So you've met Mr. Oh-So-Right, and you're pretty sure he's about to pop the question. Or maybe he already has, and you're halfway done planning your wedding. You've been dreaming about married life and... stop right there.
You may think you know what your marriage will be like, but you never know how a marriage will turn out. People grow and change, and so do relationships. While you can't tell exactly how things will change, you can at least know where those changes might occur.
Here's what some women wish they had known before they got married.
1. Sex gets better after awhile.
"I wish I'd known that sex improves over time. Everyone says that sex is only good at the beginning, but we have found that it actually gets better as we get older." — Sandra, married 17 years
2. There are downsides to living with someone.
"Hair and smells follow wedding bells. When you live with someone on a permanent basis, you really get to understand what it's like to live with another person. Some things aren't the most pleasant." —Tracy, married two years
3. Learn how to communicate before moving in.
"Communication styles for men and women are so different. I wish I'd known that trying to change the way the other person communicates wasn't necessarily going to work long-term. Of course, I'm still going to try!" —Leah, married 21 years
4. It's all about the money.
"Money can be a major issue in a marriage, and men and women are completely different in how they deal with money. These are things I sort of knew before we got married, but you really have to work through some life events before you really understand how men and women handle situations."* —Julie, married 20 years*
5. There's no place like home.
"I wish I'd known what it was going to be like to live with an extrovert. When you first get to know someone, you're drawn to his personality, especially in social situations. Living with a man full-time and seeing how he is different in home situations can be very interesting." —Laura, married 18 years
6. It's harder than it looks.
"I wish I'd known that when the thrill of young love fades, marriage is a great deal of work. You figure out after a few years that you don't necessarily feel the same way about the person. If the marriage is going to survive, there will need to be a lot of effort from both people."* —Beatrice, married 42 years*
7. Everything changes.
"I wish I'd known the changing roles that we would play in the marriage. You can talk about what you will do when you get married, but some things just change over time, especially when you have children." —Jeanne, married 16 years
8. Family is forever.
"It would have been nice to know that being a stepmom was going to be different in marriage than it was when we were just dating. I guess it's true that when you get married, you're actually marrying a whole family in addition to your spouse." —Brianne, married 2 years
9. Hindsight is 20/20.
"I wish I'd known then what I know now. There are a lot of things that you learn over years that would've been helpful to know earlier. But I guess that's just the marriage is. Learning how to live with one another is part of the process." —Rebecca, married 29 years