What She's Really Thinking After 1, 5, and 10 Years of Marriage

Love + Sex

Candid confessions from real women about the state of their unions. By Lauren Le Vine, REDBOOK.

1 Year
"We were ambitious in our first year of marriage and took on a lot: A lot meaning, a cross-country move, home ownership (a.k.a gigantic debt), two new jobs, and a really obese cat. Even though we had some major meltdowns along the way, having that super-official piece of paper made it feel like we were on a team. For what it's worth, my husband still has not accepted the cat on our team. Baby steps." - Anne J., 32

1 Year
"It didn't feel all that different from being engaged...except we had real dishes now." - Meredith B., 29

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5 Years
"My husband and I were best friends for several years (à la When Harry Met Sally) before we took the plunge and started dating. When we first moved to L.A. so he could pursue his career in TV writing, we hit a rough patch. The Writers Guild strike happened within months of us moving, I lost my job at a non-profit, and we were planning our wedding in New York. There were a lot of sleepless nights and a few fights over money. Enduring that before tying the knot made us much stronger for our actual marriage. We had to deal with major life events, financial stress, and trying to make it in a brand new city. The adage 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger' was us in a nutshell.

What it taught both of us was that while we were in love, we were also able to deal with the messiness that happens when you decide to spend the rest of your life with someone else. While romance is lovely, the fact that we were there for each other during our worst times made us a better couple." - Jennifer C., 33

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5 Years
"Being married to my husband all these years is like having Christmas everyday. He's one beautiful surprise after the next. Who's to say marriage is no longer viable? They didn't marry the wonderful man I did! A day doesn't pass that I'm not grateful for having Mr. Wonderful! He's the storybook ending. My husband is everything a man should be, I wouldn't trade him for the world!" - Chantay B., 36

10 Years
"I had been married once before; he had never been married. Love has been lovelier for me the second time around - I like my husband as much as I love him. We weren't kids when we tied the knot: I was almost 39, and he was almost 43. I know he was nervous about getting married. Many of his friends had been divorced, and some of those divorces were emotionally and financially exhausting.

With each passing year, I've become that must more grateful to have someone I love so much in my life. I still really feel like we're courting, and I've just been on a long, incredible date." - Glynis B., 48

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10 Years
"The keys to our marriage are respect and laughter. When we started dating, we began a four-year long-distance relationship, so the first year of our marriage was great because we could actually be together. Upon returning from our honeymoon, we moved 600 miles away from our families. I had never lived anywhere except with my parents, so we learned to work together. Five years came in a blink of an eye. By 10 years, we had three kids. I love him more now than when we said 'I Do.'" - Jennifer R., 34

For more marriage confessions, visit Redbookmag.com.

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