08/19/2013 04:54 pm ET Updated Oct 19, 2013

What Advice Would You Give Your Younger Self About Marriage?

An acquaintance is getting married at the same age I did and as an almost 40-year-old woman
(my birthday is on August 25) when I say the words 25 and think about entering into a marriage at that age -- I wonder, having had the experience and knowledge I have now -- would I have done it all the same?

The Answer: Yes, but gosh if I could give my 25-year-old self advice about the next 14 years of life and marriage here are just a few things I would say:

-Check out the relationship your husband has with his parents... because that will be CRUCIAL in terms of the way he interacts with you. To be honest I didn't take this into account at all -- and while it's true that we all have dysfunctional relationships with our parents -- a guy who is solicitous of his mother (although not to the point of being a mama's boy -- there is a FINE line) will most likely be a really devoted and sensitive husband.

-If you are a night person and your husband to be is a day person -- no matter what the circumstances of life -- this fact is not likely to change. And oh this one is so true -- 14 years later -- I am up till 1 am -- while the husband is ready for bed at 6 p.m. He was like this at 40 when we got married and is THE same at 55.

- Religion: If one of you was raised with it -- and one of you raised without it -- it will become an issue so BE PREPARED. I was raised with it -- my husband raised without it -- he's pretty much an atheist, and yes -- my residual guilt over not being as religious as I was raised rears its head an awful lot -- however my husband -- well he is guilt-free.

-Marriage is not the panacea for all that cures you. I think I thought once I got married -- all my other problems would evaporate -- and unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth -- only now you have brought this other person into your world and now your problems have become his problems. So if you can manage to work through your shit prior to getting married --well you are one step ahead of the game.

-People change and you need to be open to that fluidity in your marriage. At 25 years old I married a man who was a practicing physician; 14 years later my husband has decided he no longer wants to be a doctor. Ultimately I want my husband to be happy and so of course I am supporting him-but that man I married- well he's gone.

What about you, what advice would you give your younger, about to be married self?