There’s a lot of marriage advice for Newlyweds on the internet. Regardless of your age, or whether or not this is your first or second marriage, here are 7 concrete ideas from marital researchers that will help you get off to a great start.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a regular weekly date night. Research tells us that date night protects your relationship by introducing novelty and fun. A Date Night pre-planned event when you both schedule out some time for yourselves away from your ordinary routine.
Some newlyweds struggle with the concept of a Date Night. Deciding to go get Chinese on the spur of the moment lacks the planning and “special” feeling of a true Date Night. Just doing something together isn’t enough.
A Date Night conveys a sense of leaving the ordinary realm of humdrum daily experience. You dress differently. You go to a different place or do things that aren’t a part of your daily routine. Date Nights are special times together.
Marriage advice for newlyweds can be pretty boring repetitive. But pay attention to this one… it’s a keeper.
Right now you’re riding a high. Research tells us that the honeymoon period has a shelf-life. It tends to only last about 12 to 30 months. Some newlyweds, who crave excitement tell us that their honeymoon phase petered out after as little 6 to 9 months.
“Marriage must fight constantly against a monster which devours everything: routine.”―
When you’re a newlywed, it can be intoxicating. Everything about your life feels exciting, vibrant, and full of promise. The best way to stay that way is to do new and exciting things at least once or twice a month. I don’t care what it is, take a dance class, play miniature golf, go to a concert. new and different are the operative words here.
Too often marriage advice for newlyweds gets bogged down in specificity. I’m deliberately avoiding a laundry list here. Focus on exciting, different and new experiences. That will keep your dopamine levels high and help cushion your nervous systems as you adjust to married life.
Learn How to Have Generative Conversations. Perhaps the best marriage advice for newlyweds is to learn how to have really important conversations, particularly when you might not see an issue in the same way.
The beauty of a Generative Conversation is that each spouse carefully interviews their partner about their point of view.
After about 20 minutes asking Generative Questions and carefully taking notes on the answers, the listening partner carefully summarizes and validates what they heard their partner say.
Then you switch roles to hear the other side. The goal is to understand your partner before trying to find a solution.
“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”―
When it comes to solid marriage advice for newlyweds, this next one is critical. Gottman’s research tells us that even in the first few months of marriage, men who can accept influence and share power have, by far, significantly happier marriages.
They are also far less likely to divorce than men who regularly resist their wives’ influence. Gottman says that when a husband is not willing to share power with his spouse, there is more than a 4 out of 5 chance that his marriage will eventually fail.
One of the great things about CTI is that we tend to attract incredibly intelligent, successful, and motivated clients. However, one of the issues we occasionally see is one partner habitually correcting the other. At first, it may seem cute, but trust me, it will get old fast.
Try to keep focused on the feelings, and let minor factual errors slide. Talk to your partner like you love them. Sure, you might say…that’s easy! It may be easy now, but don’t count on your ability to do this forever. Get into the habit of focusing on feelings. Don’t quibble about minor points or irrelevant details.
I’m bundling together these last 2 pieces of marriage advice for newlyweds.
And one of the first rituals I’m suggesting that you adopt is the habit of
One of the strengths of being a newlywed is that you’re establishing a set of expectations for each other that will hopefully persist through time. Remember the magic ratio of 5:1.
That means for every negative interaction, you should have 5 positives. The best way to do this is to show your fondness and admiration for each other in random acts of kindness.
You’re probably already doing this, and, as newlyweds, your emotional bank accounts most likely have a healthy, positive balance.
But don’t take this for granted.
Keeping your emotional bank accounts in the black will take work.
Talk now about the random acts of kindness that you particularly appreciate, and praise your partner when they do those nice things for you.
A lot of advice that you hear will focus on specific suggestions that may or may not be appropriate for you.
These 7 pieces of advice are more like guiding principles or “best practices.” It doesn’t matter hold old you are, or even whether or not this is your first marriage, these 7 principles will work well for you. Put your friendship first and foremost and your marriage will take care of itself. And if you want to start and stay strong, consider a couples retreat.
“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”―
Daniel is a Marriage and Family Therapist. He currently sees couples at Couples Therapy Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts, three seasons in Cummington (at the foothills of the Berkshires...) and in Miami during joint retreats with his wife, Dr. Kathy McMahon. He uses EFT, Gottman Method, Solution-focused and the Developmental Model in his approaches.