Pew Research Center has recently analyzed government data and found out that millennials are taking a different path in forming, or rather not forming, families. Millennials are less likely to live with a family of their own than previous generations were at the same stage of life.

We can safely say that marriage is not the trendiest thing among 23-38-year-olds right now, and given that, it’s only fair how little we know about what it is like to form a family unit. So when someone asked married folks “What's something you wish unmarried people knew?” on r/AskReddit, it immediately turned into an illuminating thread.

The honest answers can seriously change the way you think of marriage, finally showing how incredibly hard, yet rewarding navigating married life can really be. Have some thoughts to share? Hit us in the comments below!

#1

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Be honest always! Once you break trust, you never really get it back. Even if that honesty might cause some momentary discomfort, in the long run, you’re better off because your spouse will trust you.

Obiwan_ca_blowme , Dave Goudreau Report

Mohsie Supposie
Community Member
7 months ago

Can I give this 1000 upvotes?

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#2

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Liking your partner is just as important if not more than loving them.

No-Wrangler-9001 , Jack Sparrow Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
7 months ago

This is important. When the butterflies and the gooey being in love feeling is gone What is left? You should be mates, friends, besties.

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#3

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Having kids is NOT REQUIRED.

My wife and I are having loads of fun just being together. Don't need kids to be happy.

Charlie24601 , Caleb Oquendo Report

Slick
Community Member
7 months ago

It's about personal yet mutual desire. The two of you must agree about having or not having any. Both my husband and i wanted kids. We have a great 2 years old boy. And we're expecting a girl for novembre. And we're very very happy to have kids. We did waited over 8 years into the mariage before trying to get pregnant. Because we wanted to make sure we are fully ready to welcome a child in our life. But never impose such a big thing unto your partner. If either one of you doesn't want any, and the other one really do, the relationship should be rethink. You should comprimise because the entire life of your child is at stack.

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To find out what experts have to say about the biggest misconceptions when it comes to marriage and how the pandemic has affected them, Bored Panda reached out to Natalie Maximets, a certified life transformation coach at “Online Divorce.” “Based on my experience working with couples, I will name the 3 biggest misconceptions about marriage,” Natalie said and added that the first is "the children will save the marriage."

#4

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Getting married will NOT help solve any issues in your relationship.

HazyDaisy89 , Emma Bauso Report

Slick
Community Member
7 months ago

Quite the contrary actually.

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#5

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Only the couple sets the rules of what their marriage is.
Not your mother, not your friends, not tv...just you.
That actually applies to all relationships.

adamwritesit , Tiến Dũng Report

River Webb
Community Member
7 months ago

do whats right for you and your spouse

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#6

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Talk to your partner before you make decisions. I can’t even tell you how much s**t I get from my single friends when I tell them I’ll 'check with my husband' before agreeing to do something, but usually it’s just to make sure we don’t have something else going on that I forgot about. It’s not asking permission, it’s being considerate of your partner. It’s especially true if you have kids. No, I don’t ask my husband to 'babysit,' but it would be pretty s**tty for me to just say, 'Oh, hey, I’m going out tonight. Have fun with a couple of toddlers by yourself and with no notice!' And he treats me with the same respect.

IAmZot , Anthony Shkraba Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
7 months ago

Wise words.

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“There is still a belief that a couple needs children to be happy. Without them, the family is incomplete. But no, that's not true. Many spouses struggle with relationships and have children in the hope that they will save their marriage,” Natalie explained and stated that “no one will save your marriage except yourself.”

“Moreover, children are a huge responsibility that requires substantial financial, physical, and moral resources,” she continued. “If a marriage has problems, then having children, unfortunately, will only exacerbate them.”

#7

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage My wife is my favorite person in the whole world, even after 17 years of marriage and 5 kids. I like her more than I like you, so don't expect me to take your side.

cinch123 , Almos Bechtold Report

Iwona
Community Member
7 months ago

That's my favourite post ☺️

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#8

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Have things you enjoy doing with your spouse that don't involve sex. The most stable marriages are ones where you and your spouse could be friends if you weren't married. Goes for dating, too, IMO.

eezertheturnip , Pixabay Report

Kateřina Feiglová
Community Member
7 months ago

that is absolutery true. But also have some hobbies outside the marriage, it's also nice to do things separately once in a while.

