Marriage has been hands down the best adventure I’ve embarked on so far, but it certainly hasn’t been without a few surprises. Am I the only one who, when asking a newly wedded couple how marriage has been so far, they give a typical answer such as “It’s SO great!” and leave it at that? Well, as great as marriage truly is, it can be a little disheartening when you realize it isn’t perfect, it takes work, but you feel like you’re the only wife who feels that way. Well, sister, fellow new wife, I am here to put you at ease and assure you that you are NOT alone. As a wife, you must give yourself grace as you navigate the twists and turns of your new marriage. Allow me to share with you 11 things every new wife will benefit from knowing when it comes to marriage.
1. You Get to Spend the Rest of your Life with Your Best Friend – It’s a Beautiful Gift!
Getting married is the second best decision I’ve ever made, the first being when I gave my life to Jesus. There is nothing quite like marriage; it bonds two people in unexplainable ways. You now have a best friend to do life with. There will be many laughs, and even a few tears, but it all is so worth it. Marriage is an adventure you get to experience with your partner for life. It is sacred as it expresses the picture of how God loves His church. Don’t forget the sacredness of marriage and the pure joy it will bring.
2. Erase All “Romantic Comedy” Bred Expectations
It can be an utter shock when new wives realize their prince charming husband can’t read their mind and won’t know exactly what she needs at every waking moment. He may not make you breakfast in bed with a kiss on the forehead every morning like you had imagined it. In fact, you might find out that your husband is a major grouch in the mornings and he needs a good 20 minutes before speaking to. Romantic comedy movies, among other things, can give us such unrealistic expectations of what marriage will be like. Even worse, they give us unrealistic expectations of how our husbands should be. These poor guys are set up for absolute failure if we want them to live up to all of our expectations that we’ve unhealthily formed from watching movies where the man’s role is heavily scripted for a woman to swoon over. Once I realized my husband can’t read my mind, and is a human being who isn’t going to have all the perfect lines to say and all the romantic gestures I dream of, marriage has become much easier.
3. You and Your Husband are a TEAM
At times, you will look at your husband and feel like he is your worst enemy in that moment. Frustration will overcome you and you may not even want to speak to him. First off, don’t freak out or give up on your relationship. This is normal. If marriage was easy, the divorce rate wouldn’t be between 40-50 % these days. When you get into a fight with your husband, take a deep breath, cool off if need be, and remember you are a team. You are on the same side. And you need to work through whatever problem it is with your husband not against him.
4. You will not always see eye to eye on things.
He’s a man, you’re a woman. You’re different. There’s not much else to add here beyond what I’ve said. The point is, there will be disagreements that don’t ever come to a conclusion and sometimes that’s okay. You have to agree to disagree and find a way to deal with it. Prayer usually helps in these circumstances 🙂 and NOT praying that your spouse will change, but praying that God will change your own heart.
5. Don’t Think That Being a Good Wife Means Meeting All the Stereotypical Housewife Expectations
When I was engaged and picking out my wedding registry, I would daydream about the perfect wife I would be. My husband would come home every day from work to his wife all dolled up with hair and makeup done, wearing a cute apron, holding a beautifully cooked meal from scratch. You guys, I wish I could say that’s happened at least once but it has not. One of those 3 scenarios have happened, but never all 3 at once. Either I’m lucky I stuck to the meal plan that night and followed through with a healthy home cooked dinner, or I actually decided to put on makeup that day but burnt the meal because I was so exhausted after work. Some days I even get home after Luke from work, covered in spit up from the baby I nanny and all I want to do is collapse on the couch. Unless you’re a stay at home wife who doesn’t work and has no kids, you don’t have time to cook all day and you certainly don’t have time to curl your hair on a daily basis. Please cut yourself some slack and remember that you are doing your best and sometimes that just needs to be enough.
6. Enjoy Life Before Having Kids
I love kids. There’s a reason I’ve been babysitting since I was 10, have full time nannied for 8 families now, and have my teaching certificate in Elementary Education. And let me tell ya, since my whole life revolves around kids, I know how much of a life changer they can be. I’m currently nannying a sweet baby girl 10 hours a day and sometimes I feel like I’m a mom. But when I get to go home at 5pm, I’m so very thankful the baby isn’t coming with me. Kids are an absolute joy, but they bring a whole new load to the table. My parents always tell me, “Enjoy life before having kids because you’ll never get that “just the two of you” time back.” If possible, take time to learn how the two of you work best together before adding a 3rd human to the mix.
7. Spend Quality Time Together
Oh quality time. I remember the days of dating after classes on a Thursday afternoon, going to the fair together on Friday night, the lake on Saturday, and a hike after church on Sunday. I’m not exaggerating, Luke and I used to be able to spend time like that together and it was an absolute dream. Now, between our weekday work schedules, Luke’s overnight firefighting shifts, and his 24 hour weekend shifts as well, I’m jumping for joy when we get a full Saturday and Sunday together. Quality time can quickly become a thing of the past once weekends are now for grocery shopping, errand running, and laundry.
