Marriage Truths

Marriage has been an incredible experience.  It’s nothing like I ever imagined, but, instead, so much more than I could have ever dreamed of.  It’s one of my favorite topics to discuss here on el blog because it just fascinates me. So many of us take the plunge and experience our lives with a partner we promised to love forever. But, how does a marriage really look like on a daily basis. What I am trying to ask is:

What happens after happily ever after?

First of all, let me preface by saying I am not trying to dissect my marriage or the institution of marriage. I just enjoy discussing the beauty and challenges of making this life commitment and discussing what everyone else has experienced.

Now, lets’ get down and dirty.

Sex is not everything.

I know what you’re thinking. What? Without a sex life, how can a marriage survive? That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just divulging the fact that in a marriage you need more than a great sex life.  This awesome Huff Post article talks about the illusion that sex is a panacea for all your marriage woes. So not the case! Intimacy holds so much more value in a marriage. Sex is a key component of that, but you also need to show care and affection to your partner. Marriage is not one steamy sex scene after another, but, instead, a series of moments when you feel like both of your hearts are united in love in the most mundane of daily events.

You Do Need a Break.

As much as you may adore the other person, you do sometimes get sick of the person if you are ALWAYS together doing absolutely everything. Now, this may work for some, but it certainly does not work for myself or my closest married gal friends.  I know there are things Mr. ShuGar loves doing on his own, especially since he’s an introvert and a screenwriter. I confess that I love to blog and Zumba all on my own.  Mr. ShuGar has his boy nights and I have my girl nights.  We need this time apart to replenish our souls and indulge in our passions.  If not, the relationship feels stifling and stagnant.  In marriage you grow as a couple and as an individual.

Fights Can Get Personal.

This is the sort of difficult side of marriage. You promised to cherish and love your partner forever, but then life throws you into stressful situations where you both clash. It’s absolutely inevitable. It happens to the best of marriages. The thing is, since you have such a close bond, you also know how to hurt the person and go below the belt (so to speak).  You know each other’s triggers all too well. It’s hard to not go there sometimes. Of course, you immediately regret doing so and, over time, these kinds of confrontations can have damaging effects on the relationship.  For us, I always try to reflect on my behavior and ways to improve what I do/say during our fights. The last thing I want to do is hurt Mr. ShuGar, even though I sometimes do inadvertently.  This is where our marriage therapist rocks! She calls us both out when we are being jerks.

The Boring Times are the Best of Times

Marriage is made up of mundane moments with someone you are sharing your daily life with forever.  As unsexy as this sounds, I sometimes have the best conversations with Mr. ShuGar while we are washing the dishes after dinner. Or, we have fun shopping at Trader Joe’s every week! It’s exciting going through the aisles and choosing the meals you will eat together. Lately, we’ve been spending our weekends at Orchard Supply and Home Depot planning our home improvement projects! What? I never thought I would say that….ever!  These what-may-seem-insignificant moments reveal your love for each other as each day passes you by. And, yes, a lot of times, I’d rather be on the couch with Mr. ShuGar than anywhere else in the whole wide world.

Happily Ever After is Hard Work.

I don’t care if you say you are in the happiest of marriages. It is still something you have to work hard at. It just doesn’t happen with two people living together over a long period of time. There needs to be nourishment and investment in the relationship in the good, the bad, and the ugly times. It’s not easy because a lot of times you want to just “be” and not work at improving the relationship.  For example, as busy as my days are, I start off by showering Mr. ShuGar with hugs and kisses before he wakes up. I never leave home without doing this. Even if I am running late (which is often), I make time to show him I love him.  There are other times when we have lengthy discussions about issues and it gets tiring. But, neglecting these things can result in resentment down the road, so they must be addressed.  In the end , the hard work is worth it because you enjoy the closeness you develop in the process.

Ultimately, marriage teaches you about yourself and your immense ability to love another human being. It’s the greatest life lesson I’ve ever had. It’s also the greatest gift I have.

What are some truths you have found in your marriage? Or, what misconceptions did you have about marriage? What does marriage mean to you?

