Not too long ago, we shared a post in which married people revealed the things every unmarried couple should know before tying the knot, and they kept it all the way honest and real:
Well, of course married people in the BuzzFeed Community chimed in with their own all-the-way-real marriage advice, and theirs is also worthy of note-taking:
1."The most valuable piece of advice I received was, 'You are vowing to stay together — you are not vowing to stay the same people.' Man, did that hit home, and honestly, the more I thought about it, the more comfortable I have been through all the changes. My husband and I are not the same people we were 13 years ago, but it's been wonderful growing with him."
2."Don't marry the person you get along well with — marry the person you fight well with. It's easy to get along with people, and there are plenty of people you can have a great time with. But finding the partner whose fighting style is compatible with yours is the mark of something that can last."
"Some people need fireworks and drama, some rarely strike out, and the subtlety of when they do can belie the depth of their hurt or need. When you find the person that you can conflict well with, you become strongest at the breaks."
3."Treat your spouse better than you treat strangers. We have friends who were polite to service people and distant acquaintances, but skipped the manners with their spouse. 'Please,' 'Thank you,' and showing appreciation goes a long way. If your spouse is the most important person in your life, treat them that way."
"All those little shows of respect and caring add up over the months and years. Thirty-one years after our wedding, we say 'Thank you,' 'Please,' and 'I'm sorry' a dozen times a day."
4."Learn to let some stuff go. There will be points where you are going to want to kill each other, but you figure it out and move on. Don't stay mad forever about something that probably isn't that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.'
5."My advice is for couples to take a weeklong car trip together before getting married. Does your partner like to go off the route and meander through the countryside? Do they believe in driving straight to the destination and not stopping unless it's urgent? Are they aggressive with other drivers? And do they need to stay at 4-star hotels, or are they OK with a Motel 6, if that's most convenient? Some of these things are values, and others are about flexibility."
6."Don't get married during the honeymoon phase. Wait until it's been at least two or three years and you've seen them happy, sad, glad, and angry."
"Also, note the way they act toward others when they are angry because that’s how they will be with you later on. I was with someone who acted like such an amazing person while we were dating, and they turned into a psycho after we were married. It was devastating to me! But marriage is hard work, not a fairy tale, and knowing that reality will help."
7."Make sure you know what a healthy marriage looks like. I grew up with parents who had a terrible marriage filled with abuse, and that's what I believed was normal. But it caused so many issues when my husband and I first started dating. I learned that I had to surround myself with other couples who had healthier relationships than what my parents had."
"I truly believe that if I hadn’t done that, our marriage would never have lasted, because I wouldn’t have seen or learned what healthy marriages looked like."
8."Know that it’s the two of you in the relationship, not other family members — they are your supporting cast. If you start dragging in others, you'll have even bigger problems."
9."Don't compromise! When you compromise, someone loses. When someone wants what the other doesn't, there's a need. Find out what that need is."
"And remember, it’s the two of you against the problem. Work with each other to solve it."
10."You don't have to spend every waking minute together. Spending time with your friends, keeping your own interests and hobbies, and even vacationing separately is OK! If you love going to the theater and your significant other doesn't, find a friend to go with. Nothing ruins Hamilton faster than your spouse rolling their eyes, asking, 'Is it over yet?'"
11."Don't go into marriage thinking you can 'change' your spouse — you can't. Believe first in your heart that this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, through the ugly and the beautiful."
12."Sparks come and go, but true friendship lasts. If the person you're with isn't your best friend — or at least one of your best friends — it might not last."
13."If you plan to marry someone, you NEED to discuss kids, religion, politics, end-of-life care, and death. So many people go into marriage thinking they can persuade their partner later into or out of their opinions, but it never ends well. Talk about the uncomfortable stuff — it will be so much easier in the long run to either figure out how to work it out or realize it's not a good idea."
14."Learn how to fight appropriately and go to therapy together."
15."Get comfortable sharing your sexual desires, hearing theirs, and acting together on these things."
16."Sometimes it's OK to go to bed angry. When I'm angry, my husband always wants to get things right before bed, but he has since learned that I just need to sleep it off so that we can address it when I am calmer and thinking more rationally."
17."Own two comforters."
18."Never stop laughing and goofing off together. No matter the money problems, no matter the sexual dry spells, and no matter the stress of life, if you can make each other laugh, you can have a beautiful relationship."
19."Keep yourself intact — don't give up yourself to be 'the couple.' You're an individual in a partnership, with important qualities that are yours alone to share in that partnership."
20."Don't be afraid to talk about money. It will affect so much of your everyday lives."
21."Sometimes you have to say or do things that are hurtful to your spouse in the moment for the overall health of your partnership. It was agony to tell my husband how much his drinking was hurting me and our partnership — and it was excruciating for me to hear him finally admit the depths of his addiction. But without those revelations, I truly believe he would have driven me out the door and drunk himself to death. Instead, he's now five years sober, and we are planning to have our first child together. If you are loving, supportive, committed, and honest, you can get through these moments of pain together."
22."Everyone's marriage is different. Don't compare, and don't let other people compare. Be involved in your own marriage 100%."
23."Remember that the hardest part about falling in love — really, deeply in love — is that there's no guarantee it will work out. Fall in love anyway! It's the best thing I ever did."
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.