Monday, April 27, 2009

Advice for the Newlyweds...and a little giveaway.

Well, my sister Molly and husband Wayne are back from their honeymoon and are officially ensconced in "real life". Well, as much as newlyweds can be. For Shane and I, the honeymoon seemed to last 5 years.....then we had a baby. :)

I started thinking, what advice would I give to her that might make that transition into married life a bit easier. I'm definitely not an expert, but I've been married 8 years next month, and Shane and I have been together almost a decade now. I've learned a few things.....
  1. Show gratitude. This seems so obvious, but it is easy to forget how important it is. Say thank you several times a day. Men need to be appreciated for their efforts just as much as women do. Maybe even more.
  2. When you discover what his "buttons" are, don't push them. The longer you are married, the more amio you have to hurt the other person. You learn what things put them over the edge. Once you learn those things, make a goal not to ever use them. Make sure to fight fair. Never say anything out of spite. No name calling. Ever.

  3. Have sex. Often. As a newlywed, this isn't an issue. However, it gets to be more of one. I highly recommend reading "Mars and Venus in the Bedroom". This book is fantastic in explaining what men really want and what women really want. (i.e. Have your husband read it too.)

  4. Learn how your spouse wants love expressed, and then express love in that way. The worst thing I think I have ever heard a man say was, "My wife wants me to take her on dates and buy her little gifts, but I figure, I show her enough love by making all the money and keeping her car in working condition." I literally had to hold myself back from socking this guy in the gut. That isn't the way love works. What if the only way I felt comfortable showing love was by writing my husband sweet notes. That's great, but that isn't what he wants. He wants support and physical affection. If I don't give him these things, he isn't going to feel loved. Shane can bring home the bacon, but if he don't wrap me up in his arms when he gets home, no amount of money is going to make me feel loved. Everyone should read the book The Five Love Languages. It helps you discover how your spouse needs love expressed. (i.e. Have your husband read it too.)

  5. DATE NIGHT. I will quote from my post Motherhood Game Plan, "I have a belief I hold very close to: I married my husband because I wanted to spend eternity with him. I did not marry him to provide seed so that I could reproduce; that was a secondary thought. I got married so that I could be with this man. I see date nights as totally and absolutely critical to a working marriage. If a marriage is all about the small daily workings of raising children and maintaining a household, it isn’t exactly going to be the passionate relationship we envisioned on our wedding day." I cannot emphasis this enough. Even before kids, date nights are so important. You have to get away from work and school and kids and cleaning and just be together. When we don't have a babysitter we have bed picnics. We get takeout, lay a blanket over our bed, light candles all around our room and sit, eat and talk for hours. It is a simple way to reconnect as a couple, even if we can't get out of the house.

Husband's note : I read Shane my top 5 pieces of advice and asked if he wanted to add anything. He said - don't criticize. Amen to that. Criticism poisons a marriage. There are so many better ways to get your point across.

I could go on, but I thought it would be fun to get other opinions on the subject. Let me know what advice you would give to the newlyweds. Write your comment on this post. Even if you aren't married, I'm sure you have some advice. Next week I will award one winner a pair of the bridesmaids earrings that I designed for Molly's wedding. Molly will choose the winner based on her favorite comment. Good luck!

19 comments:

Jennifer said...

One piece of advice that I always heard before we got married (and that we didn't follow through on) was to get someone to help clean the house. Cleaning the house then becomes one less thing that you have to do when you get home after work or on the weekends and you can spend that time together. You also don't fight about who is supposed to clean the tub and no one starts getting their feeling's hurt if the other one isn't doing "their share".

Great post!

The Linabooty's said...

"Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty"

Are You Serious! said...

♥ I love and agree with everything you said! John L. Lund also did a talk on cd about the love languages but it has a ton of other sutff too it's called "For All Eternity". It's awesome I would recommend every married couple to listen to it! Everyone in my family and in Joe's family own a copy of it, that's how good it is! :)

Nama said...

I loved all of your advice and second all of them. I've been married for a little over 9 months now and have learned so much (and am still learning...) about marriage and how different it is from a dating relationship.

My one piece of advice I'd give to newlyweds is to quickly learn the importance of letting stupid, little annoyances go. Your husband will do things that annoy you and vise-versa. However, little things like him leaving his dirty socks on the floor, for example, isn't the end of the world...get over it. It's not worth getting (a) annoyed about and (b) giving your husband a hard time about. I mean really, there are tons and tons of other things more important in your marriage. Don't focus on the small annoyances that will surely be there. Focus on making each other happy. :)

Anonymous said...

I love love love the advise that you gave. My grandmother always told me to take care of your man or else someone else would and that a family that prays together stays together. I didn't fully understand this till I got married to my husband and we both joined church together.

Monique- CA

Nichole said...

