From The Heart: 20 Marriage Lessons From The First Year

Our lovely blog reader  has contributed to our ‘From The Heart’ feature – a new weekly Sunday spot on the blog where we hand the blog back over to our readers to write about all matters of love and life.

Marriage lessons are great ways to improve marriages. In our first year of our marriage, the marital lessons we learned were different and unique.

But being truly unified was what all these marriage lessons helped us attain.

We hope you will apply these marriage lessons and get a head start.

You will become knowledgeable about the changes you as a person, and you as a married individual will be going through.

These marriage lessons are not just for young couples in their first year of marriage. It’s also for anyone interested in marriage, newlyweds, engaged couples, courting, or already married.

Marriage lessons we learned in our first year of marriage.

1) Men and women communicate differently.

We speak different languages. I know we hear it all the time, but actually experiencing it is something else!

That first few months I can remember not having my husband understand me and getting so frustrated. “I am speaking English aren’t I ?!” – Ash 

We both learned we communicated vastly differently.

So take the time to think of another way to explain something to your spouse, try to look through their eyes, listen through their ears.

2) Trust God.

Oh my, this marriage lesson has been very important for our whole marriage so far!

We had a lot of things happen the first year of our marriage, not knowing how we were going to pay the next bill, or rent for the month.

All we had left was to trust God, and cling to each other.

3) Agree on finances and budget monthly.

Marcus introduced me to Dave Ramsey

when we were dating and at first I couldn’t stand it! Eventually I actually listened and heard the wisdom.

By agreeing on our finances, and budgeting every month together (we each get a say on how to spend our money), has opened up lines of communication that we never thought possible.

It also helped us to be on the same page, working together towards the same goals. – Ashley

4) Seek help and guidance when you need it.

There were a few times when we needed help. We learned to not be prideful and asked when necessary.

Seek someone who is matured and wise, not someone who will turn it into a gossip column.

5) Be patient and calm, you will have disagreements.

This was another of the BIG marriage lessons for us, and we are certain that being patient is very important in any marriage.

Remember the golden rule and treat your spouse how you would like to be treated.

Learn how to disagree respectfully; you are both different people with different personalities.

6) Communicate and discuss everything.

Don’t just assume, ask!

This marriage lesson helps lay the foundation of your marriage. It enables you to really get to know your spouse.

We are always changing, there is always something new to learn.

7) Be yourself, otherwise, it’s an act.

You always hear how people change after the “I Do.”

We think it’s because they weren’t totally “real” to begin with.

8) Communicate your needs.

If I needed Marcus to be more romantic, I had to tell him, and I had to show him how.

He can’t read my mind.

If he needed me to straighten my shoes in the entryway he had to tell me…and remind me a few times. – Ash

9) Marriage expectations.

We did not even know we had marriage expectations.

We were both raised in different families with different “normals.”

All you have to do is talk about each other’s marriage expectations, discuss, and learn how to compromise with your spouse.

10) Don’t expect your spouse to know what is in your head or read your mind.

I know this is mentioned above but it’s so important it deserves its own number. Communicate!!!

11) Work as a team and for each other.

Marriage is 100/100 not 50/50.

Stick together through the hard times when they come, (because they will come, its part of life!) as well as the good.

12) Be truly unified.

Doing everything mentioned you will learn this marriage lesson.

13) Don’t rush into having babies.

Spend your first year of marriage getting to know each other as a married couple.

The more time you spend together before kids arrive, the better. (Obviously not too long, but, at least, a year before getting pregnant is our recommendation for newlyweds.)

14) How not to disrespect your spouse privately and publicly.

I didn’t even realize I was doing this and felt awful once I realized I was disrespecting Marcus.

I am sarcastic in nature, as a defense mechanism and have learned how to reign that in.-Ash

The book Love and Respect

15) Build up your spouse. This goes hand in hand with number 14.

This goes hand in hand with number 14.

I love talking about my husband to whoever will listen. As I focus on all his good attributes, the positive thoughts turns into words, love, and respect for my husband.

The same goes for husbands towards wives. – Ashley

16) We GIVE love differently and RECEIVE love DIFFERENTLY. That’s right,

That’s right, The Five Love Languages is a must read for your first year of marriage.

17) BALANCE different personalities. One of us is an extrovert and one is an introvert, one is a saver and the other a spender, among many other differences.

One of us is an extrovert and one is an introvert, one is a saver and the other a spender, among many other differences.

We had to learn to balance our life with these opposites.

18) How to LISTEN, pay attention not just hear. It’s so easy to get distracted today!

It’s so easy to get distracted today!

Put the phone down when your spouse is talking.

Sometimes when Marcus is busy with school or business stuff I say, “Honey, let me know when you have a minute.

I have something I need to ask, or tell you” this works wonders because I don’t feel ignored and get frustrated. – Ashley

19) Taking time aside with no distractions to connect with each other every day.

Even if it’s just five minutes.

This is SO important especially when have children.

We as humans grow, and change. If we don’t take the time to connect with each other, I think that’s where the growing apart happens.

Do something together, and TALK.

20) Learn to balance being yourself, an independent person, while also being part of your marriage with your spouse.

You are one, and you are separate. Ever hear those people who say, “I just lost myself somewhere in the relationship or marriage and need to find myself.

I don’t know who I am anymore.”

It’s easy sometimes to get lost in the role of mother, wife, husband, father, business owner, or whichever hat you wear. We have to remember to take some “me” time.

Now that we have children, I call it “mommy time”. – Ashley

We have to give each other space to be alone, do our own hobbies, pursue goals and interests, while remembering to do the same together, and connecting.

This is also one of the important marriage lessons that will follow us all through our marriage.

Learning these marriage lessons did not come in a minute.

You should not expect to have all of these skills in a minute.

It will take some time, dedication, and intentional effort on your part to learn and apply these marriage lessons in life and in your marriage.

The benefits of these marriage lessons are immense and they will certainly improve your marriage.

Your turn:

What are some of the marriage lessons you learned in your first year of marriage?

What other marriage lessons do you have to add?

If you would like to contribute a From The Heart piece, we would dearly love to hear from you. It doesn’t matter what it’s about and it doesn’t have to be related to weddings at all – we’re looking for honest, authentic, personal, sad, happy, family, relationship, marriage, health, light-hearted, serious, baby, trying for baby, children, career, simple, complicated – real life issues.  We just need you to write from your heart. Keep it upbeat and witty, or share your thoughts anonymously on a more challenging or emotional subject. Please drop me a line at realafricanweddings@gmail.com

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If you would like to contribute a From The Heart piece, we would dearly love to hear from you. It doesn’t matter what it’s about and it doesn’t have to be related to weddings at all – we’re looking for honest, authentic, personal, sad, happy, family, relationship, marriage, health, light-hearted, serious, baby, trying for baby, children, career, simple, complicated – real life issues. We just need you to write from your heart. Keep it upbeat and witty, or share your thoughts anonymously on a more challenging or emotional subject. Please drop me a line at realafricanweddings@gmail.com

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