Every newlywed hopes for a long and successful marriage, but getting there can be harder than it seems. There will be good times and bad— that's all part of the marriage process. The first step towards success? Thinking ahead and avoiding some of the common newlywed mistakes. To help you out, we compiled a list of the newlywed blunders to watch out for, as well as what to do when you falter. Don't stress–as long as you own up to your mistakes and are willing to communicate and fix them, you're well on your way to a long, happy marriage.
Read on for 19 common newlywed mistakes.
Failing To Think Beyond the Wedding
Some couples get so wrapped up in the wedding festivities that they forget what the point of it all was. The reception was a lot of fun, but that was only day one of your new marriage. Now you have to live together, get along, and form your own family. Enjoy the wedding planning and the afterglow of your big day, but keep the big picture in your head at all times–your life as a couple.
Trying To Change Your Spouse
Presumably, you married your spouse because you're in love with them. If that’s the case, then there’s no good reason for changing your spouse. Most adults don’t drastically change, either, so your best bet is to accept your spouse and love them for the ways they are unique and different and not in spite of those things.
Getting off on the Wrong Foot With Your in-Laws
If the damage has already been done, do whatever you can to improve the relationship you have with your in-laws. Be the first to extend the olive branch, because the only person who gets hurt when you fight with the in-laws is your spouse, who feels caught in the middle.
Letting Emotions Win
Getting aggressive or yelling and screaming is not going to help you and your spouse resolve problems or differences of opinion. Rational, calm discussion will get you further.
If you need to, seek marriage counseling when things get too difficult to work through yourselves.
Avoiding Important Discussions
No one likes to talk about difficult subjects like how to handle money, what to do if you can’t have children, or how to prepare for a death in the family. Now that you’re married, however, you have no choice but to face these matters. Be mature and discuss it all with your spouse. “One of the most common mistakes newlyweds make is not addressing important issues as they arise," says therapist Christina Steinorth. Again, don't be afraid to seek counseling if the subject or situation requires it.
Fighting Over Silly Stuff
Every married person has argued with a spouse over something that seems unimportant. But if you have a lifetime together, you may want to pick your battles and save your arguments for more important subjects. Let pet peeves remain just that.
Sometimes someone will be upset about a silly little thing (like their partner leaving junk all around on the floor) and it's really indicative of a larger more serious issue that needs to be resolved together in respectful, open dialogue.
Your spouse has already chosen you to share their entire life with. If you trust them, don't bother with jealousy; it can be poisonous to a relationship. If you find you're having trouble trusting them, you may want to dig deeper to see where the real issue lies and work on it together as a couple.
Acting Like You Are Still Single
Hanging out with your friends all night and going to clubs was all right when you were a single person with no one waiting for you at home. Now you’ll need to negotiate how much time to spend with friends and how to maintain your former friendships while balancing that with your marriage. This will come into play more if you have children together, but it's always good to start habits early.
Being Too Proud
A spouse who holds out for an apology after every argument or denies affection to their partner isn't helping the marriage at all. This is an example of letting pride get in the way of resolving problems and, ultimately, your love. You should find a way to take responsibility for your own actions.
Going Into Debt
Managing bills and debt can put a strain on a new marriage. If you are already in debt, make a plan to pay it off. Stay on budget, get your finances in order, and you’ll probably fight less. After all, this is now a burden that you both share, so it should not be taken lightly. If nothing else, you’ll sleep better at night and improve your financial health.
Having Unrealistic Expectations
Marriage isn't always a walk in the park. There will be hard times, and it takes a while to get the hang of living with the person you love and making the relationship work. Don’t think that the problems you had before you walked down the aisle are simply going to disappear because you’re married. Some problems never will go away; it’s how you deal with them that counts.
Making Decisions Without Consulting Your Spouse
There are two people in your relationship. When you were single, you might have made decisions about where to go after work, what vacations to take, and how to spend your money without discussing it with anyone. Now, however, your decisions have an impact on your spouse, too. You are a team, and your partner has a right to have input in these choices.
Not Giving Each Other Enough Space
Everyone needs time for themselves, and getting less of it can be a difficult adjustment for newlyweds. It's important to find a quiet place or do something you love all on your own. Give your spouse the chance to do the same. You will both appreciate your time apart and it may help you to better appreciate your time together.
Taking Your Partner for Granted
Remembering all the reasons you love your spouse and appreciating the little things they do takes some work, but it’s an integral part of building a strong marriage. Once you start to forget or simply expect your spouse to do certain things for you, they may feel unappreciated and you could start having issues. "As relationships mature, there’s a tendency to assume that it’s fine to let the normal niceties of life slip and slide," says Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.
Abandoning Your Sex Life
It's a myth that married people have less sex than single people. Maintaining sexual health is an intrinsic part of marriage so make some effort to keep things interesting and keep you and your spouse satisfied. This may require being open to trying new things occasionally.
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