Even for couples who have been living together, marriage creates a new situation and often a new state of mind. This change of lifestyle can be stressful. Allow time for you and your spouse to adjust to your new lifestyle. Be flexible. When conflict arises, carefully pick the time you wish to take a stand, and make sure what you’re fighting for is worth the fight.
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Marriage is two people coming together to spend a lifetime in partnership.
However, you are still two different people and you need time for yourselves. Whether it’s a night out with friends or an hour reading a good book, find something to do for yourself on a regular basis.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
An essential tool in marriage, communication is both talking and listening. What words are chosen and how they’re said is important.
Use “I” messages to communicate your feelings. For instance, instead of saying “You never listen to what I say,” try “I feel like my views aren’t being heard.”
Reflective listening is also a good tool. After your spouse has said how she feels, try to repeat back to her exactly what she said. This can be difficult: it requires really listening to what she is saying.
The art of compromise has a bad reputation. Compromise doesn’t have to mean that no one gets what they want or need. Finding a middle ground it the goal. Sometimes, it means trading what you want for something more important later on.
THE IMPORTANCE OF QUALITY TIME
Part of what nurtured the love between you and your spouse before you went to the altar was the special time you spent eating out, seeing movies and spending quality time alone together. This quality time is especially important if you have children at home or if you have demanding careers. Make time for regular quality time together, whether it’s once a week or once a month.