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#9

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage I would urge people to consider a low-key wedding. My wife and I eloped, and as far as I can tell, all we missed out on was months of stressful planning, spending an obscene amount of money, and the existential nightmare of having to stand up in front of everyone you know and tell your partner how you feel about them. It was intimate, precious, and the best day of my life, and we didn’t even have to bankrupt our parents for it.

National-Ship-5341 , Dmitry Zvolskiy Report

River Webb
Community Member
7 months ago

exactly, why put yourself knee deep in debt for a single day that could easily be enjoyed without the excess drama and money

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According to the life transformation coach, having children to save a relationship is very selfish. “Since the solution to your problems lies with you two, no one can influence them, except for the husband and wife. According to numerous studies, children born in problem marriages have significant psychological trauma that they carry with them throughout their lives.”

Natalie insisted that children are a gift, not salvation. “They can reveal their talents and gain strength only in a loving family, where both parents respect and care for each other.”

#10

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Once the butterflies go away, it's your job to create butterfly moments.

Frito_del_sur_Sar , asadphotography Report

James Doe
Community Member
7 months ago

Read up on (or check YouTube) for the "five languages of love". We luckily intuitively got it pretty right for the first 8? Years, but learning about this concept was a game changer nevertheless. Greatly helps with "honeymoon phase gone", communication, "doesn't appreciate me anymore", feeling lonely in marriage,.. At least 2/3 of the advice here gets covered I'd say

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#11

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage It's totally okay to sleep in separate beds or even separate rooms if that's what works for you. I am not going to be a good partner if I only get four hours of sleep because I was listening to him snore all night, or if jobs require different sleeping schedules and you take a while to get to sleep.

Educational-Candy-17 , Taryn Elliott Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
7 months ago

With you 100%. My wife and I will either sleep together (if we're not working in the morning) or I sleep in the 2nd bedroom, to ensure that my wife gets a good night’s sleep, without me snoring or being a starfish in bed., or if either of us are sick.

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#12

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Getting married doesn't mean you're never going to feel lonely again.

freechurro824 , Andrew Neel Report

Adam C
Community Member
7 months ago

Some people get marry just to not "die alone". Sad

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The second misconception, according to Natalie, is "until death do us part." She explained: “Not so long ago, life expectancy was 30-40 years, and one could die from a mild cold. There were many chances of dying, so the marriage vow was very acute.”

“But the world has changed significantly. The development of medicine and technology has significantly increased the duration and quality of life. Now it's okay to get married more than once.”

#13

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Please pay attention to the red flags. The ones you ignore at the beginning are the ones that will tear you up at the end. Don’t marry because you love feeling loved, make sure you love them too

ginobili_vic0629 , Alex Green Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
7 months ago

If love is a one way street, it becomes a dead-end street very soon.

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#14

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage I have been married over 30 years. I would estimate only 25 of those years has been happily married. There will be s**tty times possibly years. Wait it out unless it's abuse. People are often unhappy at work or something like that and leave their partner instead of dealing with the true problem. Your spouse should be the one you lean on to get through the outside noise not the first one you blame.

kearlysue , Heather Mount Report

J. Normal
Community Member
7 months ago

Been married for 40 yrs. As weird as it sounds it is so right. My philosophy is: You do not divorce when things are going crappy and you are miserable. You divorce when things are going good and you are miserable.

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#15

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Communication may be key but comprehension is the entire treasure chest.

OreoDJ , Priscilla Du Preez Report

Skara Brae
Community Member
7 months ago

If you find yourselves upset with each other, one or both people may irrationally feel attacked by the other, especially if there is some emotional baggage from an earlier relationship. It is vital to make it clear you are not your partner's enemy. Say it out loud if you have to. It can make all the difference in whether they listen to you.

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“Sadly, many married couples continue to hold on to an outdated vow, making each other's life hell,” she said and added that “I do not see anything wrong with people being in one marriage all their lives. It's great when you develop together, share your interests, have common goals, and have a generally harmonious relationship.”

