10 Things I've Learned About Relationships Since Getting Married
I don’t know who this post is for, but we need to seek understanding in anything we want to do or grow through in life. It takes time and effort to understand something new.
A good marriage isn’t something you find. It’s something you make and must continuously make. My husband and I have been married a little over a year, and I want to share some of the most important lessons we have learned to encourage you and help you strengthen your relationship and marriage. This post is not only for couples in their first year of marriage. In relationships, you change as individuals and also as a couple. These lessons are helpful for individuals who are interested in marriage, engaged, newlyweds, and couples who have been married for years.
10 Lessons We Learned in Our First Year of Marriage
This one right here should happen regardless of your relationship status. Putting God first and trusting his path for you is so important. The plan He has for us will always prevail, and He will always be there for us.
There have been so many times my husband and I have been in situations where all we could do was pray, trust God, and be patient while waiting on the outcome. For example, I quit my job weeks before we moved in together. We didn’t know where the rent would come from, but he supported my decision, and God made a way. Another example is leading up to our wedding day. The weather forecast was not in our favor, but my husband and I prayed daily in the weeks leading up to it and ultimately had the most beautiful wedding day with perfect weather. Regardless of anyone else's worries or concerns, we trusted God and the plan for our special day. God is at the center of our marriage; without him and his anointing over us, we would be nothing.
My husband helped drive this lesson home for me. Communicating, in general, has always been a struggle for me. It takes time for me to open up, whereas my husband is an open book. However, my communication skills have significantly improved through continuous conversations with my husband. Talking to my husband has been my favorite thing to do since the beginning of our relationship. He is the only person I feel comfortable being open with completely. We communicate all the time about any and everything. Talking to your spouse and being open and honest is essential. Sharing so often helps us get to know each other better and continue learning about each other as we grow and evolve. You should constantly check in with your spouse and have casual, loving, and productive conversations throughout the day.
It’s also essential for you and your partner to understand how you communicate individually. My husband naturally likes to “nip things in the bud” and talk things out as soon as possible regarding the conflict. On the other hand, I need time to think about my feelings and how best to express them. Through lots of challenging conversations, we’ve learned how to handle and talk through our conflicts best. Since everyone communicates and deals with conflict differently, you must work through what's best for you and your spouse.
You must be able to express yourself and be heard in your relationship, but before that, you must be able to trust your partner. Trusting one another and feeling comfortable expressing our feelings is an essential part of a healthy relationship. Emotion is integral to being human and can deepen and strengthen your relationship.
My husband and I don’t end a day without spending quality time with each other. We set aside this time to unwind, talk about our days and just hang out. Making time for your partner allows for the opportunity to have fun and laugh together and celebrates your shared interests. Regularly setting time aside for one another is a small way to impact your relationship significantly.
Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean you stop dating your partner. All the things that happened before the relationship, like special dates, sweet gestures, and getting to know each other, should continue happening in the relationship. By dating your spouse, you let them know they are a priority and value the relationship. You strengthen your bond by intentionally creating that space and time for each other. My husband and I love going to amusement parks, out to dinner, and taking mini road trips.
Check out this post for Date Night Ideas.
Did you know finances are one of the top reasons for divorce? Money arguments are the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. Understand that your money is a critical part of your relationship whether you like it or not, and high debt levels and poor communication lead to stress and anxiety regarding finances. I was hesitant to talk about finances with my husband simply because I never had to be open with anyone. Being honest about your financial situation and even credit is crucial. Because of the legal and economic ties that marriage, in particular, creates, financial transparency and honesty are more important than ever. Setting financial and everyday budgeting goals together can help keep you both on track toward working together on a fulfilling future.
Your partner is not a mind reader. My husband always tells me this when I make a face or catch an attitude, but it’s true. Only you know your needs and expectations unless and until you express them, and you can’t be upset and them for not knowing an expectation or need you to have. This most definitely ties in with communication. In relationships, communication allows you to explain to someone else what you are experiencing and your needs. Communicating helps you get your needs met and helps you to connect in your relationship.
In any relationship, you need to communicate your expectations. If you make your needs known, it allows your partner to respond. We need to ask our partners what we need. Not expressing your needs can lead to resentment.
When discussing having children, this is one thing so many people have told us since getting married. My husband and I do not have any children yet, and we planned to wait at least a year before we started trying. We want to get to know each other as a married couple, travel more, and get our lives together before growing our family. Waiting is best to have a longer time to date and settle into married life. We have time to get to know each other and sort out differences before babies and family life takes over.
Respect means accepting someone for who they are, even when you have differences and disagreements. Care and respect in your relationship build trust, safety, and well-being. It’s all about honoring each other’s differences.
Everyone should read “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. This book discusses how we naturally give love and want to receive love from others. Understanding your partner’s love language will help you discern how they show their love. Everyone gives and receives love differently. Your partner offering love in a different or unfamiliar way doesn’t mean they don’t love you. Understanding will allow you to feel loved and appreciated, knowing the way they give their love is different than yours.
Your relationship should never make you lose yourself, and your partner should never expect you to become something you’re not. The goal is to maintain your identity as a separate person. You are happier and more optimistic when you are in an individual state. You have a stronger sense of self and are capable of more love, intimacy, and passion in your relationship.