Listen to podcast episode 6 “Our Top Pieces Of Advice For Couples And Newlyweds”
There is nothing better and no better stage in life than being a new married couple! Do you agree?
The passion is intense, you are having fun together, probably still getting to know each other, life hasn’t thrown it’s trials at you yet most likely, and all you want to do is make out right?
Some people say that the first year of marriage is the worst. Some people say it is the best year ever! What is it that makes couples so opposite? What things are newlywed couples struggling with that would make it the worst year ever? There are several factors that can make it either the best or the worst. Let’s discuss a few of those.
I have found from talking with several of our friends that the ones that have already dated for years before getting married, the first year of marriage is not what it is for a couple who got married just several months after meeting (like us). For instance, me and Nick met, fell in love fast, and got married literally months after meeting. So our first year of marriage we were actually still getting to know each other, still had that intense passion and romance going on, and we weren’t at the stage were we knew each other so good that we had anything to really fight about.
However, our friends who had dated for years, possibly even through high school, had known each. other for years and the first “romance feelings” were already over and they were just best friends and knew each other so well they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Either way, couples just have different situations and different trials to deal with. Here are some things that for either circumstance, are great tips for newlyweds!
Get to know each other and have good conversations
This is obvious advice, but are you really spending the quality time getting to know each other? Not just playing video games or watching Netflix together, real quality time. Go for hikes together, sit in the hot tub and talk, go on long walks holding hands, take some real vacations before you have kids and talk tons! Learning how to communicate is ESSENTIAL in starting a marriage. The Ultimate Intimacy app is a huge asset for this, as it holds over 250+ conversation starters for you to talk about and all you need is your phone and each other. Hold those hard conversations together and really get to know each other on a deep level.
Accept your spouse for exactly who they are
You are now married. Now is the time to realize that you chose your spouse to marry and you chose them the way they are. Just because you get married, gives no excuse to want to change someone. Embrace that you are different, and that that is what brought you together. When you find out something about that them maybe you are having a hard time with, (maybe you realize you had pet peeves with so many things they do) try to accept why they do what they do, and why say what they say and realize that people are who they are because of how they were raised and brought up. This is the perfect time once again to learn how to communicate and talk about the differences in respectful ways, so that you can come together as a team with one goal: to have a passionate, happy marriage.
Set realistic expectations of each other
Oh the expectations coming into marriage. I think we all do it, expect marriage to be amazing always, romantic for years to come, and to get along and always be happy.. that’s why we got married right? Haha… things are not always going to be easy! Might as well accept it now, BUT it can be happy, romantic if you both choose to make it that way! That doesn’t mean there won’t be fights and trials and lots of hard stuff. But setting realistic expectations of marriage and each other right off the bat can help you a ton.
Marriage requires effort on both parts for the entire marriage. Entering marriage with realistic expectations and understanding that consistent effort on both sides is a huge part of the deal will make your marriage so much easier and happier.
Expectations in marriage
Always fight fair and respectfully
Fighting in marriage is normal. Fighting is not always a bad thing and it is going to happen. Learning how to fight fair is the best thing you can do for your marriage.
How to Fight Fair
- Keep your cool. This is key to fighting fair. Don’t ever say rude things you will regret.
- Be polite and don’t interrupt your spouse.
- Focus on the present. Focus only on the argument you are having and don’t bring up the past arguments. It is important to find a solution together, not keep the argument going.
- Don’t lash out at each other and throw blame.
- Say you’re sorry. Learn to apologize, and forgive. If you are team this is a MUST.
In marriage there are no winners unless you are both winning TOGETHER. You are a team. In a team effort, the team wins TOGETHER, not the one person who scored.
Make your spouse top priority
When you get married, you need to learn to balance. You have just come from a life where it is all about you and no one else. You have put hobbies and jobs as priorities to keep you busy and happy. When you get married, you are putting your spouse first if you want your marriage to work. That does NOT mean that other things are to be put aside, or neglected. It is super important to have a balanced life and hobbies and work are important. But your spouse should always feel the most important, even if you are a super busy person. Make the time to set regular date nights where you can connect for long periods of time weekly. Make the time daily to connect with your spouse even if it is for an hour a night. If you both work full time, then take time in the evenings to have fun together, touch each other, play games together and make time for sex and intimacy. If you are away from your spouse for long periods of time, there are tons of ways to keep connection, a great article is found HERE.
