"Little Annoyances Become Bigger Problems": 22 People Shared The Harsh Realities Of Marriage That No One Talks About
Reddit user u/hoelythong_ recently posed the question: "What sucks when you get married?" The thread quickly filled with many intense, brutally honest perspectives. Here's what people shared:
1."When one person is messy and the other is neat. My husband is extremely neat and often feels like he's cleaning up after me, while I feel incredibly guilty about it but have not yet found proper habits/coping mechanisms for keeping a space neat. I have ADHD and it's just very hard to figure out things that work. On the other hand, I help him be less uptight about small things, and he's helping me build better habits and live in a neat space. I've grown to enjoy neat spaces a lot more, and now I clean out of an active desire to live in a neat space, which is an amazing improvement. I'm optimistic that things will continue to gradually improve in this area. So, although it can be really hard and parts of it suck, it can also be helpful."
2."Having to split the holidays between the in-laws and always having someone mad because you can’t be at two places at once! It sucks! All you want is a peaceful time. It gets worse once you have kids. They all want to see the kids, of course. We’ve since moved away from everyone and still get harassed about visiting, but with our health issues, it’s hard to travel. Too bad, so sad."
3."When my husband and I first got married and I moved in with him, I actually had some severe anxiety around how fast my life changed. Learning how to live in a new house, sleep in bed with someone, and figure out how to make this new stage of our relationship work was a lot! Getting my last name changed sucked, too. If I had liked my maiden name, I would've considered just keeping it, but the new name is much better. It was a lot of running around to different registries, getting new IDs, and, for some reason, getting my provincial healthcare card updated with my new name didn't change my name with the provincial healthcare system, so I got yelled at by a medical receptionist to the point of tears because I was 'so dumb' to think the two went hand-in-hand."
"Finally, learning how to budget and manage our vastly different attitudes towards debt. I am extremely debt adverse, and he doesn't care. For him, it is a tool which he can leverage; for me, it is a weight holding us back. We've had a few rocky years with finances (he's worked for companies that have folded, I have had a few medical issues that prevented me from working a full-time job, we both lost income due to Covid, etc.), but we are getting it figured out. If we could just get rid of the debt, I know things would be a lot easier."
4."Sharing a bedroom. I like my own room and I got married in my late 30s. I made it about 15 years, then moved into my own sleeping quarters. We are much happier. Sleeping like a starfish is awesome."
5."Finding out that your in-laws (who put up with you and tried to act nice until you got married) are really awful humans that normal people don't want to deal with."
6."The low-key never-ending background war you both engage in while trying to assert your arbitrary dominance over the way things are done. How you load the dish washer. Whether or not you take shoes off at the door. How you squeeze a tube of toothpaste. So on and so forth. Does any of this actually matter? No. Is it of any consequence whatsoever for each of you to do things differently? Also no. But, will it make you both irrationally annoyed forever? You bet. I love my husband. He is, hands-down, my favorite person on this planet and I’m so lucky to have him. He is far easier to live with than I know I could ever dream of being, but the way he puts a cereal box back in the cupboard with only a handful left in the bag makes me want to strangle him."
7."'For better or worse' includes the 'worse.' When your spouse has a chronic health issue, a mental health issue, or substance abuse problems, you have committed to being there for at least a reasonable effort in carrying through it together. That can be taxing beyond belief."
8."Not being able to independently decide to move somewhere, take a new job, or randomly switch up major aspects of your life because you feel like it. Suddenly, there is this whole other person attached to everything you do, and both of you need to be on board with major decisions."
9."When you go through rough patches with your spouse. Maybe you aren't spending enough quality time together (because life) or not having sex enough, so you fight/bicker more. Little annoyances become bigger problems until you finally talk through it and things get back on track."
10."I've been married 29 years and I absolutely adore my wife, but sometimes the compromises aren't great. We do it out of love and devotion, but once in a while, it sucks. Anything from going to family gatherings, to what to watch on TV, to home decorating. We each have our own hobbies and interests, so compromise is essential to a good marriage."
11."When the two of you change differently over time in a way that becomes less compatible. People are always changing. Sure, the core of who you are remains relatively the same, but your likes, preferences, and ambitions can evolve as the years go by. Especially after having kids. Sometimes two people change in opposite directions and the chemistry isn't what it once was."
12."Having to decide what to eat every night for the rest of your life while also trying to accommodate the other."
13."Getting used to little quirks. He leaves the towel scrunched up, and I leave the bathroom window open for too long. Not having your bed to yourself. Doing laundry for two. But all these are just minor inconveniences in an otherwise great marriage. Oh, and not making plans for vacations by myself. I used to have much more freedom. Now we even have to schedule separate vacations together and plan around each other's schedules. I can't just leave on vacation with my friends spontaneously anymore."
14."Not getting as much free time. I love my wife and I love spending time with her, but I also tend to like different kinds of movies than she does, so it’s hard to find a good time to watch them. She always wants me to go to sleep at the same time as her when I’d rather stay up."
15."Your spouse's family problems become your problems too."
16."I've been married for 10 years, and the hardest thing is when we aren't together. You get so used to having your +1 next to you when you go out to dinner, to the store, etc. They are the person that I bounce conversations off of. They are the one I point stuff out to and we make comments about. When I'm away for work, I find that we constantly send pics and messages in the chat while we are out because we both still crave the other's responses to stuff. I honestly forgot how to go out by myself and enjoy things like dinning or shopping alone."
17."Learning to vocalize your intentions. 'I'm thinking about not doing the dishes right now — maybe later — so don't get mad at me,' instead of waiting until later to do the dishes, but running into a bunch of attitude about the pile dishes and then having to yell, 'BUT I WAS GONNA!' Nah, you need to vocalize your intentions."
18."Someone else eating the leftovers/chocolate/snack you’ve been looking forward to all day. The thought of that delicious lasagna from last night sustaining you through meetings or such…and it’s gone. Ugh!"
19."If you want the marriage to last, you have to be constantly accountable for the commitment. That doesn't necessarily suck in and of itself, but if you're the type of person who isn't accustomed to personal reflection or making rational decisions, it can really suck to ask yourself the hard questions and take action. For example, if you put on a face to conceal your emotions, that dishonesty will lead to inconsistent behavior and conflict. Marriage is a responsibility, and if you aren't in that mindset, then everything is gonna suck. No shame in admitting that you don't want to do the work. Mind you: It's probably better, or at least more ethical, to avoid marriage (or get a divorce) instead of living in a state of frequent aggravation until one of you dies."
20."Lack of privacy. Sometimes I just want to be alone. I love my husband, but I do miss my 'go home, get pizza, don’t talk to anyone' days sometimes."
21."Having to watch your spouse go through health issues and not being able to help them. We've had a rough few years lately. I know it could always be worse, but I’m hoping the law of averages is a real thing and we catch a break. I can’t tell you how much I just want our health to be fine. That’s it. Don’t have to be rich. Don’t need a job I absolutely love. Don’t need a bigger house. Just want us both to be healthy. That’s it."
22.Finally: "Petty things get amplified because you've seen each other do them a million times and it gets irritating. But, you don't want to make a big deal out of it because it shouldn't be a big deal, which ends up making it a big deal and you argue over the most mundane BS you could possibly dream up. But, you should suck it up because whatever inane thing is bothering you about your spouse it's not worth losing them over."
Are there any other difficult aspects of marriage you think people should normalize or talk more about? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.