*Decided it was about time I posted something semi-serious that wasn't me having a nag-attack about how often my hubby spends on World of Warcraft. We're coming on to our third year of "wedded bliss" and I felt like blogging about marriage, to throw my views out there, and hopefully get some feedback/viewpoints/criticism from other wives or husbands who may stumble across this.
My husband and I were by definition "young" when we got engaged, then subsequently married. I had just turned 20, and he'd just turned 22, when he proposed. We had a brief engagement, and were married under 6 months later.
Now, a lot of my friends, who are the same age as me, have gotten married, and I look at them and think "why would ya!?", and then wonder what they must have thought all those years ago when I announced my pending marriage.!? I have no doubt, some of my friends wanted to slap me across the ear. I was taking a big leap into the unknown, but having said that, it would've been the unknown if I had've left it until I was in my 30's or 40's, too. I don't believe marriage gets easier to handle, the longer you leave it, or the older you get. I think no matter what your age, unless you have been married before, you have no idea what you are getting in to, and even then, each person is different, so you cannot have any expectations on marriage with any person, until you have "taken the plunge". Which leads me to another point:
Does marriage change a relationship, or is it just a piece of paper!?
In my personal experience, marriage changes everything.
After the "Big Day" you've gone from being some one's girlfriend or boyfriend to being their husband or wife. This is a very big difference, it's more than a matter of "it's just a piece of paper". Marriage is vowing to be trustworthy, and if you aren't, is giving your partner legal leeway take half of your belongings. Okay, that sounds harsh and misguided, but it is true.
Getting married is wonderful. The day after, is full of "I can't believe I have a husband", followed by a lot of paperwork. Your whole life has changed. A piece of paper, has changed your whole identity overnight. You are no longer a "single", you are "married". Even in a "relationship" there's still no legal ties, so you are to a degree still a "single".
Marriage is sharing everything forever with another person. Everything. From seeing each other first thing in the morning, to washing the sheets after a nasty bout of gastro has gripped on of you. It's a life of no secrets, and sticking it out, warts and all, because that is what you literally, signed up for.
Marriage after a long-term relationship, is new chapter in your life together. At the beginning of a relationship, you are learning about each other. Discovering what you like, or dislike about each other. Settling into a comfortable existence with each other. This may or may not lead you into a stale patch. Marriage, is another new beginning. It's exciting. It takes you back to the start of your relationship, in the sense of discovering one another, this time on a different level. Obviously, you know one another as "boyfriend and girlfriend", but now you are discovering one another as "husband and wife". There's a lot of discussing the future, talk of children, and a lot of crazy sex. But what happens when you settle into married life. You have the family, you have limited time for the crazy sex, what keeps the marriage afloat so it doesn't go stale and make you resent being stuck in a rut?
I told my hubby I was blogging about my views, and experiences in relation to marriage. He doesn't mind, because all in all, marriage is great. But there is the odd patch of stale. This can last weeks, in some cases months, so what keeps us together? I asked hubby, and a few other people what they believe are the three fundamentals in a lasting marriage.
Hubby's response was: Love, Trust & Attraction/Sex.
A few other people I have said similar things, love, trust, loyalty [which I would consider to stem from trust], happiness... but none of them said "sex".
I personally, think, my hubby's hit the nail on the head.
Not every person is going to admit they need sex in their relationship or marriage, but [if you are married] you'll know it is fairly important. No, you don't need to do it everyday, or even every week, but it is important. Sex is the one thing that makes my relationship with my husband different to other relationships I have, be it with my children, my extended family, and my friends. I am loved, but it's important to feel loved, to be in love [yes, there's a difference], and to know that my husband can still find me attractive after two kids is incredibly confidence boosting. To know that I am ageing, and will continue to age, and he finds me as desirable as the beginning of our relationship when I could get away with wearing a bikini, is incredibly important to me. Is it only me, and my husband who feel this way, or are there other people out there who couldn't see a marriage without the occasional romp as being fulfilling!?
I've sort of steered off course with where I hoped this post would go [not that I knew where I was going with it, honestly], but I am curious to know:
What 3 things would you consider important for a marriage to last? [Feel free to answer even if you aren't married] and
Do you think Marriage changes anything, or is it just a "piece of paper"?