Sex is so important!
Sex is one of the most important ways that a couple can connect.
Besides feeling absolutely amazing for both people, sex helps cultivate love and affection in a marriage. Sex helps you express your love and care for someone without even saying a word. Passion is what drives it and it can help you lead a happy married life. A great article on sex is found here: https://ultimateintimacy.com/8-reasons-you-should-have-sex-tonight/
Set goals together and talk about your future
Setting goals together as a couple give you something to both work toward and a reason to depend upon each other. It is a great way to grow your marriage. In the pursuit of your goals, you will spend more time together, have many more conversations and create more intimate moments together.
Have fun and have adventures together
“The correlation between fun and marital happiness is high, and significant. The more you invest in fun and friendship and being there for your partner, the happier the relationship will get over time”, says Howard Markman, a psychologist who co-directs the university’s Center for Marital and Family Studies.
Don’t let fun ever take a back seat. After a few years of marriage, kids, stress, jobs and trials will sometimes and most often take priority over having fun… don’t let that happen and your marriage will be so much happier.
Never go to bed angry
Going to bed angry is a toxic pattern that causes long term damage.
If you go to bed angry on a regular basis, it can and often will eventually turn into resentment, and destroy the connection in your marriage. It can also disrupt your sleep which is bad for your health.
The best way to get in a habit of never going to bed angry is to always try to the anger out and resolved before bed by letting your partner talk, listen to them uninterrupted, acknowledge what they are saying, and spend time with them.
When we were first married 19 years ago, we were given the advice of never going to bed mad and after a few years that did happen once in a while and I thought no big deal of it. But looking back at our marriage now, I can see that holding in the anger over night absolutely did do damage and once you get in the pattern of it, it gets easier to do which is a very negative thing. It affects your entire day when you wake up upset and is overall bad for all aspects of marriage and your health.
Communicate every single day
foryourmarriage.com has an amazing article on having good communication in marriage.
You can find it HERE
10. Saves You Money
There’s no doubt about it, poor communications can be costly. Flowers, candy, gifts large and small are regularly offered by a spouse who said the “wrong thing’ or failed to say the “right thing.” When you look at costly mistakes in a marriage the majority of them are a result of poor communications.
9. Saves Time
“Yeah” “Sure” “Whatever” may seem like an efficient way of dealing with your husband or wife when they want to talk but it’s not. Sooner or later an unresolved issue must be discussed. So taking the time the first time your spouse wants to talk with you will ultimately prove to be a time saver. You won’t have to go back to the beginning and start again, because you communicated clearly and honestly the first time around.
8. Earns Points For The Future
Every time you and your spouse have a satisfying conversation you build credit toward future communication. Both of you know and expect that you will be able to share because you have a record of success.
7. It’s Good For Your Health
Good communications in marriage reduces stress for two reasons. First, it allows you to resolve the tension between you, and second, it allows you to “vent’ some of your anxieties from other areas of your life. Many couples report that their partner is the first person they could fully trust. “I can tell him anything”, one wife said recently. “I know he will listen and understand how I feel.”
6. Allows You To Concentrate On Other Things
Have you ever found yourself continuing a discussion you had earlier while you were at work? “I should have said this” you say to yourself. “Oh yeah? Well what about the time you did…” Perhaps you’re so upset about an unfinished conversation earlier in the day that you call your spouse to either apologize or get one more point across. Listening and talking effectively resolves the issue and frees your mind to concentrate on other tasks.
5. Builds Up Your Relationship
Couples who don’t communicate are in danger of losing love and affection for one another. All relationships are nourished by communications. If you don’t communicate with parents, siblings, co-workers, children, or your partner, you lose touch with them and your relationship withers.
