Hello! I’m so excited for today’s post because it’s a bit different from the norm. I’ve been wanting to do a collaboration with my husband Robert for such a long time. I considered doing a How We Met post and am curious about what you all are interested in, but for today I thought it would be fun to do marriage advice, particularly newlywed advice. Robert and I have been married for 14 months and there are lots of issues that arise initially in marriage. As a married couple that’s living together, one of the biggest struggles is learning to combine your lives. Chores, finances, work schedules, and more! It’s often easy to pass over these things, but if you don’t take the time to address them, they can lead to resentment and fights in the long run. So Robert and I put together a list of 5 things we wish we knew in our first year of marriage and how we deal with common newlywed struggles.
- Don’t Dread the Honeymoon Phase Ending
The honeymoon is glorious! It’s the “Happily Ever After” after your fairy tale wedding. It’s no work, no responsibilities, breakfast in bed, sex in the afternoon, ‘What day is it?’ amazing! It’s totally understandable that you wouldn’t want it to end, but that shouldn’t stop you from having possibly tough conversations with your spouse. The longer you put things off, the more they build up. Don’t avoid conflicts, they’re normal. Speaking of conflict…
- Conflict is Normal
Conflict is totally, completely normal! Marriage is putting two people together who, likely, have had very different upbringings. Whether it’s deciding on dinner or on who’s family to spend the holidays with, there are going to be hard conversations to have. It’s easy to go from 0 to 100, but remember that at the end of the day, this is the love of your life. Handle conflict with care. Life isn’t a fairy tale, but when you love someone who loves you back in such a beautiful way, conflict is a merely a stepping stone of knowing more about your spouse.
- Communication is Key
So communication is vital at all points in a relationship, but it’s important to set the tone in your marriage. Your communication shouldn’t drastically change from your dating life to your marriage life, but you may want to take that deep breath or the time to count to 10 before you respond. This is your spouse. This is the person you’ve vowed to love through thick and thin and ups and downs. Their feelings aren’t expendable. It’s also important to just talk to them. How is work going? How is family doing? How are they feeling? These are elements that make up a person and ignoring them is ignoring your spouse.
- Grow Together
My husband and I got married at 25 and 22, respectively. The people we were then are different than who we are now and who knows where we’ll be in 10 or 15 years. I don’t believe when people say they just wake up and their spouse and them are different people. It takes so much more than that and it’s so important to make the effort that even though you and your spouse are different people who will continue to grow, you’re still one unit and should grow together as one unit.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Being Different
While we have many similarities, Robert and I have lots of interest we don’t share. I love watching dramatic television and he’s content with playing video games for hours on end. I will occasionally ask him to step away from the console and pick something he’d like us to watch together. Or even, I’ll ask him to find a game with a story that I’d enjoy watching him play. It’s important to maintain your own individuality, but don’t live separate lives just because you have separate interests. Your spouse doesn’t have to be the center of your world. It’s okay to be different from each other and still celebrate the parts of you that make you unique.
We’re still new to marriage and are no pros by any means, but we could’ve saved some time and headache if we knew then what we know now. If you’re new to marriage or just looking for some general advice, we hope this helps!
Thanks for reading!
From Taji (and Robert), With Love