25 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Was Married, But I Am Glad I Know Now

  1. Marriage is not all about you. It’s not about your happiness and self-fulfillment. It’s not about getting your needs met. It is about going through life together, serving God together, and serving each other. It is about establishing a family. It’s about committing your lives to each other even though you may be very different in 10, 20, or 40 years from the people you are now.
  2. You are about to learn a painful lesson - you are both very selfish people. This may be difficult to comprehend during the happy and hazy days of courtship, but it’s true, and it shocks many couples during their first years of marriage. It’s important to know this revelation of selfishness is coming, because then you can make adjustments for it, and you will be a lot better off.
  3. The person you love the most is also the person who can hurt you the deepest. That’s the risk and pain of marriage. And the beauty of marriage is working through your hurt and pain, resolving your conflicts, and solving your problems.
  4. You can’t make it work on your own. It’s obvious that marriage is difficult - just look at how many couples today end in divorce. This is why it’s so critical to center your lives and your marriage on the God who created marriage. To make your marriage last for a lifetime, you need to rely on God for the power, love, strength, wisdom, and endurance you need.
  5. Never stop enjoying each other. Always remember that marriage is an incredible gift to be enjoyed. Ecclesiastes 9:9 says, “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.” Enjoy the little things of life with your spouse: the food you enjoy together at home or in restaurants, the movies you like, the little inside jokes nobody else understands except for you, the times you make each other laugh, the games you play together.
  6. Focus on making memories together. Plan special dates and weekend getaways. Make sure you reserve time for each other after you have kids. When you are old, you won’t look back and remember how great it was to buy that new furniture or watch that great show on television. You’re going to to remember what you did, saw, and created together.
  7. Make sure you are best friends and best lovers. 
  8. Do NOT ever say anything to your spouse in public what you have to follow with “Just kidding,” whether you are joking or not. If such a statement is made, it can rob a marriage of trust, security, and respect.
  9. Marriage is an investment. You cannot expect to gain “interest” without giving it your time and attention.
  10. Put your marriage commitment before your children. 
  11. You will share a major common bond, Christ. Only through Him will your marriage be strong. Therefore, pick a spouse who loves God more than you.
  12. There are three in marriage: God, the man, and the woman (Ecclesiastes 4:9,10).
  13. Choose to be a student of your spouse. Take nothing for granted. Understand the love languages of your mate. Give attention to knowing him or her. Be intentional in this area. This way you will not be one who says, “He/She should know what I need, what I meant, what I’m thinking, what to do, etc.!”
  14. Don’t expect your spouse to complete your life. God completes our lives. Always put your relationship with the Lord first and foremost. Surround yourself and your marriage with God.
  15. You cannot change your spouse. Only God can. Pray for your mate each day for God to make him God’s man or her God’s woman.
  16. Sometimes you will have a tough time with in-laws and understanding them, but forgiveness and understanding is key.
  17. Even in the most loving marriage - and obviously in trying marriages - marriage is hard. It takes work. It takes effort on the part of each individual involved. Marriage is a full-time job. It must be always tended like a fire in the fireplace so that it will keep burning well. Remember this when children and life come along. It is very easy to slip into “partners in the business of life” mode.
  18. Marriage is not about being “in love.” It is about showing love and working together with a companion for the rest of your lives, in good times and in bad, regardless of how you feel.
  19. Always remember that your spouse is human, too, and prone to the same faults and failures you are. We all make mistakes and we can all learn to forgive.
  20. Bless each other daily with a smile, kiss, and a hug. What a great way this shows your spouse how much you are in love with him/her, and you will always support your spouse and be there for him/her when tough times roll around, because they do.
  21. Be ready to resolve conflict without saying the wrong things or attempting to blame or ridicule the other and excuse or justify your actions. It is not so much as to whose fault it is as seeing the problem needs to be resolved. Be humble. Forgive generously and quickly.
  22. Say “I love you” to each other every day. At times change those words to “I need you.” “I need you” adds a richer and deeper meaning to your relationship.
  23. Treat time together as a sacred time. This way, when you look back at the past of your marriage, what comes to mind are the happy times you have spent just the two of you focused on each other.
  24. Stick with your mate, even when you do not feel like it, and even when your “friends” tell you that you should leave or you “have a right to leave.”
  25. Never think, contemplate, or use the word divorce in reference to your marriage. Your marriage is not for you to break, divide, or destroy (Matthew 19:4-6).