4. You Learn More About Yourself
Have you ever tried to explain your thoughts or feelings to someone else and during the conversation you end up in a different place from where you began? Putting your thoughts into words forces you to clarify them. Talking and listening also allows you to fine tune your ideas.
3. Less Hassle
“Why won’t you talk to me?” “I know something is bothering you-what is it?” “Don’t just walk away. Talk to me. Please!”
Be honest. Avoiding communications is as much work as communicating. So why not just talk, or do you like being pursued? Does being silent give you more control over the situation? While it may seem that way, ultimately you’ll have a spouse who will trust you less. Giving your partner the gift of your time to talk things through will make your life simpler in the long run.
2. You Might Learn Something New
The person you are married to is not the person you first met. Neither are you the same. Every day brings new experiences, thoughts, dreams, plans. It’s a guarantee that if you work at communicating you will discover new things about each other.
These new discoveries stretch out in two directions from where you are now. You will discover experiences from your spouse’s childhood that you never knew. You don’t know them because the person you love has them hidden away in their memory. They don’t remember until some new experience triggers a recollection.
You see a child run into the street and your husband says, “I almost got hit by a car when I was that age.” What follows is a story of childhood excitement, parental fear, and lessons learned that come pouring out from the distant past. It might explain why he drives so slowly in areas with children, or give you insight into how he will react when your child does the same thing years from now.
1. It’s Fun!
Divide up the household responsibilities
This one is so important! If diving up household responsibilities goes undone, you will have a lot of resentment in your marriage. Joshua Rogers, author of Confessions of a Happily Married Man, believes that today’s husbands desire to be more involved at home than past generations and are experiencing benefits that come with that. “As we shoulder the burden of loving our families in the daily grind of life, including helping out around the house, we’ve noticed that our wives are more tender toward us and our marriages are much happier,” Rogers says.
Set up a budget and make financial goals
This one is so important! There is so much to do financially when you get married and doing it right at the beginning is best.
Some good goals for your finances include:
- Invest for the long term, set up a plan together.
- Sit down together and set a budget and stick with it.
- Don’t hide from debt, deal with it. Try to not get into it.
- Never keep your spending habits from each other. Be open and honest. If one of you have debt, learn to tackle it as a team.
- Save for your retirement plan together.
- Create an emergency fund. Emergencies WILL happen.
- Team up to save together. Keep your money together and work together in all aspects.
- Have weekly or monthly financial meetings together. Be open and discuss.
- Bring up touchy financial topics with love and patience.
- Protect each other by updating your insurance policies and create a will.
Stop being selfish.
We are all selfish before marriage
The fact of the matter is, that when you are a single unmarried person you only have one person to think about, yourself. Humans are naturally selfish individuals. After marriage, everything changes. To stop being selfish in marriage, first off recognize it! Admit it to yourself and your spouse.
Change your mindset and realize how bad your spouse needs you, your love and your attention. Change your mind to thinking as a team in all things and how things can benefit the both of you instead of just you.
The best thing you can do is to serve your spouse. Serving brings happiness to the person who gives it. Ask your spouse, “how can I help you today? or what can I do for you today?” Or maybe just surprise them and do something for them they wouldn’t expect! You got married because you want your marriage to be happy right? That takes both people thinking about the other person.
Learn your spouses love language
A key to a really healthy relationships is understanding how best to express your love to your spouse. Loving your spouse in a way that resonates with them and fulfills their needs.
Dr. Gary Chapman devised an amazing method to communicate with your partner and show your affection based on their innate preferences. His Love Languages book teaches you the theory that every individual has a predisposition to and identifies more heavily with one of five ways to spread and receive love. Knowing your spouses love language is a game changer in marriage. Take the time to learn it and then apply it in your life.
Learn what your spouse likes sexually
Sex and intimacy is the glue that keeps marriages together. It really is. A sexless marriage will most likely fail. A marriage without intimacy will most likely fail. Take the time in this area also to get to know your spouse in the marriage bed. The ultimate intimacy app really helps you to explore each others bodies, get to know what each other desires are sexually and helps you to communicate and talk about your wants and desires which can often be hard for some couples. We recommend downloading the app for free and playing the foreplay section.