P.S. Stress in a Marriage

P.S.S. 20 Things Only Married People Will Understand

Photo credit: Ashley Rose

Cup of ShuGar is a series exploring the sweetness of life. For more Cup of ShuGar, click here

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  • kgstyle

    I never had any misconceptions because i never really wanted to get married. I wanted to be single and travel the world. A year in London, a year in Spain. etch.

    but life threw me a curve ball and i was pregnant my third year of college with a guy i had a one night stand with. We were together for 6 years, I wanted marriage (what?!!) but he didn’t.. We broke up because of that and other issues. Now, I’ve been with my husband since 2008 and married in 2010. It has been a rough and rocky road mainly because of things that have happened to us in the past.

    I can say is this and this works for us:
    When you have a disagreement, stay on topic. Don’t go from “Why don’t you ever put the toilet seat down?” to “You suck at sex!” One has nothing to do with the other. If the person does suck at sex, schedule a time that you will bring this up so it doesn’t fester and come out in other “discussions”

    Be respectful when arguing. No name calling. No foul language. If one person gets too angry, drop the argument and give them some breathing space. Let them know when they calm down, you can and are receptive to resuming the conversation.

    Don’t talk to others about your problems. Unless its your mom. Don’t let friends or acquaintances or social media know that you are going through a rough time. Misery loves company and if they are miserable, they will try to keep you there instead of helping you out of it.

    Don’t go to bed angry. No matter how heated and how mad you still are at each other. turn over and give them a kiss and let them know you love them but that you still have things to talk about.

    Show love in the little and silly ways. Cook their favorite meal just because. Go to their favorite store and have them tell you all about something they really want. Send them cute text messages during the day. Offer to wake up with the baby so you can sleep in until whenever you’d like. I can go on….

    Marriage is hard work but i love it because i have a best friend in my home every single day!!!

    • Oh, man. I completely relate to your advice because I am guilty of it, unfortunately. It is so true that you have to learn how to have “healthy” fights. You can really hurt the other person so it’s important to set boundaries as a couple, but also as yourself. Some people can talk rationally when they are upset and others need their space. I am definitely the latter. I cannot really talk about my emotions until I have some time to calm down by myself. We are still working on that, but it’s important advice in a marriage because respect and kindness go a long way in your love growing.

      I’m so happy your story has a happy ending after everything you have gone through! I’m sure it wasn’t easy getting to this point in your life, but you must be proud of your success. You are amazing, lady!

      • kgstyle

        Trust me…I need my space too! I get real angry sometimes but my husband will let me walk away because he’s the calmer of the 2, he knows i;ll blow up and go CRAZY! But i fight hard not to do that because he doesn’t deserve that from me and i can’t keep on using the excuse “That’s just the way I am” when i know I can change that so it’s still a work in progress

        No, it wasn’t easy but I’m glad for all the battles!

  • You are so right, the boring times are the best of times. There is nothing better than watching TV cuddling with your love.

    • Exactly! Those moments are the ones I look forward to every day after work =)

  • i agree. boring times are the best 🙂 we also found that silence is a good thing. some may think it’s weird, but we totally have our silent moments around the house where we are just into our own thing. then later it just gets loud again. 😀

    • Oh, definitely, silence is key. At least for us, we both are introverted in nature so we welcome being in our own corners and just reflecting on our own. It sort of refuels the soul, if you know what i mean! Happy weekend, friend!

  • Peaches A.

    Very wise and thoughtful words. Your husband is a lucky man!

  • KPsays

    Oh girl, marriage is HARD work. So far from the Carpenters “We’ve Only Just Begun”. I agree it is healthy for each to have their “own” time. I also “try” to never go to bed angry. Whatever fights/disagreements you have, it’s always best to make up before going to sleep. It’s hard, especially when I was right 😉

  • Petra S

    Carmen, I loved this and love it that you are also passionate about marriage. It’s one of my favourite topics and something I really feel a calling for! In this day and age it’s such a paradox that divorce rates are so high and people in general have quite a negative idea about marriage but at the same time so many have a romanticised and unrealistic view of it that they are bound to get disappointed and then they end up missing the true beauty of marriage, the beauty of becoming one, getting through things and becoming an even closer unit. Ahh… 😀 Marriage is hard at times, but so is anything else in this life with is worth something! 🙂 <3