When a married couple has many years behind them, they gain a lot of lessons about maintaining a relationship. Some of it we already know from hearing from other couples but don’t really realize their value until we are in the situation ourselves. If you’re not married but are about to be, here are some lessons married couples would wish you to know.
1. Be happy by yourself
Your spouse should not be your only source of happiness. It’s unfair to put all that burden onto them. Before you even think of getting married, it’s important that you learn how to be happy by yourself.
Find a hobby, be a volunteer for a cause, or set a personal goal. Finally tying the knot with “the one” is a big accomplishment but it shouldn’t be the only thing to strive for. Remember, you have your own identity too and you have a responsibility to yourself.
2. Talk it out
Some couples tend to sweep things under the rug. Instead of fixing the problem, they just ignore it or keep their feelings bottled up. This is unhealthy for a relationship because it builds resentment and causes the both of you to act out –an eyeroll here, a snippy remark there. As a result, you hurt your partner without even knowing it. If there’s an issue, it’s always better to deal with it now. Don’t wait for it to snowball. If you end up getting into an argument about something, focus on finding a solution, rather than being right.
3. Setting boundaries with in-laws
In-laws can often be the biggest cause of strain in your relationship. Even if the both of you grew up in a relatively healthy home, you are bound to come across disagreements whether it’s who gets to spend holidays with whose family, how the kids are raised, etc.
To avoid big blowouts, you should set boundaries for in-laws with your partner. If one of those boundaries are broken, your job is to stick by your spouse. Remember, you’re not just a son/daughter anymore. You are someone’s wife/husband now, a family of your own.
4. Money priorities
Money is another huge issue that couples fight about. Usually, what happens is one spouse is more conservative with money while the other is more impulsive. This can cause a lot of arguments which eventually lead to divorce.
From the very beginning, you should talk about how the finances will be handled. Whether you’ll have separate accounts, who does the budgeting, how previous debts will be paid, how much “fun money” you’re both entitled to have. It’s like doing a business agreement. Pay close attention to the details to avoid financial and marriage ruin later.
It’s not the sexiest topic to talk about but it’s absolutely essential for your marriage to survive. When there is goodwill about money in your marriage, you’re less likely to fight and hide things from each other.
5. Being friends
You can expect romance to continue sizzling even after an all-inclusive honeymoon in Antigua. But a year after that, you’ll probably start to settle and get comfortable with each other. Romance is very important for keeping a relationship exciting, but more than anything, you should also be a friend to your spouse.
When you have a mutual loyalty, respect, and protectiveness for each other, you interact in healthier ways. For example, when you argue, it’s to find a resolution, and not to hurt each other.
Think about your longest friendships and reflect on why they lasted. If you’re careful with your friendships as you are with your marriage, you’ll likely to tough out any problem with your spouse.
Which of these lessons did you find the most enlightening? Share your thoughts in the comments below.