“… And they lived happily ever after”. Yeah right! Your wedding day is only the big send-off, but the real test starts after your honeymoon. That’s when reality will sink in that you are now husband and wife. Congratulations, you’re life-partners! Marriage, like any other relationship, requires effort. Much more than the old ‘give-and-take’ suggests. So, for you soon-to-be married brides and grooms out there, here are 7 truths you may or may not have heard from your family and married friends.
Tolerating Everything Doesn’t Help
Now that the honeymoon is over, you have to go through an adjustment period, where you try to figure out what your spouse’s habits are. Since both of you are set in your ways, things can get awkward fast, if you choose to tolerate rather than talk about those little habits that really irk you. Overtime, those habits – squeezing the toothpaste tube from the sides rather than the bottom or allowing the dirty dishes to pile up in the sink – can accumulate and lead to a massive argument. For your relationship to work, you need to be able to talk comfortably with one another, whether it’s about the good stuff or the bad. Treat this phase like the way you would handle living with a new permanent roommate.
Don’t Keep Confiding in Your Parents
Family, whether you love them, hate them or something else entirely, they’ll still be there after you tie the knot, so you have to learn to draw the line. Your parents will want to meddle with your budding relationship, because you are their little boy or girl. No matter how good their intentions are, keep in mind that there are certain problems you solve on your own. Being swayed by their biased perspective may exacerbate the situation. Plus, if your partner finds out, they won’t appreciate you talking about them behind their backs. Quarreling about trivia things like leaving the dirty dishes in the sink or missing an important dinner date will blow over eventually, but a breach of trust – well, that’s not something people can forgive easily.
Your Marriage Mirrors Your Parents’ Marriage
We believe we are different from our parents, but the sad truth is that they often influence us at a much deeper level than many of us care to admit. Have you heard people commenting you act like mom or dad when you are mad? Well, that’s because you do. Is this worrying? Yes! Not everyone has parents who were great role models. So, unless you are very self-aware, you may fall into the trap of behaving exactly the way they did – taking on their good habits and the bad ones. Those bad ones are those you want to avoid at all costs. Always listen to your spouse and never brush off any concerns regarding your behavior. When there are legitimate reasons to be concerned, you may want to seek professional help.
Don’t Let Your Stresses Overwhelm You
Your responsibilities double when you are married. You don’t only have to deal with your own bad days at work or worry about your parents, you handle your spouse’s bad days and family too! The danger of allowing yourself to feel so overwhelmed is that you may begin to withdraw. Having some alone time once in a while is great, but remaining in that state isn’t! So instead of waiting for a special occasion, find excuses to rekindle your relationship. It doesn’t take much to keep that spark going. You can do simple things like meeting up for lunch whenever you are free or going out for dinner rather than cooking at home. Even watching a late night movie at the cinemas on a Wednesday works!
A sincere ‘I Love You’ and ‘Thank You’ makes your spouse happy.
Photo by Annabel Law Productions
Appreciate Each Other
A typical married couple often laments that things were much sweeter when they first married, then they would go on and on about how their spouse had change over the years. What probably changed was how appreciated they feel! Complimenting each other, greeting each other affectionately or thanking each other makes both of you feel loved and appreciated. Couples, who keep complaining about their love fizzing out, forgot how to do this along the way. That’s one of the dangers of getting too comfortable with one another. Never ever take each other for granted, because that may come back and bite you in the future.
Marriage Doesn’t Guarantee Happiness Instantly
You may be married, but your story doesn’t end there. You still have a career to pursue, a family to plan and all other obligations you had before your big day. So, if you want to have a happy married life, you just have to work for it. Reciprocate the love your partner shows you, support him or her through bad times and even offer to shoulder their burdens. Things seldom go smoothly, but with patience and lots of optimism, you will eventually get that ‘happy ever after’ you envisioned when you planned your wedding. Nothing, not even money, falls into your lap. Remember this so you don’t feel frustrated when things aren’t going your way.
‘Happily Ever After’ means journeying towards a blossoming marriage.
Photo by Annabel Law Productions
Be Patient and Grow Together
No one can tell you what your married life will be like. You have to face each milestone as a team. Parenting, financial instability, contracting a deliberating illness, failing to conceive or moving overseas for better job prospects are very real examples of things you may experience in your lifetime. Each hurdle comes with a new set of stresses, so if you argue, that’s alright. Just make sure you talk things out after you’ve calmed down. Shouting at each other and remaining angry won’t make these problems disappear. Treat each opportunity as a way to learn more about each other and change for the better, so you can weather the next storm together.
A happy ending is a balancing act, so both of you have to work as a team. Things won’t be comfortable at first, but with some patience and the right attitude, your relationship will flourish. Whenever you feel dishearten, remind yourself that you are married for ‘better or worst’!
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