Marriage - Blog

7 Tips for How to Adjust to Married Life

Summer Darland

 

Have you heard the saying, “A wedding is for a day; a marriage is for a lifetime?”

It’s so easy to get caught up in the wedding day and not really think about the life-altering changes that come after vows are spoken and bouquets are tossed.

But how does someone prepare for something they’ve never experienced?

The transitions that I've gone through as a newlywed are still fresh, so let me share a little of what you will or may have already experienced going from singleness into marriage.

1. You Get to Live Together!

I don’t know about you, but I was so excited to live with my husband, Kyle. It has been fun to do life together, but it has been an adjustment.

You and your spouse will be in each other’s lives every moment. And it’s not just part of the time. It’s Every. Single. Day.

Marriage takes two individuals with different habits, patterns and expectations and puts all those differences under one roof. You both have to form a new life together.

2. You Have Expectations for Yourself As a Spouse

Within the first few months of marriage, I realized dinner time was one of the more stressful parts of my life.

Cooking is not my gift, and my husband eats a lot! I felt responsible to cook dinner every night, and when I didn’t live up to that, I felt I was failing in marriage. Then someone reminded me that it’s OK to not be the world’s best chef, or even to cook at all.

My husband and I get to figure out what works for our marriage together and put aside some of our preconceived expectations about our roles.

Make sure you communicate your expectations with your spouse as you experience them, as well as with trusted people who have marriages you admire.

But more than anything, bring these expectations to God through prayer. Ask Him to show you who He is calling you to be as a spouse.

3. You Realize Just How Different Your Families Are

I come from a divorced family; my husband doesn’t. In addition to that, our families operate very differently, and as soon as we were married we began comparing family dynamics. Then we started asking who was right and how we should go about making decisions.

The reality is you and your spouse should adopt healthy things from both families that work for the new family you are creating together. And perhaps you’ll create your own ideas as well.

4. You Have Someone in Your Corner

If you’re from a divorced or dysfunctional family, it’s easy to feel like you are on your own and everything depends on you.

That is how I’ve felt for most of my life.

It wasn’t until recently, when my feeling of fighting this world alone kicked in and I looked over to see my husband fighting alongside me, that I realized I have a support system built into my family.

A lot of the pressure and loneliness I have felt in the past has gone away because I've learned that my husband and I are on the same team.

5. Your Money Goes From Mine to Ours

I, a self-proclaimed Spender, married a Saver. Since we have a joint account, my husband can see everything I buy, and he holds me accountable. It’s hard when money goes from mine to ours.

I don’t need to ask permission to spend money, but in an effort to be part of a “we,” I’m learning how to talk with my husband — and he with me — before spending our money.

6. Communication Is Key

Whether it’s planning an event, making a big decision or being vulnerable, learning how to communicate as a couple is an important part of a healthy marriage. It’s no longer just you and your thoughts and feelings; someone else now needs to be intentionally brought into those parts of your life.

But communication isn’t just about talking to talk; it’s about openness and intimacy. It needs to include confessing sins — to God and each other — and asking for forgiveness.

If you’re having trouble communicating, marriage counseling is a great thing to help you learn how to grow in this area. It’s not a sign of a troubled marriage to seek counseling; it’s a sign of a desire to have a healthy relationship.

7. Your Decisions Are Not Yours Alone

You now have another person to take into consideration when it comes to every decision. Big and small. All your decisions will affect your spouse.

Moving, starting a family, getting a pet, even meals are decisions you make together. This is a huge adjustment from single life.

It’s OK to grieve your loss of independence while celebrating the joys of marriage as you adjust to this and all the other changes you experience as a newlywed.

Be Patient

Change takes time.

Learning to create new habits, to get rid of old ones and how to graciously not get your own way all the time is a process. My faith has been a big source of comfort for me in our first year of marriage.

Prayer has also been an important part of the process for me. Through prayer, you look to the One who can change you and your spouse’s hearts, as well as your circumstances. Consider praying this prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank You for giving us the gift of marriage to make us more like You. You are relentlessly dedicated to us and will never leave us, for better or for worse. Thank You that just as You sacrificed Your life for us, a husband and wife can give themselves to each other lovingly and sacrificially in a way that honors You. Help us to take up our crosses daily, die to ourselves and follow Your example so we can serve each other and the body of Christ more and more each day. Make our marriage a picture of Christ’s love so that many can experience Your love through us and come to know You.

For more encouragement in adjusting to married life, check out “6 Tips for Being a Godly Husband”, “What Bride Magazine Doesn’t Tell You”, or “Giving Your Spouse the Freedom to Fail.

To find help for your marriage or other resources, check out our marriage blog or FamilyLife.com.

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