Some things can be learned over time, with a lot of experience.

Others can be easily learned, or learned by simple observation.

Marriage is one of those things that no matter how long you study or how long you observe it; there is always something new to learn.

Being only married for just a year, I know I'm a complete novice when it comes to the marriage game. But there are already some things that I have observed to be true that seem to parallel other successful marriages.

Some are things I knew going into marriage, others were learned along the way, and some I still need to master.

Here are 20 things that I feel that every woman should know before they get married, and also are things that can be applied during marriage as well.

1. There comes a time where you will understand the world doesn't revolve around you

Not to say that you are a selfish or self-centered person to begin with, but marriage takes the whole selfless thing to another level.

And at times it can be a difficult but necessary lesson to learn.

2. He doesn't want a maid or a mother. He wants a wife

He wants a partner, someone to be by his side supporting him and he wants to support you.

You might be tempted to tell him what to do or nag him, but avoid that temptation.

3. A long-lasting marriage is made up of two people who can easily forgive

Guess what? Even after you marry the best man in the world, he will come with imperfections and faults, and you also come with imperfections and faults.

Learning to forgive quickly is a necessary skill for a marriage that will last.

4. Passion actually never has to fade

Yes there will be times when you feel gross and tired and that passion and romance is the last thing on your mind.

But make the effort to keep the passion alive in your relationship because you and your marriage will be grateful in the long run.

5. Be aware of unrealistic expectations

They can be harmful to you and your husband's lasting happiness.

6. Give your husband your R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Nothing will make him feel more honored and loved like the gift of your respect.

He won't necessarily admit it, but he really needs it.

7. Don't expect your husband to be the one to fulfill all your needs

It is perfectly acceptable to have others in your life to fulfill certain needs, like your mom, friends, work-out buddies, etc.

Your husband is just one person who can't be expected to be everything you need in your life. Balance is important in all things including the relationship with your husband.

8. Be realistic about romance

Don't get caught up in romantic movies and novels, they can distort your view on what REAL romance is.

9. Always work on the relationship you and your husband have

The more you work on your relationship, the better it will become.

10. Never, ever compare your husband to anyone else

Comparison is just never a good idea, especially when it comes to your husband. Love and appreciate the man you have.

11. Always be grateful for your husband

Single life was fun, but at times it was also exhausting and frustrating.

Be grateful for your wonderful husband and let him know that you are. I am sure he will reciprocate the sentiment.

12. There really is no "normal" marriage

What does normal even mean anyway?

You and your husband may face totally different trials or victories than any other couple you may ever meet, and that's perfectly ok.

The important thing to remember is that you and your husband will face them together, hand in hand.

13. Marriage is like an expensive cheese; it just gets better with age

There are so many joys that come with being married. The longer you are in your marriage, the more and more you seem to know that.

14. When things get tough, don't give up

Unless it is abuse, infidelities, or illegal activity, don't look for reasons to give up on your marriage.

15. Hope can help you survive anything

When hope is alive and well in a marriage, it helps it to thrive and grow no matter what is thrown at it.

Always have hope within your marriage.

16. Make your husband and marriage a priority

Remember at the end of the day who you come home to.

Put him first, because he puts you first. Always remember to make your marriage the top priority in your list of life.

17. Find joy in the little things

You know that inside joke that you and your husband have that almost makes you pee your pants every time it's mentioned? Or the way he kisses you goodnight right before you fall asleep?

It's in those little moments and all the rest that you can find joy and happiness in your marriage.

18. You can be an example

The world can sometimes offer a skewed view on marriage and how it is.

Be an example; not a perfect one, but a realistic one that shows how real and great marriage really is.

19. Remember your husband is your best friend

Treat your husband like your best friend; tell him everything, laugh with him, do fun things with him, and most importantly unconditionally love him.

20. Getting married is the best decision you will ever make

It's going to be a bumpy ride at times, but you will always be so grateful you got on it in the first place.

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