20 THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE," I DO!"

There are so many things I wish I knew about marriage when I was single, that I KNOW would have better prepared me for the journey. And marriage...is a major journey!

Like most little girls, I too, wanted to be discovered by my Prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. And I believed in this concept wholeheartedly for decades until . . .

I got married.

The music stopped playing, I stopped twirling in my ball gown to Disney's, "Once Upon a Dream," and my crystal horse-drawn carriage took off charging into the forest! I came down from Fantasy Land and hit reality with a hard "T-H-U-D!" ... A Really Hard THUD!

I remember in my early 20's, being bright eyed and excited about the thought of getting married one day, and having a conversation with two women in their 40's about marriage. One laughed when I asked her, "what's the best thing was about marriage?" Her friend chimed in and said, "my advice is to make sure he loves you more than you love him." I was shocked by their responses! It made such an impression on me... I never forgot it.

While I was stunned by their counsel and advice, I didn't allow their obvious bitterness taint my perspective about marriage. I was still eager and excited about one day saying, "I DO."

There have been many ups and downs along my journey in marriage that remind me of the advice I had received from those veteran wives, and I remember on several occasions, saying out loud, "Ahhh! I see how bitterness could creep in, if you're not careful."

MARRIAGE IS NO JOKE and has definitely been a journey! And it's only been 14 years, which is a FAR cry from FOREVER! Yes, like many wives, I have been disappointed in more ways than one, but I have also experienced happiness like never before. But, what I have realized about life and marriage, is that it's all about CHOICES!

In my personal and professional experience, here is my "take" on what happens on the other side of, "I DO!" Because no one told me . . . or maybe they tried and I really just didn't want to hear it.

DISCLAIMER: for all the SINGLE WOMEN DESIRING TO GET MARRIED. This post will tell it like it is and may poke a small hole in your fantasy bubble. #divorceprevention  If you don't like hearing the TRUTH, abandon ship now and STOP READING HERE!

20 Things I wish I knew BEFORE, "I DO!"

1. YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR HUSBAND, NOR IS IT YOUR JOB TO! 

2. YOU WILL HAVE TO HAVE SEX WHEN YOU DON'T FEEL LIKE IT...IF YOU WANT TO HONOR GOD!

3. YOUR HUSBAND WILL TRY TO FIX EVERYTHING, EVEN WHEN YOU JUST WANT HIM TO LISTEN! NO NEED TO BE DRAMATIC, JUST ASK HIM TO LISTEN.

4. YOUR HUSBAND IS NOT A MIND READER, ONLY YOUR GIRLFRIEND IS!

5. YOUR HUSBAND WILL SHUT DOWN WHEN HE HAS NO CLUE WHAT TO DO OR SAY, HELP HIM OUT OF THE HEADLIGHTS AND JUST TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT!  

6. YOUR HUSBAND MAY NOT KNOW HOW TO LEAD YOUR FAMILY, DON'T CRITICIZE OR JUDGE HIM, CREATE A SAFE PLACE FOR HIM TO LEARN AND BE SURE HE KNOWS YOU'VE GOT HIS BACK...NO MATTER WHAT! 

7. YOUR HUSBAND HAS NO CLUE THAT THE KEY TO CONNECTING PHYSICALLY WITH YOU IS TO CONNECT EMOTIONALLY WITH YOU FIRST! ALWAYS REWARD FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR!

8. YOUR HUSBAND THINKS IT'S TOO MUCH WORK TO PURSUE YOU LIKE HE DID BEFORE YOU WERE MARRIED. SOLUTION...GO TO BED NAKED! 

9. MAKE DATE NIGHTS A WEEKLY PRIORITY!

10. TOUGH TIMES ONLY LAST A SEASON! ENDURE!

11. DON'T SUFFER IN SILENCE! IT'S STUPID! ASK A COUPLE YOU TRUST TO HELP YOU THROUGH STICKY SITUATIONS! 

12. NEVER USE THE "D" WORD IN A HEATED ARGUMENT! NEVER! (D WORD = DIVORCE)

13. DON'T WASTE YOUR ENERGY GETTING ANGRY OVER THE SAME THING! JUST PUT A LINER BACK IN THE TRASH CAN.

14. YOUR SPOUSE WAS DESIGNED TO GROW YOU AND DEVELOP YOU INTO WHO GOD CREATED YOU TO BE! YEP! AND YOU WILL HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO LOVE HIM THROUGH NOT LIKING HIM VERY MUCH! LOL

15. MARRIED COUPLES ARE DESIGNED TO BECOME ONE. THAT MEANS SHARE E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. 

16. INVITE GOD TO PARK AT THE CENTER OF YOUR MARRIAGE, SO YOUR EMOTIONS, OFFENSES AND FEELINGS DON'T RULE OVER YOU.

17. DON'T GIVE YOUR POWER AWAY TO FEAR! STAND IN FAITH!

18. COMMUNICATION 101. WOULD YOU RATHER BE RIGHT OR RECONCILED? CHOOSE RECONCILIATION. 

19. FORGIVING FIRST DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE WEAK, SELFISHNESS DOES! 

20. DON'T RELY ON YOURSELF OR YOUR SPOUSE . . . ONLY RELY ON GOD!

Christy Little Jones is a Speaker, Relationship Coach and Professional Encourager to women and couples all over the world.  She teaches people how to fall madly in love with themselves, develop intimacy with God, live with integrity and love powerfully,  Connect with www.mrschristyjones.com