Let’s talk marriage. Well, duh… But seriously! Newlywed wives, listen up! Nothing could have prepared me for life after the wedding and I want to let you in on a few tips.
After we got married, I was on cloud nine. I started life with hubs with an optimistic view and set out to be the perfect, happy, drama free couple. I was so happy to finally live near him- let alone with him, and I didn’t quite grasp how marriage could be so difficult. Then life happened and boy, it brought me down fast.
Maybe you’re not in this boat yet. Great! Read this advice and save it for later. Or, you’re smack dab in the middle of it… girl- I get it. Take comfort in this, you are not alone. And your marriage isn’t falling to pieces because you don’t agree on something.
Here are some helpful tips to encourage us as we navigate life as newlyweds.
Right off the bat, be humble. Marriage is like living with a talking, breathing, full-size mirror. You see everything about yourself- the good, bad and ugly- through the eyes of another person.
Proverbs 11:2 tells us: “Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Don’t let your pride get the best of you. Yeah, it’s nice to be right all the time but it isn’t necessary… I know I don’t want to go through life being “too good” to learn something new.
I am a pretty techy person. But I don’t even scratch the surface of what Hubs can do. I can’t tell you the number of times I say I know what I’m doing, only to go back and ask Hubs for help. It’s embarrassing to be incapable of something but when we to lean on hubs for little things it makes them feel great (and helps us in the long run, too).
Forgive. Forget. Forgive. Forget.
Straight up, grudges suck. People make mistakes- it’s part of life. How we respond is our choice. Being a nanny, I find myself repeating this often: “It’s okay to be mad, it’s not okay to be mean.” But it’s so true! I have to remind myself daily to watch my words and mood because forgiveness and attitude go hand in hand. Saying, “I forgive you,” is only half of the equation.
Life is so much easier when we learn to forgive and forget. This is a cycle, though. You can’t pick and choose to forgive some things and then leave the others out to dry and hold them against Hubs later.
The Bible mentions forgiveness over 140 times! So, you better believe we can learn some valuable lessons from its words.
Matthew 6:15 says: “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
EEEKKK. *Record scratch* Say what?!? If we don’t forgive others, we won’t be forgiven? That’s a tough pill to swallow. And, in a way, it kinda goes hand in hand with humbling ourselves, huh? If we choose to hold a grudge and choose to be prideful, our actions let our spouses know that they don’t matter.
Respect Each Other
Don’t roll your eyes when Hubs wants to unwind with a video game or talk down to him when you explain they way you like the dishes done. Respect comes in many different forms.
Granted, you can respect your husband by letting him lead or speaking kindly of him. But, you can also find ways to respect and embrace each other’s skills and abilities. If one of you is a great cook and the other enjoys cleaning, find ways to divvy up tasks. Don’t feel pressure to be this perfect wife that cooks and cleans and does everything for Hubs. While he may love it, down the road you’ll start to resent the fact that he doesn’t help out around the house.
Also, I’m guilty of this too, so don’t think I’m pointing fingers. Respect their time with you. Seriously. Put down the phone on date nights. Heck, leave it at home for all I care. When our spouses (or future spouses) set aside specific time for us, give them all the attention. Your Instagram stories can wait.
It’s Not All About You- Or Sex…
It’s easy to think of all the benefits you’ll receive when you’re finally married. But, if you are in it for yourself, you’ll be very quickly disappointed. Sex, though beneficial, is only like 10% of the equation- though throughout your engagement it seems like the only thing that matters.
When we start looking at sex as an “end all” to our happiness, it ends up falling short of the massive expectations we put on it in the first place. Sex is fun and exciting. Go ahead and try all the things, in all the places and enjoy your spouse. But know, it’s not going to complete you. Growing up in church, I believed that marriage = sex = happiness forever and that’s simply not the case. I love this tweet from Chris at the theforgivenwife.com:
Sex is not the gravy of the marriage; it’s the potatoes.
— Chris Taylor (@forgivenwife) July 20, 2013
It’s so true. It has substance- it isn’t just a sprinkle of something to make the rest of your life feel good. Cuz honestly, you can have sex as much as you want, but if you and your spouse don’t talk or deal with problems as they arise, they’ll never get solved.
Learn how your spouse does life. Figure out how to make life work together by combining your habits and chores and realize we don’t always need to do things our way.
Take A Deep Breath
Marriage is hard- it’s SO worth the hard work- but it’s hard. When two very different people come together in marriage, there’s bound to be struggles- but it’s nothing you can’t work through together.
Psalm 56:3 reminds us to trust God in everything, especially when we are afraid. It says:
“But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.”
After an argument with Hubs, my mind flashes to fear. Will we get divorced like our parents? Will he still love me even though I messed up? Can I ever love Hubs the same way after he’s hurt me? All these thoughts flood my mind and I have to remind myself that my trust is in the Lord. From the moment we said, “I do,” it became His will for this marriage to work.
So, don’t fret. It takes time to find your groove and figure out how to make a marriage work. 🙂
Okay, now you can sigh a big sigh of relief… ahh.