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30 People Posted Their “Anyway, We’re Married Now” Stories, And They Show That Love Can Be Really Weird (Interview)
The way people meet their soulmates can be chaotic, hilarious, and cute, but not necessarily the easy-to-understand romantic Disney fantasies some people crave.
30 People Posted Their “Anyway, We’re Married Now” Stories, And They Show That Love Can Be Really Weird (Interview)

Meeting your future spouse should be simple and straightforward. You bump into your soulmate in some cheesily romantic situation, you instantly fall in love, you realize you’re perfect for each other, and then you tie the knot at the wedding of your dreams.

However, meeting the love of your life is rarely that simple. The way people meet their soulmates can be chaotic, hilarious, and cute, but not necessarily the easy-to-understand romantic Disney fantasies some people crave. That’s what Reddit user Thequeenoffandomhell showed us when they asked their fellow internet users to share their “anyways, we’re married now stories.”

Scroll down, have a read, and upvote your fave stories that might just make you start believing that Fate has a sense of humor. If you have any similar tales to tell, be sure to share them in the comments below, dear Pandas! It's one thing to meet the love of your life, but it's a whole different challenge staying in a committed and healthy long-term marriage. We wanted to learn more about this, so Bored Panda reached out to Suzann Pileggi Pawelski and her husband James Pawelski, authors of 'Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts.' Scroll down for their in-depth insights into married life.

Suzie and James stressed that maintaining strong connections is very important for our mental health, especially during this challenging time. "While it’s critical we all social distance, we must make sure not to emotionally distance with our friends and family. Positive psychology research indicates that one of the most important factors in human flourishing is building close relationships with others." Which means that building and maintaining lasting relationships is more important than ever.

We wanted to know what the biggest challenge that most newlyweds face is and how someone can be sure that they're ready for marriage. Suzie and James explained how a lot of people spend a lot of time and effort planning their wedding but don't spend enough of it thinking about the actual marriage. "A wedding is magical day no doubt, and of course something to celebrate, but what about planning for all the days to come in our marriage which is intended to last a life-time? Many newlyweds seem to think that “happily ever after” just happens. However, research shows it’s healthy habits that build long-term love," they said.

"It’s interesting that it’s the only domain in our lives where we think that success will just happen without much effort of our own. For example, when it comes to our physical health, it would be foolish to think that merely buying a gym membership and working out once would strengthen our muscles and build flexibility (if only that were the case!. We all know that in order to increase our strength and tone our bodies we have to work at it regularly. So, too, when it comes to our relational health. However, popular culture seems to romanticize marriage making people think that once you get married you can can merely ride off into the sunset together. That’s obviously not the case. It takes work," the couple explained that relationships take hard work, just like everything that's worth going for in life.

"The good news is that there are skills and exercises we can do to strengthen our relationships. In our book Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love that Lasts, we talk about the notion of the 'relationship gym.' We invite folks to join us for a workout at the 'relationship gym' where they can practice scientifically backed exercises to help them strengthen their bonds."

But what about people who might be in a committed relationship but aren't sure if they're ready to take the next step towards marriage? Can anyone even know that they're ready for marriage? 

"I don’t think there is actually a moment when you’re necessarily 'ready' so to speak, but rather a willingness to continue working on yourself and your relationship. As human beings we are always growing, changing, and evolving. And so are our relationships," Suzie mused.

"Being open, curious and having a growth mindset about ourselves, and our partners, will help us be able to better navigate together in marriage. A marriage isn’t an end state but rather a beginning. It’s a process and a life-long journey. The more we seek to understand ourselves and our partners, the better equipped we will be to travel together on this beautiful, yet often challenging adventure."

Finally, we were curious to find out how to we can all maintain attraction to our life partners after many years of being together. Suzie and James provided us with a whole bunch of helpful tips and science-based ways for couples to maintain attraction:

  • "They can focus on what they put into the relationship rather then what they get out of it. Truly happy couples realize that happily ever after doesn’t just happen but that it takes effort. These couples focus on action steps they can take to improve their relational happiness rather than relying on their partner to fulfill them.
  • They can share good good secrets with each other. They can practice sharing important things about themselves that they have never previously revealed to each other. It might be a childhood memory, a life-changing experience, or a vivid dream. Perhaps it’s a hope for the future or a fantasy. It can be lighthearted or serious. The important thing is that they authentically share with one another something meaningful. It’s imperative that couples are curious, open and welcoming of the secrets and nonjudgmental. By doing so, couples will feel safe and will strengthen their connection. 

  • They can 'prioritize positivity' rather than just wait around for happiness to happen. In other words, they can schedule activities into their day that evoke joy and fulfillment. In the beginning of a relationship, we naturally experience a high level of positive emotions. As a relationship develops, we can’t expect to naturally experience the same frequency of 'high-arousal' positive emotions like amusement and joy. Rather we must notice what tends to lead to these feelings and then schedule those activities into our daily lives. Think back to the beginning of the relationship and those things that you enjoyed doing together as a couple and make it a priority to schedule them into your day. Also try out something new that interest both of you. Research shows that seeking out and engaging in fun, exhilarating, and novel activities can increase mutual attraction and promote a healthy passion in intimate relationships. 
  • They can create a 'Positive relationship portfolio.' We discuss this activity in our book on pg. 122. It entails gathering some of the key mementos, pictures, cards, letters, etc. that remind you specifically of your significant other and how special he/she is and how important your relationship is. Once you put together the positive relationship portfolio you then spend 15 minutes each day for a week savoring and basking in the positive emotions that these items evoke in you. This exercise helps us rekindle those positive emotions that we had during the honeymoon phase, remembering all the great things about our partner and how important he/she is. 

