A short while ago, I attended the bridal shower of a friend and listened to some of the advice she was being given. I have to admit the words of wisdom provided were often too generic with little substance that a new couple could truly leverage as an anchor in their marriage. The typical idealistic “do not go to bed angry” was provided, and I itched to just say “come on now, how do you pull that off?” but I bit back my words.
After 11 years of marriage, I have learned a lot. What I thought made a marriage work in 2003 is a far cry from what I have experienced and what I continue to learn as we both evolve as individuals and as a couple. Today, as I celebrate my 9th wedding anniversary and look back at my total of 11 years of marriage, below are 11 little lessons I have learned along the way.
11 little Marriage Lessons I learned along the way
Put God first then make a commitment from the beginning to the success of your marriage and work tirelessly as a team to make it happen. You need to believe you both have what it takes to make your marriage phenomenal. Close your ears to external chatter and petty gossip and stay focused on your lane.
Be a good friend to your spouse. Listen actively and create a safe environment for your spouse to feel comfortable to be honest with you about anything.
Tell your spouse how their actions or inactions make you feel and how you would like for them to treat you. Constantly have conversations about the kind of marriage you strive for because you will both evolve and so will your wants and needs. Don’t sit quietly waiting for miracles while resenting your spouse for not being a mind reader.
Keep your marriage light and fun. Flirt with each other often and do not neglect each other’s emotional and physical needs in and outside of the bedroom.
Have an identity and life outside of your marriage. Insecurity has no place in a good marriage.
Don’t give up your dreams just because you are married and do not stump on your spouse’s dreams. Know what makes you happy and understand that you and your spouse will not always value the same things. Allow room for each other to grow but also be considerate of your spouse as you grow and pursue your dreams.
Having disagreements is a necessary evil for your marriage to evolve into something better. When you disagree, do so respectfully. Take full responsibility of your actions or inactions at all times. Also understand that you may not have all the tools to handle the challenges in your relationship so be open to seek help from a counsellor, from books or you can attend Retrouvaille to help provide you with the tools to make your marriage work.
Be quick to celebrate your spouse and to pump them up. Be your spouse’s biggest fan. There is no prize for constantly complaining about your spouse to others. It will only reflect poorly on you.
Protect the integrity of your relationship by keeping your disagreements private.
Respect each other and each other’s family at all times. Do not resort to verbal or physical abuse.
Money is a major pain point in many marriages so set common financial goals for your marriage and find a money management strategy that will work for you and your spouse. Don’t leave this to chance.