Marriage is a lot of work! When you were a little girl and dreamed of one day tying the knot with your prince charming, I am pretty certain that you didn’t factor in the realities awaiting in your future.

This is no fault of your own because as little girls we thought all happy couples wore glass slippers, would be paired with a bruting man that knew how to slay a dragon and just so happen to make enough money to swing the mortgage on a castle.

The reality is marriage includes none of those fantasies – it is actually better. You do not need to wear gowns and play the role of damsel in distress. Marriage is about simpler things that turn out to be the building blocks of happiness and a well-rounded life. While some of the things may seem somewhat comical, the reality is…married couples appreciate the little things.

For all the nostalgists out there, here is a list of the things I love about marriage.

1. Having a good and bad guy. Whether you are negotiating contracts or parenting your children, sometimes having a good and bad guy is a helpful tactic.

2. You never have to worry about being dateless.

3. You have an excuse to sneak away from those obligatory events early – baby showers, housewarming parties, birthday parties. Insert the comment, “Oh, I’m so sorry! I have to leave. [Insert spouse’s name], needs me to help with [insert task].”

4. You always have a second opinion to help you decide tough decisions.

5. Live in taste tester.

6. You have someone to grow old with.

7. You can take advantage of married tax breaks.

8. Married couples are less likely to be depressed. There’s even research to prove it, seriously, check it out.

9. A spouse challenges you to reach your goals.

10. You have someone that will be brutally honest to you – especially when you are in denial.

11. The emotional support of a spouse is priceless.

12. No more wedding planning – let’s be real, wedding planning is stressful and similar to that show The Amazing Race.

13. You will be viewed with newfound respect because everyone knows that marriage is full of checks and balances.

14. You will find and appreciate a newfound concept of contentment. This does not mean you should wear sweatpants every day and give up on your presentation, but it does mean that you can seek value in other things.

15. You are a family.

16. You have an opportunity to create new traditions.

17. You will have someone to laugh with (or at). Stressful moments are part of life and having someone to laugh with will make life more meaningful.

18. You have a ride-or-die shopping partner.

19. Your other relationships will prosper because you will learn how to communicate better with others.

20. You get to experience true levels of intimacy.

21. You have the opportunity to see things from a different perspective – sometimes varying opinions and thoughts are very helpful.

22. Being married means you have a lifelong travel partner. Road trips and other excursions are way more fun as a duo.

23. Your spouse will keep you balanced.

24. You have found a lifelong friend and confidant.

25. You do not have to deal with the crazy dating world and the ambiguity and uncertainty of dating apps.

When you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, everything else falls into place and sets the foundation for a new beginning that will last a lifetime. Martin Luther said it best, “There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.”

Marriage is dating your spouse every day and not swiping left when things get rough. If you are able to focus on the things you love about marriage, you will realize that marriage is a blessing.

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