The first year of marriage is everything: good, bad, strange, boring, funny, sad, crazy, normal. I swear: It's everything! And you learn a lot. Here are 17 things you learn on your first year of marriage:
1. It's weird to be called someone's wife.
It's also weird to call someone your husband (or your wife!). It's so weird, but also awesome! And yeah, did I mention weird?! You'll fill out paperwork and it'll ask if you're single or married and you'll start to circle single and then be all, "Crap! Can I get a new form?" It's weird!
2. You'll be your true grossest selves in front of each other.
You're married, and all bets are off. You're farting all over each other; you're peeing with the door open; he's shaving while you shower. He now knows that sometimes you don't shower for two days in a row and forget to brush your teeth. He likes you anyway. Ain't love grand!
3. Joint finances are annoying to figure out.
Seriously, it sucks. Joining financial forces is difficult and confusing, and it's probably a good idea to get some help from a planner. Figure out what your goals are, the differences in how you spend, and how to make it all flow. Tackle this now, and be set for life!
4. Couple counseling isn't a terrible idea.
Learning how to communicate in a kind, respectful way is much easier when things are going well than when things are shit. If you get the tools in the beginning of your marriage, it'll help you later on, guaranteed.
5. You'll talk about babies more.
Whether or not they're happening, and when. This year? Next year? Five years? Ten years? Never? (Life-changing) decisions, (life-changing) decisions!
6. You'll say to yourself about once a week, "Holy shit! I'm fucking married!"
Maybe not in those exact words, but the realization will hit you, and you'll get a warm tingly feeling or a very freaked out feeling. Sometimes both!
7. You'll talk about your wedding a lot.
"Remember when Anna was so drunk and made out with John!?" and, "Oh my god, it was crazy I WAS CRYING SO MUCH." You'll share memories and obsess over your photos. Speaking of obsessing over photos:
8. You'll show everyone you meet your wedding photos.
What?! It was a great wedding! And it took forever to find the perfect photographer who really ~understood~ your angles, and so, dammit, the people will see those expensive-ass photos! And often! (You'll also try to get them on a blog. No shame!)
9. Fully integrating your life can be a pain in the ass.
Bank accounts, and credit cards, and mortgages, and leases, and it goes on and on. Figuring all that stuff out takes time, patience, and effort. It'll be challenging, but you got this. And if you don't, you can get a divorce. No bigs!
10. You'll wonder if you made the right decision.
When you fully integrate your life, of course there will be moments of total freak out. But you probably made the right decision!
11. You'll experiment.
~Sexually~. In an attempt to prove you're not an old, you will try the stuff you read about in Cosmo. Yes, you are now a person who uses the sex tips in this very magazine to get funky fresh with your husband. Hi! Welcome!
12. Your shorthand will get even shorter.
You start to text in an entirely new language, and communicate in series of grunts and farts. It's pretty great.
13. Your partner's parents will start to annoy you in the same way they annoy your partner.
Two sets of parents! Two sets of fun! (Or, alternately, you'll get even closer with your amazing in-laws. Lucky you!) (This is actually true for me, so I don't know what I'm whining about.)
14. You'll feel like you're doing more than he is.
And he'll feel like he's doing more than you are. Talk about that. Figure it out now. Don't let those resentments grow—it'll be hard to beat it.
15. You'll reestablish your own interests.
Since you do *a lot* together now, you'll both figure out ways to reconnect with the people and things you did before you went into ~super serious couple mode~. So what if the mug you made in ceramics class looks like a lump of human excrement? It's YOUR lump of human excrement!
16. You might get a pet.
If you didn't have a pooch or a pussy (sorry) before, you might take a trip to the shelter for your very own pre-human child. Reminder: cats and dogs are nothing like kids, so if you think you want a kid, just do that instead. Another reminder: cats and dogs are awesome on their own, and my dog Hazel is basically our biological daughter. She's a fat redhead like me, and an adorable grumpy gus like my husband. So there's that, too!
17. You will figure out that being kind to each other is the most important thing.
You might've known this before you got married (SHOW OFF!), but if you're slow like me, you'll realize that the #1 key to a marriage is being kind to each other. Also: Respect. Love. Benefit of the doubt. Kindness. You're gonna make it.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.