Marriage, they say, transforms your perspective on life. You grow as a person and maybe discover aspects of yourself that you didn’t know existed! As a newly married couple, the first few years of marriage often lays the foundation for a lifelong partnership, clichéd as it may sound. It is a time of tremendous adjustment and tempering expectations. Even if you have known your partner for many years it is still a different ball game when you are living with the person. You may experience mixed emotions like excitement, apprehension, surprise, joy, disillusionment, confusion and sometimes frustration.
Each person’s experience is different as we are complex beings. While there is no manual to navigate the sometimes choppy waters of marriage, knowing what to expect certainly helps.
Tips every newly married couple should know
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind during the first few years of marriage.
Accepting and Embracing Differences
After the buzz of romance and roses wears off, newlyweds often find that reality sets in rather quickly! They realize that there is a big chasm between getting married and being married. Differences that seemed trivial before marriage now take on different proportions. It could be sleeping habits, dietary preferences, the movies that you watch or the music that appeals to you. While courting you may be more accommodating but things may change when you live together. Talk amicably about your differences and make the effort to accommodate each other’s interests.
Embrace the diversity within your marriage and appreciate the unique qualities that your partner brings to the relationship. Celebrate each other’s strengths and support each other in areas where growth is needed. Remember that it’s the combination of your individual differences that makes your marriage strong and enriching. By accepting and embracing each other’s differences, you create a safe and nurturing environment for personal growth and the flourishing of your newly married relationship.
Balancing Individuality in a Marriage
While it’s natural to become deeply intertwined in each other’s lives after marriage, it’s important to maintain a sense of individuality. Balancing individuality within marriage allows both partners to continue growing as individuals and brings unique perspectives and experiences to the relationship. Embrace and celebrate each other’s interests, hobbies, and passions, even if they differ from your own.
Encourage each other to pursue personal goals and give each other the space and support needed to thrive as individuals. Remember that you were attracted to each other’s individuality before marriage, and that should not change. By nurturing your own identities and interests, you will bring more fulfilment and happiness to your newly married relationship, ultimately strengthening the bond between you and your spouse.
Building a Relationship with In-laws
The first year of marriage is a defining moment for building a solid relationship with your in-laws. In the Indian context, it is a crucial bond to maintain. Parents are concerned and anxious about their children’s well-being and this may translate into constant interaction which can sometimes border on interference. Differences often crop up because of disruptive patterns of communication with the in-laws. Things can be smooth if both partners discuss about how much parental engagement is acceptable and accordingly set their boundaries with their respective parents. It is difficult to deal with a third person in the marriage even if it is from well-meaning parents. At the same time showing love, respect and appreciation for the parents is very important.
It is very important to be clear about each of your roles in running the household. As a newly married couple, if both partners have clearly defined roles with regard to sharing chores, paying bills and financial planning, then there are fewer chances of clashes. Don’t allow the first flush of idealism blind you to practical matters of daily living. A fair distribution of responsibilities will make both partners feel validated and not become resentful of taking on more than their share.
Be realistic in your expectations and understand that compromise and flexibility are key to any successful marriage. Remember that your expectations may evolve over time, and it’s important to revisit them periodically to ensure they align with the growth and changes in your relationship. By setting clear expectations and maintaining open lines of communication, you can create a healthy and harmonious married life based on trust, respect, and shared values.
Discussing Mutual Goals & Values
Share your perspective on career goals and money matters with your partner. Money is one of the major causes of differences between couples. This is where values come into play. If each partner has a different philosophy toward money management then it is a recipe for disaster. So try and sort out differences right at the beginning so that it doesn’t create a rift. It is also a good idea to discuss core values about religious beliefs as this also is a sensitive matter. While one partner may decide that spending on religious functions is necessary, the other may think it is a waste of money. Lay out all your cards on the table and have a healthy debate rather than viewing it as an insurmountable issue.
By aligning your expectations, goals, and values, you can work together as a team towards a future that is fulfilling for both of you. Remember that these conversations are ongoing and may evolve over time, so make it a habit to regularly check in with each other to ensure that you are still on the same page. By discussing and understanding each other’s expectations, goals, and values, you build a strong foundation for a marriage that is rooted in shared dreams and aspirations.