“But when the spouses cannot stand each other, and their home is filled with scandals, abuse, and humiliation, why endure all this?” Natalie said that even if people fell madly in love with each other and got married some time ago, as time passes, their interests, preferences, and outlook on life change. “They can become indifferent to each other,” she explained.

#16

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Live together for at least a year before getting married.

Trading_2Go , Ketut Subiyanto Report

Caro Caro
Community Member
7 months ago

Live alone for a year before you start living with someone else is a good one too.

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#17

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Talk about whether you want kids or not before things get serious.

Finances are something you manage together. It isn’t something you cede to one spouse for whatever reason. I say this as someone who had to teach my dad how to use an ATM and the online banking site after my mom died.

It’s your relationship. It’s something that belongs to you two. No one else.

Adult up. Both partners need to take in the mental load of managing the house.

ConnieLingus24 , Vidal Balielo Jr. Report

MonsterMum
Community Member
7 months ago

My husband and I were very sure they we didn't want more children (I already had two). A few years later that changed for both of us so we now have two more. What you want to start with can change and you have to be prepared for that.

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#18

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Being married 20 years, I'm guilty of it sometimes too, but being in a long-term relationship like that just makes you an expert on your own relationship. Not on relationships in general. We can sometimes forget that just because it works well in our own life doesn't necessarily mean it will work for others. When you're a young couple, dozens of older couples are going to tell you what works for them. The best thing to do is understand that it's coming from a place of caring, and some of it will be good advice, but you've got to just find what works for you.

ifficultMinute , Jimmy Chan Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
7 months ago

Just because your parents were a happily married couple for over 70 years, doesn't mean that the way they managed the household and relationship will be the key to your happy marriage. Times change and so do people, culture and economy. Trying to live now like the people in the 1950s did, is a sure way to get broke, homeless and divorced.

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Natalie reminds everyone that it’s important not to make your marriage a routine. “It is much better to thank each other for everything beautiful between you, part peacefully, and take your separate roads to find something that really ignites you,” she explained.

#19

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Fights/quarrels will happen, but nowhere near as frequently as media makes it out to be. My wife and I are so tired of shows and movies saying "we're married so of course we're going to fight. We have lots of fights ahead." Fighting is not a norm of being married. If you're fighting a lot, that's not good and isn't a sign to get married just because fighting is "inevitable", because it's not.

FlipsyFlop , Keira Burton Report

Ba Loeloe
Community Member
7 months ago

Quarrels are not the same as a fight and even fights comes in 'sizes' and 'colours'.

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#20

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Decide whether a fight is worth having. If it doesn't matter tomorrow, does it really matter today?

hnireland , Keira Burton Report

lenka
Community Member
7 months ago

I get what they are saying here.... but avoiding confrontation is also really unhealthy. You should be able to raise issues with your partner without fearing that it will escalate into a fight.

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#21

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Your spouse is going to change. They will not be the same person you married 2, 5, 10, 20 years ago. Then once you've learned that, they will change again. Just like you will evolve and change as time goes by.

Don't be keyed in on the idea of the person you married on your wedding day. You need to understand how to grow with them and love them for who they are at that moment.

Sometimes you need to "break up with them." My wife and I went through a rut around our 7th year of marriage. We had become completely different people and we needed to find a way to fall in love again.

I had to forget everything I knew about the woman that I married and get to know this "new" woman that was next to me. Our hobbies and interests have changed and so I had to take the time to get to know those things about her. Our spiritual beliefs had changed. I had to open myself up and learn about her new journey to find herself.

Marriage is an ever adapting and evolving relationship. It's a ton of emotional work but if you can let go of your preconceptions of that person a

Zabroccoli , Simon Godfrey Report

lenka
Community Member
7 months ago

Agree with this. That said, dont expect that someone will change. You marry your partner for who they are, not who you think they have potential to become.

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And the third misconception is that "marriage will save you from loneliness." “This is one of the most common misconceptions among people with codependency. They think that another person will fill their inner void. But this is not true. You cannot run away from yourself,” she said.

“When someone gets married, they hope their partner will be there all the time. But it is physically impossible. Only you can fill your inner emptiness. And in such a situation, it is best to deal with your internal problems and loneliness before getting married,” Natalie concluded.

