Estimated reading time: 7 minutes:)
Marriage is full of surprises.
Nathan and I have been married for almost 8 months now (WHAT! Time flies) and we’ve learned a lot so far. Obviously we’re still new at this, so we’re not experts. But turns out, we had some misconceptions before we got married.
I wish I had known these simple facts before we got married. Not that not knowing them caused great devastation, but I think I would have been better prepared and equipped for for marriage if I did.
No one ever told me these before we got married. Hopefully by sharing these misconceptions, you can better prepare for a marriage relationship yourself.
8 Misconceptions we had about marriage:
So let’s dive in! Here are 8 misconceptions we had going into marriage, and the lessons we’ve learned from them:
**Disclaimer: this blog addresses a few topics including sex and sexual sin. Use discretion as you read – my intention is to avoid being a stumbling block!
1. Sexual Sin Does Not Go Away
Misconception: “Once you can have sex, your temptation to sin sexually will go away.”
This was a misconception both Nathan and I shared going into marriage, and it hurts when you aren’t prepared to encounter it.
It’s like you’re putting in the hard work before marriage, resisting temptation and fighting the devil, and you can’t wait to get married – you expect a break, a rest, some kind of relief from this wrestle with your flesh. But then you get married and guess what? Your flesh is just as sinful, just as fallen, just as broken as it was before.
Sure, you might not be tempted to sleep with your boyfriend or girlfriend anymore (because now they’re your spouse). But now you might be tempted to lust after others, tempted to please yourself when your spouse “isn’t in the mood,” and tempted to dishonor your spouse in a variety of ways.
The devil doesn’t quit. If anything, he works harder after you’re married because a healthy marriage is a big threat to his cause. Let that sink in.
Do not expect the devil to give up after you’re married, especially in your sexual life. Sex in marriage isn’t all of a sudden giving in to all your desires. It is still an act of submission, a trust in God to truly fulfill you, and a humble and beautiful thing. It is not easy keeping the sexual side of your marriage pure!
Hopefully this isn’t disheartening – but it’s good to be prepared. God has given us full armor, and we are not helpless against our sin! When we’re prepared, we can pray for protection against sexual temptation and better equip ourselves for the fight before we even step foot on the battlefield.
2. Marriage Isn’t as Hard as People Made It Out To Be
Misconception: “Marriage is going to be soul-sucking.”
I’m not gonna lie, before we got married so many people made it seem like marriage would be depressing.
For every one person to say “marriage is awesome and fun and amazing!” we encountered 10 who’d joke, “say goodbye to your freedom” or “good luck.”
This negative culture around marriage is so discouraging! And I’m sorry, but you simply won’t hear Nathan or I discourage you on the subject. That’s not our vibe LOL.
People were so negative about marriage before our wedding that we honestly felt over-prepared for disaster. We expected marriage not just to be hard, but to be terrible. And it wasn’t!
Of course marriage is difficult. Marriage is about selflessness, so more than anything it’s a constant battle against your own flesh and sinfulness. And sure, that’s hard.
But living with Nathan is amazing. Being married to him is awesome. Having a teammate to go through life with, someone who knows me better than anyone else – that’s dope. Having someone who shares your dreams, your vision, your hopes and your life – that’s simply beautiful.
If you’re looking forward to marriage, don’t prepare to suddenly start hating life. Prepare by developing the fruits of the spirit. You will often wage war against the devil or your own flesh throughout marriage – not against each other.
3. The Devil Will Try to Keep You From Having Sex
Misconception: “You will always want to have sex (and your spouse will, too).”
“Before you’re married, the devil will do everything he can to get you to have sex. After you’re married, he’ll do everything he can to keep you from having sex.”
Nathan and I heard this quote last year and oh my goodness – it is incredibly true.
I remember when we were dating, I couldn’t fathom not wanting to have sex. I actually thought it was a sign of an unhealthy marriage.
The truth is, it’s a sign of the devil attacking your marriage. And that’s gonna happen.
There is a lesson for discernment here. Because obviously it’s not as simple as “never say no” or “always say no if you don’t feel like it.”
The longer we’ve been married, the more we’ve learned this discernment:
There will be times to submit and say yes to sex, even if you’re tired.
There will be times to submit and give your spouse the space and time when they aren’t in the mood, surrendering your desires and loving them by waiting.
But there are definitely going to be times the devil will try to keep you from having sex when that extra effort to be intimate really is worth it for your marriage. Be prepared to fight that temptation. Consistent sex is healthy in marriage, and it is an integral part. He will attack it.
4. Aligned Beliefs Truly Matter – Like For Real
Misconception: “You don’t have to agree on everything, right?”
