When you are a newlywed, everyone seems to have an opinion, advice or some small wisdom they wish to impart. More often than not, this advice is subjective and it can all become rather overwhelming. Learning to navigate a successful marriage is a very individual process; it is a learning curve as no two people or relationships are the same. Nevertheless, simple, positive advice with a practical application is invaluable to a young marriage.

Without making any claims to expertise on the subject, below are a few simple points to help those just embarking on this lifelong journey.

1. Expect to put in the effort

  • Only once the wedding is over does the real hard work begin. Living with a person is nothing like seeing them once in a while as you did while you were courting and they were probably on their best behaviour. Coming to terms with and adjusting to each other’s annoying habits and quirks requires patience, maturity, compromise and understanding. Try to set clear boundaries for your relationship where necessary early on as this will avoid potential conflict.
  • Complement one another and make an effort to make each other feel special; try to make your partner feel important to all aspects of your life. This will bring you closer together and allow you both to feel appreciated.
  • Make an effort to keep the romance alive by paying the same attention to your appearance as you did before you were married. Also make an effort to do small things for one another that show love and consideration.
  • Give each other the space to continue to pursue your individual interests and passions while developing joint interests. This can bring you closer together by allowing you time miss one another.


2. Address disagreements judiciously

  • There will always be disagreements and arguments in a marriage. Always try to discuss possible solutions to the differences you may have and come to compromise. Don’t be obstinate in you positions, but similarly, don’t allow yourself to be bullied or taken advantage of.
  • Be open and honest in all things, particularly your feelings and never pretend nothing is wrong as this could exacerbate a situation. Be sure to listen to any issues that your spouse may have, as ignoring their feelings could lead to unnecessary and avoidable conflict.
  • Clear communication is vital at the beginning of marriage as you are in the process of getting to know one another. This will likely be the first time that both of you have lived away from your parents or within a marriage context, and communicating effectively is critical to a harmonious living environment.
  • Don’t hide issues from that affect your partner from them as this could become a serious source of conflict.


3. Nurture your friendship & spend quality down-time together

  • Treat each other as best friends and not just spouses and accept each other’s differences, regardless of what they are, without trying to change them. Slight mutual adjustments here and there are acceptable, but no one wants to be told that they need to become someone entirely different.
  • Make a point of doing fun and relaxing activities together as this provides an outlet to relax together, and laughter comes more easily. Having the ability to make your partner laugh when they are upset can diffuse potential situations.
  • Playfulness and laughter between you and your spouse is also important as it keeps the relationship fresh, helps you to grow in intimacy and trust, and allows you to deal with the tough times more easily.


4. Consider your councillors carefully

  • During the first intense few months and years of marriage, and as you continue to learn and adjust to one another, you will sometimes feel the need to confide your difficulties to someone on the outside. When seeking and taking advices from others, always carefully consider the source. Often people can project their negative experiences and perspectives onto your situation and do more harm than good. They may even subconsciously be seeking to take you into their darkness and gloom. Try to seek practical advice from positive and inspiring individuals with successful experiences of their own.