BEYOND THE BIG DAY
By: Jill Cicero
Many couples struggle with adjustment and expectations during their first year of marriage but we’ve got some expert tips to ensure you thrive together during your first year and beyond. This topic isn’t uncommon, and many basic terms will be thrown at you such as communicate, fight fair and compromise. But what do they really mean? And how can we make sure we are practicing them?
Communicating is more than just talking to each other, it’s making each other feel heard. Acknowledgment goes a long way in relationships. When you feel acknowledged by your spouse and they acknowledged by you, you create a safe haven for expression between each other. Patience is key. Hear each other out and find solutions together. It’s both of you against the problem. Another part of effective communication is refraining from assumption. We are human and we are ever changing, when you become one you need to change together, so speak your mind and encourage your partner to speak theirs. The goal is to be on the same page as much as possible and when you aren’t, find out why and what you need to do to get back on the same page.
Fighting fair, is a bit vague. Most people have the common misconception that “fighting fair” means not “calling names” but it is so much more. At the end of the day it is about respect. It’s about how you say things to one another so the person you love won’t feel disrespected or put down even in difficult conversations. Don’t involve third parties in your squabbles, don’t go outside of your marriage when it’s not necessary. But perhaps the most important component of “fighting fair” is forgiveness. Don’t keep it up -forgive forget and never keep score is some of the best advice. You should only be fighting for each other at the end of the day and fighting for your relationship to last. If you can see the deeper meaning of your “fights”, you will “fight fair” naturally.
BEND DON’T BREAK
Compromise doesn’t always come easy. When you are adjusting from leading a life on your own to leading a life together, it may come as a challenge at first. But if you look at compromise as an opportunity to show love than it becomes easier and you can be selfless when it comes to your marriage. Compromise will become easier as you explore wants, needs and expectations that arise in married life. Willingness to compromise is sometimes enough. Being flexible will get you a long way, as they say “it’s better to bend, not break!” Compromise and considering your partner while navigating life’s twists and turns will protect your marriage and ensure long lasting happiness.