Photo courtesy of Jochy Fersobe Photography and Cinematography
So you’ve made it down the aisle – woo hoo! That is a big feat. We all know how difficult planning can get between the initial “Will you marry me?” and the final “I do!” But, hurrah! You’ve made it. What now? Here at Black Bride, we are big on sharing the goods, and these items are at the top of our to-do list for newlywed couples:
Let It Go……
Elsa said it best. When it comes to the idea of the fairytale (pun intended), let it goooooooooo. Say it aloud: my marriage is not a fairytale, my marriage is not a fairytale, my marriage is NOT a fairytale. The sooner you let go of that notion, the sooner you can go on to living a real, fulfilling and beautiful life with your new spouse. You will make mistakes, get on each other’s nerves, and make it through life’s trials together. Sure, there will and should be blissful moments that feel akin to a fairytale life, but the expectation that marriage will be no work and all play is an utter misconception. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It seems that the more work we put into our marriages, the easier it is for us to feel comfortable and loved by our spouses.
Photo Courtesy of Jazzymae Photography
Make Friends with Married Couples
Have you ever noticed the quiet strength of a seasoned couple in the autumn of their marriage? Or the confidence and comfort that some married couples exude? We have noticed too, and can say with confidence that there are few things more beneficial than having married friends. Don’t shy away from making friends with couples that have been together for 30 + years, or with those that are newlyweds just like you. These are the friends that you and your spouse will come to rely on; they will be able to provide perspective that will prove invaluable for your marriage. There’s nothing better than being able to be an ear to a friend that is going through something that you’ve triumphed over, or being told by a friend that’s been married longer than you’ve been alive that yes, you will make it over this hump (and the next one). Our married friends hold us accountable, provide positive examples, and at the end of the day are just good fun to be around.
Take A Class
This is pretty similar to number two. You’ll never master marriage completely, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot continually get better at it. Try taking a marriage class with your spouse. It never fails, there will always be that one couple that has figured out something that you and your spouse are currently struggling with, and it will help you to learn new ways to navigate some of the more difficult aspects of marriage.
If you aren’t able to take a class, try reading a book with your spouse. We recommend The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Essentially, Dr. Chapman speaks about the idea that no two lovers are alike. We love, and expect to be loved, in our own language. Unsurprisingly, most husbands and wives don’t speak the same love language, and that’s when things get tricky. This one is a must-read for all couples.
Do you and your spouse have a blueprint for your marriage? Expectations? A three or five-year plan? It’s hard to be successful at anything, let alone a lifelong endeavor like marriage, without planning for it. Take the time to plan with your spouse. How soon do you want children, or do you want children at all? Would you two like to stay in the same city for a while, if not, how soon would you like to move? Are either of you interested in furthering your education, if so, how will you plan for that financially? Looking to purchase a home? How will you plan to make that dream happen? All of these things require intentional conversations, and most importantly, planning. Make time to plan with your spouse.
Find A Hobby
Here’s the fun part. You married that person for a reason, and we imagine that you love spending time with them. So find something fun to do together! Finding mutual hobbies is a HUGE intimacy boost. Not all intimacy happens after dark. Spending time with your spouse doing something that brings you closer and is good fun definitely will help you two gain serious points in that area. Some couples run races together. Maybe you two love to get down on the dance floor. Perhaps karaoke is your shtick. The idea is to find something that is exclusively yours. It’s only for the both of you to do together, your little thing. Commit to doing it, and watch your relationship grow.
We hope that you two are enjoying the wonderful world of matrimony. Now get to work on that list! But don’t fret: you’ve got a lifetime to get it right.
Angela Souza is a native Clevelander. She is wife to Omari, and mommy to Noah and Ezra. You can catch more of her work at Love Notes by Jazzymae Photography, a blog where she writes about the ins and outs of all things marriage. She also frequently contributes to For Harriet. Angela is a regular contributor for BlackBride.com. Follow her on Instagram: @its_angiesouza and Twitter: @therealangelans