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12 Women Share What They Wish They Knew About Marriage Before Doing It
Marriage

12 Women Share What They Wish They Knew About Marriage Before Doing It

I believe I’ve shared before that whenever someone tells me that they’re getting married, the first thing that I will say isn’t “congrats.” Nah, the counselor in me automatically goes to “Why?” And why is that? Basically, it’s because you’d be amazed how many people haven’t thought about it beyond they love someone and/or they’re tired of being alone and/or he asked, and/or their clock is ticking. And I mean that literally.


Listen, I don’t want to spend a ton of time in the intro addressing the fact that “knowing your why” is the one-millionth reason why you should get yourself into some pretty thorough premarital counseling prior to jumping anybody’s broom. That said, if you’re engaged, let me do you a solid by providing a link (here) to 200 random questions that you and your fiancé should ask each other beforehand.

Because as you’re about to see, thanks to the insightfulness and candidness of the 12 Black wives, no matter how much you love a person, in order to keep a marriage going long, strong, and healthy as possible, it requires a lot — and I do mean A LOT — more than emotional sentiments. And the more that you’re prepared on the front end? Sis, the far better. I can guarantee you that.

That said, here is what some wives (middle or maiden names were used) told me they wished they either knew or took more seriously before saying “I do.”

1. Naima. 27. Married Two Years.

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“I wish I knew how much I would grieve my single life. Don’t get me wrong, I truly love my husband and marriage has some strong perks but there are certain things about being single that are incomparable: sleeping on your entire bed, doing whatever whenever without running it by someone else, not having to compromise holidays due to extended family members, making purchases whenever I feel like it, talking to my girls all hours of the night, changing my mind on a whim without worrying if I’m going to piss somebody off — yeah, those were the days. If you are single, don’t let anyone tell you that marriage is better. Nah, marriage is just…different.”

2. Rowan. 33. Married Five Years.

“Don’t make light of differing spiritual views. I do data research for a living, so I know that interfaith marriages are on the rise but I’m here to tell you that it can make your life complicated in ways that you wouldn’t expect — even when you and your husband are the same religion but a different denomination. It can cause issues when it comes to ‘simple’ things like where to go to church to bigger things like how you interpret Scripture, your approach to certain holidays, and definitely child-rearing. I’m not saying don’t do it; all I’m saying is don’t make light of it. It’s bigger than you probably think.”

3. Wilson (Maiden Name). 40. Married 12 Years.

“I wish I realized how much how you live your life was such a big deal. Something as simple as how he loads the dishwasher vs. how you do it can cause you to want to divorce a ninja after about six months and I’m not exaggerating."

"Marriage isn’t just about loving someone; it’s about doing life with another person for a really long time. Hell, even if you stay together for only 10 years, 10 years of the bed not being made a certain way or the tub not being cleaned in the way that you like it is low-key Chinese water torture. Definitely discuss daily life things and your approach to them. If more did, they would probably stay out of divorce court.”

4. Rayhel. 25. Married Six Months.

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Sex changes after marriage. I’ve only been married for a few months and I’ve noticed this. When you live with someone and you learn more than you ever have, it can take a while to adjust, so that sex can stay sexy. The intimacy level gets better, it's just that…s-it gets real after saying ‘I do.’ Just doing his laundry and him adjusting to your period alone. Whew."

5. Anderson (Maiden Name). 30. Married Four Years.

“Mood swings. Look, they always talk about how we have them and we do, but men can be moody as hell too. And it’s really bad when both of you are ‘feeling some type of way’ at the same time. When we’ve got an attitude, we will want to talk. When men do, they will give you the silent treatment. All that does is trigger us — and now everybody is BIG mad. You know how they say that the first few months of dating, you are dating the representative? It’s more like, it’s not until you come home from your honeymoon that you both ‘loosen your belt’ and let it all hang out — nastiness and all. Be prepared for that.”