  • They can practice savoring their partner and their experiences together rather then taking one another for granted. Specifically, they can acknowledge the small magical moments and appreciate their partner on a daily basis rather just waiting for the big, momentous occasions to celebrate each other. Feeling acknowledged and appreciated by one’s partner is associated with more satisfying and sustainable relationships.
  • They can identify their strengths and those of their spouse. By focusing on what’s going right in our relationship, rather than wrong, positive psychology research suggests we can build a stronger bond. One way to do this is by identifying our strengths and those of our partners and focusing on nurturing them, rather than dwelling on small annoyances in our relationship. In brief, positive psychology researchers have identified 24 character strengths that have been valued across time and culture. Qualities like creativity, love of learning, zest, curiosity and kindness. The good news is we all have strengths and in different configurations. Our strengths, along with our personality, experiences, and upbringing, are in part what makes us unique. You can find out your top five strengths, commonly referred to as your 'signature strengths' by taking the free Via Survey which we link to on our website. Once you’ve identified your strengths begin having strengths conversations with your partner sharing what it feels like to have a specific strength. Share stories of you at your best when you used one of of your top strengths. This exercise helps us to truly get to know and understand our partner on a deeper level. And using our strengths on a daily basis is associated with greater individual and relational well-being. 

  • Finally, they can go on 'strengths dates' together. Once you’ve identified your strengths and have begun having strengths conversations with your spouse or significant other, you’re ready for the next step: going on a 'strengths date.' A strengths date entails choosing one of your top strengths (e.g. zest) and one of your partner’s (e.g. love of learning) and planning a date or outing where you both have an opportunity to use that strength. For example, one of James's top strength is love of learning and zest is one of Suzie’s. One way we exercised our strengths was by renting Segways and touring the historical part of our Philadelphia neighborhood. At the end of the date, James’s intellectual curiosity was fulfilled and Suzie’s sense of adventure satisfied. Remember to take turns planning the strengths date or you can plan them together. Research suggests when you acknowledge and appreciate your partner's strengths you are more likely to be happy in your relationship, have your psychological needs met and also be more sexually satisfied."

Suzie explained that 'strengths dates' allow each person to use their natural qualities associated with greater well-being. "The strengths date idea is a much better way of approaching dates than how many couples traditionally do so where they take turns choosing the date. In those instances, one partner often begrudgingly goes along on a date (perhaps to a movie or musical concert) that they have no interest in attending. We’ve all been there, right?! Those type of dates are extrinsically motivated, rather than strengths dates that are intrinsically motivated because they tap the the unique qualities at the essence of each person," she said.

"We feel it’s incredibly important for everyone— individuals and couples—to practice their strengths regularly," the couple told us, pointing out that it's the foundation of positive psychology that they believe is crucial for thriving relationships.

"It seems that in the beginning of the relationship we notice one another’s strengths and see our partner’s differences as intriguing as evidenced perhaps by marathon conversations that last long into the evening. However, after time we often fall into a rut, stop asking questions and think we know all there is about our partner. What perhaps we once saw as intriguing differences we now see as annoying deficits! That’s dangerous to a relationship. It’s important to continue asking questions and seeing strengths in our partner to help build a stronger bond."

Comments (20)
Cat Nip Gal
Well my parents met because my mom tripped on the stairs outside of a church and my dad caught her.
Mike Crow
First night I met her we were all going to a party on a friends farm and she ended up with me in my car following our friends. They took a turn so quick that I went the wrong way and we ended up on the far side of the farmers field. I saw them, said to her “there they are!” And floored it. We went about 80 kph over the field, occasionally taking air, and her screaming beside me. When we stopped she declared she was never talking to me again. Been married 13 years now and yes she talks to me lol.
Nevits Yibble
I threw her through a plate glass window, but not before she choked me in a headlock and jammed a knife into my ribs. Anyway, we’re married now…
Viviane
A friend's story: A German teacher walked into a bar overseas. The bar maid got him drunk, he missed his last train home, and she took him back to her place. They've been married for decades, and have two children, two grandchildren.
Carrie Roettger
My husband came up to me during a break at orientation for school and told me a blonde joke. We celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary on the 13th of August. Not only that but we got married on Friday the 13th and realized after we had gotten together that we had met in 1990 in Corpus Christi Texas while I was on a school trip.
OCDRobot
My father in law was outside working as a teen when he heard another teen yelling for her sister from across the neighborhood. Told his friend "I feel sorry for whoever marries that".... They've been married nearly 40 years now.
FABULOUS1
I received an invite to a superbowl party from a friend I had not seen nor talk to in a couple of years. I went with my wife at the time and her mother. My ex wife was a habitual cheater, even rented an apartment with another women. Well my wife left taking her mother with her to see the side chick of the month, and i stayed behind. In walks the most beautiful women I have ever seen. We talked for a very long time that night and i found out we both love the same football team.We have been married 6 years now this past 4th of July, and I think fate took me to that party.
Don Powell
My wife asked me to marry her in high school. I declined. 13 years later, my marriage was coming to an end and so was hers'. I was taking a computer class at a local jr junior college, 1989. I walked into class one day and hit an invisible wall. Finally made it to my seat. Roster came around. I signed it and passed it on. About a minute later I hear a squeal from a few rows over. Here she comes. Needless to say. A flaming 30 day affair. Kicked out from my family of 13 years. We're still together 31 years later.
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