Love Secrets

Take a look at the surprising, enlightening, and sometimes hard truths we all face after we walk down the aisle - and how they teach us about what love really means.

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Couple talking

Marriage truth #2

You'll work harder than you ever imagined

Early on, when people say, "Marriage takes work," you assume "work" means being patient when he forgets to put down the toilet seat. In your naiveté, you think that you will struggle to accommodate some annoying habit, like persistent knuckle cracking or flatulence.

quotation mark openAs two people grow and evolve, the real work of marriage is finding a way to relate to and nurture each other in the process.quotation mark close  

If only it were that easy. Human beings, you may have noticed, are not simple creatures. Your man has mysterious, unplumbed depths — and from where he sits, you're pretty complicated, too. You have to learn each other the same way that you once learned earth science or world geography. And getting married doesn't mean you're done — it just means you've advanced to graduate-level studies. That's because every time you think you've mastered the material, he'll change a bit. And so will you. As two people grow and evolve, the real work of marriage is finding a way to relate to and nurture each other in the process.

"It's like losing weight," says Andrea Harden, 45, of Buffalo, NY. "You want it to be a one-time deal. You lost it, now just live. But then you learn it's a lifestyle. That's marriage. The effort is a forever thing." So don't be too hard on yourself — or him — on those days when you feel like you're struggling through remedial math.

Marriage truth #3

You will sometimes go to bed mad (and maybe even wake up madder)


Whoever decided to tell newlyweds "Never go to bed angry" doesn't know what it's like inside a bedroom where tears and accusations fly as one spouse talks the other into a woozy stupor until night meets the dawn. If this scenario sounds familiar, I've got three words for you: Sleep on it.

You need to calm down. You need to gain perspective. You need to just give it a rest. I've found that an argument of any quality, like a fine wine, needs to breathe. A break in the action will help you figure out whether you're angry, hurt, or both, and then pinpoint the exact source. Maybe the fight that seemed to erupt over the overflowing garbage can is really about feeling underappreciated. Could be you're both stressed out at work and just needed to unload on someone. Taking a break will help you see that, and let go. Or maybe you really do have a legitimate disagreement to work out. Without a time-out, sometimes a perfectly good argument can turn into an endless round of silly back-and-forth, rehashing old and irrelevant transgressions as you get more and more wound up.

Even when you do manage to stay focused and on topic, there are some fights that stubbornly refuse to die by bedtime. And if you stifle your real feelings just to meet some arbitrary deadline, your marriage will surely be the worse for it. "This was a huge lesson for me," says Andrea. "As women we've been trained to make nice. But the whole kiss-and-make-up thing just to keep the peace was eating me up inside. I'd let things build up inside me until I just exploded. Now I wait a while to get hold of myself — let the emotions settle a bit — and state my position. Even if that means reopening the fight the next day."

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Comments on "8 Things no one tells you about marriage"

Sonia January 13, 2014 | 6:36 AM

I have read a million articles on this topic but this one is really well written and has the specifics of marriage. I have been married for nearly 9 years and it has been turbulent. We are both professionals, smart, witty, no money issues, from the outside we look like an example to marriage. On the inside- I feel like a mess. He's a good guy but I feel simply empty. This article said what I have been avoiding/ignoring. I am seeing the flaws/baggage/problems that I have as a person. I have been so set in my ways and blind to my pride. I thought marriage humbled me in the begining but now after all these years I have to look at myself again. I used to have not just a huge circle of friends but a fan there is no a single soul that calles or contacts me. I need to get up off the ground and stop blaming my husband. He's just a guy...yes they are wired and think very differently. Thanks for the article:-)

EMILY July 18, 2013 | 7:54 PM


Jennifer October 30, 2012 | 10:50 PM

If I had to do it over again... I probably wouldn't.

victoria August 02, 2012 | 2:01 AM

I have been married for a year plus now have a baby,my husband is crazy but still sometimes I feel like he's cheating on me,I can't jump into conclusion if he's getting it out there because it really scary to think that.

victoria August 02, 2012 | 1:59 AM

I have been married for a year plus now have a baby,my husband is crazy but still sometimes I feel like he's cheating on me,I can't jump into conclusion if he's getting it out there because it really scary to think that.

