after 10 years of marriage, here are 10 things I wish i knew before saying 'I do'

after 10 years of marriage, here are 10 things I wish i knew before saying 'I do'

A tool kit for your nuptials.


Marriage is one of the oldest institutions, if not the oldest recorded institutions out there. It dates all the way back to Adam and Eve, which predates the coming of Christ and the formation of the church.

But less and less people are choosing to opt into this institution. Reports do show good news, however, that the divorce rates have stayed stagnant teetering ≈800K (3.2/1000). Marriage when done right can be the most beautiful union that exists because you build and grow a life together, with shared, dreams, values and even children (should you wish together).

But here are 10 things that every person should know before entering into the unity/sanctity of marriage:

1. The race is not for the swift

I know this is probably happening less and less but societal pressures have historically told women, you have to be married by your mid twenties or no one will want you when you are older. There will be newer models i.e. younger females in their twenties that will be more attractive to the men of your age. And while they age too, they are more desirable than you. It's this kind of chauvinistic crap that has had women rush into incompatible marriages that have for some devastating consequences for years to come.

2. You can't change him (or her)

Why do we always think as women, he'll change for me. He is a horrible father but he will be a great father to "my kids". He never pays his bills on time but he will pay my bills. He cheated on all his past girlfriends but he won't cheat on me because I am "special". Ladies, and in some cases gents, when they show you their real selves, believe them the first time.

3. Know thyself

As one ages, you really start to know yourself. What you will and will not tolerate. I believe that this is the best time to get married when you really know yourself.

4. Grow together

But if you do get married young like me, you have to be willing to grown and change together. Get to know each other anew with each new phase of your lives.

5. Be flexible

When you are joined in matrimony, you win together. You can't just be concerned about your win. If one wins, the other loses, you have to learn to compromise and be flexible without losing yourself. It's a fine balance.

6. Your wedding day is not for you

My sister once told me, my wedding wasn't for me. I thought what. It's for your guest to enjoy. You hardly remember the day. It can be so stressful. So just put yourself in the frame of mind that you are just here to serve others, and you will be just fine.

7. The wedding day is just one day

In the same token, it is just one day. You can spend thousands, hundreds of thousands for the day and forget about the there and after. So spend your money, your time and your plans wisely. Its one day out of the rest of your lives together.

8. Pray together

I can not say this enough. It's important to share the same value system and believe in the same or very similar things at its core value so pray together, pray together, pray together.

9. Have shared visions and goal

Have a shared vision or goal for you marriage. And as you grown and change together make sure you update it from the get go.

10. Start as you mean to go on.

Be a united front. Make decisions together and don't undermine your spouse by making decisions without their input. You should aim to do this before you even get married.

The most important thing is that marriage shouldn't be taken lightly. When you choose to enter into it, you should go in with the mentality "till death do us part" not till divorce do us part.

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I'm That Girl With A Deep Voice, But I'm Not Some Freak Of Nature

I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man.


My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I joke that rather than getting higher, my voice got lower throughout puberty.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when my family members say "Hi Todd" when they pick up the phone when I call. Todd is my brother. I am a girl.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when I have been asked by other females if they're "in the right bathroom" when I tell them "I'm not in line" or "someone's in here" when there's a knock on the stall.

Keep in mind that in most female bathrooms, there are no urinals present and there is a sign outside the door that says "WOMEN." Quite obviously, they're in the correct bathroom, just thrown off by the octave of my voice.

For the girl who asked me if she was in the right bathroom because she was "caught off guard and thought I was a boy," I'm just wondering...

What part about my long hair, mascara, shorts not down to my knees, presence (small presence, but a presence none the less) of boobs, and just my overall demeanor was not enough validation that you are, in fact, in the correct restroom?

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man. Or, when someone calls me over to talk to their friends so they can see how "offsetting" my voice sounds to them.

My favorite story is when I was in a store, and I asked one of the women there a question about a product.

This woman had the audacity to ask me when I "went through my transformation."

She was suggesting that I was a transgender girl because of the sound of my voice. Please recognize that I respect and wholeheartedly accept the trans- population. Please also recognize that I was born a girl, still am a girl, always will be a girl, and asking someone if they are a different gender than they appear to be is not the best way to make a sale.

Frustrated, I told her that she should find a better plastic surgeon and walked out.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be.

And, to make matters worse, I am not your typical "girly-girl."

I die for the New York Rangers, have maybe two dresses in my closet but three shelves full of hand-me-down sweatshirts from my brother and Adidas pants. I do not own a "blouse" nor do I plan on owning one except maybe for business-casual occasions.

Naturally, when a deep voice is paired with a sports-oriented, athletic short-loving, sarcastic girl who couldn't tell you the difference between a stiletto and an average high-heel, I GUESS things can seem "off." However, regardless of the difference you see/hear, no one has the right to make someone feel bad about themselves.

