15 Things Guys Should Understand About Marriage Before They Put The Ring On (But They Almost Never Do)

15 Things Guys Should Understand About Marriage Before They Put The Ring On (But They Almost Never Do) ©iStock/Cecilie_Arcurs

While marriage can be incredibly fulfilling, it really seems to me like a lot of guys don’t understand what a healthy marriage (and relationship in general) fully entails or what it needs in order to stay healthy. This in turn makes the foundation they’re building shaky at best. Guys, before you put a ring on it, please understand the following things:

  1. The woman you marry is now your immediate family. This means it’s no longer all about you and your parents. It’s you and your wife that should come first, followed by your parents. If you keep acting like your parents are your biggest priority, your wife may end up leaving. After all, you wouldn’t tolerate that behavior from her, would you?
  2. Passion ebbs and flows. There will be moments where you won’t feel attracted to your wife, and there will be moments that you’ll be praising the Lord that she’s the one you’re making love to. The important thing is that you stick together during the mild moments and cherish the wild ones too.
  3. If you’re marrying to solve a problem, it won’t solve it unless the problem is her incessantly asking for a ring. Is she promising to sleep with you more if you marry? Is she promising to argue less if you get hitched? Getting married won’t really solve any problem aside from the lack of marriage itself. In other words, you shouldn’t get married unless your relationship is already in decent shape.
  4. Marriage can benefit you in more ways than one. Guys actually get a pretty good deal out of being married, and they often don’t seem to understand how good of a thing it is for them. They get to come home to a loving wife, they get sex on the regular and they also may get the perks of having a dual income household with tax benefits. Men who marry are likelier to live longer and be less prone to alcoholism. Studies repeatedly show this, so stop being commitment-phobic and choose a good woman!
  5. You still need to help around the house, even if she’s a stay-at-home mom. Being a SAHM takes a lot of work, and you’ll need to contribute more to a household than just a paycheck. Not helping around the home might make her resentful or overly stressed, and no one wants that.
  6. If you want to have a happy marriage, you BOTH have to work at it. Marriage, just like any other relationship, isn’t a one-way street. If you’re the only one giving, then it’s not going to work. If she’s the only one giving, then you can expect her to eventually divorce. Working on a relationship isn’t always easy, either, so be patient with yourself and your wife, will ya?
  7. You need to be on the same page about kids before you marry. This is one of those issues that’s a dealbreaker if it’s not agreed upon. Don’t try to convince a childfree woman that she should be a mom when she’s made it clear that isn’t what she wants.
  8. A wedding ring doesn’t entitle you to infinite tolerance. Marriage doesn’t mean that a person is actually “stuck” with you for the rest of their lives. If things become really toxic, they can and will leave regardless of the situation. If you keep hurting your spouse, rejecting them or stonewalling them, they’ll leave (or at least they should). Never take for granted the fact that your spouse is still by your side!
  9. Your marriage should be the ultimate partnership, not something that should be “consumed.” In other words, try to add value to the relationship rather than take things away from it.
  10. There will be times when you will have to sacrifice in order to keep your family happy. This is just the way marriages are. They’re all a little give and take. Thinking that you can keep coasting along life while your spouse bends backwards to keep you happy is a surefire way to lose everything you worked for.
  11. Respect is the name of the game. Respect your spouse and women in general. All those misogynistic jokes and comments can and will eat away at your relationship.
  12. It’s not “mine and yours” in marriage — it’s “ours.” Stop thinking about everything that you own as “yours.” You’re now a fully-fledged, official team. Your assets belong to both of you, and her assets belong to both of you as well.
  13. Having a good marriage isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. Trust me on this one. There will be times when both of you will want to sign divorce papers. There also will be times when you realize how much you both mean to one another.
  14. Honesty and communication in marriage is the best policy, even if that honesty hurts. Avoiding the problem or shutting down confrontation won’t solve anything. Actually, it makes things way worse.
  15. It all comes down to choice. You’re the one choosing who to marry. You’re the one who’s choosing to stay married. Are you making the right decision? Only you can tell.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.