17 assumptions modern newlyweds are sick of people making about their marriages.

If you just got married, chances are lots of people think they know what your life is like.

These people are totally well-meaning! And also, mostly wrong.

Being married isn't exactly like it used to be. Which is great, as there are so many different, amazing ways to be newlyweds than ever before. But it's also occasionally frustrating, as we newlyweds are frequently forced to dispel a lot of myths about our relationships.


So let's get them out of the way in one fell swoop.

Here are the most common (but mistaken) assumptions strangers make when you're a newlywed couple, and what our lives are really like.

Assumption #1: We went on our honeymoon already, and we left right after the wedding.

Just like we imagined it. Because we did imagine it. Photo via iStock.

Reality: In our dreams, we definitely did — and we had a great time!

In real life, however, most of us can't just take a week (or more) off work at will. The office is hella busy, and on top of that, we live in the only wealthy country in the world that doesn't mandate any paid vacation. Many of us were barely able to get the day of our actual wedding off (ultimately, we compromised with our manager and took a half-day).

We're planning to get to it ... eventually. But it might be a while. We promise we'll send pictures!

Assumption #2: We're going to have babies ASAP.

Yay? Photo via iStock.

Reality: We love being married! But, you know, we actually haven't decided? About babies? We're just enjoying being married right now. But we'll let you know when it happens. We promise.

Assumption #3: We're going to move out of "the city" one day.

So many cheap noodles, so little time. Photo by Anthony Quintano/Flickr.

Reality: It makes sense to assume that, like so many newly married couples in generations past, we're already planning our escape from our local metropolis to a less population-dense area TBD. But many of us who live in the city really, really like it! The city is great. There are good schools here. We can get nachos delivered at 3 a.m.! From either the good nacho place or the OK-but-cheap nacho place.

Sure, some of us are planning to one day move to the 'burbs for more space (and many already are), but many of us aren't. And still others of us who already live in the suburbs are making the suburbs more like the city.

Having a yard is really nice, but so is not having car insurance payments.

Assumption #4: We feel superior to our second-cousin Frieda whose boyfriend of 19 years still hasn't proposed.

Look! They seem happy! Photo via iStock.

Reality: Even though we're feeling pretty good about being married, Frieda and Richard are adults and get to make their own decisions — no matter what Aunt Cindy thinks. Maybe they have financial reasons. Maybe they decided a long time ago they don't want to be married. Maybe they believe marriage is an oppressive, archaic, patriarchal institution that they don't want to participate in, and also they're vegan now.

In any case, leave Frieda and Richard alone.

Assumption #5: We're going to have babies soonish.

Aw? Photo via iStock.

Reality: So, yeah. Like I said. Really haven't decided about babies. Keeping our options open. But probably not soon? You know?

Assumption #6: One of us changed our last name.

Uncanny, really. Image by Mary Rose Pickett/Sketchport.

Reality: There's totally nothing wrong with couples who decide that one partner will take the other's last name, of course. But not all of us do. At least 1 in every 5 women decide to keep their maiden names, according to a New York Times survey. And if you haven't taken your partner's last name, it's kind of frustrating to constantly hear yourself referred to as Mr./Mrs. Someone Else (for opposite-gender couples, this pretty much applies exclusively to women).

If you're not sure what last name to use, just ask! We'll tell you what the deal is.

Assumption #7: We're having Guinness Book of World Records amounts of sex.

Photo via iStock.

Reality: For those of us who waited to have sex until marriage — which is, of course, totally cool — you might need a supercomputer to tabulate. But lots of us have been together for a long time already and may even have been living together already, so we're probably having whatever amount of sex is normal for us. It's just a regular part of our lives that throwing a wedding doesn't really have a magical impact on.

After many years in a relationship, most of us take "Netflix and chill" quite literally. And seriously.

Assumption #8: We've finished all our thank-you notes.

It. Just. Doesn't. Get. Easier. Photo by happy_serendipity/Flickr.

Reality: Never. We'll be writing these until the end of time.

Assumption #9: Hanging out with one of us means hanging out with both of us.

You will listen to us talk about our trip to Block Island and you will enjoy it. Photo via iStock.

Reality: We're still different people. Each of us is a self-sufficient being with free will. And we're probably totally down to hang out with you, even if our spouse isn't available.

Except you, Greg. We're totally avoiding you.

Assumption #10: We're going to have babies ever.

Bujjy bujjy boo? Photo via iStock.

Reality: So um, like I said, there's actually a chance we might never have babies? We might decide we don't want them after all. We might find out we can't — in which case, these questions might become extremely invasive and painful. We might adopt a child ... who's not a baby. We haven't figured it out yet.

At the end of the day, It's kinda up to us, you know?

Assumption #11: We never use the garlic press you got us.

Such a great gift. Photo by Lee Kindness/Wikimedia Commons.

Reality: We use it all the time! Thank you so much!

Assumption #12: One of us is going to stay home and take care of the house from here on in.

We will still make the hell out of some lemonade, though. Photo via iStock.

Reality: Some of us might want to be a housewife or husband. Others of us shudder at the thought of giving up our careers, or urging our spouse to give up theirs. Still others of us might want to, but might not be able to forfeit the second income. There's really no right — or standard — way to do it anymore.

Assumption #13: We both have all the same likes, dislikes, preferences, outlooks, and opinions now.

Missy and I have been getting really into '80s ice dancing. Photo via iStock.

Reality: My wife will never convince me to like jazz. And I will probably never convince her to like "Captain Phillips" fan fiction. And you know what? We're OK with that.

