Couples tend to think the transition from being engaged to being married is as simple as 1-2-3, but most married couples will tell you that it isn’t always that easy. With marriage, comes expectations (from both husband and wife…and even from In-laws too) and sometimes those expectations are set quite high. What’s the reason for this? It’s often times pressure to be like another couple, fantasies of a fairytale life or even media influences (i.e. magazines, books, TV shows, and celebrities). Try to put that aside and focus on what’s best for you as a couple by nurturing your relationship.
Love Individual Differences: When you’re dating it’s easy to miss how different the two of you really are, not to mention if you didn’t live together prior to your wedding you’re definitely getting to see a whole other side of your spouse now. It’s important to understand and appreciate your differences. It can be very difficult to live in the same household with someone who doesn’t wash the dishes or do the laundry the way you were taught to as a child, but remember that just because it’s different doesn’t make it wrong. Open your heart and your mind to the person that you vowed to share your life with and laugh about your differences as much as possible. After all, this is what makes you, YOU and the same goes for your spouse!
Invest Time in the Relationship: Dating is easy…you get to see each other when you want to and make plans with friends or family when you need a break. Now that you’re married it’s important to spend quality time together alone. You can plan date nights (i.e. out for dinner, happy hour, attend a sporting event or go to the movies). You should also spend time at home being intimate and talking about your goals and ideas for your life together. They say marriage takes work and it’s true, but it is the most rewarding work you’ll ever do for yourselves!
Make Me Time Important: This was probably the easiest part of dating, as you could plan to have a day or two in between your dates leaving you both time to do what you want on your days “off.” In a marriage it’s not only important to spend quality time together, but is equally as important for you both to have time to yourselves too. Some people like to enjoy a drink and read a book or attend a yoga class, while others like to play video games or peruse the Internet for new hobbies or interests. Whatever it is you enjoy doing, make time to do it even if it’s only once or twice a month.
Learn Together: Dating is all about learning about each other and about relationships in general. Marriage too is a learning process that should continue to grow both inside and outside of your relationship. Knowledge is food for your brain and it’s important to keep learning throughout our lives. You could take a class together on something you both want to become better at (i.e. cooking or dancing) or learn a new language together.
Have a Marriage Idol: Whether it’s your grandparents, parents, a family friend or a couple from your church, you should always have someone you can talk to about marriage. Seeing a successful marriage and always aspiring to be like them is healthy as long as what you are aspiring to be is happy and in love like the other couple.
What has been the most difficult transition for you and your spouse? How are you working through it?