'Now you may kiss the bride', a phrase that marked the beginning of your new life together and no doubt big changes to things you previously knew.
Certainly there are things you expect like love, struggle, joy and hurt, but there were other things you didn't count on including strong emotions not only in your marriage but also between you and your single girlfriends.
As you learn to become a wife and part of a partnership, you have to re-build friendships with the women in your life as well.
1. Sometimes I don't know how to relate to you.
I know sometimes my single friends have a hard time relating to my life situation because they haven't experienced what I am going through. Just know that I feel the same way about you, sometimes.
It seems that an invisible wall went up after I got married, and I couldn't figure out how to break through it.
Some of my friends were jealous, some were intimidated about how our friendship would change, others were feeling pressure on their own relationships to take the next step.
This makes me unsure about what I should share about my life. I don't know if I should be avoiding stories about marriage because they make you feel uncomfortable or share occasional mention of my husband in conversation. It's hard to have an open and honest relationship if I board off a big part of my life.
We need to work together to get through the awkwardness and open up conversation and share where your life of singleness is taking you, me with my marriage, with Jesus and with the church.
2. Relationships are wonderful. But yes, they're hard too.
Even though I am not in your current shoes, I know that being single can be really hard. I've been there too. What you need to know though, is that marriage can be hard as well.
Yes, I am grateful to have someone to come home to, to support me, to live our lives together. I wouldn't be who I am without my husband in my life. But marriage is not all sunshine and rainbows.
We are 2 different people with sometimes very different views on how we should live, eat, work and parent. We have to keep our lines of communication open and our love first, even when we disagree. It can be exhausting having to work through things every day when you just want to walk away and not have to deal with the emotions.
There are going to be days when I need you to remind me of my vows to my husband and there will be days when you need me to help you trust God's promises, too. I think we can help each other with our struggles and come out stronger in the end.
Continue on to the next page for admissions on sex, freedom and our roles.
Suddenly you're in a different stage of life than the girlfriends who were once your confidants, and you have different questions and concerns that they may not be able to answer.
That's when the difficult choices need to be made- would we stay connected, work harder at our friends or just slowly drift apart?
Here are some things I wish I said to my single friends when I first got married, and still need to say to some of them. It would have made my transition into a new life stage easier and could have saved a few friendships along the way.
3. There are days when I envy your freedom.
Marriage is all about give and take, and I gave up a lot of freedoms at the alter when I partnered with my husband. I can't get up and go whenever I want, I can't take a new job based on my own desires, I am not able to spend money any way I want, or use my time solely for my desires.
These freedoms I gave up in exchange for a healthy marriage, but some times I look at you and am jealous that you don't have to shape your life around another human.
As we all shape our lives around Christ and live accountable to him and his church, there are days when the single life seems much simpler than my married one.
4. Sex isn't the center of our marriage.
Sex is a good thing. In a healthy, God-honoring marriage, it's a holy and beautiful thing. I remember driving away from our wedding reception amazed that what would have been so unholy just a few hours before, has just been made holy in our lives because of our marriage vows. Now we can have sex whenever we want, but it's not the best part of my life.
Contrary to what the culture we live in says, sex is not the end-all and be-all of our existence. Are you missing out on sex if you're single and living a pure life. Yes, you are. But be encouraged that there are many other wonderful things you can experience rightly in the Kingdom of God.
When your time comes to drive away from your wedding reception it will feel that much more special to you too.
5. My calling as a wife isn't more valuable than your calling as a woman.
Contrary to what some church communities say, being a wife is not more valuable to God than being a single woman. We both have the same Great Commission in the kingdom:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Both of us- single or married- have a high and holy call of glorifying Jesus and loving others, and no one is better than the other.