The Truth About Marriage

Marriage
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"I don't know if I'm ready to think of myself as married" said a girl whom I'd known for maybe ten minutes. She was getting married in a few weeks time and clearly she was getting nervous. So I did what any good wife would do; I told her the truth. Marriage is just another title for your relationship in the present.

Before I got married, I was afraid that marriage would change me and my friendships. Another part of me thought marriage would make me a better person. The truth is, I had already built my own identity long before we took our vows and nothing could change the real me, for better or for worse. Let me explain...

Marriage Fear: My single friends won't want to hang out with me.

Every marrying woman worries about this. Especially women like me who only know five people who are married. Here's the reality; your friends don't care if you are single or not. Really. They will keep talking about sex and how horrible men are, but they will probably stop asking you for dating advice for a while. Then they'll realize marriage is just another relationship and you can rejoin the "My man is driving me crazy" discussions. If anything makes a single woman happy, it is knowing that no marriage is perfect.

Marriage Hope: I'll start acting more like a wife.

Everyone has this stereotypical image of a housewife who cooks and cleans and sits on her husband's slippers to warm them up before he comes home from work. That was never going to be me. But I had these fantasies about waking up together, eating at the dinner table, cooking with my husband and maybe; just maybe; finding some joy in cleaning the house. After all, it was our home. If I had been realistic about all this, I would have realized that I hate cleaning. I still can't cook and neither can he, and we are perfectly happy not doing it. So remember, it's your life and you don't have to live up to some stereotype. Besides, how does a wedding band change your cooking skills?

Marriage Fear: My ambitions will die.

No, that's what happens when you have kids. Just kidding. One of the main reasons I fell in love with my husband was that he encouraged me to succeed in life and for the first time ever, I really believed it. Every married woman I have spoken to (yes, all five) says that the emotional support of her spouse makes her work harder to achieve her goals. Then, of course, they all wonder if they are working too hard, where it will all lead and what they really want from life. Hey single girl; isn't that what you're doing right now, too?

Marriage Hope: Our arguments won't hurt as much.

Every time we fight, I cry. Every time we in fury threaten to be perfectly capable of living without one another, I take it as seriously as the first time I heard those words. I thought before our engagement that I would be able to fight "better" if he had promised himself to me forever. I thought the same when we were going to get married. Guess what? Fighting sucks. But, as my friend Christina says, "Arguing once in a while about the little things is good. It keeps you passionate and makes for good make-up sex."

Marriage Fear: I won't be able to have male friends.

"Of course you can have male friends!" says Katie, who has been married for four years. "You just have to have firm boundaries and be honest with your spouse about your relationships. Just remember if you wouldn't do it in front of your spouse, then you shouldn't be doing it!!" My husband and I face this problem occasionally, but the more secure we are in our relationship, the less he cares that my friend James wants to lend me his porn and I forgive the occasional catch-up dinner with his female friends. Let us emphasize the word occasional.

Marriage doesn't change you, but I had spent my entire adulthood building a me and now we were an us. This is what changed. Not who I was, what I liked to eat or what I liked in bed. Like in any relationship, what you should be most worried about is how to still love someone after being together for so long. Everyone will tell you that marriage gets more and more difficult with time, but so will any relationship; with or without a binding promise.

This article was originally published on SavvyMiss.com, a free website community dedicated to connecting, empowering and informing women everywhere.