Whether you’ve just tied the knot in the wedding of your dreams, or you’re still dreaming of the big day, marriage has a few secrets that nobody readily shares… except for your best friend. If you’re determined to have a great marriage (and who isn’t?) here are the marriage secrets you need to know:

Marriage isn’t always a piece of cake.

Sometimes you fight about nothing. Eventually you’ll learn that it’s always about something, even though you don’t always know or understand what that something is right away. When you’re married, there’s an adjustment period, a settling-in that happens. Without strong communication of expectations, you just might find yourself fighting more over nothing when it’s really a whole lot of something. Talk to one another. Come up with a system before the wedding day to voice your concerns. Try a “concern book” where you jot down things that are just bugging you. No judgement. No recourse. Just honesty. It might surprise you both what comes up and what you need to work on together.

marriage secrets

Sex will be cyclical.

Some days you’ll be newlywed bunnies, and other times you might not have red-hot, passionate sex for a few weeks. It’s all okay. There is no normal amount. Stop Googling for the data! Get into your own groove with your partner and just go with it. If the sex gets wearisome (or is lacking) consider ways to spice it back up. Our top tip: never ever forget to date your spouse. Especially those naughty dates you thought you would never have again. Changing up the location, an outfit or even a scenario adds fire to those flames. Never underestimate the power of change.

You might be just like your mother (or father).

This news is probably drawing some major cringe-face from you, but it’s completely true. We grow up mimicking our parents so you might actually be more like them than you think. It’s not a bad thing, just something to be aware of. If your mother can’t cook, maybe you should invest in some lessons. If your dad didn’t spend a lot of quality time with the family, maybe you can come up with a big family night. Seeing the patterns will help you change them (or keep them if they’re amazing).

The first year is often the hardest…

Year one is a challenge for a lot of couples. It’s reframing your relationship from boyfriend/girlfriend status into spouse. Those words have meaning, even if only in our mind. You may find yourself feeling different or even acting different post-wedding as a newlywed and surprise yourself! New roles = new challenges. Embrace them, and figure out as a couple how to make your partnership work.

… As is the seventh.

Likewise, year seven (or five or ten) can have their own challenges as you individually grow, change or start a family. You need to keep putting your partner and your relationship first to grow together instead of apart. Putting in the work to strengthen your marriage as time passes in one of the key marriage secrets to longevity.

Marriage can change the world.

Nobody talks about it, but by choosing your partner every single day and proclaiming your love to them, you are changing the world. Strong marriages set a standard of love. Whether your standard is just living a fulfilling life together as a couple or having children, choosing love makes you part of the 50% of marriages that are role models for a generation desperately seeking love.

We don’t talk often about building strong, loving, romantic, sexual marriages. We talk about the divorce rate. It gets all the press, and it’s time to stop that. Marriage is amazing, and now you know why your friends in healthy marriages always seem to be smiling.

Crystal Adair-Benning
After sixteen years as a Wedding Planner with Distinct Occasions, Crystal has plenty of tales. She is the author of bestseller, Wedding Planner Problems. She has been married and divorced and now happily lives in sin. World traveler and digital nomad — never far from a pineapple, palm tree and surfboard. Unicorns are her spirit animal.