If you're a newlywed in a Christian marriage, you may find cohabitating more challenging than you expected. Sharing living space, finances, and virtually all of your home time together can take some getting used to. Here are five tips to help make your new life together go more smoothly.
Keep Some Things for Yourself
Even though you are now living together under the same roof and probably sharing a bank account, it can be healthy to keep some time, space, and money for yourself. Try to carve out individual spaces in your home where you can each have some alone time. This could be a corner for yoga, a basement workbench, or a reading nook on the porch.
Likewise, make sure not to give up your individual friends and social activities now that you are married. It's great to do things as a couple, but it's also beneficial to have activities to pursue independently of each other.
When you share finances, it can be tough to agree about every little expense. One way to take the pressure off is to either maintain a separate account, in addition to your joint account, or set aside a small amount of money each week that you can spend any way you like, even if it's just 20 dollars.
Pick Your Battles
It may be tempting to bicker over every little thing you see your spouse doing "wrong," like leaving laundry on the floor or not washing dishes after a snack. However, over the course of the decades you will spend together, there will be many things you will disagree about or find fault with. Successful married couples learn to pick their battles and only argue about things that are truly important to them, choosing to let other things slide in the name of peaceful cohabitation. This skill will also come in handy should you ever have children together.
Practice Fair Fighting
If you do have an argument, which is normal and inevitable, practice "fair fighting." This means no name calling, no bringing up ancient history to support your side of a disagreement, and giving each other time to say your piece about the issue. Use active listening, so you really hear what your spouse is saying, and you're not just thinking about what you are going to say next.
Look to the Bible for Advice
When you're struggling with a marital issue, you can always turn to the Bible for advice. If you own a Bible with multiple page markers, you can easily open to passages that help you get back on track, such as Ephesians 4:2-3. Virtually every page of the Bible will offer something to sooth or direct you and help you find the forgiveness and love you need to get through troubling times.
Know When to Enlist Professional Help
There may be times when you can't find a resolution to marital discord, in spite of your best efforts. A wise couple knows when to ask for help from a professional marriage counselor. These days most communities have multiple practitioners in this area of therapy, and you can even find Christian marriage counselors who will approach your issues in a way that's in agreement with your values and lifestyle.
Don't let married life get you down once the honeymoon is over. Practice the tips above to strengthen your marriage, and don't hesitate to ask for professional help when you need it. The key to a long, happy life together is dong whatever you need to in order to grow as a couple.Share