Remember when you were looking for wedding chapels in Las Vegas because you wanted to elope? The idea of marriage was the only thing you had in mind until reality hits you.

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What Marriage Has Taught Us

Marriage isn’t happily ever after. It is an ongoing commitment to one another as you spend the rest of your life growing with your special someone. There will be plenty of surprises both pleasant and unpleasant ones. The following are some things women wish they knew before saying, “I do.”

1. Being married is a long-term commitment.

“We’ve been living together in a long-term relationship. After getting married, it felt different. It was like we had a new beginning together as a team and as a family. It felt unbelievably good knowing that my lifelong partner is with me at times of good and bad experiences. There’s also that moment when you realize that there’s a lot of teamwork involved. It’s great.”  — Janet C., 31

2. The Honeymoon Isn’t Going to be Perfect Every Minute

“Some couples think that honeymoons are going to be magical, but it’s not. One night, my husband fell asleep at 7 PM after a long day of touring. And the next day we spent the entire day watching Star Wars in our room. It’s not like how Hollywood portrayed it, and that’s okay.” — Tonya E., 40

3. You Have to Figure Out Which Family to Visit for the Holidays

“Some of my friends have the blessing of having both families in the same city. But ours is on the opposite side of the coasts. It’s important to understand how you’ll divide each other’s family time because it will get complicated when the holidays roll around.” — Tiffany P., 29

4. Not Planning to Have Children Anytime Soon? Have a Game Plan

“I wish someone told me about freezing my eggs around my 20s. Now that I’m in my 30s, I’m going through some fertility battle, and it is not fun.” — Brianna H., 35

5. Love Takes New Forms

“My idea of love was so different when I was in my 20s. I thought it was surprising bouquets at work and fancy dinners every Saturdays. But now, I appreciate the small things like when he helps me fold the laundry or give the dogs a bath. I truly appreciate those little moments, and they never go unnoticed.” — Brittany H., 35

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