#22

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Marry your friend, not your lover. Be friends first, then lovers.

Also - both should put more in than they take.

mydnight224 , Greta Hoffman Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
7 months ago

"both should put more in than they take." Ignore that. A relationship isn't a give and take contest. You do not measure each others contributions. If your relationship is good you don't need to prove yourself. The way you treat your partner and what you do for or with them should be all they need to know you love them.

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#23

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage The 'dating phase' of your life never ends, if you're doing it right.

FarWoods , Falaq Lazuardi Report

Joy
Community Member
7 months ago

Very true.

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#24

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Focus on your marriage and not just on the wedding.

rhnireland , Dominika Roseclay Report

Slick
Community Member
7 months ago

It's funny that this is even an advise. This should be commun sense. If your getting married just to have a wedding, and not to be engaged to a commitement, you should not be getting married at all.

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#25

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage You are planning to be together FOREVER. Let your partner go hang with their friends without you occasionally. I knew a couple who had been together for years and husband wanted to go skateboarding with his friends. Wife wanted to sit at home watching tv and told him he “wasn’t allowed” I thought that was absurd. If he’s doing it every day. Sure. But once in a while?

That being said, if hyper codependency is your bag, go for it. But make sure you know it’s your partners bag too. Yknow?

youngeliza , Khoa Huỳnh Report

Slick
Community Member
7 months ago

You married another human being. You did not get your self a slave. Respect his or her personal desires and needs. Understand that marriage does not give you the authority to control your partner.

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#26

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO COMMUNICATE ABOUT EVERYTHING, AT ALL TIMES!!!

If you don't, prepare for the eventual divorce. Communication is key.

Took me a long time to figure that one out, marriage improved enormously. Been married 14 years and counting.

Makkapakka777 , cottonbro Report

Joy
Community Member
7 months ago

And also if you like your partner, you'll want to chat with them and seek their counsel.

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#27

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Go on a road trip together. Travel together before marriage. Close quarters and tough situations will give you insights into who that other person is.

healthydoseofsarcasm , Dids Report

Moosy Girl
Community Member
7 months ago

In light of the recent death of Gabby Petito and disappearance of her fiancé I’m not sure I would follow this advice. Maybe go to safe places where the toughest situation is who’s gonna tell the hotel clerk there are bedbugs and you want new bedsheets.

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#28

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Do not rush into marriage, and make sure you have multiple serious talks about everything (few examples: religion, family, friends, goals for near future, goals for future, plan for kids, lifestyle, housing, retirement.)

The reason I say multiple talks is because people grow or change the longer they are with each other.

Jim105 , Belle Collective Report

Mari
Community Member
7 months ago

This is the most important thing: talking honest about plans in life, expectations and wishes. If you don't agree about the important things in life, there's no point getting married.

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#29

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Choose someone you like as a person and whose company you genuinely enjoy. Don't just choose them because they are cute, sexy, wealthy, tick all the boxes you have in your head about what a partner should look like.

You will spend a LOT of time with the person you marry. When you come home from a hard day at work, when you are sick, family gatherings, holidays, vacations, down time, I just wanna chill moments, weddings, funerals, dinners, breakfasts, for about 60 years if you are lucky...

That is a long .ss time. You better enjoy their company.

Tldr: if you can't stand the idea of sharing 5x52x60= 15600 meals with a person, don't marry them.

baobab-astro , Amina Filkins Report

Chip Chipovich
Community Member
7 months ago

Similarly, in light of recent events, you should ask yourself if you won't mind spending lockdown with that person. I was astonished at the number of people complaining about having to be with their spouses, implying that work for them is an escape from the family. It made me really sad. For me, lockdown just confirmed that I have the right partner :-)

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#30

30 Things Married Folks Wish All Unmarried People Knew About Marriage Love is a choice, not a feeling.

angmakesit , Stanley Morales Report

Kaliesin
Community Member
7 months ago

I get what you're trying to say here, but soo much damage is done by people thinking someone else should just choose to love them. You simple can't choose who you love. I think this is better expressed as love is an action as well as a feeling - you have to be loving, let them know by what you do.

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