DIVORCE! You know someone it has impacted, maybe even you. Truth is, it is a very real reality in today’s society and something of which all wives should be mindful. I do not know about you, but I have an extremely proactive personality, which is probably why I spend a lot of time being proactive in my marriage. – The Intentional WifeLife
TRUTH: marriage is not always easy. Understanding that is key!
Looking at the top reasons for divorce: lack of communication & growing apart (which branch off to the major causes of divorce), it is easy for a newlywed (or even someone married for years) to write off the possibility of divorce within their own marriage. As a newlywed-you have all this right…which is why you just tied the knot!
And…I am so EXCITED for you! The success of your marriage is important to me and is why I researched and gathered advice from women with 5-50+ years of marriage! Here is what they said!
“To have an intentional marriage, you have to be an intentional wife.”
I am sure off the top of your head you can name many reasons for divorce… what proactive steps are you going to take within the first 5 years (and beyond) to ensure your marriage stays on team Husband & Wife? (PS the average divorce happens within the first 8 years of marriage! Build that foundation and keep on building! I will be here CHEERING you on!!!!)
5 Things to do in your First 5 Years of Marriage
SETTING YOUR FOUNDATION
1. Educate yourself!
Read books, talk to someone who has been married for years and observe others (either through what to do or what not to do). Sometimes our perspective is not the big picture. Reading books to help your marriage grow and set a foundation has been key to my marriage success, and for many other women!
Needing a few recommendations to read? Here are my fav 5!
2. Set couple goals!
EVERY YEAR!!!!!! (I am not talking new year’s resolutions that stop after your 2nd visit to the gym… I am talking goals that you will MOVE MOUNTAINS to make happen!)
This gets even more critical the longer you are married and as soon as Littles are a part of the picture! (PS looking for a FUN goal? Check out the post where I dated my husband for a year!)
3. Get to “really know” your husband.
I know this might sound weird, but there is a chance up until now you both have your own money, your own space/activities and your own authority on choices. Now- those choices are combined, and you must respect & have common ground on points of views.
AND you will need to get to know each other for the rest of your lives (remember that big leading cause of divorce…growing apart…yip! That is why this is so important!) Gabe and I are not the same we were when we met in 2007, when we married in 2011, when we had our first daughter in 2014 and our second in 2016. We are constantly changing. People change, dreams change, circumstances change- but the one thing that can remain consistent- is your commitment to continue to get to know your husband!
4. Learn to “fight” without emotion.
I will never forget the time Gabe and I got into our first argument (I honestly have no idea now what is was about) but I remember one of us started to raise our voice (by one of us, I mean me…insert me covering my face in shame as I admit that) and Gabe softly looked at me and said, “please do not yell, I am right here and I can hear you…”
Let your voice be heard, but in a way that is respectful. I do not know about you, but I know if I am feeling disrespected, I am not about to listen to what you have to say. So my guess is, unless you are yelling at your husband to watch out for that bus when he is crossing the street… that your yelling is pointless.
Majority of couple’s arguments come from lack of, or miscommunication. So when you are in a heated moment, and emotions are flowing, give each other permission to breath and collect thoughts. Share your perspective on how the other made you feel and give your husband the same opportunity.
Give your hubby the benefit of a doubt, as they more than likely have not been strategically planning war against you.
Our minds are our own worst enemy, so let positive in during the worst of times and control your tongue, because once the gloves are off, both you and your husband lose. NEVER settle differences in public, around family, friends or in front of your children.
Never talk negatively about your husband- I promise it never has a positive impact and will cause major damage in marriage!
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff!
The yes wife! This right here… is my weakness. But I promise if you can learn to be the “yes” wife, you will raise the level of your healthy marriage. I challenge you to say, “yes” (with positivity, both verbally and body language). If there is not a valid reason you should say, “no” it should be “yes”.
Apply this to critiquing, does it really matter if he uses to much soap to wash the dishes? The dishes are washed, that is a win- don’t sweat the small stuff!
Now I am not talking crazy things that can create a negative or unhealthy impact. I am talking about the everyday mundane things. You are your husband’s #1 support team! So saying a simple positive yes, can make a huge difference! Remember – it is not in what you say, but how you say it, that can make a world of difference!
I truly believe marriage is the last place to be selfish. Now that does not mean give until you have nothing left to give, but it does mean- be honest with yourself. Just like budgeting your time and money, budgeting your marriage is highly critical! Give your best “yes” and create a lot more positivity!
Document your legacy of love! Do not let your legacy of love stop at your wedding album and please do not let it just continue on your iPhone. Have photos taken every year and let those precious memories breath life into your home! You will never regret capturing your journey, but you will regret not having those precious images to look back on!
Have any key marriage tips you would love to share with newly weds? Comment below!
If you liked this post, check out my new Wife Life series!