10 Things Newlyweds Don’t Need to Hear
“The first year of marriage is always the hardest!”
When you are a newlywed, you have people offering advice and “wisdom” to you constantly. Their singsong refrains are meant to encourage and cheer you, as if your desire to lock your spouse out of the house until he learns how to pick up his damn socks is just an adorable little speedbump on your way to marital bliss. Sometimes the person doing the offering is happily married, sometimes unhappily married, sometimes totally single but pretty sure they know what’s up, since they watched Old School that one time.
Newlyweds need help navigating two newly combined households. They need help sorting out the worth-fighting-abouts from the not-worth-fighting-abouts. They need help meshing two daily routines and two lives with their own needs, wants, and career trajectories. They do not need helpful, chirpy strangers offering unsolicited thoughts on the state of their matrimony, or any of the following other sentiments.
“Someday you’ll think that’s cute!” Maybe someday you really will think it’s adorable to slave over the stove making dinner while your spouse plays video games on the couch. (Ahem.) But right now it’s pretty damn infuriating, and no one should try to tell you not to feel your feelings. And you know what? There are things that are irritating today that will still be irritating in 20 years.
“Hope all that money was worth it!” If you threw a traditional wedding, you’ll spend a year fending off allegations of wanton spendthriftery. If you eloped at City Hall, you’ll spend a year being asked if you’d rather have had the party. No way to win this one. Haters gonna hate.
“You’ll never use that gravy boat/pasta roller/ice cream maker!” Maybe not, but you’re married now and you want the option to make pasta or ice cream if you so desire. Is that so wrong? This is America—the prize for getting married is a bunch of nice new stuff. Who are they to judge your kitchen equipment?
“When are you going to have kids?” Perhaps soon. Perhaps never. Perhaps the goings-on of your uterus aren’t something you want to discuss with random strangers. Just a thought.
“Is the magic still there?” “Why, now that you mention it, I woke up last week with the terrible but certain realization that my spouse is a degenerate and I’ve made a huge mistake. Can we discuss this some more?” said no newlywed ever. If a person is gauche enough to ask so personal a question, they deserve the most uncomfortable response you can muster.
“So, do you feel any different?” Remember being a kid, when every year on your birthday your Uncle Ned or Aunt Cindy would ask you if you “felt” a year older? Remember how much you hated that? No matter how old you get or mature you become, you never outgrow feeling irritated at this question.
“Over 50% of marriages end in divorce!” This is meant to suggest that if you can’t make it work, it’s not your fault, but when you’re in the thick of an argument, you don’t want to be picturing an escape hatch in the back of your mind. Besides, this statistic isn’t even true.
“It gets better!” Even if that’s true, it’s cold comfort when things are feeling rough. It’s almost unimaginably painful not to imagine that maybe you’ll be in the tiny percentage of people for whom it doesn’t get better.
“It gets worse!” No one likes to be discouraged from the beginning. And when things are feeling particularly bleak, hearing that it gets even worse is particularly demoralizing.
“Someday you’ll hate each other like all married people.” Newsflash—not all marriages are destined for the same place. Some people end up sad, some people end up happy. Some people fix their problems, some let them fester. No two marriages are alike, and the worst thing a newlywed can hear is someone dooming them to the same fate as that person suffered.