[COLUMN] The Lovers Rocque:<br />
3 Tough Lessons for Newlyweds

And now it's about to get real...

Whenever most people discover I’m a newlywed they ask, “How’s married life?” It was cute the first couple of times but now I feel like I have to write a script and practice my reply because, so far, my response to that question is, “It’s good,” which doesn’t seem to cut it. I always see a look of disappointment on people’s faces when I don’t elaborate about how the magic married genie appeared out of thin air and transformed my life to a new level of happiness.

The truth is, married life is wonderful but that’s because I’m a newlywed and it should be amazing. Hubby and I are in a phase where it’s almost reminiscent of when we first became a couple. We want to be around each other 24/7 and we can’t keep our hands off of each other. My point is, the “How’s married life?” question is better reserved for people who have been husband and wife for a few years, because that’s when they would have some of the real rough patches that await and figured out whether they can really see themselves with that person for the long haul or not.

I understand that people asking said question are just making small talk and those who aren’t married are probably genuinely interested in what it’s like to be wed since singles, my former self included, tend to look at marriage as this mystical occurrence in life that fixes all your problems. However, it’s a lot more complicated than people think. So, at almost four months in, I can’t answer how the married life is other that “good,” but I can tell you that marriage teaches you a lot about yourself. Here are three lessons I’ve learned since becoming a wife and how I apply them to real life.

1. I is now we but I still love and pursue my independence. One thing I never want to do is lose myself in this relationship. I was perfectly fine pursuing my passions when I was single and that’s what I’ll continue to do as a wife. Of course, we engage in activities and interests that belong to us but it’s important to take some time apart from each other and continue to grow as an individual. I still attend my favorite dance classes, work out when I want to and hang out with my friends every now and then. I’ve discovered that the time spent away from my husband makes me miss and appreciate him more, which actually strengthens our bond when we’re back together after the hustle and bustle of life outside of our relationship.

2. Marriage is about sharing. Obviously, marriage is not for those who tend to be selfish and uncompromising but you take for granted just how much you may have to share. Even the simplest act still requires that you consider your spouse. If I want a sandwich, I’ll still ask hubby if he’d like one too before heading to the kitchen. A simple act like that could be the difference between making your partner feel slighted and actually bringing you closer together. It sounds trivial but a small gesture like fixing a plate or asking if he’d like something from the kitchen goes a long way. The thought really does count and there’s no better way to make someone feel special than to show that you’ve been thinking about him/her.

3. Money matters even when you have your own bank account. Hubby and I have a joint bank account but also separate bank accounts so that we can still shop and do what we want at our own leisure. But, if you’re getting one too many packages from various shoe websites and clothing retailers you might still get the side-eye and threats of an intervention. It’s common knowledge that money is the root of a lot of arguments for couples but the point is to make sure that your contribution to the joint account for bills and whatever important expenses you have as a couple are on point first before going on a spending frenzy. It’s something I sometimes struggle with, but I’m working on it.

Are you of the belief that getting married equals automatic happiness? Have you ever lost yourself in a relationship? Sound off!

Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.