What I always struggled with the most is how (most, moral, common-sense) people will never tell someone they don't know, who may be overweight, that "they're fat" or that they don't like the shirt that they're wearing. Yet, because my voice is not something physically seen, it has become fair game for strangers and acquaintances alike to judge and make comments about.

I used to break down into hysterics when I heard a comment about my voice, whether I was six years old or seventeen years old.

There are times that I still do because I am so fed up and just completely bamboozled by the fact that at the age of twenty, there are still people who just have a blatant disregard for others' feelings and a lack of understanding of what is okay to say and what is not okay to say.

But, just like I ask those people not to judge me, I suppose I can't judge them on their lack of common sense and respect for others.

I'd be lying if I said that the hundreds of thousands of comments I've heard and received targeted at my voice growing up did not play a role in my life. I used to want to be a sports broadcaster. I no longer want to be heard on the radio or seen on TV; snarky comments about my voice being one of the reasons why (among others, like a change of interest and just overall life experiences).

I'd be lying if I said that my struggle with public speaking didn't partially stem from negative feedback about my voice.

I'd be lying if I said that there weren't days I tried to talk as little as possible because I didn't want to be judged and that I am sometimes hesitant to introduce myself to new people because I'm scared my voice will scare them away.

I would also be lying if I said that my voice didn't make me who I am.

I joke constantly about it now, because half the shit that comes out of my mouth mixed with my actions, interests, beliefs, etc., would sound absolutely WHACK if I had a high-pitched "girly" voice.

My voice matches my personality perfectly, and the criticism I have and continue to receive for my "manly" sounding voice has helped shaped me into who I am today. I have learned to love my voice when people have relentlessly tried to make me hate it. I have learned to take the frustration I felt towards my voice and turn it into sympathy for those who have something going on in their life, and therefore feel compelled to make a comment about me, a stranger's voice, to make themselves feel better.

I've learned that to laugh at yourself is to love yourself.

And, I say this not for sympathy. Not for someone to say, "Wait, Syd, I love your voice!"

I say this because I want it to be a reminder for people to watch what they say, and use that noggin before you speak. I say this because I also want to be the voice (haha, get it, 'voice') for those who feel like they've lost theirs.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

So no, I would not be a good alto in a choir because I think I'm tone deaf. And, when you call MY phone number, it is very unlikely that it is my brother or dad answering. Just say hello, because 99.9% of the time, if it's ME you're calling, it's ME that's answering.

Dr. Suess said, "A person's a person no matter how small."

Now I'm saying, "A girl is a girl no matter her octave."

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To My Four-Legged, Furry Best Friend In Heaven, 16 Years Went Far Too Fast

Rest in peace, Princess.


My sweet dear dog,

You were such a good girl and the best friend that any owner could have. I'm so lucky to have been able to call you mine. I have so many memories that I will continue to hold close to my heart as you run around in puppy heaven.

I would first like to thank you. Thank you for being there for me. I mean this literally. Whenever I was sad, you would come over to comfort me and give me kisses. If I was ever crying, you would just sit by me and let me cuddle you until the pain went away. Thank you for being part of my life for so long. You had sixteen wonderful years of life and I wish that I could go back to my fourth birthday and start my journey with you all over again. I fell in love with you right from the start. You watched me go through elementary school, middle school and high school and have been there to welcome me home on breaks these past 3 years of college. You've seen me go through heartbreaks, celebratory moments and casual boring days. Whether it was my worst or my best, you were there for it all.

Any time I would come home, you'd be there wagging your tail at the door, ready to follow me around the moment I set foot into the house. You would wait until I ate dinner to run over to your bowl and eat your food. That alone is something that made me feel so connected and bonded with you.

Growing up, you and I were inseparable. Whether it be locked in my room, watching movies in the den together or you begging me for food any time you saw me eat, we established an incredible bond. Although it didn't snow very often in our area, I still remember tossing you out into the snow to see how you'd like it. Of course, though, you'd stand there and look at me with a look on your face that said, "you better get me out of this stupid snow before I go and chew up your stuff." We have so many memories that I'm going to miss so much. I'd name them all, but that would make this letter become a novel.

I'm beyond grateful that I was able to come home a week before your passing. I got to lay with you one last time on my bedroom floor and hold you for a while. As I stroked your head and told you how much I loved you, something was telling me that that moment was going to be the last time I got to see you, which made me feel like I needed to take all the pictures I had of you and bring them back to school with me.

A week later, I got the call about how you went. As heartbreaking as it was and how lost I still feel, I'm so lucky to have been able to share that final moment with you. You were such a good girl and I hope you never thought for even a second that you were unloved. When I go home, it's not going to feel the same at all. It's going to be weird not having you lay at the foot of my bed, or sneak cuddles with me when you wouldn't cuddle anyone else. You're the longest-living dog I've seen and I'm so proud that you were mine.

I love you so much, pretty girl. I hope you watch over me and continue to be my four-legged furry companion from heaven. Thank you for the amazing, unforgettable and best 16 years of my life.

Rest in peace, Princess.

Love always,

your mama

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