It’s pretty typical that once you get engaged, the marriage advice starts rolling in. For Mark and I, a lot of it was good, though some was pretty strange, while others were just plain bad. Though we haven’t quite gotten through our first year of marriage, I’d like to believe that we have learned from what others have said, even the ones with the bad advice. Here are a few of that I’ve been recently thinking about:
The first year is the worst – I know that everyone’s marriages and relationships are different, but this one isn’t ringing true for Mark and I (though I may be jinxing things seeing as we have only been married for 8 months.) Mark and I dated for five years and were engaged for a 15 months. I feel that we had many, many conversations about how we were going to handle things when we were married and living together that we’ve only experienced little hiccups along the way. Plus we did everything we could to start off on the right foot financially. We made sure we were living within our means and not building mountains of debt to be dealt with after the wedding. BUT if this little piece of advice has some truth to it, I’m certainly looking forward to the years to come.
Don’t go to bed mad – Though Mark and I rarely fight (I am absolutely not saying that we never disagree – we just try to make sure to deal with issues as they come up so that we can talk calmly about it, rather than letting it build up to an all out blow out), I’m sure we have gone to bed a little annoyed or frustrated with each other and have been just fine. I recently read an updated version of this that says “If you’re mad, make sure you’re in the same bed” The reasoning behind this is that 1. Sometimes you can be arguing at midnight, but have to get up at 5 am, and you probably just need to get some sleep 2. No one has to go sleep on the couch which causes less resentment the next day and 3. It makes it easy for either you or your spouse to roll over in the morning and just say that you or they are sorry which at least re-opens the lines of calm communication.
The wife is always right – This one gets under my skin. I’ve dated guys in the past that all they did was agree with me, and all I did was get really annoyed. Why would I want that in my marriage? I got married to share my experiences and feelings with someone else. How can we continue to learn and grow if we are exactly the same? Frankly, I think this type of thinking is a recipe for unhappiness. I’ve seen too many marriages where one spouse has all the say in decision making while the other person silently agrees all the time and BOTH people seem completely miserable.
And now for the good advice:
Your spouse will do things differently than you, but if it still achieves the goal – let it go! This one I have to admit is probably truer for my husband than for me. He can be a pretty particular and systematic person, when I live in a world of organized chaos. For example, I know that when we moved in to our house together, he had a particular way to load the dishwasher in order to make sure that you can get as many dishes in while still getting everything clean, while I basically make it my own personal Tetris game every time. He readily admitted that after a few times of me loading the dishwasher that it had been bugging him. But when he realized that the way I was doing it still got the dishes clean, he said that he just let it go to focus on more important things like enjoying a quiet evening at home. Since he made the decision to let it go, it doesn’t bug him as much. Why start a fight over something that really doesn’t matter? Life’s too short to nitpick!
Manners can get you through the times when you can hardly stand to be in the same room as each other – I received this piece of advice from my mom a long time ago, way before I had even met Mark. Basically, if you remember to say “please” and “thank you” it will help you get through the tough times without causing more strife. Even when things are tense, it really does help ease things up faster if you remember your manners.
Talk, talk, and talk some more – This one seems like a no brainer for Mark and I, but again, we are at the very beginning of our marriage and we started our dating relationship communicating well. We talk about everything – things that are bugging us, things that we like, things that we want for the future. Unfortunately, Mark and I have seen the damage that not keeping an open line of communication can do to other people’s relationships and marriages. It creates confusion and high expectations that basically can never be met (I mean how could they be if the other person has no idea what you were thinking?). I know that Mark and I’s marriage won’t continue to be this easy, especially when we start adding in children and other exciting but stressful events along the way, but I hope that we keep communicating the way we do now.
Do you have any marriage advice that you received? Good or Bad? I’d love to hear about it!
- Fiancé and Finances: 10 Questions to Ask Before Marriage (lexingtonlaw.com)
- 3 Best Tips from Happily Married Women (dreamarriage.wordpress.com)
- Top 10 Worst Marriage Tips Offered to Newlyweds (babble.com)