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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Unhappy couple in bed

Marriage truth #4

You will go without sex — sometimes for a long time — and that's okay


There are few men in the Western world sexier than my husband. And I don't say this because I know he may read this article. I've seen women checking him out when they think I'm not looking. (Honestly, ladies, you don't have to sneak a peek. I don't mind if you stare.) That said, there are times that I just don't feel like having sex — often for reasons that have nothing to do with Genoveso. (See? Even his name is sexy.) I can't lie and say this is always okay with him. But the fact is, there are also plenty of nights when he's not in the mood. So maybe a few days go by when we don't do it. And then a few more. And....

Sexless periods are a natural part of married life. A dry spell isn't a sign that you've lost your mojo or that you'll never have sex again. It just means that maybe this week, sleep is more important than sex. (I don't know about you, but between work, 3 a.m. feedings, the PTA, soccer, T-ball, and everything else, I sometimes crave sleep the way a pimply, hormonal adolescent longs to cop a feel.)

And don't kid yourself; no one in America is doing it as often as popular culture would have you believe. Instead of worrying about how much you think you "should" be having sex, keep the focus on figuring out your own rhythm. "I used to think, What's happened to us? We always used to be in the mood," says 35-year-old Kim Henderson of Oakland, CA, who's been married for five years. "Now I know better. Life happens. My husband just started a new job. He has a long commute, and we have two small children. I think we're good."

The key is to make sure that even if you're not doing "it," you're still doing something — touching, kissing, hugging. Personally, my heart gets warm and mushy when my husband rubs my feet after a long, tiring day. He may not be anywhere near my G-spot, but that little bit of touch and attention keeps us connected even when we're not having spine-tingling sex.

Marriage truth #5

Getting your way is usually not as important as finding a way to work together

I can be a bit of a know-it-all. There, I said it. It's really not my intention to be hurtful or brash with people I love. It's just that a lifetime of experience has taught me that in most areas, at most times, I am right about most things. What shocked me several years into my marriage, though, was the realization that the more "right" I was, the more discontented my husband and I were as a couple. See, oddly enough, throughout his life Genoveso has been under the misguided impression that he's right most of the time (go figure!). So we'd lock horns — often. That is, until I learned a few things.

quotation mark openAfter I sincerely acknowledge his view, it seems to become easier for him to hear mine. quotation mark close  

Namely, that when it comes to certain disagreements, there is no right or wrong — there is simply your way of looking at things and your husband's. "I used to be very black-and-white earlier in our marriage," says Lindy Vincent, 38, who lives in Minneapolis. "Now I see that I'm not all right and my husband is not all wrong. There's more gray in life than I thought, and that's taught me patience and the value of compromise."

The more I get to know and appreciate my husband for who he is, the more I respect his positions. That doesn't mean I always agree with him. But I can see the value in striking a balance that satisfies us both. And instead of harping on how wrong he is, I can usually swallow the verbal vitriol and simply say something like, "I see your point" or "I hadn't considered that." After I sincerely acknowledge his view, it seems to become easier for him to hear mine. And because I know I'm being heard, most of the time now, I don't even want to prove how right I am anymore. Funny how that works, isn't it?

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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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