Have you ever experienced someone telling you how awful marriage is? When I was engaged someone told me, “Either your first year will be terrible and then it will get better or your first year will be great and then your second year will be terrible.” Gee, thanks for the encouragement!
My first year of marriage was wonderful and transitioning into married life proved quite easy for my husband and me. So when my second year anniversary drew near I actually began to feel nervous that all of a sudden, when the clock struck “2 years”, maybe my marriage would completely implode!
Do you want to know what happened? It didn’t.
The second year was just as enjoyable as the first and the years since then have also been fantastic. There has been no implosion and I’m no longer expecting one.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t ever issues that arise. There have been some intense challenges which include chronic health issues I’ve been dealing with for many years. But my husband and I have made a decision to work through them together as a team.
Even in the midst of difficulties, my relationship with my husband has been overwhelmingly a source of joy and encouragement and I am thankful for that.
What I’ve realized since I got married is that everyone has their own marriage experience and they speak out of that personal experience.
Is someone’s marriage terrible? If so, they will probably tell you that marriage is very difficult and lots of hard work. Did someone have a difficult first year of marriage? If so, they will likely tell you that your first year will absolutely be difficult.
I’ve had a wonderful experience so far in marriage so if you ask me, I will tell you how fantastic marriage is and I’ll give you all kinds of positive suggestions about how to make your marriage a great experience.
Now, for a variety of reasons, many people do have difficult transitions into marriage. If that has been your experience then what you have to share can be very helpful for others who are going through similar difficulties. It lets them know that they’re not alone and it can also be a way for them to learn “what not to do”.
But my point is that, just because someone tells you something negative about their experience of marriage doesn’t mean that the same has to be true of your marriage.
We (and the person we choose to marry) have the biggest part to play in the joy level of our marriage. With that in mind, here are some topics to cover before you’re married that can help you be better prepared to start marriage right:
- Become emotionally healthy and choose to marry someone who is also emotionally healthy.
- Learn to communicate and navigate conflict in mature and healthy ways.
- Become financially healthy and learn to be wise with money. Marry someone who has the same outlook.
- Learn your own love language and learn how to “speak” your spouse’s love language.
- Learn how to serve, give and receive in a relationship.
- Learn how to forgive quickly and well.
You genuinely can have an enjoyable marriage. Recently I put together a collection of marriage articles that share wisdom and encouragement on how to do just that. They’re articles I have previously written right here, for Start Marriage Right and now make up the book Ten Marriage Lessons From a Semi-Newlywed: Make Your Relationship Come Alive!
It’s a book full of straightforward, practical advice about how to have a healthy and enjoyable marriage! Some of the topics include healthy communication, forgiveness, emotional health, financial health, ways to stay connected, joyfully serving and receiving, speaking well of each other, and more! These lessons can help you learn tools to create a successful relationship, whether you’re single, engaged or already married.
So, I hope you’ll be encouraged that yes, your marriage really can be awesome!
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