Top Ten Nuggets of Newlywed GOLD.

JCP_4509 bwKellan and I celebrated a year of marriage on March 2nd. My sweet husband planned an incredible surprise weekend in New York City, and we lived it up because hallelujah we made it! Reflections on our first year of marriage are coming later.

Today, in honor of one whole year, we’ve compiled a list of valuable pieces of information that NONE OF YOU MARRIED PEOPLE bothered to share with us before we said “I do”. [And here I thought we were friends!] On our wedding day, Kellan and I were blissfully ignorant of, oh, just about every pertinent thing that we needed to know about married life. Engaged friends: I want to spare you that same fate. So without further ado, I give you…


  1. Kellan discovered, much to his chagrin, that not all haircuts cost $9.95. Gentlemen, over the course of your married lives, there will be a great many things worth fighting about.  Look me in the eyeballs: this is not one of them.
  2. Bathrooms. Brace yourselves friends, this one is not for the faint of heart. Let’s just say that ONE of us is consistently indignant at a left-up toilet seat and pee-pee splashes, and ONE of us can’t see the counter top underneath piles of makeup and hair products. Our bathroom looks like it’s home to a horde of dirty, angry hobbits with a curious obsession with Clinique products.
  3. Kellan came to the rather startling realization that dishes don’t magically clean themselves. My darling husband grew up with a magical dish-fairy that I like to refer to as his mother. He was deeply upset when he discovered that she hadn’t followed our U-Haul to New York. [Come to think of it, so was I.] Free nugget: ladies, tell your husband that watching him do the dishes is the SINGLE HOTTEST THING THAT YOU HAVE EVER SEEN. You play your cards right, and you’ll never wash so much as a spoon again.
  4. Kellan was positively baffled to learn that dinner does not have to come from a can, box or packet. Related: ovens are not merely counter tops for microwaves, and can actually be used to cook. [This is not a joke. Before we got married, Kellan’s sad little microwave sat heroically perched atop the stove that he had never once turned on. At the time, I thought it was endearing. Now, I understand that the UNIVERSE WAS TRYING TO WARN ME.]
  5. I was alarmed to learn that there are people in the world that need something commonly referred to as “alone time.” Repeatedly checking on your spouse to see how their alone time is going will only prolong the whole, miserable ordeal. I’ve discovered the hard way that they probably don’t need snacks, water, or updates on current events.
  6. My sports-loving husband was both surprised and dismayed to learn that a magical button on our remote control could take us to TV stations other than ESPN. Also, in a rather disappointing turn of events, it turns out that “Cupcake Wars” does not, in fact, involve any bloodshed.
  7. Kellan made nice with an old friend that I that I fondly refer to as “baggage claim”. Oh, they’d parted ways years ago in the name of “efficiency”, but after a year of traveling with a woman whose hair products do not come in “travel size”, he and baggage claim are well on their way to becoming BFFs again. Engaged men, wrap your minds around this: for any kind of extended trip, she’s going to check a bag, son.
  8. Bless his heart, Kellan discovered that when he orders food, he needs to mentally prepare himself for me to eat any/all of it. And fries? Fuggedaboudit.
  9. We’ve decided that excellent husbands keep an emergency stash of chocolate. Y’all. This is Kellan’s SINGLE BEST nugget. Our earliest married days were a dizzying blur of late-night chocolate runs. Gentlemen, your wife won’t always buy it when she shops. She will earnestly tell you that she doesn’t want it in the house, and she will mean it. [And with Target photo-shopping the lady-parts off of poor, unsuspecting swim suit models…who can blame her?] BELIEVE THIS AT YOUR OWN PERIL. She will exhibit laudable self-control at the grocery store, turning up her nose at every double-stuffed Oreo and box of brownie mix that she passes by. It is YOUR job to understand that her remarkable resolve will inevitably crumble somewhere between 7:30 and 11:59 at night. And then? Well, joke’s on you, because nobody’s getting any sleep until that craving is gone.
  10. Finally, now that we’ve covered Kellan’s best nugget, I’m going to let you in on mine. OhmyLANTA. If I could tell a newly engaged woman only one thing, I would grab her by the shoulders, look her dead in the eyeballs and implore her to GO BUY A KING SIZED BED. I don’t care if you have to beg, borrow, or sell a kidney on the black market, you need to make this happen. This is, without a doubt, the best thing that Kellan and I did before we got married. I think a lot of engaged couples assume that they’re going to fall asleep snuggling every night, an idea so deplorably naive that I’m not going to dignify it with a response. When I fall asleep at night, the very last thing I do is a “bed angel” [think “snow angel” but on sheets] to make absolutely certain that I can’t touch Kellan. If my leg so much as brushes his, I kick until he rolls over to the six inches of allotted space that I have graciously bequeathed to him. Back of gentlemen: he found me first!

