I’ve been married for 11-plus years, and when I went into it, I received a lot of marriage advice. Most of it was warm and fuzzy. Some of it had to do with sex, or treating my wife right. But very little of it showed how odd marriage really is. Or how boring it can be. Or how gross it is to become so comfortable with another person. So here is a list of things I wish I’d known about marriage before I got started. If you’re just beginning or still trying to figure things out, I hope this helps.
1. 90% of married arguments are over laundry, money, and whose turn it is to clean the toilet.
2. Somewhere between becoming engaged and taking out a mortgage, married people begin to pee with the door open.
3. In marriage, loading the dishwasher is more or less an IQ test.
4. True love is not heroics but rather popping the irritating zit on your spouse’s upper middle back.
5. After having children, sleep becomes currency in marriage. It can be traded for everything from manual labor to sex.
6. Married men have photos of feminine hygiene products on their phone so they don’t come home with the wrong thing.
7. Soccer practice, periods, and sex are all on the family calendar. Sex is “Funkytown.” Periods are “Aunt Flo.” “Soccer” is “soccer.”
8. Married people can argue over directions while driving 75 mph on the freeway. That’s legal for some reason.
9. A husband can crack wind so rank that his wife will have to step outside. He will then ask for sex. I’m sorry.
10. Handing your spouse a roll of toilet paper through the restroom door is the reality of partnership.
11. You learn a lot about your spouse by doing the laundry, like how well they wipe.
12. Married people have a long-term silent competition over whom the children love more.
13. The moment you think you married up, your partner will do something like accidentally eat an entire bowl of expired cottage cheese and then ask you what smells funny.
14. A husband never understands why his wife wants the seat down until she falls into the toilet at 3 a.m.
15. Modern marriage is about making sure your partner doesn’t look fat in a photo before posting it on Facebook.
16. Married people share everything but toothbrushes.
17. Married sex begins with laying a towel on the bed.
18. One spouse will always be dieting while the other is eating pizza.
19. 90% of divorces are a result of small blankets.
20. Married people have towels and sheets for guests. They are not for family use. That could get you killed.
21. Ikea instructions should come with free marriage counseling.
22. Imagining what your spouse will look like with an extra 45 pounds is the reality of long-term investment.
23. Eventually lingerie becomes a hassle, and married people are just happy to be naked and alone.
24. Seducing a wife often looks like her sleeping past 8 a.m. or a plate of brownies. Or both.
25. 90% of marriage is discussing what to have for dinner via text message.
26. Trust issues often revolve around who ate the last brownie.
27. Married people often watch their spouse sleep. There is something both creepy and enduringly beautiful about that.
Please realize that this is not an exhaustive list. There is more, much much more. But knowing these realities should, at least, give you a nice leg up on the oddity that is…marriage.