Nathan and I knew this when we were dating, but it didn’t hit us until now.
Some will claim different religions, doctrines, or politics are fine in a marriage. But if you truly care about your spouse, you’re going to want them to see your viewpoint because you care about them.
You don’t have to agree on everything everything of course. But the important things like politics, child raising methods, religion, doctrine, and worldview are important to align.
Think about it: you’ll raise children with this person, grow old with them, share every important milestone with them. If they don’t agree with your very basic framework for thinking, there will be tension.
On the flip side, the peace you feel when you are on the same page with your spouse is unmatched. Nathan and I love agreeing with one another! So when looking for a spouse, determine what your “important things” are and find someone who agrees with you on them.
5. You Really Do Become One Person
Misconception: “You won’t change.”
The Bible talks about how two become one flesh – but wow it’s an entirely different perspective when you actually feel it.
When Nathan is at work, it really feels like half of me is out there risking safety to help others. I always missed Nathan at work when we were dating, but I never felt like this.
When Nathan gets a headache, I care so deeply, I start getting a headache. When one is stressed, the other usually follows.
With empathy and care also comes mimicking one another, and sharing each other’s interests. I’ve come to enjoy some things Nathan enjoys, and vice versa.
This doesn’t mean we’re losing ourselves. We are still completely independant. We still make time for our individual interests, friendships, and hobbies.
Becoming one isn’t a bad thing! It’s a part of marriage, one I didn’t expect – but one I’m so glad is true.
6. Hiding is Hard – But It Should Be
Misconception: “I’ll be able to hide from Nathan.”
One thing I learned early on in marriage is that I have a nasty habit of running away and hiding whenever I’m upset, angry, sad, etc. It’s what I did growing up: I’d run up to my room and feel everything in private. When I felt better, I’d finally emerge good as new.
Well, turns out this habit doesn’t work very well in marriage.
Nathan can read me like a book. And living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment means you can’t run away very easily.
Note: when I say “run away,” I don’t mean taking time and space to cool down (which is a very healthy practice). I mean bottling things up, not communicating to Nathan, and not sharing what I should.
At first I was frustrated at how hard it was to hide from Nathan. He could tell exactly when I was upset, and would ask me about it when I’d prefer to bottle things up and hide away. But I’m so thankful I can’t hide from Nathan – because it’s forced me out of an unhealthy habit of sweeping things under the rug.
I can’t say it will be just as hard for you to hide things from your partner – but I can say I was darn good at it before marriage, and now, closer to an individual than I’ve ever been, it’s nearly impossible.
And that’s how it should be. No healthy marriage is built on lies, and no successful marriage comes from hiding from one another.
7. Being “Tied Down” Doesn’t Mean Your Life is Over
Misconception: “You’ll be tied down if you get married, which means your life is basically over.”
Fun fact: your social life, individual life, dreams, and passions don’t have to die the day you say “I do.”
Yes, your lifestyle will change. I no longer stay out with my friends until 1am like I used to because I go to bed with Nathan now. I no longer take spontaneous off days to go on adventures with friends. I no longer sleep in until 10am to make up for the late nights.
But that’s not a bad thing.
Last year, I was in a different season. Today I’m in a new one. Neither was worse or better. But I’m in a different season now, called by God to different priorities. And it’s not any less fulfilling or fun.
Marriage is a different lifestyle than singleness, but it’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s joyful and fulfilling and awesome! No one prepared me for how fun it would be.
8. Your Physical Insecurities Will Not Go Away
Misconception: “Once you get married, you’ll stop feeling insecure about your body.”
This is the same lie the devil tells us in dating: “once you start dating, you’ll know you aren’t ugly, fat, gross, etc.”
It’s a lie!
Your physical insecurities can never be remedied by a person saying “you are so beautiful” or taking interest in you.
They are only healed by the true and lasting love of Jesus.
Nathan is the sweetest and tells me I’m beautiful often. But that doesn’t stop those lies from assaulting me: “you’re chubby. You’re ugly. You’re breaking out, ew. You’re bloated. You’re gross.”
Those lies will follow you for the rest of your life. Don’t expect them to quiet when you get into a relationship or after you’re married.
And there is freedom from them! The truth the actual truth about you, spoken by the God of the universe. He says “You are beautiful, you are loved, you are cherished, you are stunning.” And when He says it, it can actually hit your heart.
God Equips You For Every Season
At the end of the day, no matter how much I tell you, God will equip you for every season. Trust that, even if you hit a few bumps in the road along the way, He will still faithfully finish the good work He started in you!
You are loved, forgiven, and cherished! Happy Friday