The ‘one thing’ that shocked me in my early years of marriage

“What is one thing you wish you knew before marriage?”. I get this question all the time from ladies-in-waiting and young couples. I can understand why this question is asked; I had the same question myself several years ago. I spoke to family and friends about it. I also read books, listened to podcasts and watched videos about it. One of the books I stumbled across while searching for answers was Gary Chapman’s ’10 things I wish I’d known before we got married.’

Armed with all the information I had gleaned, one would think I entered marriage fully equipped for whatever might arise. So, no surprises, yeah? Wrong! Absolutely wrong!!!

A handsome man and his beautiful wife holding each other closely and smiling beautifully.

Typically, on the wedding day, they say, “marriage is an institution. You get your certificate just as you begin because you never graduate from this institution – and I agree. When I got married, I knew I would learn a lot. However, nothing prepared me for the magnitude of learning, unlearning and relearning that I would have to do to make a success of my marriage.

To illustrate this point, I’d share an example.

One evening in the first few weeks of our marriage, I decided to ‘surprise’ my husband with a special three-course dinner. I spent a few hours preparing the meal. When I finished cooking, I tasted the food. It was delicious! As I dished it into the serving bowl, I couldn’t help but imagine how much we would enjoy the meal. Guess who was in for a surprise? Me!! “After tasting this meal, Mo would send another goat to my parents 🤣🤣 – as par wifey extraordinaire! I thought to myself. (He sent a goat to my parents after the wedding as a token of appreciation for giving him a jewel 🤪).

As my husband tasted the first spoon of the creamy coconut curry rice with vegetables I had prepared, he said, “bring the jar of salt.” Whoops! I’ve never been stung by a bee, but those are words? They stung. My ego was deflated; it was saddening 😅. As I stood up to get some salt, one voice in my head screamed, “how can he even be asking for salt? If I add even one more granule of salt to this food, it would be too salty! I’m a great cook, and I know the right amount of salt to add to my food!! 🙄”. Another voice said softly, “this is the first time, so let it slide.” I went with the latter voice and tried my best to be pleasant for the rest of the evening. It was hard, but I pulled through.

One month later, the same ‘no salt’ scenario played out again. Just a few days before, some friends visited and gifted us a lovely set of pink Himalayan salt and pepper grinder, so I brought it out and placed it on the table. It was a perfect gift, and I had found the proper use for it.

In the third month, it reoccurred. At that point, I knew something was wrong. I observed the trend to make correlations. That was when I realized that at a ‘special’ time in the month, my salt taste perception changes. I later read that other women have similar observations, and numerous studies have validated these claims. It makes sense because of the hormonal changes during a woman’s ovulation cycle. As a biochemist, I understand the cascade of events triggered by such hormonal fluctuations and their far-reaching effects. I found it intriguing that I had lived 20+ years of my life, and I never knew this change in gustatory perception (aka ‘saltlessness’) was a thing for me 😅. When I was single, it never mattered because I mostly prepared my meals, and during those times I ate meals prepared by others, I could easily forgive such a trivial, salty mistake.

It was me all along – to think that I thought Mo was the problem. Through reflection, I learnt something new about myself, making it easier to handle this type of situation when it occurs again.

The learning curve in marriage could be very steep – especially in the early years. Much more if, like me, you jumped directly from friendship into courtship and married a stranger-turned-best friend. I’m always up for a challenge. Hence steep curve or not, I’m enjoying the beauty of learning in the institution of marriage with the best teammate in the world.

This is one of the many examples I can immediately think of. Here are two valuable lessons from this experience I will leave you with:

  • Sometimes when we experience certain things, we tend to pass the blame on others, whereas we are actually the problem. It is pertinent that we reflect and constantly ask ourselves how we can do things differently.

  • When such differences arise, our disposition to the issue and how we handle it could make a difference. If I had listened to the screaming voice in my head, my reaction wouldn’t have been pleasant. The result? I would have ruined what could have been a beautiful evening – and many more evenings afterwards. By having the right attitude and critical evaluation, I identified the underlying cause of the problem.

…and a bonus lesson for you because you already know I’m extra 🤪

  • It is not enough to identify the problem; we need to fix it mindfully. These days, I have normalized bringing extra salt when needed without being too emotional about it. I also know that during that ‘special time of the month,’ I need to be more intentional about adding more salt to our meals.

If you are married, what shocked you the most?

If you are yet to be married, what’s your key lesson from this story??

Categories: My lifestyle

Tags: , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Esohe Iyoha Acheampong You are deep, Sis 😍😍 I can very well relate to what you shared here. I also had issues with hubby’s sense of humour at the beginning 😅

    There’s so much learning that takes place in marriage, really. I like how you ended with the autopilot analogy. We keep evolving, so there would never be a time that we have totally known our spouses. We have to keep up with everyday learning till the end. God help us.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: