Marriage Tips for Beginners

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Mike and I will celebrate our 13th anniversary in July.  Every year we celebrate the fact that we have beat the odds, particularly for how young we were when we got married.  Today Sheila encouraged us to look back and think about what we wish we had known when we first became husband and wife.  By sharing those things the hope is that couples who have not been married for quite as long can benefit from the things we have learned in the trenches of marriage.

Here is my (by no means conclusive or exhaustive) list:

  • Love is a verb not a feeling.  I do not always “feel” in love with Mike.  I hope that doesn’t sound mean because it’s not.  Most of the time those feelings have little to do with him and more to do with me.  With how busy I am, where I am in relationship with God, my fatigue level and illness.  Do I always love him?  Absolutely.  Why?  Because love is a decision, a choice, an action.  And I make the choice to love him everyday, the decision to be the best wife I can be every day and look for ways to act out that love (like putting the toilet paper so it rolls over even though I am an under girl)
  • Date night is not neglecting your kids. I remember how guilty I felt each time (which was rarely back then) that Mike and I would go out alone.  I would spend the whole time calling home to make sure the kids were okay and when I wasn’t calling home I was talking about the kids.  It was years before I realized (after a marriage conference) that spending alone time with my hubby was vital to the health of our relationship. We began making that time sacred, focusing on us and our relationship, doing fun things together (love riding the motorcycle) and our marriage greatly benefited from it.  Let go of the mommy guilt.  A healthy marriage is actually one of the best things you can do for your children!
  • Make sure you are on the same page.  So many of our early arguments could have been completely avoided if we understood where the other was coming from.  We frequently sit down and check in with each other to make sure we are working toward the same goals.  If you don’t understand something your spouse said or it seemed hurtful, double check with them.  I am amazed at the times I have told Mike something he said hurt my feelings and he looks at me like I have horns.  The way he said it or his choice of words was not meant to hurt me.  Huh?  Would’ve never known that if I hadn’t asked.
  • In your anger do not sin.  The Bible is your life manual and it gives great advice for what NOT to do when you are angry.  Notice God doesn’t tell us not to get angry, He wired us to have feelings and emotions.  Our mandate is to not let the anger get the best of us and lead us to sin.  To lash back, to say hurtful things, to go to bed fuming about something your spouse did, to give the silent treatment…all of those are red flags that we are letting our anger cause us to sin.

I could go on and on with the things God has revealed to me during the last twelve years.  For more sound advice on marriage visit Wifey Wednesdays.

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  1. great tips! happy (early) anniversary! 13 years is a big deal! congrats.

  2. Congrats to you and the hubby for making it to 13 years (in July)! As a recent divorcee, it makes me a little sad to read and think of the times where we failed in a couple of these. But…life moves on and God has plans for us all… ~Russ

  3. Hey, it's Jill/MusingsfromMe.
    I find date night to be frustrating. First we rarely go out. When we do, I want to talk about the kids. He doesn't. We often go out with friends or see a movie since we are at cross purposes on what to talk about.

    It is also awkward as he wants to talk about his job. I love talking to him about his job….just not on date night. So, we both want to talk about something the other is not interested in. Frustrating.

  4. MutheringHeights says:

    Great advice! 🙂

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