What I Didn’t Want My Husband To Know Until We Were Married
By Meghan DeMaria
Before getting married in July, Steve and I had known (and dated) each other for almost seven years. At that point, it seemed like we knew as much about each other as we were ever going to.
We both have short tempers and have had some serious screaming matches over things that were, in retrospect, pretty small issues. And while it’s nice to get dressed up and go on dates once in a while, we gave up, for the most part, on trying to impress each other a longtime ago. (Let’s just say, there are no pretenses about bodily functions when we’re together.)
Still, there are things we’ve both learned about each other after the wedding. While we might know the ins and outs about, say, each other’s favorite foods and TV shows, living in different states for three years did create distance in our relationship. Before moving in with Steve and our third roommate, I lived alone for two years. And while it will definitely be nice to have some company, there are also a lot of things I got used to doing that Steve didn’t know about beforehand.
Ahead are five of the things I kept hidden, intentionally or not, until after we tied the knot.
The Amount Of Stuff I REALLY Own
I like to think of myself as a clean person, but with the amount of stuff I had crammed into my old studio apartment, being tidy wasn’t always possible. By the time I moved out, there was a pile taking up most of the open floor space. The mess included a variety of kitchen-centric wedding gifts I didn’t have space for and clothing that didn’t fit in my already-overstuffed dressers.
When we started packing up my final batch of stuff, I was horrified at how much crap I’d stuffed into every inch of my apartment and embarrassed that Steve was discovering all of it. I didn’t have a ton of space, but I’d managed to squeeze a lot of things I didn’t need into places, like a high ceiling shelf and anywhere else where there was extra space. We filled several trash bags with junk and I took a lot of clothes to Goodwill — but I’m still working to majorly declutter our new space, too. I don’t want to start our marriage off as a low-level hoarder and Steve’s displeasure was clear during the moving process. It was a wake-up call, for sure.
How Much Money I Waste On Laundry
I’ve had roommates who claimed to do laundry just once a month, but that idea is completely baffling to me. For the most part, I’m at the laundromat at least once a week, often spending close to $15. Between work and the gym, I generate a lot of dirty clothes. I like to wash my sheets and towels every weekend and the mattress pad and comforter every other week. It’s probably overkill — especially with the prices of New York City laundromats. It’s even more money when I told Steve that I always pay for the “extra wash” and “extra rinse” cycles, another 50 cents, on my workout clothes each week, in an attempt to get rid of that weird leggings smell.
In our new building, we only have one laundry card for all three of us, and money has to be added in $10 increments, so we’ll all have to be a lot more cognizant of laundry costs than I was before. I’ll still do the extra rinse cycle, though. I want my leggings to “smell like I sweat money.”
This might seem like a weird thing to hide, but it’s the thing I was most cognizant of before we started living together. Steve is a generally woke person, aware of the “nice guy” tropes and disavower of sexist stereotypes. (He’s also been known to use the #WCW image from Refinery29’s Altmoji keyboard.) He would never judge me, or anyone else, based on size, but he still sees the term “fat” as one that has power and a negative connotation.
I was never a small person, by any stretch, but about a year-and-a-half ago, I put on a significant amount of weight. My doctor didn’t seem concerned — the weight gain coincided with my newfound exercise routine, which came after basically not working out for an entire year. But despite self-imposed attempts at various diets and calorie-counting measures, in addition to increased exercise, the pounds stayed. It was difficult to come to terms with the “new” me, but I eventually turned over a new leaf to become happy with myself. (Working at a body-positive place like Refinery29 definitely helped!)
Still, I shied away from discussing any of this with Steve in great detail. When I called a chafing rash on my inner thighs a “fat burn,” Steve jumped back with the response that of course my thighs weren’t fat and his legs rubbed together too. Yeah, not like this. He and I are close to the same weight, but he’s a foot taller.
When we weren’t living together, it was easy to brush these comments off, knowing Steve meant well. But now that we’re married, he’s in for a lifetime of learning about how my size plays into daily life — including everything from chub rub to tear-inducing fitting room experiences. I’m still trying to convince him that “fat” doesn’t have to be a powerful word.
Watching Bad TV
Steve and I are a compatible couple in that we have very similar pop-culture tastes. We watch all the same sitcoms, we like the same music, and I can even convince him to watch shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Younger. But what he doesn’t know is that those aren’t the only shows I watch.
I love talking about indie shows like Baskets with my husband, but sometimes I just want to watch something mindless. I don’t really watch reality TV, but I did watch the entire last season of Modern Family. I don’t know why; I was groaning and judging it the whole time. I’ve watched a lot more 2 Broke Girls than I care to admit, too. I have no defense for watching these unfunny, often-offensive shows, but I can’t hide them anymore now that we’re living together.
How Little I Do On The Weekends
I like to think that Steve imagined my weekends were filled with indoor cycling classes, healthy lunches, and the occasional movie or walk around the park. Because those are the things that I mention to him — when I actually do them. But the real truth is that a lot of my Saturdays the past few years have been spent watching TV in bed. I’ve spent more than one weekend day not bothering to change out of pajamas.
When Steve and I visited each other during the time our relationship was long-distance, we packed as much as we could do into our limited time together. But when we weren’t together, I spent a lot of time, well, wasting away. It’s not something I’m happy to admit — I feel guilty for not exploring more of my amazing city — but I want him to know the truth now that we have more weekends to spend together. I’m definitely not an always-on type of person, and once in a while, I’ll still spend a day doing absolutely nothing.
And as a bonus, here’s one thing that I didn’t hide before the wedding: my credit card debt.
I like to think of us as being similar to How I Met Your Mother’s Lily and Marshall, but one thing that always struck me was the episode where they went to look at apartments, only to discover that the process would be difficult because of Lily’s poor credit history.
I didn’t even mean to get a credit card when I moved to New York. I lost my debit card and went to the bank to get a new one — and while I was there, they convinced me to sign up for a credit card, too. From there, it was all too easy to fall further and further into debt. I was at my first job out of college and almost all of my income was going toward paying rent. I started out putting things like groceries on the credit card, even though I couldn’t pay it off — but I quickly added more and more to the balance, buying clothes, concert tickets, and other things I definitely didn’t need.
It’s going to take a long time to pay off the financial mistakes I made when I moved here — but I would never keep them from my husband. We don’t have a joint bank account yet, but I still want us to be able to discuss finances openly, so we don’t run into larger issues later on. Watching 2 Broke Girls, though, is a secret I wouldn’t have minded taking to the grave.
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