My advice is to let your husband "unwind" in his own way when he gets home from work,even if its just for 15 or 20 minutes.

Letting my husband watch Sportscenter(his favorite thing)for a bit,when he gets home, before i start bugging him to do things or want to talk about the problems of my day or anything else really really helps him unwind and forget his day at work.If you do this...your hubby will be a better husband and father:)

Dover Fam said...

I know this is crazy but it came from my 90 year old grandma at my bridal shower. They went around the circle and each person gave advice. When it got to be my grandmas turn she stood up and said "When you fight.....get naked" It is great advice and it shocked me to hear her say it. :)

April J. said...

Respect your husband's name. Don't talk trash about him or share little secrets that might embarass him. Also if you ask him to change don't nag at him give him the time and respect he needs to do so.

A great book is Strangling your Husband is not an Option by Merrilee Boyack.

Brady and Berta said...

A friend of mine once told my husband that he needed to learn the "Magic 8 Ball" of marriage, the "yes, dear", "no,dear", "of course not dear" and I think this is the worst advice EVER! Listen to what your spouse is saying, not what YOU think he is saying, but what he is truly asking from you. Getting over pre-concieved notions goes a long way in keeping the peace and tranquility in a marriage.

Amy said...

I agree with everything you said- great thoughts! There's so many things that can be said to help strengthen a marriage... but it's hard because you probably wont remember to follow them all and they wont all work for everybody. I think it's really important to communicate with your spouse about what works best for the two of you. Leave that communication between the two of you... not between your friends or your mom. Because then it might effect the relationship your friends and mom have with your husband.

Something that has worked for me is to try my hardest to see the positive and do something nice for my hubby every day. There's so many little things that if I focus on the negative they'd add up and I'd go crazy... but there's even more positive and when I focus on that it makes me fall even more in love with him each day!

Kandi said...

Good pieces of advise. Marriage is difficult and it takes a lot of work to make it last and remain happy and loving one another. One piece of advice I might add is: As much as you would like to; you must realize you can not change anyone but yourself. If you strive to be the best person you can be you will be the example for your spouse to be the best he can be. Grow with one another. Spend as much time as you can right now enjoying and getting to each other. When the kids come it is a whole different ball game! Best of luck to you on your new marriage.

Kathleen W. said...

Take on a shared hobby. It really helps for you to share something in common, like a cooking or dancing class so you always have a way of connecting with your partner. My husband and I love to go hiking, so it's always a way to reconnect and relax together. Good luck to them!

Nate and Amy Family said...

Nate's grandpa told him before we got married to always make sure and pray with me and kiss me every night. There have been many times that one of us is already asleep and he will wake himself up to make sure I get my goodnight kiss. I have woken up to him praying for us out loud a few times too. I have always felt loved from him from these two things- 7 and a half years later! And we've never gone to bed mad at each other either (it's hard to pray for someone and stay mad at them!)

Brooke said...

At my Bridal Shower my sweet friend hosting it had a marriage pillow go around. Everyone was to write comments and advice on it for us! This sweet older women wrote on this pillow a simple statement that I have never forgot "never to go to bed angery or mad"! It was simple advice. But, I have never gone to bed the 8years I have been married upset or mad at my husband. It's wonderful advise I think!


Wonderful post Natalie all so very true! Molly's wedding picture are just simply beautiful!

Gilbert Family said...

My advice is to go on "couple's getaways" as often as you can. It's nice to be able to focus on each other in a fun, NON-STRESSFUL setting.

Sarah said...

Marriage = not just about you anymore!!

I've been married for seven years, and here is the bottom line: Be Self-less. When you both consistently put the other's needs above your own, you will be in marriage heaven. It's not always easy to be self-less, but it's crucial to an AWESOME marriage.

Anonymous said...

Advice for Molly. Do not pay any attention to your sister Natalie regarding that having sex business. In fact you may want to consider having separate bedrooms. Wayne can sleep with Otis.
Dad

Tiffany said...

I am getting married this June. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this advice. I find that a lot of it I do already with my fiance, but it is nice to reminded by others who are already in a marriage. I love the number one to always show gratitude. I believe it is so important to always show my fiance how important to me he is and what a wonderful man he is. Thanks again for your great advice!

Angela said...

TALK, TALK, TALK! He should be the first person you want to tell everything to. When you have a problem, talk about it and LISTEN to each other instead of pushing it to the side and until you explode! Don't sweat the small stuff! I learned that after a while of realize my Hubs will never fold the towels to fit in the cabinet and he can't load the dishwasher to save his life. I learned that at least he is helping me so I will just fix it later instead of nagging! Also last but not least whoever is home from work first should greet the other with a kiss and a how are you! We started this a few years ago and it is our moment that we look forward to. Let it be known if one is relaxing and forgets we are sure to say "where's my kiss?" It is a simple thing to do even in the busy times that makes us a little happier!

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