6 Ways to Spice Up Date Night for Newlyweds

Dating each other and finding opportunities to have fun together is just as important, if not more, now that you are married. By making date night a habit, you will set your marriage up for success from day one! It will be easier to make that time for each other throughout every stage of life if it’s something that has been a priority to both of you since the beginning.

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8 Creative and Meaningful Bachelorette Party/Bridal Shower Gift Ideas

Wedding season is coming up and that means bridal showers and bachelorette parties are coming up too! I don’t have quite as many of those to attend now that most of my friends are married, but I still have one or two that I go to each year. When I was in the thick of attending a lot each year, I was always searching for ways to make my gifts for the occasion more meaningful. I always purchase something from the gift registry, because I know how appreciated it is, but I also like to add my own touch.

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My Favorite Marriage Podcasts

I get asked about my favorite marriage podcasts a lot, but until this past year I was only listening to one. I’d never taken the time to research what apps were good for listening to podcasts on an Android phone and I had a lot on my plate for quite a while and not a lot of time to listen to them. This past year I discovered the app Castbox, which I use to listen to all of my podcasts and have loved, so if you have an Android phone, check it out! I also started listening to podcasts all the time; while I clean my house, while I get ready in the morning and late at night when I’m doing my grocery shopping are my favorite times to catch up on podcasts.

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Marriage Advice for Newlyweds - Six Ways to Create a Long Lasting Marriage

I’ve heard something about marriage recently that I've had a hard time grasping. I guess there are people who go into marriage with the plan that it will be their "first" or not last forever. To me, marriage is a lifelong commitment and I do everything in my power to make it last that long. I understand that things have to end in some situations, but I can't imagine going into such a serious union planning for it to end. Creating a marriage that will last a lifetime takes effort, it won't happen just because you're hoping for it.

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Five Conversations to Have Before You Get Married

When we were preparing to get married, we talked about a lot of things. Our lives were busy with work, school, and wedding plans. Most of what we talked about was related to the wedding or our lives together immediately afterward. We had conversations about some far future topics, but there are a lot of things that we've talked about since or situations that we've gone through together that I wish were part of our discussions before we were in the moment and before we got married. As I've watched other couples around me get married, I can't help but think about these topics even more, so I decided to put together this post as a point of reference for engaged couples.

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Dear Newlyweds; 5 Truths About Marriage

Dear Newlyweds, Congratulations on your recent marriage, I sincerely wish you all the best! As you begin your new life together, there are a few things that I thought you should know. I'm sure you received A LOT of advice on your wedding day. And I'm sure by now you've realized that some of that advice is really helpful and some is not actually realistic. 

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6 Things That Newlyweds Should Do to Strengthen Their Marriage

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.

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How Involved in Each Other's Finances Should You Get Before Marriage?d

I wouldn't suggest combining your bank accounts or finances before you've tied the knot, but I do suggest that you make finances and money a part of your conversations together as soon as you know that your relationship is headed for marriage, and possibly even before that. I've shared my thoughts on what financial discussions you should have before you get married here on the blog before, but I'd like to add these to the list!

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What Marriage Means to Me

A year after we got married, we finally got my wedding band figured out and I had it soldered to my engagement band. My ring felt so much more complete and I remember thinking that now people would know that I had sealed the deal for life. I love our rings and the commitment that they symbolize, but marriage to me means so much more than being committed to my husband forever.

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Preparing for a Marriage

Wedding season is in full swing and there are a lot of couples out there planning their big day and preparing for their life together. Mary from Eat, Drink and Be Mary is one of those people planning and preparing for her marriage currently. Four years ago, I was just over a month away from my wedding. Today I'm reminiscing and joining Mary to share how planning for a wedding and a marriage affected our relationships.

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How to Make Combined Finances Work in Your Marriage - Marriage & Money Mini Series

While I realize that not everybody will combine their finances when they get married, I can't suggest it enough! Not viewing our money as 'his' and 'hers' makes budgeting easier, makes us feel like more of a team and makes our discussions about money a lot more pleasant! If combining your finances is something you've been considering, here are some things that you should keep in mind.

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How We Handle Personal Spending - Marriage & Money Mini Series

I've had a few people mention to me that they keep their finances and budgets separate because one of them makes more than the other or someone has lots of debt and the other person has none, etc. Having separate accounts gives them more freedom with their personal spending and their own income. A lot of them have told me that they still have a joint account and they both contribute money to it every month, which probably works out well but isn't how we've chosen to approach things!

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Why We Combined Our Finances - Marriage and Money Mini Series

When I was thinking about this series, I realized that I led you astray in the quote above because while we view our money as one, we don't necessarily have one large account. Today I wanted to discuss some of the questions people have asked me when they find out that while our finances may be combined, we still kept our different accounts and have never really combined them.

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Transitions to Marriage

I answered these questions to help my friend Kelsey from Stories of Kel out with a homework assignment last week. It was a lot of fun and it made me think of some things that I hadn't really considered before. After I e-mailed her my response, she suggested that I use the questions and answers in a blog post. Since it's our anniversary month and I'm trying to focus a lot on marriage, I decided to do that, and then I made my husband answer them as well. It was a great way to keep him awake during one of our drives over the crazy weekend!

