Many singles spend years waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right to come along and sweep them off their feet. Falling in love and marrying your soulmate sounds like a dream come true on the surface, but is the grass truly greener as a party of two? I interviewed married couples and singles to get their take on life before and after marriage. The bottom line? The grass is only greener where you water it. Read below to see what each couple and individual had to say about the pros and cons of married life, and what they learned along the way.
Dan and Melissa Hill
36 years of marriage
Dan and Melissa have been married for 36 years and are still standing strong, even though they have had their fair share of ups and downs. Although they’ve had their tense moments, as all married couples do, they believe the glue holding their marriage together is their genuine friendship and deep love for each other. According to Melissa, “We’ve both had periods of doubt when times have gotten tough, but we actually like each other so much that the good always outweighs the bad. Just the thought of living without each other causes extreme pain.”
When they first got married and started living together, the two were forced to quickly learn how to adjust to each other’s nuances and quirks. With both of them having vastly different housekeeping habits, Dan was underprepared to be patient with Melissa’s messy nature – especially when it comes to laundry. The remedy? For the last 20 years, Dan has learned to choose his battles; instead of nagging Melissa to change, he has resorted to purchasing his own laundry baskets and writing his name all over them in bright red letters to ensure that he always has an empty laundry basket for his Sunday washing and drying cycles.
Although Dan might be tidy, he is far from perfect in Melissa’s eyes. Through growing pains and trial and error, Melissa eventually learned that Dan was much more receptive to listening and having deep conversations after having 30 to 45 minutes of quiet time following a long day of work.
Matthew and Lindsey Cox
18 months of marriage
Only a few months after meeting, newlyweds Matt and Lindsey knew they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together and decided to tie the knot, having spent the majority of their young adult lives single. Both praying relentlessly for years for the right person to come along, they clicked instantly after meeting on a whim. After welcoming a brand new baby boy, Brady, in August, the two are elated to raise a family together and continue growing as a couple.
When asked if they ever had doubts due to their fast-paced engagement, they both replied, “Never. We both knew 100% this was meant to be. God answered our prayers.”
With Matt in his late 20s and Lindsey in her early 30s, they were prepared to need time apart from each other after living most of their lives untethered. Despite years of independence under their belts, they are surprised to find that they still want to spend every second together after getting married. Sharing food, a bank account and a closet wasn’t nearly as much of a challenge as they anticipated.
Divorced with children
Brian and his former wife met in college and got married in their early 20s. With two children at home, Brian and his former wife juggled his busy schedule as a pilot and maintaining a stable household. Although no one enters marriage with the intent of getting divorced, Brian has learned that post-marriage life isn’t all doom and gloom. According to Brian, “One thing I definitely don’t miss about being married is having to answer questions like, ‘Does this make me look fat?’”
“When I’m not with my children, I definitely like having my freedom and being able to spend my time how I want to spend it,” explains Brian. “I was married in my 20s, and I feel like I’m living a new chapter of life in my 30s. Sometimes I like coming home to a quiet house, but there are days when it’s definitely too quiet and lonely. The main aspect of marriage that I miss is having someone to come home and vent to after a bad day, or having someone to take out to a nice dinner.”
Despite his occasional twinge of loneliness, Brian is in no rush to remarry. Instead, he stays busy in the air and spends as much time with his son and daughter as possible. He loves his life as a father and a pilot, and is grateful that he has the opportunity to travel for a living and provide a great home for his children.