-married, woman, I loved this post and all the comments. I love the community of women Bloom has created. It encourages me to be better, learn more, and be happy. Thanks!