1- What are some of the issues you had to deal with during the first year or so of marriage (particularly right after the wedding?)

A- Adjusting to each other's way of doing things and the fact that we are both too stubborn and prideful to compromise or do it the other person's way.

J- Trying to get over mine and yours. (Meaning possessions, things (ie car, tv, money, etc.) no longer being his or mine, they were ours.)

2- What are some good ways of dividing responsibilities?

A- We both have the chores that we like or the things that we're good at, so we stick with it. I make dinner, he cleans it up. I clean the kitchen, he cleans the toilets. It's become kind of routine over the past two years, that way we don't step on each other's toes or do things the "wrong" way like mentioned above.

J- "I just have to do everything you won't. You won't make the bed, you don't clean the bathroom, you won't fold the clothes...What else do you not like to do? That's what I do" (That's actually pretty much how it goes, oops...)

Read: Making Marriage a Priority Through Challenging Times

Transitions to Marriage

3- How should you best prepare for the first few years of marriage and to have a good marriage?

A- I think being able to function on your own and not needing someone there to constantly validate you or make you feel worth something is super important. It's great to have a partner to lean on and go through life with, but before you do that, you need to know who you are as an individual, do things for you and only you and be confident in your abilities and personality. Think 'Runaway Bride', I think that movie shows this perfectly.

J- (Husband had a hard time with this question, but we had the following conversation.) Me: "When we have kids, what advice will you give them when they're old enough to think about marriage?" Him: "I won't tell them anything." Me: "There's nothing that you think helped prepare you to be married and live with a woman?" Him: "There's nothing that could prepare you for that."

4- What makes a successful marriage?

A- Being able to compromise, discuss and plan together, even if you don't agree. And being able to laugh at the stupid things! And spending lots of quality time together.

J- Being on the same page with religion and money.

Read: The Ways We Show Love

Transitions to Marriage

*FOR THE RECORD, THE REST OF HUSBAND'S ANSWERS WERE WRITTEN LATE AT NIGHT WHEN HE WAS APPARENTLY HYPER. THEY'RE FUNNY, BUT NOT 100% SERIOUS, SO DON'T JUDGE US TOO HARSHLY*

5- What are some pitfalls to avoid in the transition to marriage?

A- Realize that once you are married, you've committed to be in a partnership, and you can no longer be selfish. There are a lot of times when I have to remind myself that I can't pick our date night/dinner every time, my husband needs a turn. And when you make a decision, you should make it with your husband in mind, and how it might affect him as well. This is the premise to my Monthly Marriage Goal right now.

J- "Never call each other fat, it can hurt a sensitive husband's feel bads." (For the record, I never call him fat, I'm not sure where this came from, maybe he has a fear that I will???)

Read: Are You Talking About the Important Things in Your Marriage

Transition to Marriage

6- What are some red flags to watch out for?

A- Resentment. If you have a problem, talk about it and move on. Holding onto that forever will slowly damage your relationship.

J- "Ditto."

7- What were some of the boundary issues you had to work through? (Balancing togetherness and individuality)

A- The boundaries that we've had to work through have been where homework/the blog/work/social media ends and our relationship begins. I am the type of person who likes to go go go and it's really hard for me to put the "to do" list aside and just spend time with my husband doing nothing.

J- "Boundaries in the bathroom. Some of us like the door shut, others in the relationship don't care."

Read: Why You Need to Check In on Your Marriage on a Regular Basis

Transition to Marriage

8- What are some of the changes you noticed in your life before marriage vs. after marriage?

A- I became less social, even though I'm still a very social person. I don't feel as much pressure to have something planned every single night. If I don't have somewhere to be or something to do, I can just hang out with my husband.

J- "I could sleep more when we were married." (We didn't ever get to see each other until later at night when we were dating so we were usually up a little bit later as well.)

9- What are some of the positive things about marriage?

A- Your best friend gets to go with you to most everything, you don't have to go to bed alone, endless cuddling when you're in the mood, someone to care for all the time, etc.

J- "Hanging out all day long... and all night long ahh yeah." (I'm sorry..... I don't know what to do about him sometimes...)

Read: When Life Happens, Support Each Other

Transition to Marriage

10- What do you like about marriage?

A- I love everything about marriage! I love having my own little family, I love having a husband to cook for, go on dates with, plan surprises for, etc. I like having that one person that I can always count on and who can make me feel better in any situation.

J- "Having someone to support you all the freaking time!"

11- Would you do it again? :)

A - Of course!!!

J- "After this marriage, I think I might try it again." (I'm really not sure how to take this answer. Either our marriage is so awesome that he'd do it over again or our marriage is so crappy that he'd like a do over?)

Read: Dear Newlyweds; 5 Truths About Marriage

Transitions to Marriage

What are some of your suggestions when it comes to transitioning to marriage?

One couple's experience as they transitioned from dating to engaged to married. Is marriage really as big of an adjustment as everyone says it is?