I really wish that the world population were required to take a class in what it really means to be married. So much of what we learn from media, at least in the states, is that marriage will sweep you off your feet and keep you off your feet through all eternity.  I can only assume that this is what it means, since most movies end once we know true love and/or marriage has commenced.  However, if I were to personally give advice to someone thinking of getting married, I think I would give different advice than “follow your heart.”  I would actually include the following items:

1.  You really DO marry your in-laws:  You know those people that you have dinner with once a month?  Yeah, well, they hold much more power than you think.  As your parents and siblings do for you, being a part of a family means fending off the unsolicited advice and the annoying habits.

2.  If the most important thing was superficial love, half of all marriages wouldn’t end in divorce.  Look, your puppy love and infatuation will fade.  So will your looks. And his.  If you have kids, your free time will vanish.  In many of those years, what is left between the two of you is largely a business partnership.  It’s about money, division of time, and values.  Marry someone you would go into business with or can at least speak with like you would.

3.  It’s okay to go to bed mad.  You may cool down and see things better in the morning.

4. Sex will still be good in ten years.  In fact, it may be better.

5.  Life is long, and marriage is too.  We all make mistakes.  Most of them can be forgiven.  In my honest opinion, too many people throw away a marriage because they’re in a bad temporary situation.  Yet most people that I know who have divorced have said that, had they done it all over again, they would not have left a marriage just to deal with a temporary situation.  Rather, they should have permanently dealt with the situation, then let the marriage heal itself.

6.  That said, please, still marry for love.  I believe that true love IS out there, and that, with a smart head screwed on, we can still let it sweep us off our feet.