So as of today, my husband and I have been married for a full year. It’s been a year full of joy, moments of growth, and moments of grief. I am so grateful to be beside this man and to get to journey through life with him as we seek to glorify God and love others, forever (in my Cardi B voice).

Originally I had a post drafted that was a sappy one detailing how much I love my husband (true) and how awesome he is (also true). However, I wanted to think about what some of the things were that I didn’t know as a newlywed and decided to compile them into a post for those of you that are engaged or newly married.

Although as I’m writing this, I’m sitting at a location I’ll disclose very soon, I am so excited to share with you some of the things that my husband and I have learned in this year.

Don’t stop dating each other:

My date nights with my husband are like my favorite thing. It’s one of the things that I look forward to the most because it’s time for us to really be intentional about time spent together and to really just have fun. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget to really tune into each other. Our date nights are a nice break away from the realities of life and an opportunity for us to spend uninterrupted time with one another.

 

Pray together, daily:

My husband and I pray together in the mornings before work and it’s a really nice time with just the two of us. I think it also reminds us of who we should be focusing on and puts the entire day into perspective.

If you’re a believer, find some time that works well for you and pray with your spouse.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help:

Even after my husband and I got married, we still went to a form of counseling so that we could start our marriage off on the right track. There’s nothing wrong with going to counseling or seeking wise counsel about things. Also, going to counseling doesn’t always mean that something is wrong – sometimes it’s preventive to ensure that you have a space to learn some helpful tools for dealing with things if they arise in the future. Personally, I found it to be very helpful for us!

Honor your spouse by protecting their reputation:

One thing I try not to do is to complain about my spouse to my family or friends. Yes, I’m sure there’s things we both do that are quite annoying sometimes, but I had to remember that while I, by the grace of God, can forgive – others may not be so forgiving. While I may understand that my husband saying something is just him being silly, they may not quite understand it and may feel the need to step in. Don’t share anything that you feel is disrespectful to your spouse, making them appear less than to others, or that you essentially wouldn’t want being held against them in the future.

Honor your spouse by keeping things that should be kept between you, between the two of you.

 

If you do decide to share information about your marriage, be very intentional about what and who:

Sometimes you may have a question about something or may be seeking outside help to receive prayer about an upcoming decision. I would recommend keeping some things between you and your spouse. While there’s nothing wrong with expressing an inquiry or seeking help, I’ve noticed that with some people that I mistakenly shared very private information with, they began to feel entitled to then comment on things in our marriage that didn’t concern them.

Inserting too many opinions into your marriage can make it more difficult to make decisions as a unit that are the best for your family. Be very intentional about what you do decide to share and who you decide to share it with.

 

Forgive:

I know this is probably similar to other advice posts you’ve seen, but it’s so true. While marriage is awesome, I’ve learned in this year that marriage includes a lot of forgiving and asking for forgiveness as well. Sometimes we do things wrong or sometimes, we may unintentionally hurt our loved one. In those moments, I’ve been learning it’s so important to forgive, apologize, and to humble yourself in the moments when you need to ask for forgiveness.

Don’t fight over tuna:

You ever hear the saying don’t cry over spilled milk? Well, don’t fight over missing tuna.

Our first real fight as a married couple where I ignored him for a good several minutes was over tuna. On our way home from grabbing dinner, I mentioned that I would make tuna fish for lunch the next day, which he replied saying that he told me that there wasn’t anymore. I insisted that he never told me that and he insisted that he did. Long story short, we ended up having a thirty minute argument over tuna.

Yes, tuna.

I mean, folded arms and everything over a can of tuna that regardless of how much we debated who said what, was no longer in the cabinet.  A couple of moments later, we apologized and laughed it off.

While it’s funny now, we learned so much out of that trivial argument over tuna about ourselves and each other. We especially learned that some things aren’t worth spending thirty minutes disagreeing over.

Remember that you’re in this together:

When you get married, you become one. You both become a team and function as a unit. That means that when it comes to decision making, schedules and slew of other things, you now have to consult each other. I know when we first got married, it was an adjustment for me that instead of being able to decide things on my own, I now had to check in with my husband to make sure he was okay with it and vice versa. I now had to ask him before committing to events and outings out of respect for him and vice versa.

Aside from that, when we face challenges together, we face them together. We troubleshoot together. We pray for solutions, wisdom, discernment, and relief, together. I believe in marriage it’s so important to truly view yourselves as a team and no longer just one man (or woman) for themselves.

 

 

Well, those are my tips! Those of you who are married, what are some tips you’d suggest? I’d love to hear them! If you’re not married, what’s some things that you’ve been learning currently about friendships and maintaining long-term ones?

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