When my husband and I tied the knot, we received a mighty mountain of marriage advice before the big day. Friends, family, and yes, even random strangers shared words of wisdom, while also revealing what they believed to be the key to a happy, successful marriage. Of course, we were both grateful to hear all of these suggestions, and happily listened with open ears.
Yet, as time has passed since declaring "I do," the lovely words of encouragement have somehow transitioned into something else: pesky comments. Although I always aim to keep a positive attitude, being asked rather invasive questions on a regular basis gets old fast. Not only does it twist the conversation into total awkwardness, but it can also be downright annoying. I understand people have their curiosities. I do, too. But I also believe there are some things that really are better left unsaid. You know, like the five remarks below.
1. "You're married? And you're how old? You're still a baby!"
Yes, I was only 23 when I got married and my husband was 24. We get it, we were — and still are — pretty young. But that doesn't mean we weren't ready. Whether a couple decides to tie the knot right after high school, in their mid-thirties, or even in their late sixties, isn't it up to them to decide when is the right time? Marriage isn't a "one-size-fits-all" kind of commitment. Everyone is different and every couple has a different timeline. There's no "right" age to wed.
2. "Enjoy the honeymoon phase while it lasts."
I'll admit, I was completely blown away the first time someone made this statement to my husband and me. Neither one of us knew how to respond, so we both just looked at each other, shrugged, and awkwardly said, "OooK," not knowing what else to do. Still to this day, I haven't quite figured out a good response. Because when you think about it, who's to say when the honeymoon phase even ends? I know it won't last FOREVER but I'd like to believe we're still in the midst of it, even three years later.
3. "What's it like knowing you won't have sex with anyone else ever again?"
Again, this question was another instance I became lost for words. Yes, when we said "I do," we closed the "playing the field" chapter of our lives. But for us — just like the majority of other couples — being in a committed relationship is so much more than simply sex. It's about the unbreakable bond. The idea of living each day with your best friend by your side. The confidence knowing you are with your soulmate. And that feeling is so much more euphoric than any nonchalant fling.
4. "Wow, good for you two for tying the knot, especially with the divorce rate being so high."
A bit pessimistic, right? That's what I was thinking too when I heard this comment. Yes, the divorce rate is rather high, but none of us should use that controversial statistic to indicate whether or not a marriage will last. Each relationship is different and I'd like to believe people get married with the best intentions. So shouldn't we shower newlyweds with encouragement instead of negativity?
5. "When are you two planning to have kids?"
And finally, my favourite question. (Insert sarcasm here.) I don't know about you, but I can't help but find this remark a bit too personal when others ask. For starters, there's probably some good reasoning why a couple hasn't had kids yet. Whether they are experiencing fertility issues, trying to become more financially stable, or simply don't want to have children — now or ever — it's their own prerogative. And that answer alone should be perfectly justifiable.