The thank-you notes are written and the suitcases from your honeymoon are finally unpacked. It’s time to give up being lost in the dream of Wedding Bliss and move on to the project of Marital Bliss! Now that you’re well past the question of getting married, you can focus to making your marriage everything you hoped it would be. The first years of being married are notoriously challenging so here are a few tips for newlyweds on how to avoid common early marriage difficulties. It’s much easier to keep a content marriage than to try and fix a broken one, so get proactive with your relationship and find ways to avoid issues before they arise.
Make the Effort to Have Fun Together
One of the biggest pieces of advice that couples get after they marry is to keep dating each other throughout marriage. This is beyond important because it keeps you involved and relevant in each other’s lives, even as you branch out to your own careers or have children. Being able to laugh and have fun together regularly will keep you emotionally close as a couple. Seek out an activity that you’ll both enjoy and can excel at together. You can try blending hobbies, like your love of yard sales with his love of sports so you can spend the weekends searching out old sports memorabilia, or you can check out something completely new, like geocaching or paintballing. Whatever you and your spouse end up doing make sure that you’re doing it together and enjoy yourselves.
It may not always be easy, but keeping up friendships is an important part of life. This is not only true on a personal level; married couples are in need of solid friendships as a pair just as much as each spouse needs friends individually. Finding a couple that both your and your partner hit it off with isn’t always an easy task, but making friends that you can spend time with as a duo will pay off a tenfold as the years go by. When looking for compatible companions be sure not to get mixed up in a friendship that becomes more about marriage rivalry than about enjoying each others’ company. Having another couple who may be dealing with the same or similar difficulties of marriage can give you the extra support you both need during trying times, as well as keeping the situation of your marriage in perspective.
The one thing you’ll never have a shortage of as a newlywed is marriage advice from everyone and their grandmother. Whether it’s from well-meaning singletons, disillusioned divorcees, or elderly married couples, suggestions about the future of your marriage and relationship with your spouse can be confusing or even insulting. The truth of the matter is that no one knows your relationship like you do, so soak up all the suggestions you get, implement the ones that work for your marriage, and discard the ones that don’t. Decisions like when/if to start a family, buy a house, or pursue a new career are incredibly personal and the only people who have an opinion are you and your partner.
The start of a marriage is both an exciting and terrifying time. Though you may have been a couple for many years before getting married, the actuality of a lifelong commitment changes the whole game. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your relationship where you find you need them, and keep an eye out for any interesting activities that can keep you both growing as a married couple. Having another married couple or two that you can lean on in times of woe can be an invaluable source of support so make an effort to branch out and make friends together as a couple! Finally, remember that marriage is a marathon, not a sprint, so make decisions that will complement this mindset!