Every little girl dreams about their wedding day. They even have pretend weddings where they walk down the aisle and say ‘I do’. While these are fun games as a child, marriage as a grown up is a lot more complicated. As a child, there are a lot of things you learned about marriage that don’t necessarily apply now that you’re older. As a grown up, there are a lot of lessons you’ve learned about marriage that you never imagined as a child. Some of these lesson you learned from good friends and family. And some of the lessons came the hard way from good old fashioned trial and error. Here are are some other lessons for you, as a woman, that you need to know about your marriage that will help you have less headaches AND have a happier, more fulfilling marriage.
1) It’s a good thing that your husband isn’t Prince Charming. Every little girl grows up watching those fairy tale movies where a handsome prince whisks away the damsel in distress. Thinking about it now, you can’t help but get butterflies in your stomach thinking about finding a guy like that. But your husband is not Prince Charming. In fact, expecting him to be Prince Charmin is objectifying him.
Husbands aren’t always charming, dashing, debonair, etc. In fact, some of them would rather read books, work on cars or play video games rather than buying you roses or whisking you away to a romantic getaway. And that’s not a bad thing. You fell in love with him for who he is. If you expected Prince Charming you may have to marry a cartoon because not many men ride horses and fight dragons.
2) Chores won’t destroy your marriage. One of the more common reasons women bring their husbands to counseling is because they’ve been married ‘X’ years and he still doesn’t do chores right. They’re mad because he doesn’t load the dishwasher right. Or he doesn’t see when the house needs to be vacuumed and he waits for you to tell him it needs to be done. Whatever it is you’ve begged, pleaded, and even yelled, but he still doesn’t do it.
Barking at your partner because he doesn’t do chores right just makes you look superficial. I’ve never heard of someone divorcing because he didn’t load the dishwasher right. When you look at it like that, it’s a pretty sill reason to get a divorce, really. it’d make him a better roommate but does it really affect your marriage that much? Some things really are worth letting go. This one (and things like it) aren’t going to destroy your marriage.
3) It’s not just about sex. Ever since you hit puberty you’ve been used to boys you don’t even know staring at your chest. You’ve also been used to going on dates where all he wants is your body. But your husband is different. Yeah, he wants sex all the time. But it’s not just about the sex. It’s about you. Sex is a great way to connect with each other. And he really does want to connect with you.
If you find yourself not wanting to have sex with your husband, ask yourself why. There are lots of good reasons to be having sex on a regular basis. If you can’t find one, it’s time to do some soul searching. You deserve to have a good sex life, too. And if it’s not happening then something needs to change.
4) No, your husband shouldn’t “just know”. This is one that I hear a lot of women on my couch say. And I get why. When you were dating, men you didn’t even know just walked up to you from across the bar and took a shot at saying something they thought you’d like. If they guessed right, they got your phone number and maybe even a date. Then, when you went on that date the guy had to take another shot in the dark and guess what you would like to do. If he got it right, he’d get another date and maybe even kiss at the end of the night.
You thought this was great that a guy knew you well enough to “just know” what you liked and what you didn’t. But these dating roles do not work well in marriage. Marriage requires open communication from both of you. If you like something, just say so. If you want something, just ask. Don’t make him guess. Yes, he did it when you were dating but every marriage counselor in the world will tell you that doesn’t work in marriage.
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. He specializes in helping couples overcome stale relationships and overcome sexual difficulties and infidelity.