Being a newlywed is exciting. The memory of your wedding is still fresh in your mind, you've most likely just got back from honeymoon, and your married life stretches out ahead of you.
While you can definitely coast on the joy and fun of your wedding for a while, the newlywed period is also prime time for strengthening your marriage. If you get into good habits now, your marriage will start off on the right foot and you'll be building in strength from day one.
If you're a newlywed, here are some ideas to keep your marriage strong.
Set Goals Together
Setting goals together is a powerful way to strengthen a new marriage. Set aside some uninterrupted time, grab a drink, and sit down together to make some goals.
You might decide on decorating a room in your home, setting aside a certain amount in savings, taking a trip, starting a hobby together, learning about investments, or anything else that you both want to see happen in your shared life.
Once you're decided on your goal, map out some steps you can take to get there. Have regular check-in sessions where you get together to discuss progress on your goal and decide what to do next.
Setting goals together really enhances your sense of teamwork, and gets you thinking about building a happy future together.
Make Some Agreements
Whether you've just moved in together or have been cohabiting for a while, the start of your marriage is a good time to make some agreements with each other. Take some time to talk about:
- How you're going to handle finances, bill paying and savings
- Who is responsible for each household chore
- How you're going to approach big life decisions
- If you're going to have set “nights” that each of you cooks, and a night for eating out
- How to decide whose family to spend holidays with
Setting out agreements now will help stave off arguments in the future, plus you'll both benefit from the sense of tackling your daily life together.
Flexibility is important too of course. If you or your partner needs to pass on an agreement, don't hold it against them – but do take the time to talk about it.
Dating doesn't end once marriage starts! Make a pledge to keep dating and your marriage will stay strong.
As time goes by and you both get busy with careers, community or social commitments, and perhaps raising a family, it's easy to get out of the habit of dating.
Set aside regular time for just the two of you. Leave your daily worries at the door and enjoy a movie, an outing, a delicious meal or just some quiet time together. You'll be reminded of why you love each other's company, and your marriage will benefit.
Make dating a regular part of your marriage from the outset so it becomes a habit. Regular couple time helps keep the flame burning as the years go by.
Get Into The Gratitude Habit
The early weeks of marriage are full of joy and fun. If you want to keep that sense of love and laughter as weeks become months and years, get into the gratitude habit.
Look for the good in each other, and make sure the other person knows about it. Do you love the way they bring you coffee in the morning, or the way they give you a foot rub at the end of a long day? Tell them! Make sure your partner feels appreciated for all they are, and all they do.
The gratitude habit applies to your life together, too. Look for what you love in your home, your circle of friends, your job and your community. Focusing on the positive will keep your marriage strong through rough times as well as good times.
Start A Hobby Together
A shared hobby is a wonderful chance to bond with your new spouse. Shared hobbies are opportunities for fun, laughter, and quality time together.
Whether you've always wanted to learn ballroom dancing or French cooking, or one of you spotted a poster for an amateur dramatics club and decided to join on the spur of the moment, look for something you can do together.
Shared hobbies give you something to talk about, and something to do together outside of the daily routine of cooking, chores and bills. Having something that is your “thing” will build strength into your marriage that will only grow as it matures.
Build Your Own Routines
Building routines together is a powerful method of laying strong foundations for your new marriage. Naturally you'll want to keep injecting fun and excitement too, but as your marriage grows, routines become a familiar reminder of your strength as a couple.
Of course, routines don't have to be boring! Perhaps you'll decide to take time every morning to read the paper together, or cook brunch together on a Sunday. Maybe you'll run them a relaxing bubble bath every Friday night – and join them in it. Or perhaps every Saturday morning will be farmer's market morning, or Wednesdays will be takeout night.
Whatever you decide, build some loving, enjoyable routines into every day starting now, and let them strengthen your marriage as you both grow together.
Being a newlywed is wonderful. Enjoy every moment, and use these ideas to stoke the flame between you and keep it burning bright long into the future.