Married friends, what would you add? Don’t be shy—share for those poor engaged couples that still think that all of those little quirks are JUST SO ADORABLE.

Bless their hearts.


  1. Joan Dickens says:

    Hilarious – You did a great job, Ashley.


    btw, “bed angels” should become a thing.

  3. We employed two devices for handling disagreements and decisions. 1. Pause button during arguments (completely stolen from HIMYM), it keeps the aggressive one of us constrained, and gives the thoughtful one of us time to think. 2. Final Decision (FD) – Several times early in our marriage (and still sometimes true) we talk about something and one thinks that we made a decision and the other still thinks the decision is in process. This led to some problems. So now we actually say “FD?” “FD” to make sure that, in fact, a joint decision has been made.

    • I love this! [So did K.] We had NO IDEA that two people could communicate so differently before we got married. It’s good to know that we’re not alone! ;)

  4. 2 Important things for us. 1) Separate blankets. No more middle of the night tug of war. No more someone losing sleep because they are freezing (esp when you are married to someone who “tucks and rolls” tucking the blanket underneath himself then rolling in it!) 2) Minor decisions with two good options can be made by playing “rock paper scissors” (IE- which of two restaurants. what to make for dinner. who takes what household chore.)

  5. Shanda Boreyko says:

    1) You will not likely have sex 6+ nights a week on a regular basis…and when you do have sex, it most likely not resemble The Notebook in any form or fashion the majority of the time.
    2) You will argue in your first year of marriage…maybe even on your honeymoon. Your life isn’t over and you didn’t marry the “wrong person”.
    3) Earplugs work (as a light sleeper, they have saved my sleep).
    4) Do not make every issue into a moral battle of right vs. wrong. His way of loading the dishwasher isn’t “wrong”…it’s just “different”.
    5) Right-fighting will get you nowhere really fast.
    6) Your spouse is never going to fully fulfill all of your needs all of the time.
    7) Your vows were made for the moments when you no longer feel like keeping them.
    8) Attend a marriage conference at least once every 2-3 years if possible. So healthy:)

    • Thanks for taking the time to leave your insights, Shanda! We’ve talked about that “wrong vs. different” idea a LOT. [But let’s be real: sometimes things are just WRONG. ;)]

  6. Girl, you wouldn’t have heard any of these things even if someone had told you before marriage. :-)

  7. Baha! Well said…I can’t think of anything to add, mostly bc I’m too tired to think…but I will gladly be your friend and offer heads up whenever baby Dickens arrives! #blindsidedfrombirthon

    • Oh my. The learning curve on marriage has been so steep that I KNOW we’re not ready for babies! I’ll hit you up one of these days, though. :) I’m sure it’s even crazier adjusting to parenthood!

  8. I love this so much, especially the last one. My husband would basically be content with a twin-size bed and we discovered very quickly that I am the world’s worst snuggler. How can you sleep when someone’s limbs are all over you???

    And the chocolate one. Yes. YES. Why do we lie to ourselves in the grocery store????

