We’ve all done it. Sitting around a table at a wedding luncheon, engagement party or reception, we’ve given advice to the happy couple. I for one have next to no recollection of the advice that was given to me and my husband around that table.
Do you? The wedding was a joy and a blur and listening to Great Aunt Ida tell me about what carried her marriage through The Depression got lost in the moment.
I’d like the advice back now. So, Aunt Ida and anyone else who’d like to participate, if you had to give one piece of advice to a newly married couple, what would it be?
The one that really sticks with me and that has served us very well in our marriage is – Never put each other down, even in jest.
I hear too many people calling their spouse lame, lazy, uncoordinated, chunky, a terrible cook, ha ha ha just kidding. Wasn’t that funny? I just said my wife was stupid and unattractive in front of other people, but I didn’t really mean it, get it? Get it? It was a joke.
What advice do you have that could save all of our marriages and put Dr. Phil out of business?
*I did not choose this Tip topic because Dan is lame. He is not lame, even in jest.
Never consider the possibility of divorce. If you don’t have it on your list of options, even secretly in the back of your mind, then working out your problems becomes more urgent and important.
Always be honest about the money you spend or do not want to be spent so there is no misunderstanding.
And don’t hold a grudge. Grudges are ugly.
The best advice I have gotten regarding marriage is “You’re a FAMILY before you have kids”.
You never know what the future may hold, but your DH is your family – with or without kids.
Now, eleven years and 5 kids later, I still hold to that. Our kids are welcomed additions to our family, but we were family before they arrived.
I was going to say exactly what eulallia said! I have at least two friends who are constantly threatening to leave their husbands. I just don’t get it. You must be committed without the “out” clause.
I like anonymous’s comment a lot. My advice is to maintain your own interests and your own friends. My husband and I certainly do things together and have things in common, but on the other hand him staying active with the things he enjoys without me are what make him HIM, the man I fell in love with in the first place. And it works both ways–he told me that all on his own recently.
Regina Clare Jane says
My best advice for a newly married couple: Don’t be under the impression your husband/wife is a mind reader…they’re not. If you need or want something, tell them! It just builds resentment later on if you think that your spouse should know immediately what it is you want or need and they don’t respond in kind. We’re all human!
Queen Beth says
We had this couple teach our sunday school class once who had barely been married a year. They really thought they had marriage down enough to teach a class to newlyweds. They had this rule: “Never put your spouse down in public.” We called it Rule #1. It’s a good rule really. My Hubby and I don’t ever do that and if we do it jokingly, we always yell out “Rule #1!!!!!”
My Hubby and I are very jokey, sarcastic people. We joke alot and laugh at and with each other. I think making fun of your spouse is fine as long as he/she is in on it with you. I would never make fun of him just for the sake of being mean. That is destructive. But he and I have always had laughter as one of the main ingredients of our marriage and I think it’s gotten us through alot of tough times.
So everyone once in a while, I let him know what a big cheesy guy he is….just because he is!! 🙂
I really like what Dennis Rainey has said, and I think I heard Dr. Phil say it too: It’s not a 50/50 relationship, it’s 100/100.
Kim C. says
Always be willing to be first to admit that you’re wrong! Even if your spouse was wrong-er, even if he was wrong before you were, even if you still think you *might* be right. Don’t let it be about pride.
On a similar subject, give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Interpret motives, words, actions, etc. in the best possible light. Don’t assume you are being snubbed, slammed, disrespected, unloved.
If there’s an issue that needs dealing with, eventually there will be no doubt about it. In the meantime, if there’s doubt, be generous with it.
I used to tell people to remember this: you can make plans, but often Heavenly Father has a different path for you.
I guess this is just good advice to anyone.
Try to make each other happy, and you’ll never be sad. That’s a better one. If more people did this, well, we’d all be set wouldn’t we?
To keep your marriage full
of love from the brimming cup–
whenever you’re wrong admit it,
whenever you’re right, shut up.
and my sister says “conserve water; shower together.”
To keep your marriage full
of love from the brimming cup–
whenever you’re wrong, admit it
whenever you’re right, shut up.
and my sister says: “conserve water; shower together.”
what you have
Be best friends. If that doesn’t happen naturally, find a way to make it happen. And laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, LAUGH.
Try to find the humor in things and with each other. We’re always laughing about something on a daily basis.