For the things that matter, we're committed to presenting a united front. But we're still individuals with different thoughts, feelings, and opinions about what Tom Hanks was up to two weeks before the Somali pirates attacked, 'cause honestly, that's where the real drama of the story probably is.

Assumption #14: We wear wedding rings.

Help. Someone glued our hands together. Please call the cops. Photo by TanyaVdB/Pixabay.

Reality: Some of us like wearing a physical symbol of our connection and duty to our spouse. Some of us don't as much. So we don't wear them. But don't worry! We're still extreme double married 5000.

Assumption #15: Making us a pink cake that says "baby" on it is going to change our mind about babies.

Mmmmmmmm. Nope. Photo by Frosted with Emotion/Flickr.

Reality: It won't. But we will definitely eat that cake.

Assumption #16: Our lives are a lot different now.

Married or not, we still have three more seasons of "Justified" to get through. Photo via iStock.

Reality: Beginning roughly seven seconds after we say, "I do," lots and lots and lots of well-intentioned people ask: "How does it feel?!" seemingly expecting to hear: "So much has changed! We got matching ponies! Being married really is a whole new world!" It feels like we're disappointing them when we answer, "Pretty much the way we did the day before the wedding." Which is silly, since there's no shame in that.

For some couples, life is a lot different after marriage, and that's great. But if stuff is kinda sorta the same, that's OK too! Life was great before. That's why we decided to get married.

Assumption #17: If we're not going to lay out a precise plan for having babies, at least we'll probably get a pet.

Blah. Photo by Madalena Provo, used with permission.

Reality: OK. This one is true.

Courtesy of CAMFED/Eliza Powell
True

Alice Saisha was raised in the Luapula Province of Zambia with 10 brothers and sisters. She always had big dreams for when she grew up. However, she almost didn't achieve them. "I nearly had to drop out of school because of poverty," she says. She also almost became a child bride to a much older man.

"If CAMFED did not step in, my story would have been different."

CAMFED is a pan-African movement revolutionizing and supporting girls' education — which is exactly what it did for Saisha. Not only did she finish school with their support, she also got her undergraduate degree in Sociology and her Master's degree in Development Studies. She's currently looking to get her Ph.D.

And she didn't stop there. "All of the knowledge I obtained was applied right in the community where I grew up," she explains. Saisha is a trainer and facilitator in leadership and enterprise, financial education and psychosocial counseling — and an activist, philanthropist and advocate of women's rights.

"We speak out for the voiceless, create leaders along the way, and amplify the importance of children's welfare in school and at home."

Today, Saisha is a CAMFED ambassador, using her education to benefit her community and make sure that other girls, just like her, find a way out of poverty through education. Her work creates a bridge between the young women, children, youths and all the existing opportunities, information, and aid they can access. She provides mentorship and financial aid to those in need. "I come up with innovative ways to reach out to other young women or girls through media, calls, and one-on-one or group meetings," she explains. "To share knowledge, use my experience and give room to lend a listening ear whenever need be."

"I am very passionate about seeing women progress in all areas of life."

Without a doubt, she says her life story helps drive her work, not only because it is the motivation behind what she does, but also because it helps her relate to the girls she supports. Saisha is currently supporting 11 orphans and vulnerable children by directly funding their education. She is also fostering two of the children. "[They] come from similar backgrounds," she says. "They were at the verge of dropping out due to early marriage." She met them during her volunteer work in district communities and noticed a reflection of her own experiences. "I instantly connected with them and I believed they had brighter futures."

"Seeing them transform is priceless, and hearing them dream big is so touching. Their achievements speak to it all."

Courtesy of CAMFED/Eliza Powell

Saisha is one of Tory Burch's Empowered Women this year. The donation she receives as a nominee is being awarded to CAMFED — the very organization that helped get her where she is today.

"I want girls to be heard. It does not matter where they are in the world, what race they were born into or the type of background they came from," Saisha says. "Girls should be supported to escape unsafe environments. They need to always have a safe space which allows them to grow, and to nurture the great visions they possess."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash
True

The global eradication of smallpox in 1980 is one of international public health's greatest successes. But in 1966, seven years after the World Health Organization announced a plan to rid the world of the disease, smallpox was still widespread. The culprits? A lack of funds, personnel and vaccine supply.

Meanwhile, outbreaks across South America, Africa, and Asia continued, as the highly contagious virus continued to kill three out of every 10 people who caught it, while leaving many survivors disfigured. It took a renewed commitment of resources from wealthy nations to fulfill the promise made in 1959.

Forty-one years later, although we face a different virus, the potential for vast destruction is just as great, and the challenges of funding, personnel and supply are still with us, along with last-mile distribution. Today, while 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, with numbers rising every day, there is an overwhelming gap between wealthy countries and the rest of the world. It's becoming evident that the impact on the countries getting left behind will eventually boomerang back to affect us all.

Photo by ismail mohamed - SoviLe on Unsplash

The international nonprofit CARE recently released a policy paper that lays out the case for U.S. investment in a worldwide vaccination campaign. Founded 75 years ago, CARE works in over 100 countries and reaches more than 90 million people around the world through multiple humanitarian aid programs. Of note is the organization's worldwide reputation for its unshakeable commitment to the dignity of people; they're known for working hand-in-hand with communities and hold themselves to a high standard of accountability.

"As we enter into our second year of living with COVID-19, it has become painfully clear that the safety of any person depends on the global community's ability to protect every person," says Michelle Nunn, CARE USA's president and CEO. "While wealthy nations have begun inoculating their populations, new devastatingly lethal variants of the virus continue to emerge in countries like India, South Africa and Brazil. If vaccinations don't effectively reach lower-income countries now, the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic."

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