Ready to get married? It’s going to be amazing, but before you tie the knot, you need to understand these crucial truths about marriage.

1. A ring is just a symbol. Five rings say you really mean it.

2. You’re not always going to get your way, and in these instances your spouse is clearly failing you.

3. You’ll have to find meaningful ways to spice things up, like getting separate checks at dinner or sending an email without a subject line.

4. Make sure you like your spouse’s friends, because you’ll be stuck with them for six months until they totally drop out of your life.

5. At some point you will get a visit from a man known only as Grey, and he will tell you and your spouse the days on which you will die.

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6. Guys, your spouse isn’t just your roommate—she’s the love of your life. To honor this sacred bond, include three little hearts at the bottom of the invoice you send her each month for her share of the rent.

7. Marriage is hard. Not Paranoid-era Sabbath hard, but hard.

8. Just remember, you don’t have to win every argument to be the ultimate victor in your marriage.

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