Unless your guy is the mythical, straight, back-sack-and-crack waxer, marriage is an opportunity to get to know the little (ahem, short ’n curly) bits of him very well. Some of this is to be expected – your bar of soap may look like an episode of The Hairy Bikers, but hey, at least he’s washing right? (See number 4). But the fridge? The fridge! How does hair even get in there? Same way your locks clog up the drain or are carpeting, well, the carpet. Hair highway is a two way street and you’re on it for better or for balding.
In all the best ways. The new dude your eternally single BFF is seeing? Nice, but a little arrogant. You both think she deserves better. His crazy aunt just said what at the dinner table? Cue husband-and-wife synchronised eye-rolling. He’s the bestie you get to have gossipy sleepovers with. For life.
You may grow alike, but you’ll never be the same
You agree on everything from the best Doritos flavour to the injustice of Dicaprio never having won an Oscar. And then one day he’ll do something that’s so different to you, so vastly alien to your way of thinking – like dunk an Oreo without twisting and licking it first – that you can’t believe he’s the same person. Don’t freak out. Embrace the differences. Heck, celebrate them even. There’s a reason you married this person, and it’s great to be reminded of who your partner is in their own right.
It can get smelly
Two humans living in close proximity are bound to get up one another’s noses, especially if one of them is a man and may or may not have a weird, childish love for Dutch Ovens (Urban Dictionary it). Had you known what you know now, you would have put air freshener top on your list of wedding gifts.
Sometimes your most fluent love language is bicker
And that’s OK: squabbling is normal. Empty milk bottles get put back in the fridge, a colony of dirty socks will set up camp around (but never in) the laundry hamper, and you will have every right to moan at each other. A lot. Just remember to laugh and love in equal measure.
It’s OK not to have secrets
Don’t let anyone make you feel like you have to keep things from your SO in a bid to ‘keep the romance alive’. For some couples that could be key, but if you’re a sharer? Go ahead, tell him all about your period pain/ weird boil/ fear of cankles. Romance comes in all forms.
Only one person can be captain at a time
At times one of you is going to have to steer the ship while the other swabs the deck – or does whatever it takes to ensure things keep sailing smoothly. Point is, your turn to take the lead will come, but you’ll both need to be just as good in the supporting roles.
A good bed is non negotiable
This advice, more than almost anything else on this list, could be what sees you through to dancing the funky chicken on your 75th anniversary. Nix beds that make noise or move when one of you does. And work on that cuddle time.
You’ll have food fights
And not in a sexy way. That last yoghurt you were saving to take to work, the leftover pizza you dreamt about all night… It’ll all be gone by the time you open your (now hair-filled) fridge. You’ll find yourself eating the last slice of pie in a defensive tactic just to ensure it doesn’t cross enemy lines. Put the fork down and talk it out. You can both have your cake and eat it.
You can make it work
It won’t all be Oreo-eating and Doritos-flavour-debating, it will sometimes be hard. At times it’ll be much harder than you think it ever should be. But as long as you’re still willing to communicate, you can make it out the other side. The key? Willingness. A willingness to talk – not just about relationship stuff, but your everyday lives: what’s stressing you out, what made you laugh. And a willingness to put down whatever it is you’re doing and listen. A little give, a little take and you’ve got it.
Meike Abrahams is a freelance writer and editor living married life in London. She assures us she’s not really that obsessed with Oreos. See more of her work at hey-meike-a.tumblr.com.