Choosing Happiness over Being Right
Marriage is not about winning arguments or proving who is right; it’s about choosing happiness and harmony over being right. In the heat of an argument, it’s easy to get caught up in being right and lose sight of the bigger picture. Instead, focus on finding common ground and seeking resolutions that prioritize the well-being and happiness of both partners.
Striking a balance between what you think is right and what your partner thinks, is going to be crucial to keep the peace. Things are rarely black and white, so swimming in the grey is an essential part of a happy marriage! Don’t allow egos to get in the way of reaching an amicable agreement. Sometimes choosing to be happy over being right may be a better option. You don’t have to agree with everything that your partner feels but you can certainly respect their opinion without being disagreeable.
Giving Each Other Space
While spending quality time together is important, it’s equally important to give each other space and time for individual pursuits. Allowing each other to pursue hobbies, friendships, and personal interests outside of the marriage can bring a sense of fulfilment and personal growth to both partners.
As a newly married couple, you will probably be invited everywhere together. While it is great to spend time together, it is also equally important to give each other space. Take time to be with your own set of friends so that you are not in each other’s pockets all the time. Some amount of time apart is necessary to keep the spark alive.
Respect each other’s need for solitude and personal time, and encourage each other to pursue activities that bring joy and fulfilment. By giving each other space, you not only nurture your individual identities but also strengthen your bond by fostering a sense of independence and mutual support in your newly married relationship.
Communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship, and it becomes even more crucial in a newly married relationship. As newlyweds, you may still be getting to know each other on a deeper level, and effective communication can help you bridge any gaps. Take the time to truly listen to each other and express your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly. Remember that communication is a two-way street, so be mindful of not only speaking your mind but also actively listening to your partner’s perspective.
Learning to Deal with Conflicts in a Newly Married Relationship
Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, and learning to deal with it effectively is vital for the growth and well-being of your newly married relationship. Instead of avoiding conflict or letting it escalate, embrace it as an opportunity for growth and understanding. Approach conflicts with empathy, active listening, and a willingness to find a resolution that works for both of you.
When conflicts arise, strive to understand each other’s perspective without judgment or defensiveness. Use “I” statements to express how you feel and avoid blaming or criticizing each other. Focus on finding a compromise or solution that addresses both partners’ needs. Remember that conflicts are not a reflection of your love for each other; rather, they are an opportunity to strengthen your bond by finding common ground and learning from each other’s perspectives.
Carving Out Time for Each Other
As life gets busier with work, household responsibilities, and other commitments, it’s easy to let quality time with your spouse take a backseat. However, it’s essential to prioritize and carve out dedicated time for each other in your busy life. Whether it’s a weekly date night, a weekend getaway, or simply a few moments of uninterrupted conversation each day, these intentional moments of togetherness can strengthen the bond between you and keep the romance alive.
Make a conscious effort to create a balance between your individual responsibilities and the time you spend together as a couple. Remember that the little things count, so even small gestures like cooking a meal together, going for a walk, or watching a movie together can go a long way in nurturing your connection as a newly married couple. By prioritizing quality time and making it a non-negotiable part of your routine, you will create lasting memories and build a solid foundation for your married life.
Keeping the Romance Alive
The most important factor is keeping alive the romance element. Sometimes daily life tends to occupy our attention completely and romance might take a back seat. So plan that candle-lit dinner or a movie followed by a long drive to take away the drudgery of daily life. Showing each other how much you care is a key ingredient of a happy partnership.
Marriage is a work in progress and yes it needs a lot of work! There will be times when you wonder whether you made the right decision and this happens to all of us. As long as you keep fine-tuning your expectations and accept each other without being intent on changing the other, you are on the road to a long, beautiful and nurturing marriage….truly made in heaven!
Remember that marriage requires continuous effort, understanding, and love. Embrace the joys and challenges that come with being a newly married couple, and cherish the precious moments you share together.
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