weddings

"Live with them first." 21 women share what they wish they knew before getting married.

Ask any married couple and they'll tell you there's no such thing as a "perfect marriage". 

Even those in seemingly happy and healthy marriages are still going to have times when their relationship is put to the test. (Shopping for groceries being one).

The good news is, there are plenty of couples who have made their marriages work for the long-term. And they've learnt some pretty important lessons along the way. 

Watch: Things people at weddings never say. Post continues below. 


Video via Mamamia.

To find out the best pieces of marriage advice, we asked women in the Mamamia community to share what they wish they knew before tying the knot. 

Here what they had to say:

1. "The saying that you don't just marry the man, you marry the family... it's true... it will eventually be true if it does not feel like that in the beginning! Make sure you know if your partner's family and your values match up."

2. "There is nothing wrong with going to bed angry. I’d rather go to bed cranky and discuss it in the morning when we both have clear heads, instead of trying to solve it at 10pm when we’re both worked up and likely to say something we don’t really mean."

3. "Know that the rings and the wedding are not the marriage. Communication is the most important thing, even the best husband/wife can’t read you mind."

4. "If you feel unsure as to whether you're marrying the right person, then you're probably not."

5. "Always keep your own bank account and add to it often. Being financially independent will serve your insecurities." 

6. "You can't change the other person. They may modify their behavior but their ethical core will not change. If it doesn't match yours, then have a fun relationship but don't commit long term. Also, find someone that can be your friend. That way you'll have a friend for life."

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7. "It's not your job to make your partner happy."

8. "The piece of paper doesn't actually mean much... marriage is nice and all, but it can be bloody hard work at times. A piece of paper doesn't change that."

9. "Listen to your dad and elope! Use the wedding money on a house deposit. Half the people who came to our wedding we aren’t close with anymore." 

10. "My one golden piece of advice to anyone I come across is - LIVE WITH THEM FIRST. Live with your partner first before you get married, because dating someone, or being in a long-term relationship with someone is one thing, but living with them, knowing their terrible habits, how they live, how you live is all very important in making a marriage work." 

Listen to Mamamia Out Loud, Mamamia’s podcast with what women are talking about this week. Post continues below.

11. "Don’t waste your money on a wedding."

12. "'Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone. It has to be made. Like bread, remade all the time.' It’s unrealistic to think that you don’t have to work on your marriage. Communication, speaking up when something isn’t working for you, having respect for each other and giving space when needed is so important."

13. "Go overseas or interstate away from family and old friends to establish your marriage as you travel and explore together. You’ll learn a lot about each other and grow together without the expectations of others. It makes it easy to come back and be a strong unit."

14. "My grandma said to me if people put as much effort into their marriages as they did their wedding day there would be many more happy couples."

15. "I think I'd try to convince myself not to do the big, busy honeymoon. I thought we would enjoy it... but my post kid self wishes we just picked a tropical island and relaxed for two weeks!"

16. "Everyone assumed when I got married that I couldn't possibly do things independently? It really frustrated me. So my advice would be to make sure that you still have things you can do and people you can see independently from your marriage!" 

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17. "I would tell my younger self 'don’t settle'... self explanatory as my first marriage didn’t last!"

18. "Make sure you discuss things that seem obvious, don't assume that you and your partner will be aligned. Discuss kids, of course, but also things like who does what with the housework, careers, etc. You don't want to find out that you have totally different plans after you're married."

19. "DONT RUSH MARRIAGE! The man I married - as I was still in my love bubble - turned out to NOT be the man I thought he was. Date for a couple of years before taking that next step or having kids together. DON'T be willing to move your boundaries (red flags) to try to make them happy. Marriage isn’t a continual compromise (on your behalf) it’s a partnership."

20. "I think that appreciation is really important. It can be easy in long-term partnerships to lose sight of what you really love and admire about your partner and become complacent. But when my husband is giving me the sh*ts about something minor, it helps me to think about all the things I value about him and our life together. I never want to lose sight of what an absolutely unbelievable gift he and our life together is."

21. "Love is not staring into each other's eyes but looking outwards in the same direction. I was staring into my partner's eyes when I got married with short-term plans, but almost 23 years later, I realise, for us, it really is about looking outwards and it's what has kept us together."

Do you have any golden pieces of marriage advice? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature Image: Getty.

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