I have always maintained that you really don’t know the person you are marrying until about a year after you say your vows.
This is natural, I think, because when your nuptials are still fresh both of you are still on your best behavior. You still have your game faces on. All her jokes are still funny (even if sometimes they’re not), and all his slovenly habits are still cute (even if they’re not).
After a year or so, you both begin to relax, and that’s when you start to find out who the other person actually is, in real life.
If you’re lucky you discover that the person you married turns out to be exactly who you hoped he (or she) would be.
In my case, I was really lucky. The beautiful girl I married twenty-five years ago (today) was not only all I ever hoped for, she was better. For a quarter of a century we have shared adventures and experiences, and (thanks mostly to the Navy) we have traveled the world together. The hardships and travails of military life only seemed to draw us closer.
And in the process, she made me better too.