Marriage has always been considered hard, and when you’ve just gotten married, it just starts to be surreal.
Unlike romantic movies, the moment you say “I do” doesn’t automatically mean that your marriage will only be filled with sunshine and rainbows.
The moment you tied the knot also means that you’re bringing your vows to life day after day until “death do you part.”
The first couple of years of marriage has been considered hard for most couples. However, just because you’re undeniably and deeply in love would mean that all problems, challenges, and hard decisions would just go away.
I mean, it was already so hard to take care of myself; I had to take care of someone else. Then, thousands of questions just started popping out of nowhere because I had started feeling anxious. How do we start a happy marriage? What are the things we needed to do to survive the first year of marriage? How do I not ruin my relationship with my childhood traumas? Or how do I raise our children without inflicting the same trauma that I had?
Not only was I desperate in figuring out and playing as the perfect partner, but I had also disregarded the reason why my husband married me in the first place. So, while I was losing myself in the process, my husband had to carry my own load while he carried his on his own.
It’s honestly so hard getting stuck in the pit whilst worrying but there was no shame in searching on google or seeking professional relationship and marital advice in order to keep my love story going for the long term.
I am not all-knowing, but I do have some tips to share with you especially when you’re feeling exactly how I felt (well, maybe not exactly, but close enough or even different).
Tip #1: No such thing as a “perfect” marriage
You don’t have to beat yourself up every time you make a mistake or start an argument. Go easy on yourselves. Not every day will be perfect, good, or that it has to be okay. On some days it might be a complex obstacle course where you’d have to climb a wall while you’d carry your spouse, while on some days it would be both of you sitting and cuddling on the front porch drinking hot chocolate on a cold evening.
When you’re obsessing and focusing too much on whether you’re doing the “right thing” in your relationship or trying hard to make your marriage “perfect” is absolutely not the best way to enjoy your marriage. You don’t want to end up worrying 24/7 about scenarios in your relationship that would most likely not happen.
While you’ve only been married for a few months or even days, you can’t also expect your partner to be the exact embodiment of your expectations for them. Marriage means long-term, meaning you’d have a life to know more about your partner.
Marriages aren’t supposed to be an easy walk in the park, it’s supposed to be filled with surprises and compromises. So stop setting yourself up for failure. Enjoy and love your partner fully, you’ve got a whole life ahead of you.
Tip #2: Building support in EVERYTHING that they do
Tap dancing lessons? Support them!
Singing even if it’s off-key? Support them!
Getting out of bed? Support them!
Quitting work without a plan b? Support them BUT also help them figure things out!
Never, I mean NEVER criticize your partner for things they are interested in whether it may be in public or private.
There have been so many videos on YouTube, and even on TikTok about arguments in public. Heck, I even saw a couple fighting in the middle of the street just because the guy won’t do any of the chores and that he wanted to pursue his dream job.
By all means, also do not criticize or complain about your partner to other people. First of all, because they will be biased. Like when my friend talked about her husband to her mother, her mother held a grudge against her husband.
Tip #3: NEVER FORGET DATE NIGHTS!
I think this is the most important thing to remember. Just because you’re married and living in one house, does not mean that you are no longer allowed or have time to have date nights or dates in general.
You’re not housemates, although it seems that way, you’re still newlyweds. Life gets busier, with jobs, possible promotions, kids, family issues, or even having a different schedule for work. It becomes easy to let the quality time you’ve always had slip away.
Start a habit of going out every week or even every night (if it’s possible). Set aside any phones, and laptops, and if you’ve already had kids you can let them sleep earlier or have someone babysit them.
Dress up and go out, or cook a romantic dinner. You don’t need to go up and beyond every single time, nor do you need to be elaborate or spend on anything expensive. You have to make this a priority and keep it that way while your marriage develops.
I’ve asked a newlywed couple about their nights after full-time jobs and I believe this would be quite useful to you.