Leslie June 04, 2012 | 5:15 PM

I like what Sherry said about it was a "you" first, then a "couple", and then a "family." This is so true and that's why it's important to still have a "you" and a "couple" even after you have kids. Find time for yourself, find time to spend together as a couple, and of course spend time with your kids too. Communication is what's most important in a marriage. My husband and I do fight a lot, not going to lie, but we always reach a compromise and grow closer as a couple.

Molly Lunsford March 28, 2012 | 10:25 AM

I've been married to my high-school sweetheart for 3 years, we are 21, and have a 14 month old. We have been fighting so hard that I too have let thoughts of divorce creep in, the last secret really hit my heart, because my husband always talks about going to counciling but I didn't want to because I knew that that person would show that it is not just my husband that has issues, its me too, if I just come open and admit my faults I could save our marriage ....thank you, your article made me realize this.

Sherry February 04, 2012 | 6:18 PM

I've been with my husband since I was 15. We didn't intend upon falling head over heals in love and getting married - but we did. Then life hit us, and we learned these lessons. When my single friends hit me up for relationship advice - I tell them 2 things. A true relationship IS work, and hard work! Remember there was a you before there was a couple and a couple before there was a family. It's hard to balance sometimes, but you need to grow as a person, couple and family. Love this article! I think it hits those points, and will def recommend to friends!

Geoffery December 20, 2011 | 12:38 PM

If you haven't already learned these things in your relationship, this article does a great job of telling you what to look out for in the future. Not only that, the author uses examples from her life, which makes it much easier for the reader to connect. That said, something I've noticed that some of the commenters seem to have failed to grasp from the article is that communication is a requirement for a healthy and productive marriage. You can't assume that what you see or think is correct without getting outside information. If, for example, your partner isn't as interested in and you don't know why, ask. Don't assume it's a libido thing or that they're getting it somewhere else. Ask. And if your relationship is where it should be, you'll get an honest answer.

emily November 30, 2011 | 7:24 PM

This doesn't just apply to married couples. I have been with my boyfriend for 5yrs. It's a struggle for me to process my emotions and change my response to him. Feels impossible but I know I'll be able to relax and not take things so seriously. And to everyone struggling out there, there's hope.

Ebony November 22, 2011 | 10:20 AM

OMG!!! I have been married for a year and four months and everything in this article is exactly what I have been thinking and feeling! It's really crazy how you wonder why people that are married never really warn you, but it's all a learning proccess. It really is hard 'work, but I know we will get through it. Thank you for this AMAZING article because this has really helped me 1000%.

SimSim October 05, 2011 | 11:50 AM

Great great great article!! Thank you for sharing your insights. Very inspiring ( been married for 3 months!!) and very fun, easy to read. I have printed a copy to read to my hubby tonight pre cuddle session! Thank you mucho xo

Olatunji September 20, 2011 | 4:22 PM

Marriage can be heaven on earth.your marriage is what u choose to make out of it.for marriage to be what u want it to be, u must make God d foundation of ur marraige. I belive in ur marriage,divoce is not an option.

Luchia September 14, 2011 | 12:42 AM

merried is not a scared's always nice as long as we could understand and know well our partner.:)

Onye June 16, 2011 | 8:44 PM

Marriage is the essence of life tread with caution for perfect joy

gerald baloyi June 14, 2011 | 4:35 AM

thanks for the advice

Sarah June 01, 2011 | 12:21 AM

I thank u guys for the coments. Though i'm not married i think with this, i will be careful when i get there cos I hate cheating.

peter November 10, 2010 | 6:23 AM

thanks for this page, its an encouragement to marriege people

Annie Fitzgerald September 30, 2010 | 5:21 PM

Take it from me, marriage takes a lot of work. It took me about ten years to get my marriage right. And now that we've been married 41 years, it's all worth it. He started out being a HUGE male chauvinist pig and I had to train him.

Jess September 28, 2010 | 3:52 PM

i must say im impressed!!!!! its funny that i read this now cause these past couple of months ive realized alot of these things. the sooner u get urself to realize these things the more i found peace with myself. kudos!!!

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