Anyone who’s married, or has been married, knows that matrimony changes the dynamics of a couple’s relationship with each other. Marriage brings certain changes that somehow shake the status quo and bring about obstacles and challenges, especially during the first few years.
Couples, here’s a reality check: the honeymoon bliss doesn’t last forever. Eventually, that feeling of being on Cloud 9 will fade within the first few years of marriage. When this happens, couples now find themselves in several unique challenges by adjusting to married life.
This can be especially harder if couples plan on starting a family soon. It’s hard enough to adjust to your role as a spouse. It’ll be harder if you throw in parenting to the mix.
Most family counselors and experts say that what makes a good parent isn’t just providing for children’s needs, paying for dance or piano lessons for children, teaching them to be wise money managers or any other ideal things that parents should do.
If you want to be the best parent possible to your child, you need to love, take care of, and prioritize your relationship with your spouse. Studies have found that children whose parents genuinely love and care for each other grow up to be more secure and confident individuals with good morals and are dutiful and responsible.
For you to get there, you need to survive the first few years of your marriage. Here are a few ways to help you navigate this season in life.
5 Tips for Newly Weds to Survive the First Few Years of Marriage
1. Make your house a place where you want to spend time together.
Turn your house into a home where you would want to be with each other. Make it cozy, inviting, and romantic.
Do your best not to turn it into an office or place of business. If one or both of you are working remotely, assign a corner or a room to serve as your office, and at the end of your shift, close shop and “go home” to your spouse.
2. Keep the romance alive.
As we mentioned earlier, romance will eventually fade in any relationship unless it is intentionally kept alive.
Marriage makes couples intimately familiar with each other, that it gets to the point that over-familiarity wreaks havoc on the romantic aspect of the relationship. Even if you get to that point of familiarity, never lose sight of the romance that brought you two together.
Go on regular dates. Dress up for your spouse for no reason at all. Send each other sweet text messages throughout the day. Spice things up in the bedroom. Be adventurous and spontaneous. Do things you would normally do while you were still in courtship.
3. Become each other’s best friend.
More than the romance, it is your friendship with each other that will make you stand the test of time. A lot of failed marriages were unfortunately hinged on just the lovey-dovey part of marriage. They failed to recognize the power of becoming each other’s best friends.
Being your spouse’s best friend gives you a front-row seat to enjoy his or her company, even without romantic feelings. This type of companionship will make you connect intimately even if you don’t say anything to each other.
4. Talk about your own personal issues with your spouse and conquer them together.
Ideally, you should already have these discussions not to enter marriage with hang-ups from your past. These things can be potentially dangerous to your relationship, especially unresolved issues. Being in a marriage can sometimes trigger something in you that will remind you of past hurts, and you might end up taking it out on your innocent spouse who has no idea what’s eating you.
If you still haven’t had that type of heart-to-heart talk, have a sit-down with your spouse and tell him or her all about your hang-ups and struggles. Ask him or her to help you conquer your inner demons so that you can give yourself fully to the marriage with no ties from the past bogging you down.
5. Love and respect each other.
Finally, know that two key elements in your relationship will help you face whatever challenges life brings. Love and respect.
If a man feels that his wife respects him, he responds in love. Likewise, if a woman feels loved by the man, she is inclined to respect him. The flip side is also true. A man who feels disrespected will not show love to his wife, and an unloved wife feels no respect for her man. It’s a vicious cycle that can only be broken by intentionally loving and respecting each other regardless of how you feel toward one another at a given time.
Understandably, each couple will face different challenges because of different circumstances. Still, generally, if you adopt the things listed above into your marriages, you’ll have an easier time navigating the first few years of your marriage, which will give you a better chance at forever.