10 Things Everyone Should Know About Marriage, According To Divorcees

There are some things you can’t possibly know about marriage until you’ve been there.

Below, HuffPost Divorce bloggers and readers on Facebook reflect on what they wish they had known about marriage before saying “I do.”

1. You need more than love to keep your marriage alive.

“Love is not enough. You must like your partner and have a deep respect for them. You need someone who is your best friend. You need a rock and a place that is not just a house, but a home. You need a partner in life. The best marriages I’ve been blessed to know have had that at their foundation.” ― Jessica Kahan

2. The annoying habits that drive you nuts before you’re married won’t go away once you’re wed. 

“Your spouse’s annoying habits multiply exponentially after you’ve tied the knot. I’m talking about little things that gain annoying momentum as years go by. For me, it was abrasive quirks like these: tailgating at rush hour, interrupting me to correct me, calling every woman he met ‘sweetheart’ and twisting his napkin into a knot after every meal. Shallow and petty, I admit, but day after day took its toll. While dating, I wrote them off as changeable and cute. When the adrenaline wore off, those pesky habits became a problem.” ― Kat Forsythe

3. It’s not necessary to spend every waking minute together.

“Growing up, my dad was a ‘rolling stone‘ so I always thought that in order to prevent that sort of thing, married couples had to like the same things, do the same things and always be in each other’s sight. This is what I carried into my first marriage. Notice I said first marriage. That approach to spending time together ended in divorce. I’m remarried now and I know that it’s healthy for couples to have their own identity and enjoy their own hobbies.”- Tiffany Benyacko

4. If you suspect your spouse is upset about something, find out what it is at any cost. 

“When you’re married to someone who doesn’t want to talk about challenges and concerns in the marriage, push. Push hard. If you can make it happen on your own, great; if you need to seek the services of a counselor, do it. Don’t settle for ‘Things are fine; you’re making something out of nothing.’ If you’re feeling it, it’s not nothing and when you’re not being heard and acknowledged, resentment can’t help but grow. By the time that resentment has taken hold, if you’re not already gone, you will be.” ― Lisa Lavia Ryan

5. A marriage license doesn’t change much.

“A paper will not miraculously change anything about a person.” ― Carrie Rovere-Mundrick

6. You don’t have to stay in a bad marriage

No one should ever feel trapped in a marriage. Marriage shouldn’t be taken lightly and divorce should (almost) never be the first option, but if it isn’t the marriage you want, you desire, you deserve, you have choices. Staying is one of them but so is leaving. That doesn’t mean your marriage failed. It just means that it ended.” ― Aubrey Keefer

7. Your spouse will change. 

“You will change, too, so make damn sure that you can grow together and that you agree on the things that you consider dealbreakers.” ― Carol Schaffer

8. Meddling in-laws will test your marriage. 

“It’s your marriage and your life but issues within the immediate family can cause a huge problem in your marriage. It can chip away at your trust and your respect for one another. I wish I would have known that certain family dynamics can intensely interfere with a marriage. If your spouse doesn’t act like your backbone or help you feel supported through communication and establishing healthy boundaries, your marriage will fall apart.” ― Shelley Cameron 

9. One person’s love cannot sustain a marriage. 

“One person loving extra doesn’t make up for the other person loving less.” ― Jen Cooper Atkinson

10. It’s OK to be done. 

“At some point in the last seven years of my 15-year marriage ― the seven where I read every book, went to every counselor and ran myself into the ground trying to fix it ― I wish someone had told me, ‘It’s OK to be done.’” ― Kami Sayre

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