Have fun together and find mutual interests
The couples that play together, stay together!
Having fun is not just… well fun, but keeps your marriage exciting!
To have more fun together, first find out what makes each of you happy. Try getting out of your comfort zone once in a while and try new things. Create a to-do list or a bucketlist of fun ideas you both want to try. Take the time and spend the money once in a while to travel together. Having fun together can bring back the feelings from when you were dating and also lower stress and add to intimacy in your marriage.
Other relationships are still important
It’s ok in marriage to have other relationships. Your families are still important, your friends of the same sex can still be important. Make sure to set boundaries with friends of the opposite sex. Decide together what those boundaries will be. It is great to have mutual friends you can have fun with together. It is healthy to have people in your life, just make sure that those people whether friends or family are healthy too and bringing positivity into your life.
It is also important to maintain self love. Balance is so important in life so taking a little time for yourself is very important so you can still love you, and take care of you! More on this found here:
Keep God in your marriage, set faith goals together
Being “in love” is good and necessary when we first go into marriage, but we will soon be tested when the daily trials come. Therefore, we need to have God as the head of our marriage. He is there to bless us and strengthen us. Pray together and for each other always.
Create traditions together
www.wildblueweddings.com/new-traditions-couple has a great article about starting traditions:
here is just a few ideas to get you started with setting new traditions together:
Looking for a bit of inspiration? Here are some simple ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
- Celebrate your wedding anniversary as the birthday of your family. The top tier of wedding cake is traditionally frozen and eaten on your first anniversary, but why not have a cake and candles and presents every year? This is also a fun way for you to celebrate the event with your kids in the future.
- Establish a nonnegotiable date night. As a newlywed, you might assume that you’ll go on dating each other forever, but life can quickly get in the way. Start your marriage out in an intentional way by continuing to have a standing date night on a regular basis — whether that’s once a week, twice a month, or whatever works in your schedule. You’ll be glad you made that a tradition early on!
- Recreate your first date every year. If you can’t revisit the exact location, get creative and set something up at home. Cook the same foods you ate and do the same activities. It doesn’t have to be exact, but it will be a special way to walk down memory lane together every year.
- Cook your favorite food together once a week. Taco Tuesday? Weekend brunch? Friday night homemade pizza? Sundae Sunday? Choose a favorite and add it to your weekly meal plan!
- Go canoeing or kayaking at the lake or on the river every 4th of July. Gazing up at fireworks is even better from the water!
- Play together outside in the snow each year as the first snow falls. Laugh like little kids and have a snowball fight, or go sledding!
Starting new traditions together is important and can be lots of fun too!
Inspire each other
You are a team. You need to be each others cheerleaders in all aspects of life. Everyone likes to be encouraged and one of the main benefits of marriage is having someone to motivate you every step of the way. Always motivate each other. Give your spouse a self esteem boost when they need it by complimenting your spouse. Give your spouse 100%. This will create a happy marriage.
Always say I love you
These 3 words are the most important words in your new vocabulary. Your spouse doesn’t know it, unless you say it. Over time it gets easier to stop saying it so much and assume that your spouse knows that you love them. But reminding them often is very important for your marriage. It creates intimacy and builds them up. It sends a message of commitment and trust and safety. However, just saying the words “I love you” does no good if they’re not backed up by true sincerity.
Learn how to pick your battles
- Take time to mull the incident over before arguing.
- Put the incident in context.
- Determine whether this is a “battle” or a conversation and if it is worth fighting over.
- Say goodbye to your fear of fighting. Fighting is not always bad.
- Don’t let your partner dismiss your feelings.
Never stop being friends!
A passionate love does not necessarily translate into a happy marriage. Marriage needs more ingredients than just love, and friendship is the most important one! A solid friendship between two lovers says more about their compatibility than a passionate, love affair.
Download the Ultimate Intimacy app for free in the app stores or checkout ultimateintimacy.com for more info.