  9. Most newleyweds don’t learn the magic of a king size bed for years. You may have singlehandedly reduced the US divorce rate. That is if your warning is heeded. Fabulous post.

  10. I disagree about the bed. I like my husband close enough that I can put my feet on him for warmth (and he is not allowed to protest), but I do like my space sometimes, too. The queen does fine for that. Also, newlyweds (and long-weds) in the SF Bay Area don’t tend to have bedrooms that could even close to fit a king! Oh well!

    I am also super thankful that my husband grew up with a dad who helped with chores – turns out my husband is much better at many of them than I am! :-) I think I could learn a thing or two about the dishes fairy, lol. But man, he is the WORST about knowing how to sort my clothes (because yes, there are more than two categories of clothing, not just tops and bottoms.)

    • Ooooh, bedroom space could definitely pose a threat to the king-sized bed! Kellan’s Dad DEFINITELY did a ton around the house growing up–I think the things that K and I have settled into doing are largely the product of us living independently for years before we got married. I didn’t HAVE to mow laws, so I didn’t. K didn’t HAVE to clean his bathroom…so he didn’t. ;) Bless it. We do our laundry separately…that’s helped with the sorting! ;)

  11. 1. When making breakfast/brunch at home, ONE person is making it… My husband and I (4 yrs married in June this year) discovered early on that the correct way to prepare scrambled eggs (he actually said, “My mom does it THIS way…”) and bacon sparked such a fire (not a romantic one) that I had to banish him from the kitchen… I told him that when he makes brunch he can do it HIS way, but to trust that when I want to make bacon by taking real bacon and laying it in a pan (like normal people… versus microwave bacon), he has to trust that there will NOT be a grease fire. (…what happens when you marry an eagle scout…)
    2. It’s SO true about the king size bed!!! We had a full- A FULL- until this past fall, and I am currently prego with our first… I can’t imagine trying to fit in that full bed now, with my husband AND my giant belly! (Plus our full was like… mmmm. 25 years old.)
    3. Marriage showed me just how terrible of a person I can be (and he can be!). Even with excellent pre-marital counseling, you WILL have epic fights to resemble what happens in movies like “Gladiator.” It’s ok. There’s grace enough for those times too. And you come out still loving each other. (That said, I love what I’ve learned from MUCH wiser people about setting boundaries when you’re fighting.)

    • Oh girl. Getting compared to Moms is never fun! [Especially when your husband had a perfect one. I’ll lose every time. ;)] I’m so glad that you upgraded to a King–I can’t imagine being pregnant and trying to cram into anything smaller! And I totally agree, marriage has exposed selfishness that I didn’t know I had. It’s hard, but loving each other when you’ve seen the ugly makes it all a lot more beautiful. Thanks for sharing! :)

  12. Ironically, my wife and I are 9 months into our first year. Best advice I heard pre-marriage came from our pastor-choose your hills to die on wisely.

    #1: Was a shock for me too. That and the price of women’s clothing. I can get 2 pairs of jeans and 5 polos for the cost of a pair of women’s jeans. Good gracious!
    #2: meh, if anything my wife is annoyed that i close the lid too!
    #3: I love cleaning, life destressor
    #4: didn’t buy a microwave until we got married, though we use it so rarely. Crock pot heaven. Oh, and her purchase of a rice cooker was brilliant.
    #5: doesn’t apply to us.
    #6: didn’t own a tv pre-marriage. Now we Netflix every night-no cable
    #7: there is a reason we drive. Though, our honeymoon was done with two standard bags
    #8 & #9 don’t apply
    #10: she wants the contact all night. Queen works great for us

    Interesting to go through it one by one and see how it differs for different couples.

    • It is interesting, isn’t it? I love what your pastor told you. My parents told me the same thing–easy to say, hard to do! :) By the way, tell your wife she’s a lucky woman if you love cleaning. :)

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