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Surviving the Newlywed Stage of Marriage

After the wedding is over and you and your new husband or wife arrive back home from the honeymoon, you enter what is often the most difficult time in your marriage. Your expectations are all set up to be disappointed, you are coming down from the excitement and anticipation of the wedding, and you are entering real, everyday life with all its challenges and potential for stress. The first couple of years are going to be a time of adjustment for both of you and this can be more difficult than you anticipate it being. The good news is that there are things you can do to survive and come out on the other side of the "newlywed years" to enjoy a life of happiness and love together. These are the three C's of survival for the newly married couple.

*Compromise

You will need to become a master in the art of compromise during the first two years of your new marriage. Two people who lived on their own formerly have come together to share a home and a life. This is not the easiest thing in the world to do. We all have our little pet peeves and ways of doing things that we can get very stubborn about. This "my way or the highway" attitude will get you nowhere. You need to practice some give and take in order to find a middle ground that will keep both of you happy.

*Communication

Lack of communication is sited as one of the major causes of divorce, especially that which occurs very early in the marriage. What happened to the days when you could talk for hours and never run out of things to say? For that matter, what happened to your ability to understand what your partner was trying to say, and vice versa? When you are dating, everything is new about the two of you. Of course you have tons of things to say! Over time, you know all about the other person's past and must find conversation in the present and future.

You may find that you also have to work harder to get your point across in a way that your spouse can understand. You aren't talking about past stories anymore, but present needs and desires. These can be much harder to explain, but keep trying. Don't give up! When your husband or wife talks to you, listen. Focus on them and what they are saying. Ask questions if you don't understand. Keep asking until you do!

*Compassion

Compassion is something that we often forget in those first two years, when we are busy trying to make sure that we have our way in our fair share of the decisions. Don't let the struggle blind you to the needs and desires of your new spouse. Putting him or her ahead of yourself will get you a long ways. Be patient and understanding with your partner. These first two years are hard for everyone. Join together in it, rather than pulling apart and you'll get through it.