Marriage Advice for Newlyweds
Kunal and I dated for 8 years before we got married. You would think that by that time, we would have this whole relationship thing down pat and “married” would just be a title. To be honest, I didn’t think much would change because we were already very seriously committed to each other pretty much since we met.
That being said, there were still many things I wish we would have been more aware of before we tied the knot. When planning a wedding it is so easy to get caught up in the idea of the wedding day (or if you are Indian – the week), sometimes thinking of what life will actually look like after you are married is overlooked.
Here are some things that are important to think about before marriage:
1. Don’t Expect Perfection:
I think especially as women, we might have this idea of what marriage should look like. These ideas might come from examples in your own family, or what you’ve seen on TV shows or movies about what marriage is supposed to be. The truth is, nobody is perfect, not even you. Don’t make your standards impossible because you are only setting your relationship up to fail if you do. This was huge for me, because I often set myself up to a very high standard of perfection for everything that I do, and in turn I would expect perfection from my partner so that our marriage could be perfect, which wasn’t fair. Nobody likes being critisized constantly or picked on, and everyone makes mistakes.
The less expectations you have of your spouse, the happier your relationship will be. How your spouse behaves is out of your control, and you have to accept them as they are.
2. Know Your Love Languages:
I read a life changing book by Gary Chapman called The Five Love Languages right after we got married. It outlines 5 ways to experience and express love that are called “love languages”. Everyone has a primary love language that they like when recieiving love. The key is to know your own love language as well as your spouse’s so you can give them love in the way in which they would like to be receiving it.
3. Talk about Your Money:
It’s important to talk about each of your current financial situations and how you will deal with your money once you are married:
· Will you keep separate accounts and have a joint account for all of your joint expenses?
· Or will you join all of your accounts?
· What are your partner’s monthly spending habits? How do they mesh with yours?
· What investments does each person have and where? What types of investments does your partner like to make – are they risky or risk averse with their finances?
· What is your partner’s credit score? Will you be needing funding from the bank anytime soon for a mortgage or another loan?
4. Sometimes You Have to Choose Other Things:
Being a good partner means you have to also spend time working on yourself. It’s important to make time for each other everyday, but it is also important to make time for yourself everyday.
After we got married, we were so busy settling into our new routine and our life together we neglected doing things for ourselves. We saw our friends less, went to the gym less, got out of our individual routines, and we realized that this was not okay. Your spouse is not the only good thing in your life and you cannot put the pressure of your own happiness squarely on their shoulders. Keep yourself happy and bring that positive energy back into your relationship.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help When You Need It:
No relationship is perfect, and all relationships experience turbulent periods. Kunal and I realized that we didn’t have a good way of dealing with differences of opinions that came up between us. It would often turn into something very heated and emotional when it didn’t have to be.
There are actually techniques for dealing with conflicts in a non-heated way, we were just never taught how to do it. We saw a relationship counsellor who helped us work on conflict resolution techniques when we want to discuss things that we disagree on or any issues we may have with each other. It’s normal to have disagreements in relationships, but these disagreements don’t have to turn into big blow-ups.