6. Kolette. 35. Married Five Years.

“Discuss priorities. As many as possible. When does he want to have kids vs. when you do? How much does he like to have sex vs. how much you do? Which holiday is a bigger deal to him than you? Who prefers to decorate the house vs. who prefers to travel this year? It’s unrealistic to think that just because someone loves you that they’re going to automatically think that what you think is important is important. My husband and I communicate ‘order of importance’ about things on a weekly basis. It has made things a lot easier because our first year was something else.”

7. Vella. 46. Married 17 Years.

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“Dr. Myles Munroe used to talk often about how men don’t just want sex, they need it. When you’re married to a Black man, don’t underestimate that because it’s hard enough for them out here. When they come home and want to be with you — the affection, the vulnerability, the acceptance and feeling desired, the intimacy, the stress release…all of these things are paramount for them. Singles are so recreational about sex that when they get married, they can become really self-centered and almost rude with their partner in the bedroom. If you don’t want to prioritize sex on a consistent basis, stay single, where all you have to concern yourself with is yourself.”

8. Aria. 42. Married One Year.

“It might sound weird but how you define ‘Blackness’ is a big one. It affects how you see things politically, religiously, and even down when it comes to things like what you watch on television or how you approach style and fashion."

"For instance, my man hates reality television because he thinks that a lot of it is anti-Black while I just think it’s entertaining and he definitely prefers when I wear my natural hair as opposed to wigs. It’s not that big of a deal but for some women, it could be. Just don’t assume that because the both of you say that you’re ‘pro-Black’ that you’re exactly on the same page about it.”

9. Tabitha. 29. Married Three Years.

“Marriage requires you to grow TF up! Your husband is someone who holds you accountable to your s-it on a daily basis and honestly, that can get annoying as hell. When you’re single, you can deal with people when you feel like it, and when you know that you’re showing out, being ridiculous, or acting immature, you can just go home and shut your phone off. Hmph. Lucky you because, when I come home if I’m acting crazy, someone is calling me out on it with the quickness. My husband and I talk about the fact that nothing will mature you like marriage does because it’s like you’ve got a hall monitor who you sleep with living with you 24/7. Someone shoulda prepared me for that damn s-it. S-it.”

10. Davis (Maiden Name). 30. Married Eight Months.

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“I wish I had known how much my boundaries were going to have to change after marriage. In just a short amount of time, I’ve realized that if I want my relationship to go the distance, I’ve gotta watch who I say what to. Some single women are jealous. Some family members are bitter. Some church ladies don’t have a clue. Just make sure that you get the right opinions because you don’t want so many voices in your head that you can’t hear your own or the one who you’re actually married to.”

11. Haven. 35. Married Nine Years.

“I wish I knew about how much our purposes needed to be aligned — not that we needed to be in the same fields but that they needed to complement each other. I am a visual artist and everything from my working random hours, sometimes touring and income being very ‘feast or famine’ tends to, it can butt heads with my accountant husband who has a pretty regimented and predictable schedule and payday. Over the years, we’ve figured out how to make it work but it’s required A LOT of compromise and flexibility on both of your parts. Just make sure that the two of you talk about your purpose and your plans and goals surrounding each of them. You need to be with someone who can support it or life is going to be very difficult — no matter how much you love them.”

12. Irys. 50. Married 27 Years.

“You better marry your friend because you need to be with someone you like. Someone who makes you laugh. Someone who you trust more than anyone else. Someone who you can have a good time with under any conditions. Y’all are out here looking for a rich man who can turn you out and I’m telling you that after a while, both of those things can get old if you’re not with your bestie. I love my husband, he’s a great provider and the sex is amazing but us being friends is what’s gotten us through and he’ll say the same thing.”

___

See…I told you. This is great marital insight for days and hopefully, it’s also a gentle nudge to speak to some healthy (healthy is key!) married folks you know — especially if you are considering getting married in the near future. Because as basically all of these women stated: marriage is a beautiful thing; it’s also no joke and something to be as prepared for as possible. Please take that heed very seriously — for your, your partner, and your marriage’s sake. Amen? Awesome.

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Featured image by Delmaine Donson/Getty Images

 

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