“Other than the fact that the only time we had for each other at the beginning of our marriage was when we would sleep on the same bed at the end of the day. It was quite difficult to adjust to having a few hours to ourselves every time we got home because we would be so tired from work. A friend of ours eventually suggested we buy this card game called couple connect, because according to her “this will definitely help us with keeping the spark alive.” to this day, while we continue to grow together, we’ve made time to have a date night with this card game to keep us closer and updated about the goals we have. We’ve also had our 3rd daughter!”
Tip #4: “I love you” “I love you” “I love you” x a lot!
Never stop saying “I love you” to your spouse.
I get that some blogs indicate that saying I love you too much would lessen the value of the phrase, but I believe it is the complete opposite. The moment you say I love you towards your spouse indicates that you understand the value that the phrase carries.
In most ways, the phrase “I love you” is reassurance. Reassurance that the love that you feel and give is coming from the love that you feel and receive from your partner.
Like a pessimistic overthinker such as myself (I’m not sure if you’re one but if you are, maybe you can relate), I always tell my partner that I love him, even at random during different times of the day, and when he would say it back it would make me feel secure and safe, knowing that he sees me.
It’s not the kind of I love you that you blatantly say for the purpose of saying it, but it’s the kind of I love you where you can see him during times of stress or enjoyment. I know you’ve all had this moment where you’ve seen your partner around babies, or dogs, or even their favorite video games, and think to yourself about how much you love them just by the way they are.
I know I might be getting a little cringey, but hey I love love~
Tip #5: Deposit and Investments > Withdraw
You got that right! Deposit more than withdrawing!
You want a new house? A new car? Or even getting ready for college fees?
I understand that getting married requires big changes leading to big amounts of money being withdrawn from the bank. You wouldn’t want to keep burning money over temporary things right?
You can start up a savings account and talk with your partner about the percentage of the salary you are going to deposit and invest.
It’s quite a funny story to tell, but let me tell you about how my boyfriend and I started investing. He had just recently started and learned about investments before we got together, and I was the type of person who loved to spend money on things I wanted. I honestly never thought that I would be married to him, but when we first started dating instead of “have you eaten?” messages, I got “xxx company stocks are lowering their stock prices, have you invested?” messages.
To this day we’ve continued investing and hopefully have enough to withdraw and buy our own house.
A little tip, starting investments and savings are quite hard especially when you love to shop, but set aside a certain amount every month and in turn, a few years from now you’d also get that dream house or car or even have enough for a long vacation.
Tip #6: “I vow…”
The moment you announce your vows and say “I do” is the moment you’ve agreed to go on this lifelong rollercoaster ride with the love of your life.
It certainly is a rollercoaster, because life always finds a way to burden couples with something. I mean, it’s ALWAYS something. Like maybe getting frustrated or irritated at what your spouse has done (maybe chores or promises).
Despite the busy and unpredictable nature of the relationship, you are in this together. You’ve said yes to being with them during this emotionally, and obstacle-filled ride.
But even when you’ve had to face this difficulty, vows “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part” and commitments would also mean that you have laid your head on their shoulder while feeling secured and safe.
During the times they have to be vulnerable, and in need of you to hold on them, remember your vows,
Tip #7: Do not sleep with a heavy heart
I think falling asleep with a heavy heart is one of the most hurtful situations I’ve ever experienced. I mean imagine sharing the same bed with someone who chooses to avoid the argument or still carrying that anger while he/she lays beside you.
This is where you communicate and hear each other out.
Your house is supposed to be a safe haven for both of you, not a place where you dump your problems and let the other person handle them.
In marriage, you are going to have to work together on everything (especially life-changing decisions), you’re not supposed to get defensive, bring up the past and throw it to their face, or dismiss their feelings. You no longer have to keep everything bottled up.
Had a long day at work and ended up bringing the problem at home which caused the argument? TALK ABOUT IT.