Cultural norms / Relationships

How to be Married

Scour the internet for wedding planning advice, and, as we all know, you are inundated with information. Spend five minutes surfing and you’ll be begging someone to make it stop. Granted, a lot of it is tripe dreamed up by over-paid magazine editors that has bearing on almost no-one’s reality. But advice there is a-plenty.

Google how to plan a marriage, however, and you come up with nothing. The results are actually quite dispiriting: type the word “marriage” into Google and one of the first suggestions that appears is “marriage counselling”. Type “marriage p” and the top suggestion is “marriage problems”. When you actually hit search, all you get is reams and reams of the same old wedding planning advice, as if planning a wedding and preparing for a marriage are one and the same thing.

Dig a little deeper and you WILL uncover reams and reams of marriage advice. However, this brand of advice is largely geared towards those who want to be Good Christian Wives. No doubt this is useful advice for anyone, if you can endure the gospel references. But where is the secular person’s guide to marriage?

The almost total lack of non-religious pre-wedding marriage advice makes me wonder whether it’s a bit weird to look for advice on how to be married. Maybe this kind of stuff just cannot be taught? But this is one of the biggest endeavours I’m ever going to embark on, and heck, I don’t even like to go to the supermarket without a bit of planning first. When I think about being a married person – a WIFE – I find myself quite clueless.

So I’m starting a search for advice, which I’m going to collect here in a new section called How to be Married. All of you married people out there: any and all tips will be gratefully received! And who knows, maybe this will be useful for other soon-to-be or newly-weds out there…


5 thoughts on “How to be Married

  1. I feel you on this one. I spend a LOT of time with my fiancé and I often assume marriage will be exactly the same as the way our lives are now. But that’s probably not true. What kind of advice are you looking for? Financial planning? Decorating a home to suit both of your tastes? How to handle disagreements? How to present a great idea and make him think it’s his own? If you’re looking for the latter, I can help you get in touch with my mother, because she’s an expert on that. 🙂

    • Yes, but it’s so hard to know isn’t it?! Maybe it will just continue just like this, but having never been married and all that, how can we know?? It’s more the stuff on how to handle disagreements, how to know when to compromise and when to stick to your guns… all that kind of fun stuff! Have you ever been given good advice on marriage?!

      • Well, I’m going to anticipate it being more of the same because I have no idea how to prepare for anything else. As for advice, I only know of the same cliches everyone seems to know. I observe the couples I know who seem to be happily married and I try to figure out how I can incorporate their strengths into my own marriage. I was taught all of the “Good Christian Wife” things, but at the same time I was raised by a really feisty, headstrong (in the best way) woman, so I try to find a balance between my upbringing and whatever my fiance’s expectations are for marriage, because his upbringing was obviously more traditional. Whew. I have another 7 months to figure it out. How about you?

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  3. my 3rd year wedding anniversary is this summer. i don’t really have much advice except…watch how i met your mother for lily and marshall’s model marriage. just kidding. i don’t know what the christian guides are for marriage–i didn’t seek out any guidance–but i believe you just work out a lot of the tiny kinks (if there are any) during marriage. but first for the basic foundations, make sure you know what you are getting into. for example it is great that my husband and i share the same vision (such as how many children we plan on, where we see ourselves in 5/10 years in our respective careers, where to live, saving money, etc). where we clash, we found, is in household work. he didn’t marry a housewife and i am never going to be one. we shared chores and sometimes fought over things that pile up (we have different ideas of cleanliness). but now that we live in turkey, we outsource a lot of household work. it works for us, we get more time for own things, and our house is clean to everybody’s liking.

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