Don’t get so caught up in the things you “have” to do that you forget what is most important – each other. My husband is a pilot and is currently on his days off (which end tomorrow) then he’s on call until the 20th of February – and will be gone most of those days. Last night I was driving home and realized that our time together is getting short – again – and so we schemed up three simple dates for last night, tonight and tomorrow night. So we’ll have those memories/thoughts to keep us til he comes home again. But it’s so easy to get caught up in everday life that you forget those little things, KWIM?
You don’t have to share everything. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you BOTH have to use Crest tartar control toothpaste. You can go ahead and get Colgate whitening. Its OK.
Ask for what you need. Remember how wonderful it feels to have your needs met. Reciprocate.
DYM, this is all well and good, BUT WHAT DID YOU NAME THE VAN?
Wow! There are a LOT of mature, wise women posting here. I’m impressed. I’ve been married 29 years (happily!) but I have nothing to add to this body of knowledge.
Except “Don’t wash the underwear with the fiberglass curtains.” http://www.fallible.com
I tell everyone the same thing. Communicate. Stop hinting or sulking and tell your spouse what you need. They can’t guess all the time, and you’ll be a lot happier this way!
BTW, I Love, Love, Love the wedding pictures. That was a great day!
Never care too much about “who’s right”. Be more concerned about “what’s right”. Always remember that you are in this together. You are on the same side. If you work together for the good of the family and your partnership and ask for the Lord’s help and direction…and then follow it, you’ll do just fine.
Plan fun activities to do together. Even though I’ve only been married three years, I’ve noticed my favorite memories are activities that we have planned, looked forward to and then laughed through!
Respect, respect the decisions, thoughts and feelings of your other spouse. Too often they go without saying but it needs to be said.
Shannon (sentimental) says
Whoopsy, not anon, it is me…Sentimental Mommy
Amen to your comments, DYM, and others too. I add that it seems to me that marriage is a great big excercise in learning HOW to love, and HOW to forgive. Forgiving completely is big–letting go completely when things are resolved. Figuring out what you consider love is, and what your spouse considers love is, is the joy of the journey. Make it fun. 🙂
Messenger won’t turn back on. I’ll keep trying.
DYM: Your family has a knack for getting great pictures- these are great!
And these comments are invaluable reminders- I’m glad for them. I have a great husband, but it’s sometimes too easy to get stuck. I think I’m going to have to save these to read over every once in a while as reminders for myself. Thanks everyone!
OK. Sorry, I’ve got another one. I woke up this morning thinking about George Burns. After many years of a successful marriage (in Hollywood, no less) he was asked how to have a happy marriage and his reply was, “Marry Gracie.”
Now after more than 30 years of a marriage that still surprises me almost daily with it’s sweetness, I will not say, “Marry Clint”. (He’s mine. You can’t have him. So sad for you.) But I will say the next best thing. Marry the one you love and then love the one you married – and – be loyal Firecely loyal to that person forever!
My Aunt told me to have separate tubes of tooth paste! 🙂 Oddly, my husband brushes his teeth in the shower, so two tubes in fact, do work out! When we travel though, we always forget two, and then we get annoyed with each other. Can’t help but think of my aunt every time we travel, even after 13 years of it…
Lots of great advice here. Here’s one (perhaps not THE most important one, but at least up there, I think):
Assume the best. Aka, don’t take offense easily. Try to always start from the assumption that you are both doing your best, that you love one another, and that you don’t want to hurt one another. It could head off a lot of problems, early. (Of course, you’d also better both be committed and meaning the best, otherwise you may have deeper problems….)
Hi, first time visitor to your site and I love it already. 🙂
I think one thing I would let a newly married couple know is that the first year can be rough — and that’s OK. It’s normal to have some downtime after the elation of the wedding and honeymoon, where you are just getting to know one another (even if you’ve dated for years, being MARRIED is a different thing). There’s logistical stresses and emotional ones. But if the couple sort of knows to expect these ups and downs, they can focus on working through them from day 1, or anticipate them before they become major issues.
Barb Szyszkiewicz, sfo says
DYM, you have a REALLY smart mom! And all these other friends are no slouches either.
My best advice is from the Scripture we chose for our wedding: “Live a life worthy of your calling, with humility, meekness and patience; bearing with one another lovingly.” I forget which Epistle it comes from but it’s a great one.
Journey Mama says
Always be as polite as you would with someone you just met… this way you cut out the snarkiness and blameshifting and sharp remarks. Maybe this is not the most important thing, but it’s something that has made a huge difference for us.
I know I am late to this party but I always say that any relationship needs four things: God, love, respect and trust.
Never go to bed mad at each other.