I thought that once we got married, I would have even more time with Luke and life would be peachy. While life is great and I love being married to my best friend, sometimes I feel like I barely see him. Most evenings we have zero energy to do anything but sit side by side on the couch watching Netflix, exhausted after work. Not much quality time is going on there if you ask me. That’s why it’s so so important to make quality time a priority. Even if you’re tired, take an evening walk together and talk to each other. Or try one of these 10 free and fun easy date ideas. I know it may seem difficult to purposefully plan out time together, but it is one of the most important things you can do for your marriage. Just do what you can.
8. Don’t Overwork Yourselves
In the Bible times, men had a 1 year period of time after getting married where they weren’t allowed to be sent off to war. “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married” -Deuteronomy 24:5. This was so that they could enjoy time with their newly wedded wife. I don’t think God would have included that in the Bible if He didn’t believe it was important. Time as a newly wedded couple is valuable.
Luke and I have some friends who got married in the past couple of years. The husband and wife are set on moving into a house, so they are both working like mad at their jobs to save up for it. This is by no means a wrong thing to do, in fact, it will be such a blessing to have that house. But, unfortunately because they are working so many extra hours, they are never able to see each other. Their work schedules are different and to them their relationship feels like ships passing in the night.
I know life is not always ideal, just the way we want it, but if possible limit how much time you spend away from each other at work. Saving money is important, but so is your marriage. You have many years to come to save up for that house together, or whatever else it might be. But you’ll never be able to get your first year of marriage back. If you have control over it, do what you can to spend time together. Money is not the most important thing in life.
9. Serving your Spouse is Not Conditional
When Luke and I were dating, my favorite thing to do was surprise him with cute little things here and there. I’d write him letters, cook him a surprise dinner, and I LOVED taking him on surprise dates. One of my love languages is acts of service, so my favorite thing in the world to do for Luke was to serve him. It brought me so much joy to see him appreciate and love the things I did for him.
Our first few months of marriage, I kept this up. But as the business of life took full force, and I felt pushed on Luke’s back burner a bit, the cute little things started to take left field on my priorities as well. I felt like if Luke wasn’t doing all the sweet things for me that he used to, why should I continue doing them for him.
First off, we have had conversations about this many months ago after it happened (communication is key), and the issue has since been resolved. But looking back, I should’ve never stopped doing those little “extras” for Luke to make him feel loved and important to me. Marriage is not conditional. It’s not a, “if you do this for me, I’ll do this for you”. Marriage is a commitment to serve the other person through thick and thin, when it’s easy and when it’s difficult.
10. Every Marriage and Family is Different – Don’t Compare Your Life to the Jones’s
Do you ever scroll through facebook and see a “marriage goals” couple? Their entire life looks perfect and you could only dream your marriage and new life together was that good. Well, my friend, I have news for you. Nobody’s life looks exactly like what it truly is. Every marriage has its struggles. I’m not saying this to discourage you, but rather to encourage you. Don’t look at somebody else’s marriage and think they have it all together and wish if only that could be you. Focus on what your marriage has and not on what it doesn’t have.
11. You Have Your Whole Life to Figure Marriage Out
Marriage isn’t easy. It’s that simple. Trying to figure out how to iron out the wrinkles in your combined lives takes a lot of grace and understanding from one another. Those things take time, prayer, and patience. The good news is, you have your ENTIRE LIFE to figure out this new marriage! If things seem difficult, don’t worry. You are not alone, sweet sister, and it is completely normal to have struggles in marriage. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with your relationship, or that your marriage is destined to fail. The best thing you can do is be open and honest with each other, love each other unconditionally, and most of all lift up your marriage to God in prayer.
Shop The Post:
I purchased this book a month before my wedding, and sped through it in less than a week. I loved it so much that I read through it again with Luke after we got married. We’d work through anywhere from a few pages to a chapter a night. I found everything in the book to be applicable and valuable information to strengthen our marriage and deepen our understanding of marriage topics that would inevitably come up in our future as newly weds. This book taught me everything from how to handle conflict in a God-honoring way to thriving as a newly wedded couple in a new community (as we are doing right now.) I even took notes in a notebook as we read through the book my second time together because I found the information so valuable. I highly recommend this book to engaged couples or newly weds!
This is a book that was gifted to Luke and I as a wedding present. Getting in the word with my husband and learning alongside him how to strengthen our marriage has been a huge blessing and growth point for us. This devotional is meant to do one chapter a week together, so we have been doing a chapter every weekend. There’s a different topic per chapter and application questions at the end of each one. For any soon to be newly weds or already marrieds, I recommend this book!